I’ve been hard at work with pre-production; which I finally finished as of today, and all files have now been sent off to the printer.
From here, a sample will be created and mailed to me for approval. After I’m 100% happy with it (which might take a few revisions) I’ll give the green light for production to start.
As with all of Mothership’s modules, Beyond the Expanse adds small incremental bonuses to the game. Players can actively work to gain the abilities or ignore them entirely if they wish.
One of my design principles has always been that you shouldn’t reach the end of the game and realise you were handicapped because you didn’t understand some obscure new thing that was just introduced.
Beyond the Expanse comes with 18x Expanse Cards, split into the 3 new minis (6x Pirates, 6x Space Whale and 6x Merchant Enclave). At the beginning of each game, you choose 1 card randomly from each type. The rest of the cards are returned to the box to be used for another game.
The process for being awarded these cards are different for each mini. Let’s check them out in a bit more detail:
The Pirate Stronghold houses the Galaxy’s most unscrupulous pilots and mercenaries. To gain their allegiance, you can either: Engage the Stronghold in a dogfight and win, or use an adjacent ship’s attack phase to pay the Stronghold 6x Minerals on your turn.
It’s also strong. Very strong. Starting with a total of 40 HP. Because the Stronghold has HP (unlike planets), every time a player wins a dogfight against it you will need to check if the attack caused HP damage.
Will you capture the Stronghold from your enemy and gain the pirate technology? Or will you destroy it entirely to ensure your enemies do not gain control?
The Wandering Space Whale is a simple, space dwelling creature that wanders the Galaxy aimlessly to feed on asteroids and nebula gases. It cannot be controlled, but instead randomly moves at the end of each players turn.
It cannot be won over with a display of power. Instead, to capture (or befriend) the Space Whale, use an adjacent ship’s attack phase to feed it either 1x Mineral or 1x Gas. The resource is then held inside the Whales belly. It can hold a maximum of 8x resources in its belly.
I suspect that many of you may ignore the Whale for the majority of the game until…what’s this? If you destroy it, you will be rewarded with the resources inside its belly? But it’s so adorable! And it can’t even fight back! What kind of heartless Captain would do that?! 😏
Merchant enclaves are orbiting space stations that attract all kinds of vendors from around the Galaxy.
Merchant enclaves by themselves, do not provide any bonuses or abilities. During the game however, the player who controls 4 or more will be awarded the Merchant Enclave Expanse Card and its associated abilities.
Players can also add merchant enclaves on a normal stand piece by themselves. This is called a ‘lone enclave.’ When captured, they will count towards your total number of enclaves controlled.
Every merchant enclave card comes with 2x Technologies, so I’m sure that investing time into capturing and protecting your network of merchants will be quite profitable for your Colony.
Base game rulebook updated + Rules FAQ’s added
For obvious reasons I want to avoid updating the base rulebook as it’s already been printed a couple of thousand times…it’s mostly just to make the intent of the rules clearer.
Rulebook 1.2 Changes
- Added: All Gas must be declared before either player rolls.
- Added: Influencing a planet to your side will get you an Action Card in the same way as capturing a planet.
I’ve been meaning to do this for ages and finally got around to it, a rules FAQ has been added to the How to Play section on the website. This will hopefully clear up some specifics that aren’t covered in detail in the published rulebooks.