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The Sun is on the brink of supernova. Can you escape before your world is vaporized? A board game for 1-5 players.
The Sun is on the brink of supernova. Can you escape before your world is vaporized? A board game for 1-5 players.
1,641 backers pledged $96,874 to help bring this project to life.

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$96,874

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Dive into a star on the brink of supernova
Dive into a star on the brink of supernova

Sol: Last Days of a Star is a game of solar destruction and salvation for 1-5 players. Each player controls one of the worlds surrounding a star facing annihilation. For centuries these worlds have been living in utopia, fed by the seemingly boundless energy drawn from their star through a lattice of solar harvesting infrastructure. Suddenly this infrastructure is destroyed and their worlds are cast into darkness, their inhabitants facing imminent extinction. 

Amidst the clamor, each world has built an Ark housing some small fraction of their population. Each Ark is now waiting at the edge of the solar system for the energy required to attain escape velocity before the final devastation hits. Unfortunately, the only possible source of such a great deal of energy is the dying star itself.  

In the game, each player will be launching sundivers to rebuild just enough of the lost solar infrastructure needed to harvest and transmit energy back to their waiting Arks. In a final twist of irony, the process of extracting this energy will further compound the solar instability and hasten their Sun's ultimate demise.

Sol: Last Days of a Star is the culmination of two brothers' lifetime passion for games, two and half years of development, hundreds of playtests, beautiful art and fascinating, unique mechanics.

Sol: Last Days of a Star
Sol: Last Days of a Star

 

From above
From above

 

 

 

Beyond making a great game with elegant rules and emergent strategic depth, we also wanted to create a work of art. 

(some components pictured are from prior prototypes)
(some components pictured are from prior prototypes)

 

(component designs not final)
(component designs not final)

 

Momentum Track and Instability Spiral
Momentum Track and Instability Spiral

World-Specific Components (total for all 5 worlds):

145 plastic player pieces
145 plastic player pieces
  • 5 Player Boards
  • 5 Player Aids
  • 5 Motherships
  • 5 Arks
  • 65 Sundivers
  • 25 Solar Gates
  • 15 Energy Nodes
  • 15 Sundiver Foundries
  • 15 Transmission Towers
  • 5 Clear Movement Trackers
Mothership
Mothership

 

Solar Gate
Solar Gate

 

Energy Node
Energy Node

 

Sundiver Foundry
Sundiver Foundry

 

Transmission Tower
Transmission Tower

 

Sundiver
Sundiver

 

Interstellar Ark
Interstellar Ark

 

Game in Progress
Game in Progress

 

In the Core of the Sun
In the Core of the Sun

 

 

 

Shared Infrastructure

In many games, each player builds their own infrastructure and uses their own buildings and abilities, which can lead to an isolated game experience. In Sol, everyone shares infrastructure. If you build a gate to a deeper layer of the Sun, other players can cross it. If you build a node, foundry or tower, other players can activate it. The activator gets a reward, but the owner gets a bonus as well, so building infrastructure creates potential for recurring rewards throughout the game. This leads to a whole new dimension of considerations as you weigh how much you will use a station or gate and positioning it so that you get maximum benefit from other players using it as well.

Orbiting Mothership

Your Mothership is your base of operations and where all of your sundivers launch onto the board. Because the motherships are always moving, you will drift farther away from your own structures and draw closer to the things other players have built, encouraging everyone to use everyone else's infrastructure. That is, until you come full circle and arrive back at where you started. These cycles of timing provide endless variety to the gameplay.

Instability Effects

The other source of variability is the Instability Effects. Before every game a mix of Instability Effects are chosen which change the feel and potential of the game. Each Instability Effect is a rule or ability that enhances what players are able to do on their turn — things like teleporting sundivers or moving stations across the board. This means each game has different potential strategies to discover and approaches to explore, and that every game will be unique!

 

 

The current rulebook is here! http://elephantlaboratories.com/sol-rulebook.pdf (not final) and the BGG entry is here: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/174837/sol-last-days-star. Also, at the bottom of this section is a "How to Play" video with the designers.

Green player's perspective
Green player's perspective

Sol: Last Days of a Star can be played by 1 - 5 players. The game board shows the Sun as it is poised to go supernova. 

5 player setup
5 player setup

Each player has a mothership in orbit which is where they will launch sundivers onto the board.  The motherships follow an orbital track around the perimeter of the game board, moving one space each turn, so your sundivers will emerge in different places on the board throughout the game.

Launching sundivers on to the board (prototype components)
Launching sundivers on to the board (prototype components)

On your turn you can either move sundivers around the board, convert sundivers into nodes, foundries, towers or gates, or activate those structures to receive different rewards. These include harvesting energy from the energy nodes, building new sundivers at the sundiver foundries, or transmitting energy back to your Ark at the transmission towers. This energy is converted into momentum, which will ultimately determine who escapes to salvation and who is left behind.

Move, Convert or Activate!
Move, Convert or Activate!

 

Actions you can take in the game
Actions you can take in the game

As stations are converted and activated they cause increasing instability in the Sun, which will ultimately trigger the supernova and the end of the game. The deeper the stations are positioned into the layers of the Sun the more of a reward they yield when activated — but also the greater instability they cause. All infrastructure is shared, with activators getting a base amount of the reward and the owner of the station receiving a bonus. Timing will play a crucial role as you weigh all of the tradeoffs between building shallow or deep, investing in your own infrastructure or using another player's.

Reward by layer for activators and owners
Reward by layer for activators and owners

As players convert and activate in the Sun, they will draw cards representing instability. Each time a solar flare is drawn, the marker on the Instability Spiral is advanced. When the 13th solar flare is drawn, the Sun goes supernova, and whoever's Ark has made it furthest away will escape in time, and the rest will be consumed in a fiery demise.

Momentum Track and Instability Spiral
Momentum Track and Instability Spiral

Every game will also feature a different mix of Instability Effects chosen at the beginning of the game. These effects will add new abilities and encourage different strategies, making every game feel unique.

Instability Effects, chosen at the beginning of the game
Instability Effects, chosen at the beginning of the game

 Here is a good primer on how to play Sol: Last Days of a Star 

 

 

 

Enjoying Sol: Last Days of a Star
Enjoying Sol: Last Days of a Star

"I always say there's nothing new in board games, but the way Sol plays makes me feel like some core mechanics are so fresh that I've never seen them before -- and Sol's game play is not just new; it's intriguing and exciting." - Anthony J Gallela, Game Developer and Chair of the KublaCon Game Design Contest

"As I delved into the mechanics of the game I realized this was something kind of special... Even though the game has a very very simple ruleset it's deceptively deep and deceptively complex." - Lance Myxter, Undead Viking

"I have literally played Sol dozens of times, and quite frankly it never gets old. The variability in the rule set, built on a solid base, allows me as a game master to adapt the game to the group that is playing"- Chad Nichols, Dungeon Master at Geekline 415

"Intense and nailbiting to the very end." - Andrew Tullsen, Founder of Print and Play Productions

"Sol has some real meat on its bones and an underlying elegance that made it a standout at BGG.con. I can't wait to get this to the table again!" - Mischa D. Krilov, Board Game Hero

"Sol: Last Days of a Star effortlessly blends theme with mechanics, providing a rich and unique play experience. This game is good on so many levels but what really makes it shine is the dynamic player interaction driven by the shared use of space stations, warp bridges and solar harvesters. No player can win on their own, but only one will succeed in escaping solar annihilation." - Tim Eisner, Weird City Games, Designer of March of the Ants

"Sol is great! You are constantly trying to plan the perfect set of moves while balancing that with an ever changing board." - Chase Van Epps, Print and Play Productions

"The beauty of Sol is that the players build the board together, opening new strategies each game. I keep coming back to try out new tricks." - Mohammad Ali, Member of Stumptown Gamecrafters

Two of the countless playtests for Sol: Last Days of a Star
Two of the countless playtests for Sol: Last Days of a Star

 

 

 

Undead Viking reviews Sol!

 Patrick from Just Got Played!

Review from Jonathan Liu of Geekdad!

Cole Wehrle (designer of Pax Pamir) reviews Sol: Last Days of a Star!

 

 

UNLOCKED!
UNLOCKED!

 

UNLOCKED!
UNLOCKED!

 

UNLOCKED!
UNLOCKED!

 

UNLOCKED!
UNLOCKED!

 

UNLOCKED!
UNLOCKED!

 

UNLOCKED!
UNLOCKED!

 

UNLOCKED!
UNLOCKED!

 

 

 

Shipping. No one likes shipping. As project creators, we feel this pain as keenly as you do.

We are not going to hide shipping from you. Many projects say "Free Shipping!", as if such a thing is possible. Instead, we are going to reveal the secret of shipping, and how much it is going to cost to get the game to you. Then, we can go into this with eyes open:

  • US Shipping - $10
  • CA, UK, DE Shipping - $13
  • EU Shipping - $35
  • Everywhere Else Shipping - $45

That said, the best value in shipping is to order four at once! Check out our ARK pledge level and find some friends to go in on it with you. Then we can face shipping in the best way possible: Together.

 

 

 

Deep in thought
Deep in thought

Ryan Spangler and Sean Spangler are brothers who grew up playing and making board games from their earliest memory. Raised in a laboratory of creativity, they still play games together every chance they get. Now they are designing the games they want to play that don't yet exist.

Jodi and Ryan winning the Silver Kubla! (super old prototype)
Jodi and Ryan winning the Silver Kubla! (super old prototype)

Jodi Sweetman has spent a great deal of her time wrangling artists and creatives of all types to produce tangible, finished products. Her expertise and guidance in orchestrating the great project that is Sol is the key that brought this project from a cool prototype to a working product.

Looking sharp
Looking sharp

Mark Dusk is a designer and artist in Portland, OR. Inspired by playing a prototype of Sol one day at Ryan's house, he lead the creation of the visual incarnation of the game. 

Jon at Gencon
Jon at Gencon

Jon Mietling of Portal Dragon met Ryan and Jodi at GenCon 2015. As a graphic, 3d artist, and game designer, Jon has helped to bring a fresh look to visuals of our game. Jon has designed our new plastic player pieces as well as assisted with the game's graphic presentation.

Risks and challenges

Sol: Last Days of a Star is the first Kickstarter project from Elephant Laboratories. For us this is a dream years in the making, but we know this can make potential backers nervous, which is why we have gone through a huge amount of preparation to make sure we are going about it the right way.

First, we have made sure the game is solid. After hundreds of play tests with hundreds of different people and countless hours of development and refinement we are confident this game is fun and endlessly replayable. We care about the depth of gameplay emerging from elegant and streamlined rules. We have worked hard to make a clear and concise rulebook so players can dive into playing, and we have iterated on the player aids so that it is immediately clear what options players have on their turn.

Second, we have sought out guidance and advice from designers and publishers who have been through the Kickstarter process before. We have been in contact with the manufacturer for over a year now planning out all of the details of production. We have researched shipping options to make sure that every game arrives on time and unscathed.

That said, issues are sure to arise, and we have no reason to believe that the countless lessons we have learned up until this point will stop once the project is funded. That is where our passion and commitment to the project will ensure that no matter what, we will see this through and deliver a spectacular game to all of our backers. Thank you for your confidence and support.

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    ENERGY NODE - You will receive the files to Print and Play all printed components (gameboard, instability cards, instability effects, tokens, player boards, player aids).

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    MOTHERSHIP - You will receive one copy of Sol: Last Days of a Star and all unlocked stretch goals!

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    PLANET - We will include you as a character in the Mythos of the game! Your role is determined by your input and based on your inspiration.

    Also, you will receive one copy of Sol: Last Days of a Star and all unlocked stretch goals, and a thank you in our rulebook!

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    ARK - You will receive four copies of Sol: Last Days of a Star and all unlocked stretch goals, and a thank you in our rulebook!

    The best value on shipping, find three friends to go in on this together : )

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    SUN - We will work with you to develop one Instability Effect in your honor! Your name will also appear on the card.

    Also, you will receive one copy of Sol: Last Days of a Star and all unlocked stretch goals, and a thank you in our rulebook!

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    GALAXY - You will name one of the five Worlds. We will have a process of iteration and you will provide multiple suggestions (to ensure it is appropriate and family friendly), but ultimately it will be yours.

    Your own world.

    Also, you will receive one copy of Sol: Last Days of a Star and all unlocked stretch goals, and a thank you in our rulebook!

    Free shipping : )

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    DEITY - We will build a shrine to your likeness and simulate a supernova, destroying it utterly. On video.

    Also, you will receive one copy of Sol: Last Days of a Star and all unlocked stretch goals, and a thank you in our rulebook!

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Funding period

- (30 days)