The Day in Gaming, September 19, 2019: Tiny Epic Galaxies

I’m posting about a game every day in September! Here’s a link to yesterday’s post.

Tiny Epic Galaxies was the first Tiny Epic game I played and it’s still my favorite of the series. I used to flip flop between this and Tiny Epic Quest, but Galaxies ultimately won out due to its smoother game play. And I’ll always choose a sci-fi over fantasy theme.

Galaxies was also one of the first games I played when I got into the hobby four years ago. I remember that game like yesterday. I was amazed that this small, er, tiny, game had so much going on. When I first saw it on the table I thought it looked cool, but didn’t expect much.

I had no idea what I was doing during that first game: I kept missing opportunities to follow others’ actions, I didn’t really understand how I could set myself up to get more dice or resources, and I was just generally lost while playing.

But everything about it was fun, even as I struggled to learn how to play well. I loved chucking the dice and figuring out how to use each symbol. I loved that I could use the energy resource to re-roll dice that I didn’t like.

The other day I was talking about dice and luck with a buddy of mine. He’s real big on mitigating dice rolls in games. While there are plenty of ways to mitigate bad rolls in nearly all modern board games, including Tiny Epic Galaxies, I think most gamers complain about bad luck too much.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that there are ways to change dice or other options when things don’t go your way. But I also like the challenge of having to deal with less-than-ideal situations in a game. The recent roll-and-write On Tour is a great example. I like that you can’t re-roll the dice at any point. What you roll is what you get and you have to write down the result somewhere on your map; it’s what drives the game’s action.

Thankfully, Tiny Epic Galaxies has plenty of dice mitigation. You get your first re-roll for free, then you can spend an energy resource to re-roll any of your dice. You can also convert two dice into one side of your choice and certain cards give you free actions if you land on them or colonize them.

It’s one of my favorite solo games, too, since I can knock out a game in under 20 minutes. There are different solo difficulty levels and I still haven’t beaten the Epic level yet. Tonight was my first solo game in a while so I played the medium level and easily won, thanks to some bad rolls on the AI’s part. Too bad it doesn’t have any way to mitigate those pesky dice.