As a fleet commander, your task is to conquer new territories and lead your nation to celestial domination!
2-4 players, ages 10+
Playing time: 30-40 minutes
Designer: Sergio Matsumoto
Artwork: Manon “Stripes” Potier
Publisher: DTDA Games
Each player starts the game by picking 2 captains to play the game with, and 5 crew members that they’ll have available to them from the start.
You start your turn by drawing 2 tiles and placing them on the map, followed by collecting spices: for each conquered planet and ship on a factory you gain the depicted tokens. If any of your ships are on an anchorage in this phase, you gain bonus tokens for them.
The tactical phase allows you to take several actions, such as moving your ships on the map, using your crew members for their abilities and the bonus tokens for their special actions.
In the construction phase, you develop your Armada and pay spices to build frigates, recruit crew members, protect your planets by building a fortress, or rebuild your Captain’s Galleon. If one of your ships is on a planet you can also conquer it by paying the required spices, even when that planet is currently controlled by another player.
When a nation has conquered 4 or 5 planets (depending on the game mode) the game ends and that player immediately wins the game!
Efemeris is a hand management/area control game with a cool and original theme, as instead of fighting over land now you’ll be conquering planets with your ships. It comes in a fine production and nice style that definitely looks good on the table. We struggled a bit with the rules at the start of our first play but, thanks to the clear player aids, after a couple of rounds the game played very smoothly.
Included is also a cooperative team mode for 4 players (2vs2), but to be honest that one didn’t really do the trick for me; I’ll prefer to play the ‘duel mode’ for 2, or the ‘free for all mode’ anytime. Luckily there’s the ‘Solstice’-expansion that consists of 3 new nations, and also making it possible to play the ‘free for all mode’ with 4 players!