Posts Tagged ‘4x’

Ancient Kickstarter Burning Suns

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Besides giant Slaaneshii Daemons another of my passions is humongous space battles, or as they’re commonly known by the more boring name 4x. If you’re not familiar with 4x games it stands for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate. In general you’ll fly around a galaxy, expanding your territory, fighting other players, and researching cool technology. Not all 4x games are space based, Civilization is one of the classics, both on the computer and table top. In my collection there is also Space Empires 4x (uncharitably called The Spreadsheet Game by some), Eclipse, EVE, Empires of the Void, Star Trek Frontiers, and Hegemonic. Plus, the not space themed, Mage Knight, Scythe (maybe only a 3x?!), and Tiny Epic Kingdoms (certainly the quickest of all of these).

Well, to these hallowed ranks is added Burning Suns. This is also one of the oldest games I’ve kickstarted, with a projected delivery date of September 2013! That’s right, the game arrived almost exactly 4 years late. That said the components are pretty decent quality. The cardstock is nice and thick, everything punched out super easy. The space ships aren’t the most beautiful but they’ll do, and the game seems pretty simple for also being fairly complex. I got in a two player game, and it was definitely very back and forth near the end, however I’m sure a lot of that was just due to neither of us really knowing what we were doing yet.

Each player gets a Race, Ideology and Framework. Actually you get two of each and pick your favorite until you have one of each, but the neat thing here is that since there are 10 of each there are literally a thousand different combinations, meaning every time you play the game will be a little different. Ideology determines whether you are Light, Neutral or Dark which affects a bunch of cards in the game. It will also give you some choices as your get closer to winning the game, and those choices again affect whether you are Light, Dark or Neutral. Your Race determines the cost and effectiveness of your ships and troops, plus how many technology upgrades you can get and where. Finally your framework affects a lot of your “limits”, eg how far your ships can jump, or diplomats can Diplomasize, how things you can construct in a turn, or how many of various rerolls you get.

There are peaceful and military based ways of taking over planets, though some are easier than others for various techniques. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the game, and I definitely think it’ll be more interesting to play with 3-5 players, or possibly even with 6 or more… I can sub in pieces pretty easy and the major issue will be the increased downtime (the creator has said as much).