Since I'm not ready yet to run the Polaris 3rd Edition SF RPG, the Friday nighters have been up for playing board games until I'm ready to run the sf underwater roleplaying game.
So last night, once more, the descended on my place around 7:00 pm for an evening of board gaming. We chatted for about 5-10 minutes about how life has been this past week for everyone, and then got down to board gaming. The players had decided they wanted to play something older, something science fiction, and had talked about my board game collection (which isn't as intense or as large as some folks I know), and settled on a game that I've not played in a while - The Sword and the Stars.
The Sword and the Stars is a board game that sets the stage for interstellar conflict between vying empires on such a scale - the map depicting about 1/4 of a spiral galaxy - that individual ships and even fleets become insignificant. The game is one where players pay for and resolve entire interstellar campaigns with cards representing massive scale investment of manpower and resources over 4 Terran years of operations, each player round representing the passage of some 20 years. Players direct the fate of interstellar empires through expansion or consolidation by means of conquests, raids, governing, building planetary defenses, commerce, and diplomacy.
It's a truly magnificent game, but something of a relic in these days of modern sf computer games and some of the board game products that are being produced these days. That said, the map looks like this...
Anyway, after setting up the game map, getting all the counters out, and starting with the "Galactic Cycle" game (since there were six of us players, Ellie and I teamed up together as one player), we got down to playing the game. Suffice to say, several hours later everyone agreed that it was an interesting game, had unique mechanics, and a lovely "aeons spanning" science fiction feel to it that the players thought they'd want to play again at some point.
So, overall, a good evening of board gaming with my Friday night gamers, and a fun experience for me since I actually got to play in the game, which is kind of nice. They're talking about "dumbing things down" next week, and maybe doing some Ticket to Ride, assuming I'm not ready to take them to the underwater world of Polaris, of course! :)