Age of Galaxy is a 1-4 players sci-fi themed 4X game in which you develop your interstellar empire to achieve prestige, knowledge, and dominion over the galaxy. The campaign is live on Kickstarter, and it will run for 14 days.
At the beginning of the game, you pick a faction to be your main faction throughout the game, and you are dealt a hand of 7 faction cards that can be used later on. This hand is definitive and you will not draw any more cards during the game. The game is played on a board featuring five “sectors”. At the start of the game, the galactic fleet is located halfway within the first sector, and the second sector is revealed. All other sectors are hidden. The game revolves around six “resource” types: credit, productivity, discovery, influence, prestige, and relics. Prestige and relics are used to generate Victory Points at the end. You can also colonize planets or seize them by force, manufacture ships to wage wars, and research new upgrades according to a tech tree of nine techs.
Each round is divided into four phases: Production, Action, War, and the Galactic phase.
In the Production phase, players receive income (credits) according to their productivity level (set to 3 at the beginning of the game), then lower that level by one. They also take 3 Action cubes to be used in the next phase.
The Action phase is the core of the game. During this phase, you will place Action cubes to perform a variety of Actions. These include:
Colonize: put an Action cube on an empty planet, provided it is “reachable”, that is, behind the Galactic Fleet token on the main board. If you purchase the Warp Drive upgrade, all visible planets become reachable. To perform this action, you must, however, spend an amount of credits equal to your current number of colonies. This instantly grants you a reward as specified on the planet.
Develop one of your colonies by placing a second Action cube on it and spending 7 credits. This will grant you the right to nominate a leader to the Galactic Congress, and earn you 1 Prestige.
Manufacture, spend as many credits as you want to get ships (each costs 2). You can also increase your Productivity by 1 and immediately get 1 credit, or take an influence cube.
Retrieve: turn a discovery token into a relic for 3 credits.
Trade: spend an Action cube to perform a Trade action. There are three different Trade cards, all with a different Trade action and a track of four slots on them. Once the track is full, it triggers a Golden Age at the end of the round: players retrieve their Action cubes, which will be added next round to the 3 Action cubes they usually receive.
Explore: spend a ship to retrieve discovery tokens, credits, or relics.
Nominate: if you already have a developed colony, you can spend 3 influence cubes to put an Action cube in the Galactic Congress, earning influence in the process.
Research: spend credits and discovery tokens to progress further on into your tech tree and get the corresponding upgrade.
Then the War phase begins. Each player compares the size of their ship armada. The one with the most ships becomes the Galactic Overlord, earns a resource reward, and can military seize a colony belonging to another player by putting a ship there, if that colony is unprotected. The colonies of a player are protected depending on their number of ships: if the number of planets exceeds that of the ships, then all the colonies are unprotected. A ship that is used to claim a planet stays there and won’t be part of that player’s armada in later rounds. Finally, players check their Shield level, and must cull their ship armada down to that level.
The round is concluded by a Galactic phase, in which the Fleet token moves forward, and then the next unrevealed sector tile is flipped to its visible side.
Each round, you can also play a Faction card from your hand. You can add it to your board as an additional faction, since you can control up to three factions to form your alliance. All factions grant a resource bonus when you get them, additional abilities, and possibly specific research upgrades. They are also adapted to a given biotope, which increases the array of planets you can attempt to colonize. They are characterized by an ideology, which sets a scoring avenue for the endgame. There is only one ideology in your alliance, however, which is the one that has majority. Or, you can also spend a Faction card from your hand to set the ideology of your alliance, irrespective of the existing ideologies of your alliance’s factions. You can also use a Faction card as a one-time resource bonus, or to colonize a planet your factions are not adapted to.
At the end of the game, you score points for your Prestige score, the Relics you have gathered, the colonies you control, and then get additional points depending on your specific ideology (e.g. a scientific ideology will allow you to score points for all the upgrades you have researched). The player with the most VP is the best galactic leader!
As for the solo mode, it will only be revealed during the Kickstarter campaign.