Oh boy, what an awesome update I’ve got for you! Let’s jump right in…
New Module: Black Holes + Neutron Stars
What!? A new module? Can I just add stuff to the game after the campaign?
Sure can, I’m the creator. I can add a packet of tomato sauce to every box if I wanted!
First off, a bit of background: This was an idea I had kicking around in the back of my mind for a bit, but ran out of time to develop and play-test it before the campaign launched. I’m not one to promise something that isn’t fully made (and then rush to get it done later). Isn’t it better to get a surprise like this!?
This module is added to the Call of the Void expansion. The other reason it was never promised / announced before is because I wasn’t sure if I had room for it on any of the punch boards. Appropriately, there’s room for it next to the Beacon tiles in Call of the Void. Double appropriately, these new elements add some advanced hazards to the game, so they are rightly relegated to expansion content (you get 2x double-sided tiles in total).
Oh and you can’t buy extras of these…sorry about that! That’s the downside of this being a last-minute addition.
Anyway…you probably want to know what they do, hey?
Similar to asteroids, neutron stars and black holes break up the blank spaces on the board and provide a hazard for players to avoid, or use to their advantage. In most cases, it is best to avoid neutron stars and black holes.
A neutron star tile is an impassable hazard. No unit can move into its space or through it, either with normal movement or other abilities. If a unit is in a space adjacent to a neutron star tile, the following effects will occur…
Halve all rolls made by that unit: So that’s your final roll with all buffs added to it, then halved.
No shields: Any Mothership adjacent to this tile will have their shield energy count register as zero.
As soon as a unit enters a black hole, a dogfight is initiated by the black hole. Black holes always attack with a D12. Unlike when fighting asteroids, the entering unit cannot fight back against a black hole. The outcome is determined by the number rolled.
If 1 – 2 is rolled: The player can warp that unit to any space on the board. A dogfight against a black hole does not use that unit’s attack phase, meaning that the warping unit can now attack if they wish.
If 3 – 12 is rolled: The exact number rolled is taken as damage by the unit. In the case of a Fighter or Bomber that means the unit is destroyed.
Also, you can be pulled in by a black hole. If a unit ends their movement phase on a space adjacent to a black hole tile, that ship will move one space into the tile. The player affected can choose which space to enter. The aforementioned actions are then initiated by the black hole. This action will happen when the player declares that the unit’s movement phase is resolved, but before the unit begins its attack phase.
There are a few more rules on the Call of the Void rulebook for both new hazards if you want to check it out.
You might notice that the black hole artwork is the same as the one on the XL board. That’s because it is. But! I’m changing the artwork on those boards to nicer art, more on that in the next update.
Action Card Changes
In the second last update I mentioned a rule change to Action Cards. The rule change meant that duplicate Action Cards are no longer necessary (and actually become a hindrance to balance) so they are being removed from the base game, bringing the Action Card total to 72.
Just to confirm, not all duplicates are being removed. And there are no unique cards that are being removed. This will mean that the odds of getting a decent card when picking from the Action Card pile will be the same even though you get less opportunities to pick up.
The absolute best part about this change, aside from improving the game, is that I can redirect the money saved on less cards into…
That’s right! The base game box is getting slightly taller, specifically to accommodate the XL Board. This means you will officially be able to fit every element from the Base game, 2 expansions and add-on pack into the one box without having to spend any more money.
The reason I hadn’t done this earlier is purely financial. Again, I’m not in the habit of promising things I’m not sure I can deliver on…but after crunching the numbers and being able to lower the card count, I’m able to fit everything in this box without having to break the bank.
Oh and speaking of promising things…
Upgrade Kit Instruction Sheet
Okay, so I’m about to completely contradict what I said in the last paragraph. I promised at some point (I can’t remember where 😬) to include a little, one-use instruction sheet to the 1st Edition Upgrade Packs so every one knows what to replace. I’m now going to email out a PDF instead.
The reason is there will only be 160 Upgrade Kits made (I can make a lower quantity since they are just extras of Base game components). But, to add an instruction sheet, the manufacturer has a minimum print requirement of 1000…which means I’ll have 840, useless instruction sheets left over. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a huge waste of paper (cost is negligible).
Sooooo yeah, PDF is the way to go. I’m really sorry to those who are disappointed by that! But just think, you’re probably saving half a tree or something (the tree may still be cut down regardless).
That was a fun update! Talk to you again soon.