In Arcs, 3-4 players guide their factions through a fast-playing space opera that unfolds over a trio of 60-90 minute sessions. The game opens in the final days of a decaying empire. Players take the role of the last regents of a once proud state that stretched to the farthest worlds of the Reach. Faced with an encroaching blight that threatens the outer planets, players must balance the integrity of their homelands with their own ambitions.
Building on the conventions of trick-taking games, Arcs emphasizes both careful planning and daring gambits. Each round, the lead player sets the agenda by playing a card. Other players can follow it by playing a card of the same suit and higher number, copy it by playing any card facedown, or pivot to a new tactic by playing off-suit.
Following suit maximizes your actions and might make you the lead player, but copying and pivoting let you respond to immediate opportunities and threats. And if you truly need to become the lead player no matter what, you can always discard a second card to seize the initiative!
Battles in Arcs are resolved in a snap with a beautiful set of custom dice. To start, the attacker builds a battle plan by collecting dice of their choice that represent three different strategies—bombarding, assaulting, and raiding. Then they simply roll and resolve the die faces!
By adding the Blighted Reach Campaign Expansion, you can also play Arcs in an innovative micro-campaign, where each game is one episode in an epic trilogy that stretches across an even larger galaxy.
Everyone begins as petty regents in a dying empire, but your fates quickly diverge. The campaign contains twenty-four fate seeds, each with tons of branches, twists, and turns. Uncover lost knowledge, guide your people to a new home, or forge a galactic confederation!
As you complete objectives and make critical decisions, the campaign grows and changes. If you destroy a world, its refugees might flood the galaxy in your next game. If you find your society driven to a state of collapse, you can even abandon your homeworld and play the next game operating out of a lone flagship.
Each game in the campaign takes less than two hours to play. You can sit down for a single skirmish and then pack up for another day, or settle in for an epic three-act saga! Just make sure to stretch and drink some water between games.