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Saturday, January 9, 2016

It's a Frap!

In this segment we returned to Sure Shot Coffee for delectable iced mochas and americano's to explore multiple galaxies and colonize planets in Tiny Epic Galaxies.  Through our discoveries we will find resources, score points and gain abilities as we expand our colonizations.  Follow us in this 1 to 5 player journey of dice rolling, area control, resource management, and movement programming to see how great things can come in small packages! 
In this 30 minute game of galactic conquest, players utilize the primary mechanism of dice rolling to further their results through contemplative programming.  Players control a home galaxy and a small fleet of space ships.  As players evolve their galaxies, they gain access to more ships and more dice.  When it is the active players turn, they roll a set of dice and however many dice are rolled is determined by the current level of that players galaxy.  Each of the six-sided die represent an action that can be performed through the activation bay such as: Movement, Utilizing Colony, Harvesting Culture or Energy Resources, Improving Economic Influence or Diplomatic Influence.  After the roll, the players sort the results of the roll and organize the dice in a desired activation order.  I've personally never played a game that allows me to manipulate dice rolls as much as this game does.  The players can choose to re-roll all dice, or any individual dice once, before they have another option to pay with energy resources to re-roll again, or to convert the dice into the desired action.  Each die is then resolved in the order it is placed on the activation bay immediately.  If the player activates his/her dice correctly, this will allow considerable progression during their turn.  This progression all depends on how well they are able to execute well strategized combos during their turn.  The players can even choose to follow another players last action at the cost of a culture resource. 
As players progress by colonizing other planets through economic and diplomatic influence, they gain victory points and the abilities of their planet's card.  In addition to upgrading your empires, effective resource management provides luck-mitigating options that can sway the game in a calculated players favor.  Whoever achieves the most victory points from acquiring planets and upgrading your empire wins!  We knew before we played this game that it was going to be good, but we did not realize we were going to like it as much as we did.  Given our prior research, everything about this game seemed like it would be fun, but all of the different mechanics made it so much better!  The first night we played this game, we played it a few times, but then the next time we played it, we played it a few more times, and then we found ourselves playing it every night of the week, multiple times over.  The artwork is very nice, and has good depth.  The mechanics are so well thought out and it really provides a thoroughly strategic and contemplative process for each players turn.  This game is not hard to teach, and like a lot of other strategic games, the first game can take time to get through, but once you have played it once the remaining times do not seem so bad.  The quality of components are quite nice, and the inside of the durable box also acts as a dice tray.  If you like Sci-Fi games with a little depth, great portability, movement programming, and a lot of dice rolling, you should definitely give this one a try!  The addictive fun factor of this game will pull you back for more again and again.

Tiny Epic Galaxies
Overall Meeple Rating: 8/10

Game Mechanics:
1) Resource Management
2) Area Control
3) Area Influence
4) Action Point Allowance
5) Dice Rolling
6) Movement Programming

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