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Find and colonize planets, harvest resources for trade and research new technology to build the best Empire! A "Space Civ-Lite" Game
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699 backers pledged $48,378 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Selling out...


As you probably saw in Michael's email update, we appear to have sold or allocated MORE than the initial 5000 copies from the initial print run! We have made arrangements for additional copies to be produced, which should arrive just a few days after the first shipment if not at the same time. Needless to say, that's pretty exciting!


The other day W. Eric Martin of BoardGameGeek News has posted a Designer Diary I wrote, discussing the development of Eminent Domain, and today he posted a Publisher's Diary by Mike discussing some of the process we went through and some of the things that we think contributed to a successful Kickstarter Campaign.


Eminent Domain was not the first game to use Kickstarter, ad it wasn't the first to be successful. However, since our campaign there have been a large number of game projects being kickstarted. Most of the game projects are things I've got no experience with, but there is one campaign going on now for a game I have played... Venture Forth, by BGDF member Dan Manfredini is being Kickstarted by James Matthes and Minion games. I don't want to make a habit of promoting other KS project in updates for my KS project because it feels a bit Spammy to me, but I did get a chance to play Venture Forth a few months ago, and I did enjoy the game, so I thought I'd mention it.

And finally, a few reminders:


We know it's been a while since you pledged, and some of you have had a change of address since then. Please be sure to email if your address has changed so that Mike can update your info and your game will be mailed to the right location! Sending email to the above address will work, leaving your new address in the comments MIGHT work (and also might result in stalkers at your new home), and posting a comment or emailing simply to say that you've moved but not telling us your new address will NOT work.


Our current estimates for the Eminent Domain Preview Nights is somewhere between 200 and 300 stores participating. THERE IS STILL TIME FOR STORES TO GET IN ON IT. Tell your FLGS to email for an auto-reply with instructions.

Additionally, email with the name, phone number, contact name, and address of any stores you refer. That way Mike can get you entered to win copies of all Tasty Minstrel Games titles!


The print and play expansion files have been added to the DropBox folder. Those of you with a Print and Play copy who would like to try the expansion out, I encourage you to do so - I ask only 2 things... 

1. Please remember that the expansion is unfinished, and therefore

2. If you do play it, please let me know what you thought of it, both generally (was it fun?) and specifically (what was lame, what would you have liked to see?)

Those of you without a Print and Play copy, the original files are there as well - feel free to take a look, and if you like download them and print them out.

Please do not remove anything from that folder! Thanks!


Last week I discussed two tech cards that can support a Produce/Trade strategy when you have a diverse set of planets/resources in your Empire. This week we have 2 more cards that can support different kinds of trade strategies:

Specialization rewards a player for producing multiple resources of the same type - like Diverse Markets, but for specializing rather than diversifying. Often a player who is in a position to take this card will have several Advanced planets in play (as Specialization is an Advanced technology card) - so perhaps they'll specialize in Silicon - but not necessarily. In any case, whenever the Specialization card comes up, you can expect a nice, juicy Trade role garnering several extra points! 

Weapon Emporium is a very interesting card, as it stays in play rather than going into your hand and allows you to trade Fighters as if they were resources. This can fit into a deck that has thus far been busy collecting a number of Fighters and attacking a number of planets while your opponents have begun calling Produce and Trade a lot. Researching out Dr. Mayhem's Weapon Emporium means you can leech a few points whenever your opponents call trade, or if you try hard enough you can actually create a situation where you actively trade handfuls of Fighters for points!

EDIT: Some people were having trouble with the pictures, so I'm uploading them again at the bottom of the post. Sorry for any inconvenience!

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Exotic Expansion files available for print and play

For those interested, I have finally added the print and play files for the Exotic expansion to the DropBox folder. Those who have print and play copies and would like to try out the expansion (work in progress), feel free to do so! If you do, please leave your feedback!

Anyone not interested in the expansion yet, sorry for the extra update!

- Seth

Update #42 - Holy smokes!

We're at update #42... where does the time go? This week we don't have much in the way of news.


We know it's been a while since you pledged, and some of you have had a change of address since then. Please be sure to email if your address has changed so that Mike can update your info and your game will be mailed to the right location!


Last I heard, 53 stores have signed up for the Eminent Domain Preview Nights so far, and 150 more have expressed interest. Don't forget to tell your FLGS to check it out!


Issues from the production samples have been sorted out, and production will finally begin within a couple of days! By next week's update we should have a good idea when that will finish up and what date the games will set sail for our warehouse.


The print and play expansion files have not been posted because I have not had as much opportunity to test them as I would like. I have arranged for some playtesting to occur this weekend, and if I like how that goes then I will post the expansion files to the DropBox folder.


This week's tech card highlight covers a couple level 2 techs that can form the backbone of a trading strategy. Diverse Markets and Genetic Engineering both reward a player for either trading or producing a variety of resources rather than specializing in any one resource. This means that they are good when you have many resource types (and therefore planet types) represented in your Empire.

In general, a Research strategy benefits from concentrating on 1 planet type, because you need 3 of the same type of planet in play to get the high scoring technology cards. A trading strategy doesn't care too much which planets are in play, but with these 2 technologies, it pays to diversify. Both Diverse Markets and Genetic Engineering become potentially stronger with the Exotic expansion, as the new Exotic planets will have their own resource type!

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Manufacturing samples, Exotic Expansion, and more Tech Card Highlights!


We were very excited to receive the production samples of Eminent Domain (and Belfort and Homesteaders) last week - you can see a picture below. There was so much stuff in Belfort that it wouldn't all fit in the box! Mike went through each game very carefully and found a few items on each one that we want to make sure are corrected before printing thousands of copies. In Eminent Domain for example, 1 card was misaligned and would have been severely miscut, and the resource disk sizes and colors weren't quite what we wanted. This is why it's important to get manufacturing samples! These small errors are getting fixed, and then production can begin!


Last week I mentioned that I was opening up the DropBox folder with the prototype files for Eminent Domain in preparation for releasing the expansion for print and play testing to those interested. Again, the files in that folder are for the PROTOTYPE cards (not the fancy ones with the final art) in order to play the game, and especially to play with the Expansion. If you haven't already joined that folder (the same one as was originally used for the print and play of the base game) and want to, please send me an email using the following guidelines:

Mail to:
Subject: EmDo DropBox
Body: Include the email address you use (or would like to use) for DropBox

And I'll send you an invite to a shared folder where the prototype files live. Please do not remove files from that folder, simply copy them onto your hard drive. I plan on putting the Exotic Expansion files in there this weekend! So if you are looking forward to printing and trying the expansion cards, keep your eyes peeled for that!

Remember: The expansion is unfinished and is subject to change! If you do print and play the expansion, please leave comments (a txt or doc file in the DropBox folder will suffice) - did you like it? did you hate it? Is there something you really wish were different? Now's your chance to influence the final version of the game!


The Technology cards in Eminent Domain have neat, unique actions which can help to shape your strategy - but another feature that should not be overlooked is their symbols. Each tech card has 2 symbols, and many of the Level 2 technologies have 2 of the same symbol, allowing you to really boost a role. Let's take a look at 2 such cards:

Survey team 

The action on Survey Team is very useful - allowing you to get a planet into your Empire without having to call the Survey Role. This means you do not need to add another Survey card to your deck, and more importantly you do not need to give your opponents a chance to follow that role! But Survey Team also has 2 Survey symbols, which means it's very useful when another player calls Survey as well - you may find yourself hard pressed to decide whether to use Survey Team to follow and grab a planet, or to use it on your own turn as an action!

Data Network

The Data Network action is great for stripping your deck of junk in the late game and making it more efficient. If nothing else it acts as a Survey card (draw 2)... but the real strength of Data Network is the 2 Research symbols on it - making it considerably easier to build up to 5 or the elusive 7 symbols needed to obtain higher level Technologies. Data Network is essential for a heavy research strategy.

War Path

War Path has 2 Warfare symbols, which allows you to collect a lot of Fighters in a short period of time. The action allows you to use those fighters more efficiently to flip 2 planets at once. This card could be the cornerstone of a warfare strategy concentrating on simply getting planets into play and then flipping them.


Finally, below you can see a photo of the production samples. They're not made by the regular process, and you can kind of tell by looking that they're not the real boxes - but it's still exciting to see the full size box art! I have to say, I really like how my signature looks on the Limited Edition Eminent Domain box! :)

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To start things off this week, we have posted some more final cards over at BGG:

* Bureaucracy, sponsored by Todd Derscheid and illustrated by Ryan Johnson

* War Path, illustrated by Ryan Johnson

* Data Network, sponsored by Alfredo Nevarez and illustrated by Eric J Carter

All three are images you'd seen before, but now they are up in final card form. They all look great, but Data Network is one of my favorite illustrations from the game! See how many of the visible web pages you can identify.


We just learned this morning that the the proofs and materials package for Eminent Domain (and Homesteaders and Belfort) have been sent for our approval via fedex, and the package is scheduled to arrive on Friday by 10:30am! Hopefully everything will be 100% correct and they can get to printing the actual game already! Can you tell I'm a little antsy?


For those following my game design blog, you have heard that I fixed my technical problem which was keeping me from making PDF files. That means I am 1 step closer to releasing the Exotic Expansion for Print and Play testing! I still want to try some of the new stuff I have added and make sure the expansion is ready for mass consumption before releasing it, but in preparation for that I will re-open the DropBox for Print and Play files for the base game - for those that missed out before. If you are interested in printing out the PROTOTYPE cards (not the fancy ones with the final art) in order to play the game, and especially to play with the Expansion in a week or so, please send me an email using the following guidelines:

Mail to:
Subject: EmDo DropBox
Body: Include the email address you use (or would like to use) for DropBox

And I'll send you an invite to a shared folder where the prototype files live. Please do not remove files from that folder, simply copy them onto your hard drive. In about a week I will announce when the Exotic Expansion files will become available.


Let's take a look at a couple of the Level 3 technologies. Level 3 tech costs a bundle - you must play 7 Research symbols at a time (no small feat), AND you must have 3 planets of the same type in play before you can purchase one. These technologies are intended for players concentrating on a heavy Research strategy, not someone who just picks up a tech card here or there while they focus on something else. Therefore, they have 2 features to really reward that kind of effort and investment:

Influence, and power!

Influence: Each Level 3 technology is worth 5 Influence! Compare that to the planets and you'll see it's nothing to scoff at! In many games, especially 4 player games, your big late game play will simply be to get a Level 3 tech into play, never mind using it's ability. Like the big buildings in Puerto Rico, dropping a 5 point bomb in Eminent Domain can be the nail in your opponent's coffin.

Power: As I mentioned, the 5 Influence is reason enough to go for a Level 3 tech. But if they were merely worth points, what fun would that be? Instead, each Level 3 tech stays in play, and has a powerful ability on it. In some games this ability won't be in play long enough to use more than once or twice, but in other games, especially 2 player games, it's possible to get these techs into play and utilize their ability to overcome your opponent!

Each Level 3 technology is two-sided, and you can only have 1 side in play in any given game... let's take a look at the Level 3 Metallic technologies:

Productivity (see image, below)is a fairly straightforward ability - instead of playing just 1 card per turn, you can play 2! That's twice as many, and therefore it's obviously a good ability to have! This allows you to do things like Survey for 2 cards in hopes of finding a particular card to play, or collect that last Fighter needed to attack a planet. When combined with Improved technology cards this becomes even more exciting!

Logistics is far less straightforward than Productivity, but can easily be as good. It allows you to play the Action and Role phases of your turn in any order. So what does that mean? Most obviously it means you can use a Warfare Role to collect several Fighters, then a Warfare action to attack a planet - rather than having to wait for the next turn. Similarly, you could use a colonize Role followed by a Colonize action in order to flip a planet more quickly. You could also use a research Role to obtain a new Technology card, and then play it for its Action effect right away. The power of this ability is in the timing, allowing you the flexibility to be a lot more efficient with your turns.


Just another reminder of the Eminent Domain Preview Night promotion. I'd hate for anybody to forget! Tell your local retailer to get signed up! Hopefully next update we'll have a better idea of when these Preview Night events will occur, since we'll have seen the proofs and may know better what the actual printing schedule is. Until then, have a good week!

- Seth

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