Southampton On Board - 17 March 2014 - Empires, Lover's Tiff's and Not Much Else To Say!

It's going to be tough going to see how much longer I can keep up the reports for my SOB and POB sessions - it's not a short task by any means. But for now, here's a report for a session that's long overdue, which focuses on the one game I was playing this night, Empires of the Void. Apologies for the lack of photos - I got a bit engrossed in the game and forgot I was meant to be taking pictures!
There aren't many proper space 4X games out there, and the main three that people will speak of are Twilight Imperium 3 (great epic game, but insanely long), Eclipse (which first impressions were not positive for) and Exodus (not tried yet). I think there is another called Space Empires 4X as well but I know of no-one who owns that game and looking on BGG, it also doesn't look particularly engrossing either.
Empires of the Void is what I like to term a light 4X game or even a 3X game. You expand your empire researching technologies, you exploit new races for their abilities and unique ships, you exterminate your foes in space battles, but you don't really explore much as the map is already laid out, albeit in a unique way each game.
I signed up three new players to the game, Graham of whom I'd already been introduced to many cool sci-fi and fantasy style epic games including TI3 and two new members of the society, Jeff and Valerie. Seems to be a common thing in both our clubs now that new members join as couples, it's like the Noah's Ark of Board Gaming. I'd best get a move on otherwise I'm going to be left to drown!
I wished I'd had more time to read the rulebook thoroughly as my explanation of the rules was "hit and miss" to say the least, suffice to say I've now gone and read through it twice more now so my next game will be nice and easy. It didn't seem to matter though, it was easy enough to pick up FAQ's as thanks to me acquiring the print and play expansion Key To The Universe.
Each of us went for our own style of game play and tactics but if there's one thing I've learned from watching other gamers, it's that you don't play a competitive game with more than 2 players if your spouse is involved! Within minutes of starting, Valerie had already picked a fight with Jeff, going on the aggressive to try to take his home world.
While all this was going on, Graham was hanging back being all nice-nice waiting for moments to start diplomatic relations with nearby planets to benefit from all the juicy ships and abilities. I on the other hand after having done the same thing in my first game of this, decided to do the complete opposite. I just switched on the bombardment cannons and went off on a rampage enslaving planet after planet. My name was infamous across the galaxy as I slaughtered millions . . . . in my mind, you don't see a death toll in game!
Unfortunately for the others, they let me get away with murder for too long and my advantage in the game was immediately realised when my scoring in the second phase of the game was light years (no pun) ahead of the others. Of course this meant that I now had three players staring at me with a giant target symbol on my forehead. . . . . though for some reason Valerie and Jeff still had unfinished business with each others home world - seriously, was there some personal vendetta left unresolved at home?

By the end of the game, my lead was difficult to whittle down as I'd amassed an army of star cruisers to defend my main bases despite everyone else systematically taking out my outer ring planets. Why people, why? Those planets enjoy being my slaves, why would they want to be your slaves?

This was a very enjoyable game and I like having a light space opera game in the collection that doesn't take forever to play. Granted this game was a bit lengthy but that was more due to my inadequate rules teaching than anything else so I'm sure on my next play I can get it done a lot quicker.

Not much else to say, there weren't many other games being played and how often have we seen Avalon being played? I'm bringing back Bang: The Dice Game next week!