Cristian is not ashamed (on the contrary!) when telling us what are the boardgames that somehow inspired his design idea of The Europa Incident (TEI).
“When I discovered early titles of Avalon Hill, I realized how much important and intriguing is the profundity of a complex strategic game, a game where you can feel the taste of completely having in your hands the future of something/somebody. I’ve found myself completely absorbed in a gaming experience that really excited me and made time irrelevant in some way.
A definition of deck-building from 1993
At the same time, I was approaching the first collectable deck-building card game available in our market: Magic The Gathering (was it 1993? How many cards we have been playing since that time!). This was actually the first game I really grew fond of.
Obviously, current definition of “deck-building” doesn’t fit perfectly to what Magic was at the time, but the importance of this game is undeniable.
During following years, I started to play and love, glorified titles such as Twilight Imperium, Galactic Starfire, Imperium, Republic of Rome, BattleMist, Thunder’s Edge, Descent, Dominion and many many others which I continue to jealously accumulate in my personal collection and to play whenever possible, of course!
But let’s go back to the mechanics of TEI!
In the early stage of game development, the second, and final, phase was “movement and combat”. First release of my gamerules, in fact, featured an already explored map, which was not entirely satisfactory to me… The map was an essential element for me, but it should not have been entirely visible at the start of the game: that’s why the Exploration phase was born!
The overall form of the portion of space where the game takes place is evidently clear, but it’s up to the players to find out where the key resources hide, in which asteroid, planetoid or moonlet of the cluttered Main Belt! This idea may seem strange at first, but it could defer the combat and it forces players to be more accurate on their decisions and strategies. Visible map instead generates immediately a possible confrontational situation from the start, while I’d like to emphasize the planning phase and to avoid players throwing themselves immediately into the attack phase.
This phase can be considered transitory or less important, but my advise is to not understimate it!
It will be important to make right decisions according to their strategy in order to bring own faction to the supremacy of the solar system.
For the next time we are goig to talk about third phase: Movement (and Attack).
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The Europa Incident is about to happen, very very soon…