|Nexus Ops | Published 21 December 2011|
It’s 2315. Human society depends upon an exotic energy source called rubium for all of its advanced technology. The chief executive officers of Ares Inc., Black Helix Industries, The Galactic Syndicate, and Zyborg Technologies have sent forces to an alien moon, rich in rubium. These four major corporations have tasked their troops to employ all means necessary to explore the moon for rubium deposits, then establish and secure rubium refineries. Lethal force has been authorized.
In Nexus Ops, players vie to dominate the moon and its rich reserves of rubium. Four powerful corporations have authorized their teams to meet all competitors with lethal force, and when the game releases, you can count on fighting fast and fierce battles at the remote edge of the galaxy.
However, before you can establish your refineries or raid your opponents’, you’ll need to prepare for the moon’s fantastic–and unpredictable–terrain.
An alien landscape
Four basic types of terrain cover most of the moon’s surface. Liquifungus forests, crystal spires, rock plains, and magma pools adjoin each other in unpredictable patterns. Each of these types of terrain are represented by hexagonal tiles, which players shuffle and arrange facedown around the board’s central Monolith. The random distribution of terrain tiles ensures that each new game offers a fresh play experience.
As you move your forces, you reveal the exploration tokens placed on the hexes where your units end their movement (except home base hexes and the Monolith). These exploration tokens may yield alien creatures your forces can subdue and tame, rich rubium refineries you can establish, or both. Either way, gaining an early advantage in exploration may help you build the resources and firepower you need in order to fend off your competition.
Once players reveal terrain tiles during the setup, you’ll need to adapt your strategy to account for the terrain. Each of your units interacts differently with the different terrain types, though the terrain tiles themselves don’t utilize any special rules, and you’ll want to either focus your efforts toward favorable hexes or recruit forces that can grant you the greatest possible advantages in crucial battle zones, including the Monolith.
The alien species are each native to one terrain type. Fungoids thrive in their liquifungus forests while crystalline roam the crystal spires, but neither they nor humans can penetrate the Monolith’s borders. Only a few species can permit you control of the Monolith and the advantages it can provide. You can find rock striders racing across their native rock plains, but lava leapers dwell in magma pools far too hot for human life. Acquiring a lava leaper is a tremendous accomplishment for any of the corporations. Even the Monolith hosts an alien species, the ferocious rubium dragon. You can bet that your competitors’ corporations intend to subjugate whatever beasts may grant them the means to conquer more of the moon, and in order to beat them to the punch, you’ll need to discover the most strategic sites to station your forces.
Wholly new discoveries
Among the game’s eleven optional variants, you’ll find rules for playing with additional exploration tokens. While faceup, these tokens are clearly recognizable by their green borders, and their addition to the game opens up a wider range of strategies based upon the more varied rewards they offer, including extra energize cards or raw rubium. Also, because players will choose only 18 of 24 possible exploration tokens, the extra exploration tokens variant means you’ll never know precisely which exploration tokens have yet to grant their benefits. This element of the unknown ensures exploration stays fresh and exciting for even the most veteran players.
The transmission’s in from corporate headquarters. They expect you to conquer the moon and its vast resources. Prepare your best forces for Nexus Ops. The exploration begins soon!
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.
Looks great. I liked the other spoiled variants, but the random/additional exploration tiles look to be an auto-include.
Can't wait to get my hands on this! (but I'll still keep my original!)
"Also, because players will choose only 18 of 24 possible exploration tokens, the extra exploration tokens variant means you’ll never know precisely which exploration tokens have yet to grant their benefits. "
That is most welcome actually. it's nice to have some sort of tension when the last exploration token is revealed instead of knowing for sure what is underneath it.
Extra exploration tiles and special ones too, now that sounds like a good variant!
The previous variants, previewed so far, have all left me wanting, but this one is interesting...
I know some whiners will bitch and moan but bring on the variants FFG!! Love them!