And now for a look at another space combat game...
Space Empires, published last year by GMT Games, is the latest in the "4X" genre of space games, that is: eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate.
One to four players seek to expand their space empire--even if it means waging a genocidal war against one of their opponents. The simple, yet elegant game mechanics allows players to implement the "4Xs" during the course of the game. I like the large hexes on the mounted mapboard that can accomodate several of the beautifully illustrated counters. So there's no worrying about toppling over teetering stacks of counters when you try to move your fleets.
Three of my friends and I played an inaugural session last weekend and an after action review will be forthcoming. Until then, I'll leave it to The Gaming Gang to explain some of Space Empire's details. One amusing anecdote noted in our game and in a discussion on Consimworld, is that some (all?) of the planets are named after worlds in popular sci-fi movies and TV shows.
Released last year, Space Empires has proven to be a hit. So much so, that after its initial run, GMT issued a reprint last month and the expansion, Close Encounters, is in its final development. On a scale of 1 (abysmal) to 10 (awesome), Space Empires scored a 7.58 among 510 reviewers on Board Game Geek.
If you are in to any kind of sci-fi gaming at all, then put Space Empires on your "definate buy" list.