Is a board-game, but it’s a Sci-Fi board-game so I thought I’d post here.
Struggle for the Galactic Empire is designed by Joseph Miranda and is published be Decision Games, the link will give you a brief description.
The counters are 5/8″ square and the map is uncluttered even with a lot of counters on it, the map also contains most of the charts and tables you will need during the game.
The goal of the game is to save the Empire! Your success (or failure!) is given as a rating in each scenario ranging from Collapse to Galactic! This is measured by how many systems the Empire controls at the end and how high the ‘Chaos Index’ is (more on that a little later).
The game could be said to be resource driven, every imperial system will produce a between 1 and 4 resource points, you collect them, spend them maintaining current units or buying new ones (best keep a ‘slush fund’ back for emergencies though). It’s a simple system that doesn’t consume too much time or effort in the game.
The core of the system are the chaos chits, not the 40k type of Chaos , this is the generic chaos of your average Galactic Empire, Rebellion, Insurrection, Alien Invasion et al. Chaos chits make up approx. half the counter mix and are drawn at random at the start of each turn, the higher the chaos index the more chits you draw. Each chit drawn represents an event that could be good but more than likely bad for the Empire!
Once the chaos chits have been drawn and acted upon its the turn of any chaos forces on the map to move/attack, this is governed by die rolls, but in general chaos will be drawn to the galactic core and the seat of galactic power.
There are two forms of combat, Military – where units are destroyed or Morphogenic – where units are converted to the winners side (counters are double sided Empire on one and chaos on the other).
The chaos index is affected by the results of combat, it goes down when the Empire wins and up when it loses – if it passes 100 instant death for the Empire.
Once you get into it the game flows well and keeps your interest, its easy to run a turn and leave it for a while.
For me I had two overall questions about the game, 1. Is it good Sci-Fi, well that sort of thing is all in ones head but for me Yeah, its not Starship Troopers or StarFleet Space Battles, it’s mega strategic and it gives a passing nod to most classic themes in Sci-Fi, but it does have a good feel about it. 2. Is it a good solo game, ok what makes a good solo game? A system that can’t be predicted but is not completely random, SGE balances the two, the chaos chits ARE random but once a rebellion has started or a Usurper has appeared for example their actions do conform to a general plan.
So Yeah I would say it’s a good solo game and even though I’m loosing the current game I have a plan and will fight to save the Empire till turn 10.