Preview: Philharmonix (Archona Games) – English

Music is international. Music knows no borders and everyone understands the language of music. Many famous musicians travel quite a bit and many a choir, orchestra or company has members from all over the world. What if the earth is too small for your talent or your taste is too alien? Then why not seek refuge in the wider universe? Fill up deep space with the sounds of your orchestra. I am not talking about just any regular space opera, but Philharmonix.


Philharmonia means something trant of love of music and you may know the term as part of names of orchestras such as the Berliner Philhamoniker, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra or the British Royal Philharmonic Orcherstra. Now it’s time for Philharmonix where players travel across the galaxy as the director of an extraterrestrial Philharmonic orchestra to attract the best musicians and perform the best pieces on different planets.


In Philharmonix, each player takes the role of the director of a great space orchestra and tries to become the most prestigious orchestra in the Malaya sector. If you thought you could amass a lot of prestige on our globe, you should travel to the Malaya sector in your space tour bus. You could not have imagined so many groupies and the love of classical music here is truly of otherworldly proportions. The best Biff bands, players of the theremin or the Vulcan lute, the best hallikset musicians from the conservatory of Theed, Galan-Kalank experts and masters of Wreckpunk: you can probably find all types of music from Star Trek and Star Wars at these Philharmonic orchestras of Malaya. Planets full of sounds, tones and rhythms. Naturally, the player with the most prestige wins

Philharmonix combines worker placement with action points and area majority (since you obviously want to draw full houses). In total, players will collect prestige during 5 rounds. Each round consists of an action round where players perform their actions until every player has passed. Players receive resources after passing for points they did not deploy during the round. After all players have passed, a number of actions are performed to end the round. The most important is to refresh the dice on the market and introduce new musicians. Also, the amount of action points are assigned to the actions for the next round.

Each turn during the action phase, the active player chooses whether that player wants to perform one of the 6 major actions or rather the minor action (tour) that allows the player to move to another location and earn money. Major actions allow players to expand their resources and knowledge, recruit musicians (from the market or the different regions) with the available dice, train their musicians and conductors, compose symphonies and thereby collect tiles from the market, perform their music and win over sponsors/ patrons for the respective bonuses and properties. There are also a number of “free” actions a player can perform during their turn. Players also earn prestige for Record Cards and Area Majority, among others, at the end of the game.


Philharmonix is an extremely thematic game full of interesting choices. The theme emerges strongly in the design of the game board and the different player boards, as well as in the course of the game where players start collecting musicians and music pieces.

An interesting and innovative concept of Philharmonix is the way action points are assigned to actions through the various rounds. This forces players to make fascinating choices and plan their actions to be taken in intriguing ways.

Archona Games gave us the opportunity to test a prototype so the game is subject to change. As per the publishing date of this article Philharmonix is live on Kickstarter.