Tiny Epic Galaxies – printed and played…

I spotted the launch of the Tiny Epic Galaxies Kickstarter – and by the time I took a look at the page it had already far-exceeded it’s meagre target of $15,000.  It’s still growing – now at $236,000 with 22 days to go.  I watched the video and thought it looked like it could be fun.  Then I saw there was a print-and-play available.  For free, no-less!

Handily-enough I had some photo card available so I was able to print everything out on Monday and cut it out.  I have to admit cutting out was tedious – I wish I had a guillotine to do it properly and quickly!  I swore a few times while peeling the stickers off to make up the 7 custom-dice required too, so there’s definitely one element of print-and-play I’m not a fan of.

Having prepared everything and watched the play-through video I was ready to play on my fairly-regular Tuesday games at my house.  Here are the components all set up.  I improvised the rockets using workers from Lords of Waterdeep:

Tiny Epic Galaxies print-and-play components
Tiny Epic Galaxies print-and-play components

Simple rules, quickly understood…

The rules were soon understood by everybody after a brief explanation and me taking the first turn.  The control card sums it all up very neatly too.

The actions either allow placement of the ship/worker on a planet, allow progression of an action to colonise a planet, harvest resources or allow special abilities or upgrading to get more ships, dice and points by spending resources.  First to 21 victory points wins!

It then comes down to thinking strategically in terms of the order of dice activation.  Players can spend resources to duplicate another player’s actions, so careful management of resources is required by everybody to take advantage of opportunities in somebody else turn.  It’s  neat mechanic that keeps everybody engaged in what is happening on another player’s turn – avoiding dreaded downtime.

 Planets

Tiny Epic Planets...
Tiny Epic Planets…

The planets are drawn from a deck of 24 – shuffled and with # Players + 2 planets in play at anyone time.  Activating dice with ! or $ progresses a ship on the colony track, securing the victory points and giving access to the special ability to the player holding the planet.  However, while it’s in play, anybody can land a single ship on it (one per player) to use the special ability so there’s a constant tension between securing the planet and using the abilities to gain resources or set back your opponent.

I did think at times there wasn’t enough tension between the players when using planets.  I wonder whether perhaps one less planet would increase the likelihood of more than one player trying to colonise a planet at once; and therefore increase the competitiveness of the game.

Pace

The game played nice and quickly; including the rule explanation it probably took around 40 minutes, with the odd reminder of specifics on how rules worked.  Second time I’d imagine it would be closer to the 30 minutes the Kickstarter states the game should take.

Verdict

This was a great fun little game and a good addition to a game session dedicated to short games, or if you’ve just got 30 minutes spare.  I’m hoping the Kickstarter passes the $250,000-mark as the stretch goal for that is a fifth player and that’ll make it a more likely option for the game sessions I have.  It’s not that common for us to have less than five people, so four player games don’t often feature.

As for who won?  Not me!  I finished on 13 VP.  Not last, but nowhere near in contention (congrats Dan!).

If you want to read more then take a look at the Tiny Epic Galaxies Kickstarter, or follow Michael Coe @Gamelyn_Games on Twitter.

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