Game Salute's monthly behind-the-scenes newsletter.
This month we announce Farlight, a new game by King's Forge designer Nick Sibicky!
The Life and Times Podcast
The monthly newsletter is accompanied by a podcast. In this month's podcast Chris and Michael interview Nick Sibicky, designer of King's Forge and the upcoming Farlight, about his design work and games in general. We also award last month's creative competition winner, and announce a new competition to win a game AND your idea published in Farlight!
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Note: All Kickstarter projects and pre-orders deliver to backers before any listed street dates.
Black Orchestra News
The first print run of Black Orchestra has sold out, and we're running a very short Kickstarter campaign to promote and gauge interest in a 2nd printing. This second edition is scheduled to deliver this October 2017 and will include upgraded wooden components, 24 enhanced Interrogation cards, and a new rulebook. The 1st printing of course remains a great game, but for owners of the first printing eager to upgrade, those new items are also being offered in a cost-effective Upgrade Pack. And as an extra bonus, all pledges will receive the Resistance Broadcast Plot promo card. The campaign ends February 28th.
On this month's podcast, Michael and Chris interview Nick Sibicky about his upcoming game Farlight and his 2014 design, King's Forge.
As Nick mentions in his podcast interview, Farlight is on the surface a very different game to King's Forge, but he shares that Farlight does play with a lot of the same design aesthetics as his first published design. Both games are compact designs, with a minimum number of moving parts; in that sweet spot between a long crunchy game and a light fast game. Both Farlight and King's Forge have a race element, in King's Forge you race to make the best items, in Farlight you race to complete missions; and so efficiency, timing and risk all play a part in both games. Also both games have rounds that are basically broken into two distinct phases that play off each other in interesting ways; in King's Forge it's the Gathering and Crafting phases, in Farlight it's the Bidding and Assembly/Launch phases.
Dice once again make an appearance, but in Farlight they are used completely differently than they are in King's Forge. In Farlight the dice represent spacecraft engines of varying power, and aren't rolled by individual players, but when a spacecraft part is produced. So no big handfuls of dice in Farlight, just sweeping spacecraft designs! All in all, Farlight is very much its own game, but if you've played King's Forge you will surely get a sense that the same devious designer is behind it.
The following gallery will give you a little taste of how Farlight plays, using images from our Tabletopia based testing ground (thus, not all components show the final art and design).
Each player (space corporation) begins the game with a spacecraft core, 3 Crew tokens and 5 bidding chips numbered 0 to 4. The image shows two examples of player identities.
Bidding: The first phase of each round is the Bidding phase. This is when space organizations place competing bids on new spacecraft designs, race to complete missions, gather resources, and upgrade their spacecraft. The first player for the round places two of their bidding chips face-down on any item/s they want to claim (when placing a chip you can add a crew member to bolster the bid by 1). Then the next player in clockwise order places two chips, and so on until all chips have been placed.
Bidding Resolution: After the bids have been placed, the bids are all flipped face-up and the highest bids win spacecraft modules, missions, or resources. There are rules that help to ease the sting of losing bids, but cunning and efficient business tactics are an essential part of being a successful space entrepreneur!
Assembly: After the Bidding phase the game moves to the Assembly phase. In this phase, players metaphorically go into their respective hangars and work on their spacecraft. Some modules have a crew cost to install (as denoted by the crew icons under the module name), and some grant a special boon when they are attached. Even when players aren't attempting missions, it is assumed that their fleet of spacecraft are gathering science, being tested, and honing their engineering. Thus, some modules on the spacecraft grant turn after turn benefits, such as increasing engine power (raising engine dice by 1), or gaining science or crew tokens. In the above image a science module attached to the left of the Primary Core gathers a science token each Assembly phase, these can be expended to help complete missions.
Launch: After the Assembly phase, the Launch phase checksYEah to see who won the bids on available missions. You can only bid on the lowest mission in each of the three streams. In the above image COSMOSIS has the winning bid of 5 (2+1+1 added Crew) to establish the Cleomedes Moon Colony, and if their spacecraft meets the requirements for the mission of an Engine of 1 or more, and 2 Life Support, they will earn 5 points and the Mission will be discarded. However SAGA also bid on the mission, and looking at the previous image, we see that that their craft also meets the requirements. Any player that bids on a mission and meets the requirements but doesn't win receives half the value of the mission rounded up. So in this circumstance COSMOSIS would receive 5 points and SAGA 3.
End Game: The game continues through Bidding, Assembly and Launch until one of the top-most Climactic Missions are completed. The game ends after that Launch phase is completed. Players are then also awarded extra points in the form of industry awards for exceptional contributions to space exploration. These examples (that were chosen randomly from 7 at the start of the game) award the player with the most active crew 5 points, the most remaining science tokens 5 points, and the largest spacecraft 5 points.
The Farlight Kickstarter will launch on March 1st. We'll be shooting for the stars and looking to add a number of stretch goals, so we hope you can join us.
Every month we give away a board game (or more) by posing you a fun little creative activity or question...
The prize for January's contest was a copy of Capture, and was won by Paul with his variant on Jackpot Yahtzee! Thanks to all our entrants.
The prize for February's contest is a copy of King's Forge awarded to two entrants... AND, as a little bonus, one of their ideas will become part of Nick Sibicky's new game Farlight! This second part to the prize will be voted on via Twitter over the first two days of the Farlight Kickstarter campaign starting March 1st.
Farlight currently has 5 space corporations or agencies that players can choose to play as. We'd like to make that 6, by suggesting one of your own. We need a name and an idea for a logo, and if you'd like to suggest a color scheme, or write a small paragraph on the organisation feel free.
Here are the current space organisations as inspiration. We don't need you to draw anything, just writing down the idea is perfectly fine.
Entries will close at noon EST February 28th, 2017. We'll select our favourite two entries as the winners, then we will mock up the graphics for those two winners, and the backers of the Farlight campaign will decide which they want in the game!!