This MLK Weekend seems to be a bit of a gaming throwback for the RockyMountainNavy family. First, we played Scythe (Stonemaier Games, 2016) for the first time in over a year. Today, Youngest RMN Boy wanted to play a space game. After I suggested Tiny Epic Galaxies (Gamelyn Games, 2015) he instead showed up with The Expanse Board Game (WizKids, 2017). The last time this game got to the table was almost exactly a year ago.
During every players turn in The Expanse Board Game the player will select an Action/Event Card and use the event (if able) or gain Action Points to act. The goal is to place Influence and have Dominance on bases when scoring occurs.
The Expanse Board Game can be played by two-players ala Twilight Struggle (GMT Games, 2005) – but why would you? The best player count is 4-players where all the factions are used. Alas, with the two RMN Boys and myself we often play at the 3-player count. At three-players the game is playable, but feels a bit unsatisfying – as though something is missing (like, I don’t know, the ProtoGen faction?).
Similar to what happened in our Scythe game this weekend, when we played The Expanse Board Game after a long absence it seemed better than we remember. I recall from previous games we focused on playing the Event portion of the cards but in this game we were mixed it up with a better combination of Action Points and Events chosen. I know for myself I took advantage of Kept Cards during the game and tried to use them to maximize my scoring opportunities.
I see that WizKids is days away from releasing an expansion; The Expanse Board Game: Doors and Corners Expansion. This looks to include a revised mapboard, new counter art, and five different plug-n-play modules of new rules. The rulebook is already available for download. At just under $30 retail this may be worth it; adding one or more modules may bring that extra bit of needed excitement into our 3-player games. In particular I’m looking at Module Beta: The Protomolecule which could add an element of ProtoGen that seems missing in the three-faction game.
Apologies…don’t know who made the feature image but thanks for a great piece of art!