GTM #217 - Master of the Galaxy
by Ares Games

Master of the Galaxy: Jump to the stars and build your galactic civilization

In a distant future, nine Elder Races are expanding through space, ready to assimilate or exterminate anybody who stands in their way. To conquer the galaxy, they are challenged to choose the best combination of politics, science, trading, and conflict to reach - before the other opponents – total supremacy. In Master of the Galaxy, a fast-playing and easy to learn 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate), there are many possible paths to victory, and only through a careful management of resources - without losing sight of the neighboring species - players will be able to achieve galaxy domination.

Master of the Galaxy draws inspiration from classic science-fiction, movies, and computer games, presenting a strong theme and artwork. The game uses a unique and innovative blend of bag-building, card-drafting and tech-tree development, with a gameplay characterized by deep tactics and strategies. It can be played from 2 to 4 players and a complete game requires 1 to 2 hours, depending on the number of players.

Starting with one controlled star-system, one Species card and a modest supply of resources, players will collect new resources to fuel their expansion and development to suit their strategy. They can try to quickly spread their people across the stars, to develop science to a level unreachable by the opponents, or to embark themselves on a methodical extermination of their rivals.

In his turn, each player draws three resource cubes from his bag and places them on the cards at his disposal to carry on his various projects; or on the game board, to trace new routes toward distant stellar systems; or on planets, to gain more resources to add to his bag.

Resources are divided in five different types: science, economy, industry, military, and administration, and during the game, the mix of resources they have in their bag will change. There are three ways to win: place all the nine bases on the game board, collect five supremacy symbols from their cards and systems, or defeat the starting system of another player by placing their base there.

The strategic goals will guide players how to spend their resources: through their use (and by completing projects) they may do several different things in each turn: increase resource availability and manage the mix of resources in the bag to optimize every draw; build and place bases to gain new leaders with unique features and to steal resources from the opponents; acquire new development cards to increase capacities and increase supremacy in a field; and start a conflict to expand into neutral systems or to counter other players.

Turn after turn, players must carefully choose which project to carry out, knowing there aren’t endless resources and considering the importance of each project for their goals.


Development cards (commerce, expansion and progress) can boost scientific or military expansion and give one or more supremacy symbols, allowing to win the game.

Concentrating bases in a single system or focusing on development cards of the same kind will give a player great advantages, represented by the progressive development of political cards – leader, conflict and government cards. The first development of a given type, or base in a system, allows to choose a new leader card; the second a conflict card; and the third gives the powerful government card.

Leaders require you to own supremacy symbols to activate their abilities. Military conflicts can be more or less expensive and will grant different rewards – including taking away the control of a system from another player. A government card provides new projects and unique powers, which are very different from each other.

Expanding and diversifying projects will give significant advantages: new planets to extract resources and new locations where to build your bases. In addition, bordering opponents will allow to directly attack and weaken them, which may provide important benefits (but not without risks!).

Players get closer to victory turn after turn, but nothing is obvious: a development card, the sudden action of a leader, or a military conflict all can unexpectedly change the fate of the galactic conflict and decide the outcome of the game. Master these strategies and you can master the galaxy!