Games for Two

Random jottings on our experience of playing games, mostly together.
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February - Rogue Angels Kickstarter Preview

Since we last wrote we’ve had several changes to the collection. Out were Valparaíso (too much a race game and a bit samey) Expedition to Newdale (just not that interesting), Tybor the Builder (we felt it a bit limited at two) and Filler (really doesn’t work for two). Incoming was Bunny Kingdom which we’ve now played several times. We’ve tried out a few new games on boardgamearena which we’ve enjoyed, notably Abandon All Artichokes and L.L.A.M.A.. The parish magazine has taken up a fair amount of time though we have managed to write in more detail about the game below.

Rogue Angels: Legacy of the Burning Suns

From gallery of MattNManda

We heard of this game when the designer, Emil Larsen, contacted us in the Autumn of 2021 to see if we would be interested in creating a Kickstarter preview. It was nice to be asked and the game sounded interesting so we said yes. This is our first ever preview. We intended to post this when the campaign went live at the start of February, but circumstances meant we didn’t achieve that. The campaign has been cancelled, but it will be relaunched in a few months and is playable now so feels well worth writing about. To be clear we have received no payment, freebies or other incentives or write this, we did get to spend a nice afternoon playing the game with the designer on Tabletop Simulator. We have not used a physical copy of the game, only TTS, so descriptions of components are based on what is available virtually or that are expected in the final game, which may differ.

The theme is that you are a rag tag group of mercenaries being hired to perform an investigation, in space with sci fi technology and weapons. It is described as “mass effect the board game”, though that doesn’t mean anything to us as we’ve never played it. It is cooperative with one to four players, with at least two characters playing even when there is only one human player.


There are two main parts of the game, the campaign and the encounters.

The campaign begins with everyone choosing a character from a diverse selection, all having their own strengths, weaknesses, different weapons and equipment. The campaign book contains a detailed narrative story which soon leads to the first encounter. In the style of a computer game the first couple of encounters gently lead you through the rules and mechanisms, rather than throwing everything at you at once. The story contains at least twenty missions, plus more for branching based on the outcome of an encounter and decisions the group makes. Some missions also affect the team’s reputation with various non-player factions which can influence future choices and adds to the thematic immersion.

Encounters are played on a series of maps presented in a book, with a few taking place in the spaceship formed out of part of the game box. Maps are a square grid with some walls already drawn, with doors and other equipment added via standees according to a diagram in the campaign book. Each mission has a maximum turn counter and some victory and defeat conditions. Enemy units are similarly added, either with red or green bases and rotated to show health status.

Each player receives a character sheet showing their special skills. It has a track for focus which can be spent to re roll one die, and one for shields which reduces damage. Along the bottom are four card spaces numbered one to four. All players have a hand of cards, two of which are for basic movement and interaction (shooting, opening, or hacking) which all characters have, plus more that are specific and might show a hacking device, shield generator or weapon. All cards have a number indicating which slot they go into, more powerful cards might be 3, while the most basic are numbered zero meaning they come back into your hand immediately. If the slot is unavailable then the card goes in the next highest one. Each card also shows the strength of the action plus a number of dice to be rolled which might add more movement or strength.

Each player turn consists of two actions, which are either to play a card, regain focus, or take a rest and move all cards one slot left, any getting to slot zero returning to your hand. After the two actions there is a free rest, the turn counters decreases and there is a check for the end of the mission.

Between each player turn is a enemy turn, alternately red or green. The mission will indicate which movement and attack patterns are being followed, the matching page being found in a book. Usually the enemies with different initiative markers on their bases will do different things, perhaps focussing on the nearest versus furthest player. Afterwards the page will be turned so after the next turn the other colour will do something different. When enemies attack the players the cause damage which is reduced by shields then causes the players to receive damage cards. Similarly to the action cards these also have a slot number which is where they will be placed on the relevant player’s board, returning any card already there to hand. Damage therefore makes it harder for the player to take actions or causes them to need to rest in order to clear the occupied slots. Difficultly can be adjusted by using optional parts of the damage cards.

Once the current mission section is completed, successfully or otherwise, the book will move the story on and set up the next section which may continue on the same map.

In later missions characters will gain one or more tokens that can be spent once per mission to enhance the action of a card. As the story progresses characters can be developed and gain further tokens. Scars can also be gained which may eventually cause a character to drop out of the team and be replaced with another.


We can’t judge the final components though the art that has been completed is very good and all symbols seemed clear. There are deliberately no miniatures, only standees, an environmental decision made to use minimal plastic in the production. We feel this is a good decision, less plastic is always welcome, we are unlikely to paint miniatures so get more out of the art.

Although we haven’t played a large amount of of the campaign we were always interested to see what happened next and get to use more of the wide range of enemies and characters, it being easy to become engrossed. The designer suggested the campaign can definitely be played more than once, though like watching a film or reading a book it can only be experienced once. We very much liked the slow lead in to the more detailed rules, and that the story always progresses regardless of success or failure, rather than forcing players to go back and repeat.

We found the rules very easy to follow, the rule book covering many example with clear diagrams. The game flows very easily, certainly in contrast to other skirmish games we have played. It is comparatively light and accessible, there being very little downtime due to enemy maintenance while still providing interesting decisions and trade offs each turn. It feels like it wouldn’t take long to set up and put away, which gives it a lower barrier to play than some narrative games. We have only played with two, scaling mostly being an adjustment to the maximum number of turns for each encounter, we were surprised that the number of enemies isn’t adjusted by player count.

Overall we have enjoyed our plays. We’re wishing this every success when it is relaunched and should this sound interesting then we encourage everyone to try it out on TTS.
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