Empyreal: Spells & Steam - Engine Preview

Empyreal: Spells & Steam is a rail-building game set in Level 99 Games's World of Indines (BattleCON, Pixel Tactics, Argent), and the next major design from Trey Chambers (Argent: the Consortium).

You can read all of the past articles about Empyreal: Spells & Steam here!

 Here's a look at one of the hex tiles in Empyreal (still a work-in-progress). Build across the various terrains of the world to connect cities and ship goods!

Here's a look at one of the hex tiles in Empyreal (still a work-in-progress). Build across the various terrains of the world to connect cities and ship goods!


In Empyreal: Spells and Steam, your main method of scoring points is shipping goods from depots in the countryside and bringing them in to cities. Connecting goods to cities requires you to build tracks across the world, and these tracks are built by using the various engines in your railyard.

 We continue to test out new player board configurations to tune the balance and play experience just right. Compare this board to those shown in  past articles!

We continue to test out new player board configurations to tune the balance and play experience just right. Compare this board to those shown in past articles!

Engines

Each company's railyard comes with six default engines, and has room for nine more. There are advantages to each position on the board–the default spaces near the beginning of the line are cheaper and more flexible, while those at the end allow you to play more adaptively and rush a cheap delivery if you're so inclined. How you build up your railyard will determine the flow of your company's building and delivery operations.

Engines are drafted from the Engine Market. This market holds six cars, and it is only replenished when there are only 2 cars remaining. Time your acquisitions carefully to make sure that you have access to the best selection of cars and that you don't end up giving opponents more opportunities!

Building Track

Most engines allow you to build track. Here are two examples!

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An engine like the one on the left would allow the player to place on any Lava or Glacier space on the map, provided that space is connected to another car in their network. The one on the right would allow you to build on any of the three types of terrain shown, but at an additional cost of mana.

 
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This one would allow you to build onto both Forest AND Desert, at a cost of mana.

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This car on the left here allows you to transfer over cities and wastelands–avoiding the most difficult terrains in the game. The car on the right allows transfer over the track of one of your opponents, which can greatly open up the map. While players can transfer normally by spending Mana, using one of these engines covers these significant additional costs for you.

Specialty Engines

Empyreal also boasts a wide variety of specialty engines. While these won't help you reach cities or goods, they can be just as powerful as those that build track.

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An engine like the Transmuter above allows you to turn one resource token on one of your spaces into another type from the box. The Icecar to the right lets you sacrifice goods in your network to gain more mana crystals permanently.

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Cars can also be a useful source of upgrades. This Gilt Runner allows you to gain a new specialist, or to refresh your Captain and Engineer. We'll talk a bit about Specialists in next week's update! Corruption Junction lets a player drop wasteland–which can destroy both resources and rival tracks.

The engine you build will define your strengths, weaknesses, and overall play strategy. Choose wisely to get the cars you need to outbuild and outplay opponents!


If you want to be notified as soon as Empyreal: Spells and Steam goes live, you can sign up for our mailing list!

Poster!

Here's a new poster for Empyreal: Spells & Steam–one of the many exciting locations in Indines coming to life with our latest project! Look out for Empyreal to go live at the end of this month!

 Galston House is the home theatre of everyone's favorite ghostly puppeteer, Tanis Trilives!

Galston House is the home theatre of everyone's favorite ghostly puppeteer, Tanis Trilives!