Empires of the Void Review

Game Info

Year: 2012

Designer:Ryan Laukat

Type: Strategy

Category: Science Fiction Space Exploration

Mechanics: Action Point Allowance System Dice Rolling Set Collection Trading

Number of Player: 2-4 Players

Play Time: 120 minutes

Recommended age: 12+

Download Empire of the Void_revised_rules_2012

Last update was on: July 27, 2021 8:48 am


Empires of the Void

In a galaxy far away, war is raging: the Pyrious Empire is declining and struggle to maintain peace within his borders. Young alien races see this as their opportunity to become the new sovereign of the galaxy.

Over the different worlds, alliances form and battles occur, while pirates and rebellions try to get the best of the situation.

Whilst factories produce spaceships, troops are strategically being arranged. Do you have what is in you to take over the Pyrious Empire?

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Game Overview

Space battle enthusiasts should definitely check out this science fiction game by Ryan Laukat. During eleven rounds, players will improve their fleet simultaneously before playing, in turn, three actions of their choice.

Empire of the Void actions

These actions include:

  • attacking planets or players,
  • moving a ship,
  • drawing a card from the diplomacy deck,
  • mining for more resource,
  • perform diplomacy on neutral planets

Every turn, a random event will be impacting the life on some planets. 3 times during the game, a scoring phase will be played. At the end of the last scoring, the Empire will know the race of their new ruler.

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Game components

Empires of the Void features bright artwork, and the components are vey nice. The modular board is rather big and is beautiful. These are the components that you get with the game.

  • 8 player boards (8 different races)
  • 4 sets of 19 technologies
  • 4 sets of spaceships:
    • 12 Starfighters
    • 8 Centipedes
    • 3 Diplomats
    • 10 Starcruisers
    • 4 Sunhammers
    • 11 ally tokens
  • Credit tokens
  • Victory point tokens
  • Neutral spaceships:
    • 6 Moths
    • 6 Tempests
    • 6 Black holes
    • 6 Firebugs
    • 6 Shooting Stars
    • 3 Infestors
  • 15 planet cards
  • 30 diplomacy cards
  • 24 event cards
  • 3 scoring event cards
  • 12 home planet tokens
  • 1 galactic council board
  • 7 galaxy hexagons
  • 4 home planet boards
  • Event tokens
  • 6 dice
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Game Setup

Place in the middle of the table the 7 galaxy hexagon tiles. Pyrious needs to be in the center, other tiles are placed randomly. Set the planet cards on the side of the board.

Place the required number of home planet boards – dependent on the number of players – in each corner of the galaxy.

Every player receives a race card and places his home planet in the middle of his starting tile.

Every player receives a race card and places his home planet in the middle of his starting tile.

Each player also receives a set of spaceships and technologies, and a number of credit as mentioned on his race card.

Shuffle the event cards and:

  • Put two cards, face down, on the top of the scoring card C.
  • Place, face down, the scoring card B on the top of this deck.
  • Put three cards, face down, on the top of this deck.
  • Place, face down, the scoring card A on the top of this deck.
  • Put four cards, face down, on the top of this deck.

Remaining events are placed back in the box.

Shuffle the diplomacy cards and place the deck near the board.

Set all remaining token and items in an easy to reach place next to the board.

Determine the starting player.

You are now ready to fight for the galaxy.

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How to Play

The game will play in 11 rounds. At the beginning of each round, simultaneously, players will be able to develop one technology – each of them have a credit cost, some would require resources harnessed on some planets, and some would pre-require another technology.

Each technology will offer the player with an ongoing ability shaping your strategy. Some technologies will also grant you victory points on every scoring phase.

During this pre-round phase, you will also be able to purchase ships. Every ship comes with his cost, his speed, his fire capacity and for some, additional bonus. Every ship also has an initiative which will prove an important parameter in the fights against other players: shoot first not to be destroyed!

Once every player has finished his pre-round, you can reveal an event.

Eight will impact the gameplay, and will be different every game: with 24 different events to choose from randomly, you can expect every game to be different.

Three will be scoring events: make sure to know when they happen as losing your planets before scoring will be of a great impact towards your final score.

Now, every player will go through their 3 actions, in the order of their choice. Over time, by discovering new technologies, players will be allowed to perform additional actions.

You will chose your actions amongst the following options:

  • Moving: you will get one spacecraft to move across the board. Every ship is able to move a specific distance through space, some will be better than others. Some ships also have additional capacities. As an example, the Diplomat may carry smaller ships while it moves.
  • Mining: get one credit from the bank. You can use this action only once per round.
  • Culture: you will draw one card from the diplomacy deck. This action is important as you will need such cards to try to use Diplomacy on neutral planets. These cards also have powerful effects that you may use when discarding 2 or more cards of the same type.
  • Performing diplomacy: planets come in different types: some would be peaceful, some are militaristic, capitalistic… You will need at least one Diplomacy card matching the type of the planet you want to make an ally. And the more cards of that type you have, the easier it’ll get to form an alliance: to test your diplomatic skills, you will need to have a Diplomat over a neutral planet. You can then throw 3 dice and you need to be over a specific score to succeed. This score will be dependent on the number of cards you played for this action: playing one card will require you to score 17 or more while playing four cards will require 4 or more.

Empire of the Void diplomacy difficult

  • Allying a planet will offer you quite a few benefits: every turn, you’ll get additional credits, you will produce the resource of the planet, but you will also gain access to the planet’s specific technology and influence points. Don’t overlook influence: at every scoring events, the 2 players with the most influence will gain some victory points
  • Attacking planets or players: quite a few options are available here. You can attack a player in order to destroy his fleet. This will be an important choice to make as allowing another player to grow his army will surely be a way for you to lose planets before a scoring phase.
    When attacking ships, you’ll have to remember that the ships with the best initiative will shoot first, and will most likely, if successful, destroy the smaller enemy ships – unless you have the cloaking, your opponent will chose which ships fall under your fire.

Fighting for a planet

Should you destroy every ships of an opponent controlling a planet as an enemy, you will chose whether to conquer the planet – put an enemy token on the planet – or liberate the planet – remove the enemy token that was here. Anyone will then be free to use a Diplomacy action on that planet. Note that you can liberate a planet allied to any player, you may only conquer it.

If the planet is neutral, you may try to conquer it: simply throw a successful attack on it to place one of your enemy tokens on top of it.
Conquered planets will offer you the resource, the credits and victory points. You will not gain any influence nor have access to its special ability.

Attacks are played throwing one or more 6 face dice: depending on the firing ship, you will need to roll equal or above a certain value: a Starfighter would need to roll a 6 to succeed, while a Sunhammer would throw two dice and every shot would be successful from 3 and above.

Once every player has finished his round, everyone earn their credits: take your original amount of credits plus all those your new allies and conquests offer. You are now ready for your next round.

The first round may be slow as players will try to get through the rules, and as with most strategy games, you will often look at the rulebook to clarify some points. Once you have finished your first game, you will know all that needs to know: the rules are fairly well written and cover most points. Some area will surely need you to look at the rulebook a few times to clarify, but with less than 11 pages – including illustrations, clarifications and advanced rules – you will not lose too much time there.

Over time, you will only have a go to the rulebook to check some specific information about a race or a ship that you haven’t used often.

Empire of the Void: in game view

After a few games, you’ll have a good understanding of the sequence of play and interactions between the technologies: every player will then start making their strategy and while some will be more militaristic than others, there is not only one way to win. I would however recommend adding from the start the “turn order change” rule presented in the Advanced Rules. This allows for a more balanced game – the player with the most planets play first and may then lose some in the round, giving a chance to weaker players to get some back. << xx – in game view2.jpg >>

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Final Thoughts

Make sure to save space on your table: taking over the galaxy sure needs a lot of it. But once you have placed up all the pieces, let the fight start.

Every game is different, and your opponents will not let you go off easily. Build on ships, target the planets to reach your goals and develop your technologies. Make good use of your Diplomats. The ways of this game are many, and playing against different opponents will change your experience every time.

Will you chose to be a Lord of War? Will you try your way through culture and influence? Your starting race will shape your path, but then: you’ll make your decisions.

The eleven rounds will go fast, and after each scoring phase, you’ll feel the urgency to build more ships, deploy faster, farther… and eliminate your enemies’ fleets.

With four players, a game will surely last more than two hours, but you will not see it go by. The lore and illustrations are also prompting imagination: don’t play your race, be one of them! And crush your opponents!

And what’s next? Building on the success of his game, Ryan Laukat funded a new Kickstarter campaign for Empires of the Void 2: the game sure looks exciting and I can’t wait for early next year to keep exploring the galaxy!

Empires of the Void

3 new from $ 287.50
Free shipping
Last updated on July 27, 2021 8:48 am
8.5 Total Score
Empire of the Void: Excellent!

In a galaxy far away, war is raging: the Pyrious Empire is declining and struggle to maintain peace within his borders. Young alien races see this as their opportunity to become the new sovereign of the galaxy. Whilst factories produce spaceships, troops are strategically being arranged. Do you have what it in you to take over the Pyrious Empire?

Game Instructions/Rules:
Repeat Play:
Easy to play
Fun to play
  • Great components and illustration
  • Imaginative environment
  • Every game is different
  • Some rules may need to be read multiple times
  • Longer game, requires quite some space
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)


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