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It is a momentous time for the Post-Human Assembly. Having populated the Milky Way Galaxy, the Great Houses turn their eyes towards a neighboring galaxy, endeavoring to venture across the inter-galactic void to stake claim among uncharted stars. Each Great House seeks dominance, for in the race to achieve hegemony only one will be victorious.
Hegemonic is a game of galactic exploration, empire building, conflict, and cunning for 2-6 players playable in 30 to 45 minutes per player. Each player assumes the leadership of a Great House. Players will explore sectors of the galaxy; build up their empire's industrial, political, and martial capacity; employ far-reaching technologies to outmaneuver and out fight competing empires; and perform calculated actions to plot their way to hegemony.
Hegemonic is distinct among empire-building games because the industrial, political, and martial systems of your empire each expand your overall economy, can be used to initiate direct conflicts across lines, and contribute power towards victory. Players earn points at the end of every turn based on the relative power they have in each galaxy region. Players able to strategically hold and maintain a majority stake in the regions through industrial expansion, political leverage, and military force, will be poised for victory. But never underestimate a well-timed and daring move from your opponent – they may snatch victory from your grip!
Hegemonic uses a modular board system, tile drafting, and simultaneous action selection mechanisms to create a balanced, low-luck, and highly replayable experience across all player counts. Players will progress through each phase of the turn collectively, resulting in fast-paced and engaging gameplay. The game proceeds for a variable number of turns until the stack of sector tiles is depleted, triggering the final turn of the game. Each turn consists of an income collection phase, exploration phase, three action phases, and an arbitration phase.
In the collection phase, players earn CAPs (short for capacity) based on the level of their empire's development along the industrial, political, and martial tracks. CAPs are a unified resource that all actions in the game consume. Players must carefully balance the growth of their empire in all dimensions to ensure a steady supply of CAPs.
In the exploration phase, players explore sectors of the galaxy by drafting sector tiles from a pool and adding them to any location on the galaxy boards; allowing players to expand the galaxy in a way that supports their strategic goals. Players must carefully guide the exploration of the galaxy to their own advantage while denying opportunities to their opponents. Next, players discover and advance technologies through managing a hand of Technology cards. Advanced technologies unlock powerful abilities that augment the industrial, political, and martial powers of a player’s empire.
In each of the three action phases, players secretly select one of six action cards to play. Players must carefully sequence and time their own actions while anticipating their opponent's moves to have maximum impact and seize the initiative. All players reveal their chosen action cards simultaneously, which are then resolved in order based on the action card number. Each action card lists two or more actions that can be taken, and players must spend CAPs to pay for executed actions. Actions allow players to expand their industrial complexes, political embassies, and martial outposts; build quantum gates, agents, and fleets; and initiate conflicts to sabotage, subvert, and assimilate opposing bases.
In the arbitration phase, the player with most remaining CAPs becomes the Arbiter for the next turn. The Arbiter functions as the first player and they may further manipulate player order and the action timing of the next turn to their advantage. The Arbiter’s ability adds a key negotiation dimension to the game, as players may endeavor to sway or bribe the Arbiter to provide them with a strategic advantage next turn. Unspent CAPs beyond their empire’s retention limits are then consumed as an upkeep cost; requiring players to balance the growth and power of their empire across with a sustainable resource flow.
Over the course of the game, each player must balance his hand of dual-purpose Technology cards, which are used to influence success in conflict or can be played for a permanent technology benefit. Players must decide carefully how and when to use these cards as there is a tradeoff between saving high power cards for their conflict power versus using them for their distinct technological advantages. These dual-purpose cards ensure that each one can serve a strategic purpose in expanding a player's reign while greatly mitigating the luck of the draw.
Scoring is based on players accumulating VPs at the end of each turn based on the relative control they have over each galaxy region. The game ends when the stack of sector tiles is depleted, typically in 5-6 turns. Final scoring includes bonus points for technology advancement. The player able to extend their power and influence the most strategically across the galaxy will establish the new dominant hegemony and win the game!