Unpub Previews allow designers the opportunity to talk more in depth about the development of their games in the Unpub Network.
New Reign is a political sci-fi area control and card game for 2 to 5 players. You’ll take on the role of a house envoy helping to stabilize the resource-rich outer colonies after a brutal uprising wiped out the ruling faction. You’ll land ships and build bases to establish control and you’ll bribe and recruit to embed loyal operatives into a newly formed government council.
The game centers around the idea of portraying your faction as aligning with specific traits for political advantage. 6 symbols represent the traits: Protective, Resolute, Courageous, Stealthy, Strategic, and Allegiant. Each player uses a pair of Trait dice. The die faces determine which operatives you may recruit and from which colony. Each colony also represents one of these traits so landing there will change a die face if you run short on rolling. The Colonial High Council, a puppet government which you and your opponents are colluding to establish, provide seats to be filled as collected trait chits that you acquire by ’embedding’ recruited operative cards according to a public sentiment. When all but 5 trait chits are collected the game ends. Point totals are tallied from embedded cards, area control majorities, energy, Resistance cards with negative point values and trait chit values.
Quick walkthru on youtube: https://youtu.be/NOZ7r18BIII
Let’s hear what Aaron has to say about New Reign, which will be showing up on tables soon…
What was your inspiration for the game?
I love scifi. I love some epic interplanetary power struggles like in Dune or Red Rising. I also enjoy exposing the deceitfulness and bribery involved with rebuilding a supposed ‘liberated’ place. Where the powerful claim to be there to ‘rescue’ us all.
What is your favorite part of the game?
I love the Trait Dice. The feel of the component but also the multi-use with using the traits as actions or choosing between rolling or brute-force manipulation to persuade operatives into your hand.
To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about the game?
The trait chit board mechanic stands out for a lot of playtesters. The way the chits slide inward. There’s also a good flow to the system and I think people recognize it and also enjoy the many different ways you can earn points.
What has been the most challenging part of designing the game?
The hardest part has been developing an easy card-handling system. It started with various ‘throw away cards’ to beef up a hand for deck building. It wasn’t easy for me to move away from deck building while keeping the game’s core mechanics of recruitment and embedding. I’m very happy now with where I’ve netted out. There’s a good flow and without deck building or those unnecessary cards.
What advice would you give to players attempting the game for the first time?
Do everything once. Recruit a card. Build a base. Embed a card. Try to fulfill your drafted Mission card. Experience doing it all once seems to more quickly lend you an understanding of your options and to developing a strategy.
What has surprised you most in play-tests of the game?
Just not seeing ‘obvious’ mistakes. In a recent playtest, a player pointed out that if rolling always costs 1 energy, and with a card giving you a choice between 3 rolls or 3 energy, they’re the same power. Duh. The buy 1 roll was a more recent addition so I missed it. The realization was a gift and the new updated abilities are much better for it.
People who like_____will like this game. Why?
People who like area control and worker placement. Who like medium heavy games. Who like ameritrash/euro hybrids. No specific game comes to mind. It has a bunch of good mechanics that flow together well.
Tell us anything else you want to say about your game that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already.
There’s a steep learning curve when sitting down for the first time with this game but then you get into a flow and it feels smooth and deep. Gamers love it. My non-gamer wife and her sister find it “difficult to get.” I think my biggest challenge for Unpub will be teaching it quickly and effectively so as not to sound overly complex and confound more casual gamers.
For more information, photos and to find out where you can try New Reign, please visit the game’s Unpub.net Page!