Galactic Era is an epic space empire builder boardgame from Seajay Games. Each player controls a fledgling space-faring civilization expanding into the galaxy. You will explore distant planets and take them over, advance your technologies, trade with allies and battle your enemies.
The game is now available in retail in Europe and North America.
You can play on the “light” or the “dark” side. Be aware of the consequences though!
Darkness or Light? The choice is yours!
Players on the “light” side must play more peacefully. You will thus be more trustworthy to others. You can also easily ally with any advanced civilizations you discover. As player on the “dark” side however, you have the freedom to be as aggressive as you want. You can also switch your alignment during the game at a cost (an action during the growth phase).
The amount of luck involved is very low. Combat is deterministic with hidden information (no randomness). This gives the game great strategic depth and rewards long-term planning.
Great tactical choices are also given by the individual fleet capabilities which have advantages over each other in a rock-paper-scissors fashion. This means no one tactic always works.
Gain epic powers by increasing your technology levels. You can get new technology levels in many different ways. You can research or steal them or even discover them while colonizing new planets. The highest levels are very powerful. You can have super-armed spaceships, or travel anywhere instantly, or have invincible population. Gameplay is very different depending on which path you choose.
You can also trade technologies with other players. Both you and your trading partner teach each other a new ability without losing anything. This is one of the most effective ways to cooperate in the game.
The Galactic Era is the greatest cycle of time. Beings of the light incarnate to experience the material world. They create great civilizations to explore and conquer the galaxy. The greatest one will determine the destiny of the galaxy, before returning to the light.
The cycle consists of three parts. First, an era of light occurs. Civilizations of light and growth are fostered. This is followed by an era of darkness. Now civilizations of darkness reign supreme and conflicts rage. The third era supports the return to light again. The final discoveries in knowledge are made.
It is the beginning of the cycle and you are such a being. You are leading a fledgling space-faring civilization, ready to expand into the galaxy. Before meeting others you will need to decide your morals. Will you respect others and cooperate peacefully, or will you exploit others for your own gain? Will you bring darkness or light to the galaxy?
The choice is yours.
You win by scoring the most “destiny points”. You mainly do this by having a large population and fulfilling various conditions and goals.
The game is played in 8 rounds. Each round you do the following:
1. Move & Fight
You take turns moving your spaceships, exploring new worlds and fighting battles.
Everyone simultaneously picks some actions to expand their space civilization. This is how you get new technologies, more stars, population and ships.
You can then also trade technologies with other civilizations you are in peaceful contact with.
At the end of every round you score points. Every round belongs to one of three eras. Scoring is different in each of these eras, offering entirely different incentives and rewards.
List of Features
- Typical elements of a space strategy game: exploration, expansion and combat.
- Many paths to victory, from peaceful to warlike.
- Solo Variant
- Variable game setup that influences objectives.
- Alignment determines how you can interact with other players:
- “Light” (STO) factions can ally with advanced civilizations encountered but may not interfere with primitive civilizations, are peaceful towards other STO players, are peaceful with STS players unless attacked first.
- “Darkness” (STS) factions can be as peaceful to aggressive as they wish, and are able to subjugate primitive civilizations.
- Develop your civilization in across five different technology fields: Military, Spirituality, Propulsion, Robotics and Genetics. Those who are committed to a single area of specialty are rewarded with epic powers, at the highest level.
- Cooperate with other players by trading technologies.
- Choose from 17 unique factions, each with unique power(s). See the star people guides for more information.
- Deterministic combat, with hidden information; no dice.
- Fog of war creates uncertainty by hiding fleets with their tactical options and advantages.
- Secret objectives give each player a surprise power, while encouraging different avenues of play.
- A detailed and rich backstory, based on testimony from secret space program whistle-blowers, UFO/ET witness accounts and channeled material. A booklet featuring the story and artwork is included in the box. You can also read most of the story in the background section of this website.