Preview: Factions of Sol (Mark IV Games) – English

What if mankind could travel towards the stars much earlier, namely in 1927? In the alternative timeline of Factions of Sol humanity ushered in the space travel era back in 1927 thanks to entrepreneur Mark Megacore of MegaCore Inc. As usual, humanity immediately appropriated different planets and corners of the galaxy, different cliques and factions emerged and tensions naturally rose. What’s a sci-fi story without some science fiction drama? The various factions are vying for Megacore’s fortune and now that the best man is going into space retirement, it is time for the factions to strike their proverbial and gravity-defying blow.

To win over Megacore’s favours, players try to travel the universe with their faction, upgrading their machines, exploring exoplanets, fulfilling secret objectives and collecting resources to earn the most victory points. To travel, players need to consume energy, and energy is not cheap. Energy costs are exponential, so the board (and therefore a player) quickly runs out of energy. Fortunately, players can refuel energy in the tiny planet Mercury. I was expecting players to be able to refuel at gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn, but perhaps Saturn is the leader in space renewables. If players run out of gas along the milky highway, they can be towed back towards Mercury with the space ANWB, but that takes a lot of time if you are trying to find your dream woman on Venus and also costs a lot of minus points… Fortunately, players can travel faster and more efficiently by making clever use of walkways and gravity.

All planets provide players with different actions. On tough Mars, you can upgrade your ship. On Saturn, you can obtain secret objects and on Earth, players can turn the rules of ht game upside down ala Cosmic Encounter. Many actions cost resources. How do players get resources? By mining asteroids. Each round, only a limited number of asteroids are placed on the board, creating a scarcity and race. Because of the different factions, Factions of Sol is also an assymetric challenge.

The artwork of Factions of Sol reminds me a lot of classic pulp science fiction books like John Carter or Mars. Has this preview piqued your interest? Then take a quick look on Kickstarter.