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Constellation art

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

More playtesting has brought major changes to Jarrah Walker's and Yuri newton's hidden agenda's. The latter had an overpowered ability with 'Science and Superstition' once triggered in the end game, so it had to be nerfed, while our Koala lacked the enjoyment of star navigation with an underpowered 'Hokule'a', so that one got a totally new ability, more concentrated on observing.

Vincent Verhoeven/Diego Sanchez (Armillary Games)

Playtesting with physical components has also called out the ergonomics of the components. The mainboard fell short in making the world and star map visible for everyone due to its small size, orientation and position on the mainboard. We decided to divide the mainboard into separate components, taking the advantage to get rid of empty space, and to make the world and star map bigger. The separate parts give players with different table sizes more flexibility to organize the overall board layout. The lunar phases section gets a separate board as well, about the same size as the orrery board. This way, those card stacks don't get in the line of sight of the maps.

New rules have been put on the table. A minor one called 'stealing travel info': your vehicle die can be rolled as an option when ending a movement on the same spot as an opponent's. If the symbol matches the current one of the opponent, you can chain that vehicle movement for free.

A major rule change would be that of the win condition. In order to keep the game interesting until the end, after the first player return from the Moon, there will be a victory point (fame) system, while still keeping the importance of a race, but making quests and super inventions more relevant by awarding fame points. We haven't tested this feature yet, but it would be like this: fame for space race ranking (3-2-1), most rest points (2-1), most quests (2-1) and special inventions (3).

We are making preparations for the campaign, concerning production costs, proofreading rulebook, precampaigning quotes, shipment costs, etc. In the meantime Ana is printing the last masters of the Super Inventions and the planets, a.o.

Different boards and constellation art

Inspired by the 17th Century lunar phase map of Andreas Cellarius, I reworked a separate board for the action weeks in the round (month).

Phases of the Moon, from ''The Celestial Atlas, or The Harmony of the Universe'' by Andreas Cellarius in 1708
Art by Diego Sanchez

What follows are a few examples of the 24 different constellation cards in the game. As a reference, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) designated a total of 88 constellations of stars, but for the playability of the game, I chose to use only the 24 most prominent constellations of which half are zodiacal ones. In those examples, the circular map references still need an upgrade. More cards will be added here later...

Map and design by Vincent Verhoeven, illustrations by Diego Sanchez, assisted basic design by Guilhem Bedos (Armillary Games)

This is a first attempt to add the art to the chart. Minor star upgrades are added to the map as well. As you might have noticed, the constellations become deformed in a cylindrical projection. This is caused by stretching the star globe's curvature into a flattened map, just like we often see on a world map. An illustration follows to emphasise the phenomenon.

Projection info
Map and design by Vincent Verhoeven, assisted basic design by Guilhem Bedos (Armillary Games)

Since we are opting to use separate board segments, some of them will be double sided like the lunar trajectory (main voyage and Zond 5 solo board) and the star map. One star map with the images printed on it will also bear the segmentation boarder lines, while the image above will only project stars and zodiacal groups as a more advanced star map board.

Map and design by Vincent Verhoeven, assisted by Guilhem Bedos (Armillary Games)

The world map will also increase in size, just like with the star map, up to twice its original size.

Diego Sanchez (Armillary Games)

We started working on the content of our "Art and Soul" book, where the background and story of the characters are explained with artwork of Diego Sanchez and minis of Ana Roman. We have travelled a journey of creation, reflecting different historical facts, moulded into an artistic anachronic fiction that holds a lot of detailed separate stories of cultural and scientific anthropological evolution. Every astronomical instrument will be discussed in detail, from origins and use until the mechanical engineering of the components.

A brief explanation of the celestial mechanics with our original star map and 3D-planet art will cover the concept of the celestial equator, the ecliptic, the Milky Way and longitude/latitude references.

More Master Printing by Tiny Factory Studio

Next you can admire the curing and cleaning of the post-print process for the next line of master models. You can see Harrison's Clock, the Philosopher's Orrery, Mars and other planets. If you look carefully, you might notice a small observatory among the other sculpts.

So, I hope you enjoyed this update! Please leave a comment to tell us what you think...

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