Note on 4th Printing: This 4th Printing will come in a 3" box. The game will be identical to the 3rd Printing otherwise, except that any known errata will be corrected.
Space Empires is a game in the finest tradition of 4X space games - eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. Make no mistake, all four "X's" are included in this game. This is a wargame where the purpose of building your empire is not to feel good about your achievement, but to destroy your enemies and burn their colonies.
The game includes carriers and fighters, mines, cloaking, a very large technology tree, fifteen ship classes from scout to dreadnaught, merchant shipping, colonization, mining, terraforming, bases, shipyards, black holes, warp points, and non-player aliens, yet the rules are short and intuitive and the game can be finished on one sitting. This is NOT a game that is hard to get into. The playtest rules are only 8 pages long for the basic game and increase to 11 pages in length when the advanced rules are included.
Exploration is easy (well, easy for you, it is actually dangerous for your ships) and fun and reveals different terrain (such as asteroids and nebulas) that affect your movement and your combat.