Reclaim a galaxy once consumed by an oppressive force in Fractal: Beyond the Void, a 4X strategy title from publisher Bored Game Ink with a different approach to legacy board games.
Fractal’s faction-based experience was first outlined in a post to the Belgium-based publisher’s official website on February 18th, outlining the core mechanics and worldbuilding approach. It also announced that a Kickstarter campaign will go live “in the second half of 2021”. This will be the second title from Bored Game Ink, after releasing X-Odus: Rise of the Corruption in 2020.
The designers approached combat in Fractal with the aim to “completely remove dice from the game”, eliminating as much luck from warfare as possible. Instead, they have designed a system of social deduction and bluffing using positionality and cards that enhance or sabotage the involved armies. Players first announce the stance of their forces - attacking or defending, aerial ground assault, etc. - and then take turns revealing and resolving cards that change the shape of the battlefield.
Since an opponent can’t know what you have remaining in hand, each escalation forces them to either double down on their commitment or cede ground without ever knowing what threat - or bluff - was held in hand.
Player-controlled factions have been designed to play asymmetrically, which Bored Game Ink admitted is easier to say than deliver in a satisfying manner. Depending on which civilisation is chosen, different abilities and philosophies will alter how they interact with the board game’s various systems, from production to policy to starting position at the outset of the campaign. A variance of combat style further differentiates the factions from each other, extending the designer’s promise of asymmetry to warfare, as well.
All of these factors can be expanded as players unlock more choices across the several sessions that compose Fractal’s legacy-based campaign, referred to as Aftermath. Both the story and the state of the galaxy will be indelibly altered by the events of past sessions, while successive playthroughs will unlock a host of content each time the campaign advances.
Factions unlock new abilities and rules, but also gain access to advanced game modes such as solo, cooperative defense and a one-versus-all mode characterised as a desperate defence against a galactic dictator. The publisher stressed that Fractal will remain a competitive game at its core, and a winner - or new galactic ruler - will emerge by the end of Aftermath’s string of sessions.
Interestingly, the unlocked content can be pulled from the campaign and played separately at any time, allowing players to find a mode that best fits their interest or playstyle. Because none of the components are designed for a single use, there’s no fear of ruining an ongoing Aftermath playthrough just because someone wants to play the solo mode between group meetings.
Fractal: Beyond the Void will be coming to Kickstarter later in 2021, with pricing and shipping details, along with more information on the box and its contents, to be announced in the future.