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Space is vast, and it was only a matter of time before the residents of Arcadia developed the technology to explore beyond their own world. Contact has been made with alien planets. Many of them, in fact. Some have proven themselves to be allies, and some… not so much, but enough friends have been made to form a loose partnership. The Starcadian Alliance is not a governing body, but rather an agreement for mutual defense for any threats that may crop up in the universe. It’s a good thing the alliance is in place too, because a threat of epic proportions is on its way!
In Starcadia Quest, 2 to 4 players control Crews of two Heroes in a campaign to defeat the foes of the Starcadian Alliance. While they share the same goals, the Crews are definitely not working together. They compete with each other as much as the game itself. Over the course of a branching campaign, players will decide what direction the story will take. Each choice will allow them to pursue certain opportunities, while leaving others behind. These decisions can have serious consequences later in the campaign.
The member worlds of the Alliance include Baccahlanche, a snow-covered rock with a surprisingly diverse ecosystem, Amaze-onia, a primitive planet full of thick, unexplored jungles, Glomp, a swamp planet considered the soggiest place in the universe, Melodram, a place full of beautiful nature… all of which wants to eat you, and the Frontier, which is less of a world and more of a culture of people living together on the fringes of the known galaxy in massive space freighters. Rounding out the Alliance is The World, home to the city of Arcadia. Its residents have never been ones to avoid an exciting exploit, and with the discovery of space travel and the unlimited potential for adventure, there’s no telling where these Heroes will go.
The Supreme Commander Thorne has long regarded the Starcadian Alliance as, well, a thorn in his side. His goal is to bring order to the galaxy, all under his careful, guiding hand of course, and the Alliance is the only thing standing in his way. You couldn’t imagine a more dangerous or evil foe than Thorne. His brilliant mind concocts intricate plans to reduce the Alliance to smoking rubble, but to date, they have all fallen short. That hasn’t done anything to quell his obsession, and before long, the Heroes of Arcadia and their intergalactic allies will be tested like never before.
Starcadia Quest introduces a number of new gameplay elements. Whether players are familiar with the Arcadia Quest series or not, they will find this new ruleset easy to pick up and play. The first unique element is that Starcadia Quest has no campaign book. Instead, each scenario has a Quest card instructing players which Tiles and other components are used in that scenario. Players must turn the Tiles facedown, shuffle them, and randomly place them out to create the Space Station, ensuring a different experience every time the scenario is played.
Event cards are another new component which will bring an unexpected effect to each turn. At the start of a scenario, each player is dealt an Event card. At the end of their turn, they must play the card and resolve the effects. This can result in Monster activation or spawning, or a number of different effects. Once they’ve played the Event card, they’ll draw another, so there is always one in hand.
As the technology for space travel advanced, so too did the technology for equipment. In Starcadia Quest, players will be able to equip their Crew with Upgrades in four different categories: Weapons, Boosters, Passives, and Reactions. Getting their hands on items like a Pulse Blade, Novice Vest, or Drain Pistol can set them apart from different Crews. This technology can really give them an edge when doing battle against Supreme Commander Thorne and the other Crews.
Speaking of Thorne, he has assembled an army of some of the most nefarious creatures from across the galaxy to do his bidding. What they lack in competency, they make up for in loyalty. Fighting for his cause are everything from the Scuttlebutts, who are little more than cannon fodder for an accomplished Hero, to the elite Octocruel, who fight with a giddy joy that is more than a little bit unnerving. Thorne’s forces come from far and wide, and contain a number of different exotic alien races. We’ll be exploring them in more detail in a future article.
Luckily for the Heroes of Arcadia, the Alliance has introduced them to a number of new friendly civilizations that bring their own skills and powers to the table. They are able to add to their Crew creatures like Bahbaka, a hairy, yet brilliant resident of the ice planet Baccahlanche, or Hannah Lone, a native of the planet Amaze-onia who is ready to take on any challenge that comes her way. These new Crew members bring a different level of diversity to Starcadia Quest. One that players will have to take advantage of to defeat Thorne. We’ll explore the various Heroes in more depth in a future article.
The vastness of space cannot be overstated. It’s full of friendship to be sure, but also danger, adventure, and an evil alien bent on controlling everything. In Starcadia Quest, players will have to power up their ships and prepare to blast off. Glory or death lies just beyond the stars!