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Empires of the Clutter II

The box is decidedly lovely. Gorgeous all around. But then they had to slap a Red Raven logo in the bottom corner. Come on, fellas, the brand isn't what draws people to a Ryan Laukat game. It's his THIS.

Ryan Laukat’s original Empires of the Void was one of Kickstarter’s early success stories. It was 2011, long before everybody got jaded with underwhelming indie projects and enamored with the latest empty-headed box with miniatures in it. It pulled in somewhere upward of $35,000.

Now it’s 2018, Ryan Laukat has been a staple of the crowdfunding scene for years — long enough to have witnessed “phases” in his career — and now we’ve got a sequel. It made seven times more than the original game during its Kickstarter run. Does that mean it’s seven times more enjoyable?

Yes, that is how I think math works, thanks very much.

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Empires of the Void: 3X Goodness

Little do they know, giant space monsters cheat. He'll be getting a free move action next turn!

Yellow squadron uses a giant die as a distraction for their invasion of Tan Fu.

Very few things miff the staff here at Space-Biff! more than when folks treat genre labels as interchangeable—it leads to the same sort of discombobulation as staring at a Che Guevara sticker while seated in an Olive Garden restroom. Worse, it transforms the angelic stillness of the SB! living room office into a cacophony of complaining voices. “Spec Ops is not an RPG!” Dan was shouting the other day. “Small World is not Ameritrash!” Thurot blurted a few weeks ago. Even Lee can’t stop talking about how The Walking Dead is an entirely new (and “the boldest”) genre. And over the last couple days, Wee Aquinas won’t shut up about how “Empires of the Void isn’t a 4X game!”

This is fine, because Wee Aquinas usually comes out on the wrong side of genre arguments and this has been a big get for him. Also, because Red Raven Games never claimed Empires of the Void as a 4X game—just that it’s a good one. And on that count, they’re absolutely right.

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