Galactic Empires

Galactic Empires is a science fiction collectible card game that was published by Companion Games in 1994.

Galactic Empires
Galactic Empires cardback.jpg
Galactic Empires card back design
DesignersCarl Henry Schulte
PublishersCompanion Games
Players2 or more
Setup timenone1
Playing time45 minutes up to 2 hours
ChanceSome
SkillsCard playing
Arithmetic
1 Although the game itself takes no time to set up, each player must prepare his or her own deck, which can take anywhere upwards of half an hour.

Publication historyEdit

Following the success of the first collectible card game (CCG), Wizards of the Coast's Magic: The Gathering in 1993, Galactic Empires by Companion Games was one of the "first wave" of CCGs that followed.[1] The first cards, which can be difficult to find, were designed by Carl Schulte, with writing by Schulte and John Hammer, and art direction by Richard Rausch and Edward Beard Jr.,[2] and were released in August 1994. These cards were all reprinted in Series II Primary Edition released in December 1994. A large number of expansions and a revised core set (Series U Universe Edition) were released over the following two years; this ended abruptly when Companion Games filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May 1997.[3] Designer Carl Schulte had expressed hope that Component Game Systems would purchase Companion Games and continue the game,[3] but this did not happen.

Of the 3208 cards that were printed, several hundred were promotional cards, some of which are difficult to obtain today. By the time of the game's demise, at least 40 different empires (and 16 distinct "tribes" of one empire, the Indirigan Nomads) had been printed in varying numbers and levels of playability.

Sets and expansionsEdit

Sets and expansions were in English. A German version of Series II Primary Edition was released at about the same time as its English-language counterpart, but with fewer cards.

The set sizes in the table below have been compiled from checklists on the Internet and may be inaccurate. Many of the sets contain cards that are identical except for artwork and/or flavour text; for most sets these have been counted as separate cards. An exception was made for Series VIII, which has 100 distinct cards, among which 23 have 4 versions, 1 has 3 versions, and 1 has 2 versions, all but one of which have the same artwork and slightly different flavour text; so the die-hard collector would count 172 different cards. Some sets have cards for empires other than those listed, but not enough such to play these empires from that set alone.

Series Set Release date Empires Size
"Alpha" September 1994[4] Argonian, Krebiz
Series I "Beta" October 1994[5] Argonian, Krebiz 90
Series II Primary Edition December 1994[5] Argonian, Bolaar, Corporate, Space Dragon, Indirigan, Krebiz, Mechad, Vektrean 441
Series III New Empires April 1995[6] Clydon, Plasma Occupied Territory/P.O.T., Scorpead, Tufor 210
Series IV Powers of the Mind July 1995[6] Filarian, Psycanti, Visonic 152
Series V Time Gates August 1995[6] Time Knight, Tranoan 157
Series U Universe Edition November 1995[7] Argonian, Clydon, Corporate, Space Dragon, Indirigan, Krebiz, Mechad, P.O.T., Scorpead, Tufor, Vektrean 565
Series VI Advanced Technologies November 1995[8] 152
Series VII Piracy March 1996[9] Bolaar, Corporate Pirate, Indirigan, Leopan 204
Series VIII Comedy Club August 1996[10] Comedy Club Network 100/172[11]
Series IX Persona November 1996[12] 205
Series X Invaders January 1997[13] Aqaaran, Gekonauak, J'Xar, Orgon, Treglean, Zedan 260
Series XI Allied Forces April 1997[14] Drone, Erodi, Noble, Pakta'don, Paraloid, Shon-ti, Tarra'ki, Treglean, Trochilidae 145
Promo and Premium cards Aesthetic, Battle Birds, Collector 357 known[15]

Game playEdit

As with all collectible card games, each player first purchases or obtains a basic deck of 55 cards, and then may supplement this by substituting cards from 15-card booster decks that contain a random assemblage of less powerful common cards and more powerful rare cards. When finished, the player's deck may still only contain 55 cards.

At the start of the game, each player is the leader of a sector of a galactic empire. The object of the game is to defend one's Sector HQ while destroying the other players' Sector HQs.

There are a variety of card types, the principal ones being resource-providing terrain (such as planets and moons) and resource-consuming ships, which can deal damage to opposing ships, terrain, and Sector HQs (and a variety of other card types). Each empire has its own unique trait, usually a weapon; there are also several "shipless" empires, for instance the Space Dragons and the Time Knights, that damage and defend using other means.

Each player draws nine random cards from their deck, laying down as much Terrain as they can. This generates Economy, Supply, Energy, Ammunition, Research, and Repair points, which are required to power units and various actions. Players can use Reaction cards at any time to interrupt the other player's actions. If a player succeeds in infiltrating the other player's defenses, the player may assault the enemy Sector Headquarters. Whoever has the last intact Headquarters wins.

ReceptionEdit

In the June 1995 edition of Dragon (Issue 218), Rick Swan was impressed by the sheer number of cards, commenting that "the stylish cards [...] are less notable for their graphics than for their staggering variety." He found that the rulebook "explains the mechanics in detail" but felt the "clunky writing" could have benefited from some editing. The one part of the game that Swan criticized was the "book-keeping", which use dice as markers to track many things during the game. As Swan noted, "We're talking a lot of dice here, and none come with the game." He concluded by giving the game an above-average rating of 5 out of 6, saying, "It's recommended only if (1) you're willing to put up with chunks of clunky writing, (2) you don't mind keeping track of all the points, and (3) you've got one or two bags of dice handy. With the freewheeling mythology and dizzying variety of options, you can easily lose yourself in Galactic Emprie's goofy pleasures — it's like diving into a swimming pool of jelly beans."[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Galactic Empires". Boardgamegeek. 1994. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b Swan, Rick (June 1995). "Roleplaying Reviews". Dragon. No. 215. TSR, Inc. p. 84.
  3. ^ a b Varney, Allen (October 1997), "Inside the Industry", The Duelist, no. #19, p. 77
  4. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 189.
  5. ^ a b Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 190.
  6. ^ a b c Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 196.
  7. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 193.
  8. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 198.
  9. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 199.
  10. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 200.
  11. ^ Varney, Allen (May 1996), "Reports on Trading Card Games", The Duelist, no. #10, p. 8
  12. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 201.
  13. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 202.
  14. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 203.
  15. ^ Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, pp. 204–205.

External linksEdit