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Aliens collide with ancient civilisations in Nemesis designer’s Origins: First Builders

Extra-terrestrial transformation

Become advanced intergalactic beings intent on meddling with human affairs in Origins: First Builders, an upcoming board game created by Nemesis designer Adam Kwapi?ski.

Origins: First Builders is a game for one to four players that sees players taking the role of space-faring aliens that visit Earth to aid humanity in technological progress. Beginning during the early days of society’s development, players are able to influence the history of the world by granting people the ability to create advanced structures and form entire cities. As the players’ chosen civilisations grow the possibility of conflict increases, with each society taking part in an increasingly dangerous arms race in an effort to survive into the future.

Players start the game with their own cities, which are initially made up of an agora and a palace tile. Throughout the game, players will gradually expand their cities to hold various other buildings, which each have their own abilities that trigger whenever they’re added to a city or if the player closes a district. Closing districts enables a player to gain victory points - and sometimes gold - by using a citizen die, with the value shown on the die affecting how many victory points the player receives at the end of the game.

Otherwise, players can choose to increase their cities’ population, build an additional tower level to bolster how many victory points they gain at the end of the game or visit an encounter site. Visiting encounter sites provides players with additional resources and citizen dice - or speaker dice - as well as a chance to advance their civilisation on their zodiac and military tracks.

The zodiac track grants players special zodiac cards to use on their turn, while the military track offers players the opportunity to launch an attack on an opponent’s city, which nets them additional rewards.

Each round is finished once all players have passed their turns, with the game ending if one of four possible conditions are met: only three different colours of tower disk are left, there is no gold remaining over any district card, citizen dice have been reduced beyond their required colours or a player has successfully reached the top space of the temple track. Whichever player has the most victory points by the end of the game is named the winner.

Other than Origins: First Builders and Nemesis, Kwapi?ski created asymmetric Greek mythology game Lords of Hellas and two-player title InBetween.

Board & Dice is the publisher behind Origins: First Builders and is known for releasing worker-placement game Teotihuacan: City of Gods and horror-themed escape room game Escape Tales: The Awakening.

Kwapi?ski and Board & Dice are working together on two additional upcoming titles called Dark Ages: Holy Roman Empire and Dark Ages: Heritages of Charlemange, both historical civilisation-building board games set to be released next year.

According to BoardGameGeek, Origins: First Builders is set to be released in Q4 2021, with a retail price yet to be confirmed.

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About the Author
Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.

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