|Nexus Ops | Published 15 November 2011|
It is the far future, and human society depends on an exotic energy source called rubium for all of its advanced technology. A small group of explorers has recently discovered an alien moon that is exceptionally rich in rubium. In desperate need of more funding for their research, they simultaneously sold the “exclusive” mineral rights to four competing corporations: Ares Inc., Black Helix Industries, The Galactic Syndicate, and Zyborg Technologies.
Back in late September, we announced the upcoming release of Nexus Ops, a frenzied board game of fierce battles and fantastic alien creatures for two to four players. Fans of this classic game will find the base experience completely unaltered, though updated art and stunning new components leave Nexus Ops looking better than ever. But for those seeking more variety, Nexus Ops includes a range of optional rules, many of which can be combined to tailor the play experience as you see fit.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at the classic Nexus Ops experience, providing an overview of play for the uninitiated. Then, we’ll preview the first of Nexus Ops’ eleven optional variants: the volatile and deadly vortex.
A race for resources
As the brief summary on our Nexus Ops description page states, each game is different thanks (in part) to the randomized hexagonal tiles that make up the board. The result is an alien moon that can vary wildly, and since certain units are restricted from stepping foot onto certain terrain types (humans would be vaporized in the blistering magma pool, for example), you’ll have to adjust your strategies according the moon’s layout.
But what’s your objective? Despite the game’s thematic emphasis on the collection of rubium, resources in Nexus Ops are more of a means to an end. While it’s true that your corporation wants to earn the most profit, you must first muscle out the competition on the battlefield – a process abstractly represented by the collection of victory points. By completing secret missions and winning battles, you’ll race to be the first to amass twelve VPs, thereby winning the game.
And that’s where the alien moon’s fantastic creatures enter the equation. Each corporation has six unique unit types it can bring into play. Of these, only the three least expensive (the human, fungoid, and crystalline) are capable of mining rubium deposits, which are randomly distributed across the map at setup... and by mining more rubium, a corporation is able to afford more powerful units. Herein lies Nexus Ops’ central point of tension; can you efficiently discover and exploit the map’s natural resources, building an effective army faster than your rivals?
All the while, the monolith waits at the center of the map, a tempting yet dangerous prize. This highly-sought-after hex represents a location of great power, but it’s also the most difficult to dominate by virtue of its location. If a player controls the monolith at the end of his turn, he receives a boost in the form of Energize cards, which provide a range of unit bonuses and tactical abilities. Any player who makes it to the monolith had better be prepared to defend it; the other players are likely to call temporary cease-fires, as they turn their attention toward this new common threat!
This brings us to our first look at one of Nexus Ops’ eleven new optional variants: the Vortex. As destructive as it is enticing, this massive storm has raged for ages untold. If successfully harnessed, the Vortex’s potent energies could be a boon to any corporation. Unfortunately, its fickle winds are just as likely to kill as they are to aid. Like a revolver’s cylinder in an immense game of Russian Roulette, the Vortex forever spins, spewing forth bursts of energy to help or hinder.
If all players agree, the monolith tile can be flipped during setup to reveal a spinning Vortex tile, each edge of which is labeled with one face of a six-sided die. Unlike the monolith, no unit may ever enter the Vortex; armies are instead relegated to fighting over its outskirts. But even to approach the Vortex provides risks and rewards.
The Vortex operates in three steps: It teleports nearby units, it destroys a few unfortunate onlookers, and it bestows power on anyone left standing.
Before the first player takes his turn each round, he rolls one black die and one white die. Any units adjacent to the border indicated by the black die are picked up, and whipped dizzily into the space indicated by the white die! Beware; this sudden transport can (and often will) result in unexpected combat, or can leave a few powerful enemy units uncomfortably close to your key mining operation.
Next, the Vortex vents its pent up energy like some ferocious geyser, incinerating all biological matter in an adjoining area. The first player rolls one die, and destroys all the units in the hex indicated by this new die roll. Finally, players who control hexes adjacent to the Vortex collect one Energize card, having weathered the storm long enough to harness its power.
With a simple flip of the center tile, the Vortex is a variant that optionally provides a compelling new way to enjoy a classic board game. Check back for more on Nexus Ops in the coming weeks, and look for it on store shelves later this quarter!
Nexus Ops is a frenzied board game of fierce battles and fantastic alien creatures. Two to four players control factions of corporate troops and indigenous life forms on an alien moon. Players deploy troops from their home base to explore the moon, mine resources, purchase troops, win battles, and fulfill missions to win the game.
Boo for the non translucent miniatures!!
And indeed, please update us on Wiz-War! I cant take it anymore...
drmabuse00 wrote: Is it a mistake or have the home spaces been intentionally flipped 180 degrees?
Nah, it's intentional. Thats how the home bases are set up for 4 player games.
Thanks for the Nexus Ops update.
WE WANT WIZ-WAR!!!!!
Still wished there was a slightly raised center base/monolith that new tiles could rest upon!
Glad to finally see the next update. I think the vortex variant looks fairly interesting. It appears that it might provide an enjoyable amount of chaos. I cant wait to see what the alternate unit abilities are.
The card art is a nice touch too. Something distinctly and conspicuously missing from the original edition.
I also agree with I.B.Lurking. Wizwar update too please. :)
I can't wait for this version. It looks so awesome. :D
Yes! Thanks for the preview! Now do one for Wiz-war and, release them both. :)
Oh and I do like the Vortex option. Gimme mo' chaos, bitches!
Is it a mistake or have the home spaces been intentionally flipped 180 degrees?