Tiny Epic Galaxies is a great gateway game by Gamelyn Games. It comes in a small box and doesn't take up much room on the table making it an ideal game to take with you on trips or on the go.
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Summary of the Game
The object of the game is that each player is a galaxy and you are suppose to colonize planets that are on Planet Card Row. I won't get into the details of gameplay. In a two player game, there are 4 planet cards at a time. When a player colonizes a planet, it goes to the player and adds to their victory points. Another planet card is then placed in the row.
Your actions are based on whatever is rolled by the action dice. You start off with 4 dice and eventually gain more dice as you gain levels. You roll all your dice and can do the actions that are revealed like launching a ship to a planet, gain resources (Energy and Culture), advancing your empire or use your planet's ability, and advancing your colonization track to eventually colonize the planet.
Normally the game is played between 2-4 players, but there is a solo version. It is quite challenging and has much replayability. Instead of playing against other player galaxies, you are playing against Rogue Galaxies. On the other side of the player Galaxies cards are the different Rogue Galaxies you can play against by yourself.
The come in different flavors: Beginner, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Epic.
This is a close up of the Epic Rogue Galaxy. This is the hardest of the Rogue Galaxies.
Rogue Galaxy advantages
The Rogue Galaxy has many major advantages over you so this is why it is quite challenging. You only start off with two ships and eventually gain two more as you upgrade your empire. The Rogue galaxy starts off with all four of its ships. So it has a head start on being able to colonize four planets at a time while you can only colonize two at a time.
Also when it rolls either a Diplomacy or Economy roll that advances a ship on the colonization track, all its ships are advanced. So if the Rogue gets a Diplomacy roll as in the image below and it has 2 ships on a planet that needs Diplomacy to advance, it will advance those two ships along the colonization track. A player can only choose one planet to advance. Thus a Rogue can colonize multiple planets faster than you.
Also each Rogue Galaxy has Rogue Colony Actions that harm you depending on the level of the Rogue galaxy and its level of Empire upgrade. So when a Rogue Galaxy gets a Utilize a Colony roll, it can reduce your resources, regress your ships on their colonization track and so on.
There are strategies to play when going against a Rogue Galaxy. A rogue galaxy can only send ships to the left most planet on the Planet Card Row and work toward the right. So you should try to choose a planet on the right of the row so that the Rogue may not be able to compete with you on that planet.
Also you should concentrate on planets that have easier to colonize with a smaller colonization track. Then you can colonize it faster, but be careful if the Rogue is competing with you on the same planet, it has the advantage.
Utilize the reroll. You can force a preroll of a dice result of the Rogue Galaxy if you spend one Culture and one Energy. It is a gamble, but if it rolls a result that could win the planet or harm you, then you should try to utilize it.
This is one of the best solo game experiences for a short game. It is quite challenging and its small footprint means you can play this game almost anywhere.