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Don't you know that pigs like beer? And that they are willing to wreak carnage and ruin among their blood brethren in order to master the production of their favorite brew? So, YOU are leading one of these powerful clans of porkers in a quest to conquer the outer planets in search of that fabled recipe for acorn beer. With this in hand the universe will be at your beck and call (grunt and squeal, really). But watch out! Space is not as empty as you may have imagined. Giant space worms ply the trade routes, their favored dish astroswine!
Space Pigs begins on the pig-home-world from where the clans fly off in search of the coveted recipe. Once this is in their possession they must scour the galaxy for the best ingredients before launching production. In the mean time Space is explored, battles are fought and colonies founded. "Whatever gets you there. Eh?"
teddy100 wrote a good review, but was critical of the victory conditions. Up until a week ago, I'd have agreed with everything teddy100 said about the game being pretty good, but too short (usually 2 turns) ... then my gaming group found a flaw in the English translation of the rules. But, I'll get to that in a minute.
First, let me tell you what to expect ... take the Muppet Show skit, 'Pigs in Space,' and roll in some tongue-in-cheek jabs at Dune, Star Trek, and Star Wars, and you're off on a merry jaunt as a tribe of beer swilling pigs out to conquer the universe. Add in political intrigue, pig eating aliens, a randomly generated game board, and a bunch of hilarious event cards, and you've got the makings of a great game.
The components are good, although there are a few misprints (due to the French-to-English translations), and the box is eye-catching.
The problem seemed to be the victory conditions. Simply put, you collect acorns for every planet you control, and as soon as you collect 6 acorns in a particular color combination, you win (except on the first turn)! The problem with this is, in the course of two turns, you are usually able to accumulate at least 6 (usually several more) acorns.
However, after further review of the original rules (in French), we figured out that you don't ACCUMULATE acorns! Instead, you collect acorn markers each turn, FOR THAT TURN ONLY! Without getting into too much detail, the actual victory conditions are tied to the number of PLANETS you currently control when you reach a certain phase of the turn.
Played in this way, the competition for resources (planets) is keener, the victory conditions harder, and the game longer and more satisfying. In other words, a great game!
I would recommend it.
Well, I finally got around to trying it. Remember this one is a Tilset game so I will leave it there.
The bottom line is you are a tribe of space pigs roaming and conquering in the galaxy in search of planets that will allow you to brew your special beer. Sound like a great time so far. You have pigs, beer, space, conquest, voting, a king swine who distributes colonists like the money in Junta, alliances for trading, random event cards, space monsters to ransack the board like in aomeba wars, oh and beer (which drinking on the side does seem to help).
Of the recent Tilset games....Castle Lords, Gnome Tribes and Space Pigs, this one has the best potential. My one complaint...the game was just too short. Now, I have re-read the rules and we did mis-interpret the movement rule slightly and probably expanded just a planet too fast....so, we may be able to get three turns instead of the two we got.
Without a whole lot of detail, you set up a board much like Twilight Imperium with hex tiles. Then you start with 5 grunts on an outer rim tile. Each tile has either a colored planet Yellow, Red, or Blue or asteroids. The goal is to collect your secret recipe which is 3 of one color, 2 of another color and 1 of the third color. Everyone typically started on a planet with the color that they needed three for.
Next you get new colonists. This does not happen on the first turn and it is done by the King Swine by drawing several chips with numbers 1-3 and then distributing a max of two to each player to give them new armies...much like the money distribution in Junta. In our game, since we only got two turns, the King only did this once. The new armies can go wherever you have people on the board.
Then the King Swine, KS, draws a random space monster to put on an asteroid tile. Again, no KS the first turn.
Next is movement. You have 5 movement tiles with 2 to 4 movements on them. You select them in secret. Once you put it down, face down you cannot use it again until you have used all 5 tokens. Then everyone reveals their token and in turn order (determined by most armies) you may make that many movements. A movement is a group of pigs to an adjacent planet.
Combat is due to follow the movement. Interesting mechanic is that if someone moves to your planet and you have not moved yet, you must keep a number of people there equal to the number of attackers to fight them. Combat is simple...a D6 for your first unit and you add one for each additional unit. If you have a super grunt you get a D8 instead of a D6 plus one for each additional unit. After someone dies in the first round, any side may flee to an adjacent already occupied planet...if you don't have one to go to you must fight to the death. So, even if you had some people trapped by an attack that could not move, you can fight once and then relocate them to fight on another planet.
Monsters get to fight too and the KS drives them. The KS gets three phases all to himself...distribution of colonists, monster placement, and monster attack.
Now you get ready for beer. For every planet you control, you get an acorn of that color. Anyone that has the right colors for their recipe wins....note you cannot win on the first turn. If no one wins, you get one governor for each acorn you have and everyone votes for the KS. Like Junta, the KS decides the voting order (if none the first place player). Here you form alliances if you vote for the winning KS and can trade cards with them in the next turn.
The only real important part I left out is the cards. Like many Tilset games, this one has event cards that effect every phase of play and must be played in that phase. Although we only played two turns...I would say that Tilset is vastly improving this mechanism as we did not have any real interpretation issues on when to play the card or how it worked which is not true of many other of their titles.
The game had lots of bits so since it ended in two turns or about 30-40 minutes, I suggested we do it again now that we understood it. The second game also ended in turn two. Here is how it breaks out. You start on one color and expand to two adjacent planets...so you get three of your six acorns the first turn....assuming you have gotten three colors you have a very good chance of taking another three planets the second turn for the win. On the second game two of us met the critieria to win in the second turn. This tie is broken in turn order.
Let me state, I liked the game. The time was fine for two turns....but, the game cannot develop and it is virtually impossible to stop someone and no mechanism to force someone to loose an acorn. I am going online to see if I can find an errata or something. Maybe if you force someone off a planet they loose an acorn...or maybe you add two ingredients to the recipe. The game needs to run a few more turns to develop. Maybe even elect a KS up front for the first turn.
I may be wrong about this one....but, I think it is a keeper that just needs a few tweaks to get it where it needs to be.