SYNDICATE by PDU Games is an interplanetary conquest board game for 2 to 5 players.

It is the year 3105, and humanity has spread to the stars. Following the invention of interstellar travel technology in the 22nd century, greed and human desperation have fueled a wave of corporate-led colonization of remote solar systems.

In one of these, Arcturus, an authoritarian regime known as “the Sovereign” has long reigned over the solar system’s planets, moons and space stations with an iron fist. But following nearly a decade of political infighting and civil war, the Sovereign’s grip of Arcturus is starting to slip, opening the door for criminal organizations to proliferate.

You control a young, enterprising criminal syndicate on the outer fringe of Arcturus, trying to stay under the radar of the Sovereign while competing with other criminal syndicates for money, power, loyal crewmembers and advanced technology. Complete missions, set up criminal operations, and take down anyone that stands in your path to building the most formidable interplanetary criminal empire in the system.

Learn more about each of the syndicates below.

SYNDICATE will be released in Spring 2020. If you love sci-fi, space exploration, or board games in general: Subscribe below for updates!

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The Syndicates

In SYNDICATE, you can play as one of ten ambitious criminal syndicates vying for control of the Arcturus star system. Each syndicate has a unique strengths and weaknesses, affecting your optimal strategy to achieve total domination. Will you overpower with brute military strength? Will you use your political prowess to deceive the Sovereign?

All syndicates have different backgrounds but share one goal: complete control of the Arcturian underworld.


History of Arcturus

With the widespread adoption of shared-cognition technology and the explosion of AI that defined the 21st and 22nd centuries, fantastic breakthroughs in the world of physics, matter manipulation and engineering proliferated. However, the stars remained out of humanity’s reach until the invention of the Helium Ionic Thruster...

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— 2145: The Legendary Maori
By the late 2300s, after centuries of advancements to HIT-equipped spacecraft technology and new insights on how to sustain human life in prolonged deep space outposts, human interstellar travel was now viable, and plans dreamt up over decades were now set into motion...

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— 2436: All Eyes on Proxima
The bidding process took years. Prospective corporations needed to demonstrate they had the financial resources, technological sophistication, and administrative capabilities to carry out the monumental undertaking. This high barrier to entry led to a wave of corporate mergers and joint ventures...

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— 2465: Breaking the Chains of Sol
Advancements in cryogenic technology allowed the passengers of the Kepler Arks to be ferried in a biologic-stabilized slumber so that the 150-year journey passed, for the pioneers, in an instant...

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— 2650: Foundation Years
Beginning in the mid-2800s, Arcturus entered into a state of economic and societal maturity, at which point many Arcturians began to question its system-wide administration by a private corporation as a viable governing system...

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— 2880: The Sovereign Accord
For the next 100 years, the Sovereign experienced its Golden Age. Stability in Arcturus required robust, complex trade routes that connected every planet, moon and space station. The Sovereign regulated all trade to ensure food, commodities, and other tradeable goods spread from resource-rich territories to resource-poor territories...

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— 2980: Ulysses Farsei IV
In 3030, 50 years after its formation, the Farsei-backed Terran Coalition—now the leading local political force on Goshen—won several seats in the Sovereign Senate. Although not powerful enough to enact major reform, the Terran Coalition was extremely vocal and increasingly influential.
— 3030: The Sovereign Senate
Despite the Terran Coalition’s influence in the Sovereign Senate, decades of attempted renegotiation and reform of trade regulations through traditional political discourse failed. In the year 3090, party leaders of the Terran Coalition sent a letter to the Sovereign Senate announcing the secession of Goshen from the Sovereign United People of Arcturus and the formation of the Goshen Republic...

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— 3090: Secession of Goshen
After two years of failed negotiations with the Goshen Republic to dissolve the Terran Trade Federation, the Sovereign—fearing the collapse of its reign if it lost control of interplanetary trade—sent a flotilla of Dreadnaught Battle Cruisers to Goshen’s orbit, blockading all trade in and out of Goshen.
— 3092: Blockade of Goshen
As their access to resources dwindled over the course of several years, the Goshen people faced near starvation, but they still refused to yield. Intense trade negotiations with the Sovereign and pleas to other territories with influence in the Senate on Kepler continued with little progress...

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— 3094: Sinking of the ASF Ragnarok
For 5 years, the Terran Rebellion continued in the form of minor skirmishes planet-side and in space. With its origins in trade, corporate governance and an institutional history of banding together for survival of the colony, the Sovereign government had zero experience or military capacity for war with an enemy that, while poorly supplied, had equal and sometimes greater technological capability...

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— 3099: The Destruction of Goshen
In the wake of the destruction of Goshen, the Sovereign, struggling to enforce its rule of law after spreading itself thin during the Terran Rebellion, has resorted to increasingly authoritarian rule. For 6 years, a series of strict laws and harsh punishments for offenders has cobbled the Sovereign’s trade network back together. But this rebranded iron-fist government is stretched too thin as it tries to control a vast empire, and the Terran Rebellion and the history behind it has revealed its weakness. In this chaotic environment, the door has opened for the proliferation of organized crime, and the grab for money and power has begun.

The events of SYNDICATE begin this year.
— 3105: Present Day

Message from the Designers

Founders of PDU

We are Greg, Josh and Alex, the designers and artists behind SYNDICATE. We came together from very different backgrounds to create SYNDICATE because we share a passion for board games and science fiction. In the world of digital social media, it is easier than ever to maintain large (geographically disperse) social networks, but online social networks are a weak facsimile for the warmth and substance of spending quality time with your friends in person. We believe board games remain one of the best ways to forge and maintain strong friendships and communities, as board games force people to sit in the same room and work cooperatively (or competitively) towards similar goals while escaping in a joint fantasy. There is likely no better recipe for quickly and powerfully breaking the ice and strengthening friendships.

With SYNDICATE, we are endeavoring to create a game that is simple enough to be learned quickly but complex enough to be mastered slowly. Our number one (and really only mission) is create a game that is fun.

Board gamers are a community, so get in touch with us over Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. If you’re in NYC (or we are passing through your city), LET’S GET A GAME GOING!


We are planning to launch SYNDICATE on Kickstarter in February 2020. In the meantime, subscribe for updates below to be kept inform of where and when you can play SYNDICATE pre-release and to be the first to know when SYNDICATE is available for sale.