Nathan Hansen Games

A couple of weeks ago VPG officially assigned a developer for my science fiction "States of Siege" game, Federation of Sol. And I've been going back and forth with him and the game has moved forward by leaps and bounds.

For those rare few of you who know a bit about the development so far, you will notice some major changes to the play area in the picture above (34"x11" if you're curious). Particularly the consolidation and streamlining of the various political systems on the left side of the board. The previous version had six separate cards/mats that would be placed around the outside of the board and were particular to a specific faction. It was very interesting in how it all interacted, but there were a lot of moving parts. The new system captures almost all the same political aspects as the old system and a few new ones and is much easier to explain.

For those who do not know about the development so far, or for those who want a bit of a refresher, Federation of Sol is part of a line of games I've been working on that are all thematically linked, but not necessarily mechanically linked. I've nicknamed them the Sol Series. I'm concurrently working on about seven of them.

This particular game is kind of a solitaire space 4x game. You start the game only occupying the Sol system and you have to expand out to win. You win the moment you've settled your sixth system outside Sol. As for loss conditions, there are three. First, like all State of Siege games, enemies move along tracks towards a central space (the Sol system) and if they are in that space at the end of a turn, you lose. You can also lose as a result of political instability and by being outclassed technologically.

One of the things that really separate this game from other States of Siege games is the lack of cards. In most States of Siege games, you win by outlasting a deck of cards that drive the games action. Each card would tell you what the various other factions are doing and how many actions you have to respond. This has lead to one complaint about States of Siege games being that you can't really plan ahead and are just responding to the current turn. This game doesn't have cards. Instead, the games action is driven by a set of custom dice which are affected by what you've already done. Additionally, what actions you may take are governed by a separate economic system. The economic system allows you to plan several moves ahead. The end result is a game that responds to you rather than a game you strictly respond to.

Written by Nathan Hansen — August 04, 2016

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