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Subject: Galaxy Defenders - An Underrated Thematic Co-op rss

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Dolem Thorn
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Thematic co-ops seem to be all the rage these days. How then is it possible that Galaxy Defenders only managed $180k on Kickstarter and isn't dominating The Hotness on BGG? Maybe it was the retro sci-fi theme that turned people off- who knows- but it appears that lots of people are missing out right now.

What's Included
The retail game comes with five agents: a sniper, a (stealthy) infiltrator, a marine (leader), a hulk (tank) and a bio-tech (healer/droid controller). The agents each play quite differently, but this is the one area where Kickstarter backers will see quite a leap in value, getting a cooler bio-tech (the G-Droid who looks like Robocop) as well as a second deployable droid, the GD-209 [turns out the GD-209 is included in the base game].

Retail buyers shouldn't feel left out when it comes to aliens, as KS backers mainly get more difficult aliens that aren't included in the base game. The difficulty level on this game will already have you replaying missions, so the base figures should be enough.

The rulebook is well done, and the game is playable out of the box with just the base rulebook without spending extra time online trying to figure things out. The boards, counters and custom dice are also high quality.

Mechanics
Don't expect any new mechanics to wow you when you play this game. All of the mechanics are borrowed from other popular games. However, Galaxy Defenders seems to have done a good job of borrowing the best rules from similar games and avoiding common mistakes, resulting in an Alien AI that acts logically yet unpredictably. You don't ever get the feeling that the game is harshly penalizing you, although some of the missions can seem to drag on for a while.

There are enough tactical options within each turn and round so that you have real choices and aren't just making the obvious move. This is a key item missed in other co-ops like Ravenloft and Mice and Mystics. As agents gain more tactics, skills, and devices, the tactical options increase. Should my infiltrator call in the airstrike now, or wait until later? Should my marine stand here and cover the tank or try to sneak around the corner and toss a grenade? Where is the best hex to deploy my sentry gun? These are the kinds of decisions which make each mission challenging and fun.

Replay Value
The base game comes with 10 [12, but you only play through 10 in the campaign] challenging missions. Ares Games has also developed software so anyone can design their own missions. Kickstarter backers will see increased replay value by mixing in other agents and being able to take on some of the missions featured on the official web site with their extra aliens.

Galaxy Defenders has a campaign mode which allows you to operate in a manner similar to X-Com, deploying specific agents for each mission. This will add to the difficulty as well, possibly forcing you to want to replay missions.

Overall
Those seeking the perfect thematic co-op will have to keep looking, but if you are looking for something that is light-hearted while still offering real strategic options, Galaxy Defenders is a more than solid option with no major flaws. The biggest issue is the feeling that some of the missions can drag on even after the main objective has been completed [this apparently affects less missions than I originally thought, you have to read the mission conditions very carefully]. If a larger community builds around this game and Ares keeps up the add-ons, it could become a go-to thematic co-op, or even a game of the year contender within the category.

BGG Rating: 9.0
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Mato Sato
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Nice review. About the biggets issue... When the Main objective has been completed the Mission ends. You check it in every strategie phase. "The Mission ends after 11th round" just means that you have 11 rounds time to complete the Mission goals
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Vasilis
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MaliZeko wrote:
Nice review. About the biggets issue... When the Main objective has been completed the Mission ends. You check it in every strategie phase. "The Mission ends after 11th round" just means that you have 11 rounds time to complete the Mission goals


Actually I'm not sure about that. Some missions mention "do X until the missions ends" as a victory condition and just above that there is a notation "the mission lasts until the strategy phase of the 11 round."

Take for example Mission 2. If three scientists have been saved that doesn't end the mission automatically, the agents must survive until the 11th round.

Unless I understood something wrong of course.
 
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Robert Kuster
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Bowmangr wrote:
MaliZeko wrote:
Nice review. About the biggets issue... When the Main objective has been completed the Mission ends. You check it in every strategie phase. "The Mission ends after 11th round" just means that you have 11 rounds time to complete the Mission goals


Actually I'm not sure about that. Some missions mention "do X until the missions ends" as a victory condition and just above that there is a notation "the mission lasts until the strategy phase of the 11 round."

Take for example Mission 2. If three scientists have been saved that doesn't end the mission automatically, the agents must survive until the 11th round.

Unless I understood something wrong of course.


That is the way we played it and makes the most sence.
 
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포크
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Thanks for the nice review.

I'm still waiting for my retail version. Maybe the relatively low hotness-level of Galaxy Defenders is due to availability? After all, it only hit retailers about 10 days ago and there's also a thread in the General forum suggesting it's not easily available. And you could be right about the art style turning some people off. I'm not a huge fan of it, but it is nicely done and has flair, I just prefer more serious styles for my sci-fi Co-ops. However, the mechanics look intriguing and I hope to get my copy soon.
 
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Mato Sato
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I know from the designers that missions one and two are over in the strategie phase, if you destroyed the teleporters or saved the scientists. You can play it till the end, but i think this is a bit boring in the most cases
 
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Dolem Thorn
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Bowmangr wrote:

Actually I'm not sure about that. Some missions mention "do X until the missions ends" as a victory condition and just above that there is a notation "the mission lasts until the strategy phase of the 11 round."


That's correct. For example, mission 1 ends when the main objective is completed, but missions 2 and 3 last until the event deck is exhausted. It can be fun regrouping after completing the main objective and then defending against waves of aliens, but it adds quite a bit of play time.

HawkeyeLonewolf wrote:
Shocked it's "underrated"... Perhaps share your review here: http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/28028?commentid=4541345#co... as well.

I don't think I'd consider it "unkownn." I just think it's flying under the radar a bit considering it's a sci-fi themed co-op with minis.

Quote:
I disagree though that the rulebook is "well done"... It gets a B- from me at best. Needs some more rules clarifications and examples. A lot of situational issues slipped through the beta process it seems.

I've been trying to figure out Myth for the past several days, so it probably biased my opinion on the GD rulebook.
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Mato Sato
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"Simone Romano
(Simone Romano)

Hi,

Usually the firt section of the Objective chapter indicate the mission deadline,

At each round the agents must check the mission objective table, row by row, starting from the top one,
If the row does not indicate the words "at the end of the mission" it means the mission ends once the relative objective is achieved."




Ok. You are right about mission two. But I have to disagree with the 3rd ^^
Only mission 2, 5 and 6 end when the event deck goes out of cards. All other are accomblished in the following strategie phase and earlier over.

And if you play Mission 5, use the smart Version from www.galaxy-defenders.com .It's pretty Long otherwise
 
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Skaak
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Just a couple clarifications:

Dolem wrote:
Kickstarter backers will see quite a leap in value, getting a cooler bio-tech (the G-Droid who looks like Robocop) as well as a second deployable droid, the GD-209.


The GD-209 is part of the base game; originally, it (and the sentry gun) were going to be represented by tokens, but the Kickstarter hit a high enough funding goal that they were both converted to miniatures.

Dolem wrote:
The base game comes with 10 challenging missions.


There are actually 12 missions, but depending on whether you succeed or fail at particular missions, you don't end up playing them all for a given campaign.

:)
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Dolem Thorn
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It looks like since mission 3 does not say "at the end of the mission," so you don't have to play all the way through the event deck, thanks for pointing that out. Would have saved me at least 45 minutes...

Thanks for the clarification on GD 209 and # of missions. I'm excited to see people start making custom missions, probably after they play through the base game.

I'll add some notes to the original review.
 
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Felipe Machado
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HawkeyeLonewolf wrote:
ahwala wrote:
Thanks for the nice review.

I'm still waiting for my retail version. Maybe the relatively low hotness-level of Galaxy Defenders is due to availability? After all, it only hit retailers about 10 days ago and there's also a thread in the General forum suggesting it's not easily available. And you could be right about the art style turning some people off. I'm not a huge fan of it, but it is nicely done and has flair, I just prefer more serious styles for my sci-fi Co-ops. However, the mechanics look intriguing and I hope to get my copy soon.


Perhaps having a cohesive set of aliens would help too... these are like an intergalactic Zookeeper left the doors open.


I think this adds to the XCOM feeling... Maybe the Xeno-Grey race (or maybe some other alien that we'll only see in the expansions...) have gathered all those kinds of aliens and is trying to gather us.
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