One of CMON’s strongest points is the ability to translate their existing games into new settings and worlds. We’ve already seen 4 seasons of Zombicide, one medieval fantasy version (“Zombicide: Black Plague”) and even a science fiction edition (“Zombicide: Invader”). Arcadia Quest, one of their most successful titles, already got a standalone expansion in the form of “Inferno” and a smaller one called “Riders”. Looks like CMON decided it was high time to refresh the franchise, and transfer it into a new setting. The result? Say hello to Starcadia Quest.
Thorne in the Flesh
Two factions known as Worldians and Baccahlanchians have formed an intergalactic alliance. The coalition kept growing and inviting more races and planets. Thanks to that, the entire universe was at peace for a while, but the status quo couldn’t last too long. The main culprit, responsible for weakening the alliance, was a certain military genius called Supreme Commander Thorne.
Thorne kept advancing in ranks, gaining power, and slowly turning the alliance into a regime, where even the ice cream flavors had to be dictated by authorities. When he finally crossed the line (by removing everyone’s favourite Taco Tuesdays), government got rid of him. Little did they know, that it was all a part of his plan. Thorne was amassing a colossal fleet to attack them when they least expect it.
Now, the only souls able to save the galaxy, are the crews of heroes led by you and your fellow players.
Space Adventure Begins
Starcadia Quest is aimed at 2-4 players. They all share their goals, so apart from fighting Thorne’s minions, they’ll sometimes have to face each other. The game, just like its predecessor, is aimed at younger audience, and gets nowhere near as complicated as other products from CMON.
Everyone starts by picking 2 heroes. More experienced players can also use drafting. Each hero has 2 stats: Life and Defense, as well as his or her Natural Ability, which affects gameplay the most. Each player also gets 7 equipment items and can distribute them between their heroes as they see fit. Next: players begin the scenario. Setup Cards help in preparing it quickly, which is a nice step up from the previous Arcadia titles.
Each turn all heroes can both move and attack. Certain weapons have bonuses while used with other weapons, so combining them carefully is one of the top priorities. Attack results are determined with dice, like in the original Arcadia. Weapons become exhausted after usage, but can be refreshed after a crew spends one whole turn resting.
Monsters don’t have their own turn and instead activate by event cards and reactions (for example when a player lowers his or her guard down near them).
Evolving the Franchise
According to Eric Lang, who worked on this Starcadia Quest with 3 other designers, CMON decided to switch the discovery related elements (known from the old version) for a more simplistic event deck. Each Crew has to play one event card per turn, so they can actually affect what happens on the board.
The flow of the entire campaign was also changed. Players now tackle one quest at a time and have less choices after a scenario. The choices were made to be more meaningful and interesting. Quests need to be finished in order to achieve victory. Each scenario has a different set of them. Some will require fighting monsters, while other may force players to attack each other.
New board tiles have more squares on them. Now it’s 4×4 instead of 3×3, although the characters can also move through more spaces at once.
Right now the campaign for Starcadia Quest has reached $386,612 and seems to be doing as well as the first Arcadia title. Backers can also order the “ARRmada” expansion, which features new heroes, terrain tiles and scenarios – all related to space pirates. Two of miniatures offered during the campaign (Major Tomm and Crackin’ Jim) are exclusive to Kickstarter and will never reach regular retail. Same goes for minis unlocked through stretch goals.
Take your guesses and place your bets. Which game will be the next to get a SF makeover? Rising Sun? Or maybe Blood Rage? Only time will tell!