If the game ends at the end of the Warlord or Explorer role, then all players get a final distribution of VP, at 1 VP for each planet they control (just like in the Regent role).
Partial retreats are possible . Will probably only come up if a fleet formed of some ships from the Black Hole plus some ships from elsewhere wants to retreat; in that case, the Black Hole ships can't, but the others can.
Thought. Attack with dreadnaught plus all your spare fighters just in case. Then after a round, when you see you don't need them all after all, retreat all but one. Everyon laughs if you get it wrong, but if you get it right you've defended the old place too. --Vitenka
If you run out of empire tokens during the warlord phase, the game only ends if at the end of the phase all of your empire tokens are still on the board . Effectively, game-end conditions are only checked at the end of a phase.
There's an FAQ [here], which clarified a couple more questions.
It's not actually necessary to resolve all moves before all combats . They specifically allow any sequence of moves and combats, except that any ships that enter a sector with enemy forces can't move any further (apart from retreats), and have to fight at some point. But the following is perfectly allowed, officially: Three hexes ABC in a row, with lots of my ships in hex A, and you control hexes B and C. I move some ships into B, and resolve that combat. Then I can move some ships from A to C, since I now control B.
This last is quite a change from how we've been playing, and we should clarify for future games which way we're going to play.
Another difference is that in the warlord phase, if your ship starts on an unclaimed planet, you can place an empire token on it without having to move off then on again. --Pallando
Also it looks like the space pirate can happen at any point during THAT PLAYER's Merchant go, so people who move before the pirate and convert all their stuff to money are safe.
Whilst of tactical importance, can we ignore this? It will slow down the turn. (Though stealing food just to annoy someone else seems good.) --Vitenka
You cannot re-activate a protein fields sector. That is, you cannot generate metal-and-energy from a sector with the protein fields technology and then also generate metal-and-energy from the same sector in the usual way by spending a food that had been placed upon it. All it does is get around the 'uses a food' limit, for two sectors. Still nice, but not half as wonderful as before. --Vitenka
Not a rules clarification, but the strategy guide points out that saboteur + time warp is a nice combination. --Pallando
Except they're both cost1 and so both get taken in the same turn. --Vitenka (Nice if you can get it though. People always forget the saboteur.)
It does say that, yes. I don't see it, though. Both of them allow you to mess with other people in different ways. But do they combine in any meaningful way? (And I continue to maintain that Saboteur is most useful when people don't forget about it, but just silently aim their efforts elsewhere; that way there's no chance it'll blow up.) --AC
Saboteur plus timewarp means an almost immortal saboteur. 1 in 27 chance of blowing up. Which means you can use it every turn, use it on ship technologies, protein fields, warp engines etc. --Vitenka
/me thwaps self. Of course. Yes, that's a very nice combo, indeed. --AC
I think there's a flaw in the way turn order has so much influence over which techs you can get. It elevates luck (the random choice of initial turn order) over skill and strategy. It's not like in PuertoRico, where the really interesting buildings are so expensive that you need to spend several rounds earning the money to buy them, and by then you've had the chance to orchestrate things so that the initial randomness no longer matters; in GE, I think every tech can theoretically be built in the first governorship, before anyone's had a chance to bid for the throne and affect turn order. Players 2 through 6 can't guarantee themselves any given level 1 or 2 tech, and no one but the player immediately after the first Merchant can guarantee any given level 3 tech. --Rachael
As does the inital availability of planets. I'm not sure it's a huge flaw, it's just that you can't decide what strategy to follow before that first turn. --Vitenka
AlexChurchillEditConflicted this reply, basically a longer way of saying the same thing: Interesting. You may be right, but I think techs aren't meant to be quite the same as PR buildings. The intent is that you're meant to get different ones each game, and none of them are essential.
I might perhaps say that there are some strategy-defining techs: Plasma Weapons means you'll be more aggressive than normal, Shields mean you need fewer fighters, Protein Fields might help you get larger ships earlier, and so on. So if you favour certain strategies, then you may or may not get the techs to help with those strategies. I think it's rather like Agricola: you could think of the techs as being more like cards that get dealt out randomly, which you have to shape your strategy around; being "Good" at GalacticEmperor will not mean "being really good at a strategy that needs tech X", but "being good at several strategies such that any one tech not being available doesn't hamper your chances". --AC
Oh, OK, that makes sense actually. (The Agricola comparison doesn't mean much to me though.) After the game this week, people seemed to be saying players couldn't complain if they didn't get the tech they wanted, because if they'd gone all-out for getting it they could have had it; and I don't think that's true. But the way you've both explained it here makes me agree it's not a flaw. --Rachael
I think the number of sectors containing planets in the initial selection is at least as influential as who gets which technology. Not getting a planet on the first explorer is a BIG disadvantage. How would people feel about a house rule of re-shuffling the planets if you get 2 or more empty sectors on the first draw, during setup? --DR
I'm trying to think of any reason it's not just plain bad to have few initial planets. And besides the "I'm behind, don't attack me" factor, I'm drawing a blank. That it happens to you before you've made any in-game choice at all seems a little unfair. (Unless we ever discover that drawing something other than explorer first is bad.) --Vitenka
Clearly you have to hope that someone takes Scientist first so that you can get long-range scanners. --Edwin
Well, as very-first phase it's tempting to take first turn scientist. (And it's really tempting if you know you won't get left out in the cold with the explorer, because then you can take diplomat and have some strategy other than always taking the regent) But there's really no excuse to not take explorer. Maybe we should just start everyone with one first-tier planet of their choice, effectively starting the game one phase later, and the luck of that phase fixed? --Vitenka
I think I agree that first player gets the choice of looking at the planets and, if he knows he'll get one, taking Scientist, and otherwise taking Explorer. I think DR's proposed house rule would mean first-turn Scientist becomes the standard opening, and making choices become predictable seems undesirable. But I agree DR's point could be a problem. I've asked the question on the BGG forum [here]; let's see what the designer and other people have to say. --AC
On that post you say "Fighters can't take on an empire" and whilst that's moot because the first planet won't be in strike range anyway - I'm not sure it's true. If you try to comeback from bad-planet with engineer instead of the obvious science, you have three fighters, which has a reasonable chance. If you fail then you're out of the game though. --Vitenka
Well, the designer has [responded], saying that the re-shuffle was in fact in the rules at one point, and agreeing with DR's proposed house rule :) Another poster points out that you will get treated better due to being seen as behind, and says he came second, which is what DR also managed when this happened to him. But that notwithstanding, I think the house-rule seems reasonable, given it's been given the OK from the designer himself :) --AC