Core Worlds: Galactic Orders - Board Game Box Shot

Core Worlds: Galactic Orders

| Published: 2012
Expansion for Core Worlds
39 2 3

Core Worlds: Galactic Orders is the highly anticipated first expansion to the one of the galaxy’s hottest new deck-building games!

In Core Worlds: Galactic Orders, players begin to forge alliances with the six Galactic Orders, powerful organizations that have maintained their independence in the midst of a crumbling empire.

These Orders were represented in the base set of Core Worlds by the six Prestige Cards: the Galactic Senate, the Science Guild, the Merchant Alliance, the Mining Coalition, the Order of Knighthood, and the Mystic Brotherhood. The Core Worlds: Galactic Orders expansion focuses on these six independent organizations and their influence upon a galaxy at war.

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“Great expansion! Makes this sci-fi themed deckbuilder sing!”

Overview
Core Worlds: Galactic Orders is the first expansion to what I thing is a “sleeper” hit of a deckbuilding game. It adds quite a bit more to the game and provides more depth and options. A sixth faction has been added that provides a new hero with a nice new ability. New sector 0 cards that makes the pre-game draft more interesting that work with the new galactic order cards.

Pros:
New Faction
More tough decisions
Better box for storage of base game and expansion
Better balance for sector one

Cons:
Still no sixth player even with new faction
More potential downtime between turns
Takes more time to setup

Gameplay:

I won’t cover the complete gameplay of Core Worlds which can be found here. However, I will talk about what is added.

The most interesting addition in my opinion is the “event” cards. These are normally mixed into each corresponding sector deck that they belong except for the sector 0 event which is put into play at setup. Every time an event card is drawn, they stack on top of each other in order with the top card now “in effect”. These events add a nice twist to the game and can sometimes disrupt your plans. It adds some randomness to the game, but it usually affects everyone equally. The starting event is nice in that it gives more strategic options for invading planets in the first sector instead of the strategy of just deploying everything and drafting.

Of course, the “galactic order” cards and faction tokens are the meat of the whole expansion. The galactic order cards are placed on the table and represent six orders: science guild, merchant alliance, order of the knighthood, mystic brotherhood, mining coalition, and the galactic senate. Each of order gives a player a special ability if they spend their faction tokens located on the cards. To get tokens on the cards, a player has to deploy a unit or play a tactic card with the order symbol on it. As usual there a cards that create “synergies” around these galactic orders that can enhance your strategy. Sometimes having the most tokens in a order can activate bonuses abilities on certain cards as well. At the end of the game, players with the most tokens get bonus empire points that equal a point per token or half point per token for second place.

Another nice tweak to the game is the capital city “advancement” cards which addresses a deficiency in culling your hand. This card allows you to place any card in your hand underneath the card if you have at least three worlds. Also, you no longer “colonize” a world upon invasion by putting a grunt or snubfighter underneath, but you can “garrison” the world by putting any type of invading card under it.

Lastly, the home worlds are replaced with an improved ability and new name. Besides being able to gain 2 energy by discarding a card in the energy phase, a player’s home world allows you to draw an extra card if you have more worlds then units in the warzone.

Conclusion:

I really like the amount of depth this expansion adds. It makes for tougher decisions as you factor in both the new events that occur every round as well as when to use faction tokens for special abilities in galactic orders versus conserving tokens for extra empire points. The event cards tweak the game nicely and aren’t overbearing. There are only a few of them per sector, so you’re not as likely to see them all at the same time.

Also, I like the newer storage box that can store the base game and expansion better. It comes with deck dividers with some nice artwork that works better than fixed dividers. They work with regular cards or sleeved cards, since they can expand in the card section.

This expansion should really appeal to power gamers, avid gamers, and strategy gamers. The added play time of understanding new cards and more decisions would definitely push it out of the family, social, and casual gamer types.

More choices, more options, more storage, more events, more goodness all around.

Gamer Recommendations
Family Gamer: NO very complex, only if your kids can grok it
Social Gamer: NO complex, not much interaction
Casual Gamer: NO too complex to be casual, longer setup than base game
Strategy Gamer: NO too tactical, the deck setup is random, harder to do a long term strategy
Avid Gamer: YES lots of variety, lots of options
Power Gamer: YES lots of variety, lots of scoring options, lots of depth

 

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