Talon Tuesday Issue #35: Talon 1000 – New Empire War Map

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“Talon Tuesdays” is an article series appearing on InsideGMT periodically on Tuesdays.  It features articles from the Talon development team regarding the game’s design, development and upcoming release of the Talon 1000 expansion. Since Space Empires:4x Replicators is also releasing soon and there is crossover between the two development teams, Replicator articles will be featured as well.

Issue #35 Talon 1000 – New Empire War Map

Talon 1000 includes a new Empire War map.  The base game EW map emphasized risk/reward. You could try to blitz one of the short routes and hope that both your opponent and the randomized terrain break in your favor or you could play the long game, capturing planets and locking down defensive lines. There was also a bit of a shell game with the initial placement of Bases.

Playtest art. Not final version.

The new Empire War map is about slogging it out in a battle for planets. The terrain is heavier, the planet density is higher and the bases are bigger. This map forgoes base purchasing/placement in favor of pre-determined base locations, including 3 of the new model Starbases for each side. These Starbases are tough nuggets to crack, we’ll talk about them on another Tuesday.

Gaining ground in this Empire War map is tough and involves a lot of planet-hopping. If that’s not your style, you could take your chances along the most dangerous route, through the Saggitarious A black hole cluster— a series of 3 combat zones, all of which are home to a black hole.

A new terrain type is introduced in this Empire War map- Energy Nebula. These highly radioactive gas clouds supercharge the NFTL drives of ships of passing ships. All ships in an Energy Nebula gain 1 extra AP per impulse they are in the nebula. This is a massive boon. Think of how much faster your weapons could recharge. This comes with a serious price. The nebulae are still nebulae. Your shields will be offline while in the nebula and any damage thrown at you will go directly on your hull.

The Energy Nebula crowd the only other path without loads of planets or black holes. While the Sagittarius or Nebula routes might get you into enemy territory faster, they don’t help your income. Capturing planets still generates more cash for your empire and cash is king. You need hulls to win the war and while a well-timed gambit through dangerous territory could tip the scales, you’ll still want a source of income. So you can’t altogether ignore the planet capturing game.

The Empire War game is still a ton of fun if you want to play a long series of games with a lot of high level strategic decisions. This new map changes things up from the base game more than just the addition of new ships subclasses. We hope you enjoy it.

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