The next upcoming board game from the creator behind Root, Cole Wehrle, can be played “thousands of times” over.
Arcs: Collapse and Conflict in the Void is a space-themed board game that has players pursuing their own objectives across multiple sessions, each one lasting around 50 to 70 minutes. In an interview with Dicebreaker, Wehrle spoke about the game’s size and its potential for replayability. As players will be able to choose from two different objectives at the start of each game, there will be many branching paths in Arcs, with each one resulting in a unique end-of-game state. There will reportedly be “40 to 50” different objective cards for players to pursue, thereby ensuring that each game of Arcs will differ depending on which combination of objective cards are in play.
Each of the available objective card combinations in Arcs has the potential to offer players many different playthroughs, with every one of those playthroughs resulting in its own ending. “I think we must be looking at probably tens of thousands of different possible game states,” said Wehrle, “[…] there are more narrative combinations in Arcs than there are combinations of Root factions.”
Every playthrough of Arcs will consist of varying numbers of chapters – or sessions – depending on the type of objective cards players choose from. Single chapter objectives will ensure that a game of Arcs only lasts a single session, and is the recommended setup for newer players, whilst the two and three chapter cards will see players experiencing a much longer game spread over multiple sessions. Each session in Arcs is separated by an intermission period in which players are invited to take a break from the game – whether a few minutes or several weeks – take stock of any new gameplay mechanics introduced as a result of the events of the previous session and to use the victory points they’ve earned to prepare themselves for the next session.
During a playthrough of Arcs, three to four players compete to complete each of their own objectives, which can range from finding a forgotten homeland or spreading war throughout the galaxy. Alongside their primary objectives, players will also have a secret objective which will encourage them to directly engage with their opponents as their specific foils. Each session of Arcs is split into a series of rounds in which players can perform various actions designed to earn them victory points and to push their objectives. The player-turn order for each round is determined by a trick-taking card game that has players choosing from their hand of cards. Whilst cards with higher numbers will ensure that players go sooner, they will also allow for fewer actions to be performed during that turn.
Whenever players get into conflict with one another, they’ll select from three different combat approaches - bombard, raid and assault – and roll dice for each of their chosen strategies and attacking spaceships. At the end of every chapter of Arcs, the players tally up their victory points to determine who was the winner of that session. The result of each chapter will have a direct impact on the setup of the next one, with players maintaining possession of the resources they’ve collected. Whoever manages to complete their primary objective before the end of the game is the winner of Arcs. If multiple people completed their objectives or no-one did, then the player with the most victory points wins.
Besides Arcs and Root, Wehrle is the designer of last year’s Oath – a board game that has players either taking the role of the chancellor in power or the people vying for control of a historical kingdom – and John Company, a tabletop title that turns a critical eye to the East India Trading company and western history during the 18th and 19th century.
Arcs is set to be published by Leder Games, the studio responsible for the aforementioned Root and Oath, as well as the asymmetrical games Vast: The Mysterious Manor and Vast: The Crystal Caverns and the deckbuilding game Fort.
The crowdfunding campaign for Arcs: Collapse and Conflict in the Void is set to be launched in late Q2, with Leder Games yet to confirm a chosen platform of pledge amounts.