Published on April 5th, 2016 | by Luke Turpeinen0
Tiny Epic Protoculture
The first time we played a Tiny Epic game was to review Tiny Epic Kingdoms for its Kickstarter release. Gamelyn Games has come a long ways since then and its Tiny Epic line has expanded considerably to include Westerns, co-operative Defenders, even tinier Kingdoms and now Galaxies.
When we first picked this up, I hadn’t actually read much about the actual mechanics and I had just assumed it would be a space themed version of Tiny Epic Kingdoms, which was a 4X game. I was surprised that Tiny Epic Galaxies was a dice game, especially considering the popularity of the game Alien Frontiers and the regard it has. When we played Tiny Epic Galaxies, I quickly realized that it carves its own design space out of some similar concepts and is a great addition to both the space and dice genres.
In Tiny Epic Galaxies your goal is to expand your interstellar empire through peaceful means of conflict- namely cultural and economic warfare as well as the cunning placement of flags. Once you have a ship in orbit around a potential colony planet, an infusion of political will or cold hard cash will earn you a permanent settlement and exclusive rights to the planet. During that time, you’ll be exporting its natural resources and culture, which helps grow your empire around the galaxy.
Tiny Epic Galaxies is at its heart dice combo game, where you try to maximize unpredictable resources in order to progress in a race to 21 victory points. Turns are quick, and you can react to opponent’s reactions on their turn- which means that there is hardly ever any down time. Tiny Epic Galaxies plays quickly over all as well, with no game of ours taking over 20 minutes to play to the end.
On a turn, a player rolls a handful of dice, with each die face representing a different action you can take. The action spread is similar to what you would see in variable-order style games like Puerto Rico (or Tiny Epic Kingdoms). The actions break down as: move a ship, gather Culture, gather Energy, invest Politics, invest Economics, exploit Colony. The dice symbols match the actions very well and the symbolism was effective as a teaching tool.
Tiny Epic Galaxies is a great game in a little package, and is great for taking with you to game nights away from your home. Its small table footprint means that it can be played easily at a bar or cafe. The focus on rolling dice and doing what they say means that it’s a great intro game. Tiny Epic Galaxies is the perfect gift for anybody you know who likes board games as a hobby.