The Galaxy Will Burn
Bookings are now open for The Galaxy Will Burn (TGWB) at Kapcon.
If you preregister and pay by 15 January 2018, you will get $5 off the registration fee.
TGWB will start at 0900 on Saturday 20 January 2018. Gameplay will finish at 1600 (4pm). After the packup is completed there will be a social gathering at a CBD location from 1700 onwards.
The theme of The Galaxy Will Burn is of a galactic empire going through periods of decline and revival, possibly ending in its fall, or in a renaissance and new golden age. Issac Asimov's early Foundation novels are a major inspiration for the game, as are historical accounts of the collapse on complex civilisations on Earth.
Below is an example of a playtest map - printed with a white background to save on ink for the printer. There will be five Quadrant maps like this, each with 4-6 players active on them.
Factions (New - 8 December)
There are seven factions within the Galactic Empire:
- The Cosmocracy (COSMOS): this faction values knowledge and freedom, and is devoted to finding peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the problems facing the Galactic Empire. The Cosmocracy is different from other factions, in that it has no Admirals or Governors, only politicians and a well funded media arm.
- Make the Empire Great Again (MEGA): this faction values tradition and authority and its adherents that the Galactic Empire can solve all of its problems with bigger and more well equipped fleets of Battleships.
- Old Earth Loyalists (SOL): this faction values tradition and freedom, and its followers believe the Galactic Empire's problems can be solved by returning to tradition and restoring the capital of the Galactic Empire to its rightful place in the Sol System. While utterly loyal to the empire, many people in Sol quadrant believe the rest of the empire are bludging off the hard work of their ancestors and don't see why their tax dollars should be
- Infinite Legacy League (ILL): this faction values science and survival and its supporters believe the collapse of the sick and ailing Galactic Empire is inevitable, but they are split between a "survivalist" wing that wants to prepare for Doomsday and a "decadent" wing that lives in the moment and sculpts planets into monuments.
- Sixth Core Imperium to Frontier Initiative (SCI-FI): this faction values science and exploration, and its donors believe they can achieve immortal fame by exploring new systems and colonising worlds for the empire. In particular, they strive for support and funding to open up a sixth Quadrant.
- Alien Lives Matter (ALM): this faction supports the peaceful process of scientific assimilation of the enclaves of primitive aliens the empire has discovered and assisted to reach the stars. Only by embracing the full range of diverse expression can the Galactic Empire truly be great.
- Galactic Loyalists (GAL): this is the default faction for people who register for the game after the initial casting round. Loyalists believe all problems can be solved through strong leadership, and that the office of the Emperor needs to be revitalised with competent leaders, not the ceremonial figureheads of the current era.
In a change from my past Megagames, The Galaxy Will Burn will not be balanced around factions with even numbers of players or player roles. If a faction is really popular during casting, then it will have more players. During play of the game, it is expected that player diplomacy will even out the effects of team size.
During play of the game players may be able to join secret factions.
There are four main player roles in TGWB:
This is a good role for a player new to Megagames or for someone who wants to concentrate on roleplaying and diplomacy rather than political committees and boardgames. Media players are responsible for conveying accurate, timely information between the different sections of the game to the other members of their faction, seeing that the historical record exalts the achievements of their faction, and for making sure that blame is attached to people who mishandle crises. Every hour during the game, Media will get to "broadcast" the news to other players.
Each politician will be the leader for one of the factions in the game. Politicians will spend most of their time at the Imperial capital map board, where they will be competing to control the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the central government. If you control enough pawns in a government agency, then you will be able to take privilege cards that let other players perform special actions in the game, and distribute them to your faction friends. Politicians will spend a lot of time being worried by the crises that threaten the Pax Galactica and arguing with other politicians over the best way to resolve them.
Admirals are one of the two roles heavily involved in the map portion of TGWB. It is a good role if you want to fight a lot of battles. At the start of the game they uphold the Pax Galactica by patrolling the hyperlanes which carry the trade on which imperial prosperity relies. Admirals can take command of Imperial battleships to fight non-player pirate and warlord fleets, but have a weakness in not being able to build Battleships. Successful admirals can daydream about the day they march on the Imperial Capital to overthrow a weak Emperor and restore peace to the Galaxy.
The other major map role is that of Governor of several sectors of space on one of the Quadrant maps. While they cannot command Imperial battleships, they can build ships for Admirals to use. As the game progresses, they will be able to build Battleships loyal to their faction, which Governors can lead into battle. This is a good role if you like playing a patient game of slowly building up your resources and territory.
(Update 8 December)
During play of the game, players may be able to change roles to be Pirates, Warlords, or Rebels. Imperial assignments can be changed through political actions at the Imperial capital. Imperial players can also be appointed to be the Viceroy in charge of a regional Quadrant government.
If you manage to become Emperor you will get a minute of time to issue game changing commands to Control, who will do their best to implement your will. You can remove pawns controlled by other factions at the Imperial capital, or give command of the nigh-invulnerable Megaships to players in your faction.
The economic mini-game will involve a Jenga tower. Different blocks in the Jenga tower will have coloured dots on them, indicating the trade reward you get for successfully extracting the block and placing it on the top of the tower. The higher the tower goes, the greater the reward. When the tower collapses, this represents the regional economy entering a severe depression, and further trade is prohibited until the Galactic Bank can intervene.
There will be secret factions in the game. This is something you will be able to opt into if you preregister by 15 January. You do not have to belong to a secret faction, but every player in the game will belong to one of the public factions. Players who register late for the game will be placed in the Galactic Empire Loyalists faction. One final thing, unlike my past megagames, I will not be putting much effort into balancing the factions. If half the players want to play in the Make the Empire Great Again faction (or MEGA) and only two people want to play the Cosmocracy faction, then that is how it goes. Depending on player numbers, there will be up to nine public factions, and several secret factions.
The following Control roles will exist in the game:
Note: if you are attending the entire Kapcon weekend, then volunteering to help facilitate a game (like playing Control for the Megagame) gets you a discount on the registration fee ($20 rather than $30, with a $5 discount if you pay by 15 January).
- Political Control - responsible for the Imperial Capital
- Quadrant Control - responsible for one of the Quadrant maps (of which there may be up to five maps)
- Crisis Control - responsible for tracking crises, determining when they are triggered, and how they are resolved
- Mega Control - overall Control of the entire game (Dillon Burke will be doing this)
- Faction Control - helping factions coordinate their secret plots and special actions (room for more than one person here)
- Media Control - helping the Media players get their story out, and managing any equipment we have the game (such as a sound system).
If you have any questions or suggestions about this game, or want to volunteer for playtesting or a Control role, please email Dillon Burke at email@example.com.