NEXUM: Galaxy is live

NEXUM: Galaxy is a 1-4 players sci-fi 4X game, in which you vie for galactic domination. Note that, to get the fourth X (eXploration), you need the Asteroids expansion. The campaign for both the game and the expansion is live on Kickstarter and it will run for another 16 days. You may pledge for the core set only, or order it together with the expansion, or go all-in and get the game, the expansion, miniatures, a playmat, and sleeves.

Image source: BGG

Playing solo is not fundamentally different than playing multiplayer, in that you only need to run an AI for each player you want to play against. Note that the AI can also be used in the multiplayer game. A total of 18 scenarios, that come with their own set-up specifications and sometimes different victory conditions, are offered in the game. To run the AI, you flip and execute 3 Event cards per Aggressiveness level of the AI, this level being specified for each scenario.

The game is played on a modular board, with each tile featuring three planets and a star. To control a planet or a star, you must have a ship on it; however, you cannot control the star of a system if you do not already control its three planets. In a standard game, there are two ways to win: you can win by getting 5 relics, or by getting 6 victory points. Victory points are won in battle: each successful battle scores one point, and you may score one more if a player loses a star as a result (by losing the control of any planet of the system, a player also loses control of the star). Relics are placed on selected planets during the set-up of the game. Each time one of your ships lands on a planet with a Relic, and does not carry one already, it must pick it up. Relics grant a specific perk, but they also prevent the ship to move onto stars.

On your turn, you must select and play one of your four action cards: Move, Management, Move then Management, and Management then Move. You may also bid energy tokens while playing your card to become the starting player in the next round.

Image source: BGG

When moving, you may move all your ships once, but it costs you energy to do so: one energy to move within a system, two energy to move to an adjacent system, three energy to move to any other system. You can only move to a star of a system if you already control all planets, and can only have two ships per star, and five per planet. If you move to a planet controlled by another player, a fight ensues. You can only engage in the fight if you have more ships than the defender. However, ships located on the planet’s system star will support the defending ships and add their strength to the defender value. Fight is deterministic: if you can engage in the fight, you destroy all defenders (including the supporting ones on the star if any), and lose as many ships as their defense value, rounded down. At the end of the moving phase, you can plunder the freshly conquered planets and stars to get additional energy.

In the management phase, you first collect one energy for each planet you control, and two for each star you control. Then, you can build at least three ships on three different planets by spending 2 energy for the first ship, 3 for the second, and 4 for the third.

When you have played all your four action cards, you take them back in your hand and can play them again in the next rounds. The game ends whenever a player achieves one of the victory conditions. You also have the option to calculate score for each player based on how they performed during the game.

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