Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Among the Stars» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Rushed Review of Among the Stars (Smoothsmith) rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
flag msg tools
http://www.youtube.com/user/SmoothCJS
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Welcome to my short(ish) review! I decided to review every game I own, and seeing as that takes a while, they're kinda rushed! I tried to break things down nonetheless, and I hope you enjoy the review!

Rushed Reviews Of All My Games

The Short Sell:
Great races of the galaxy compete to build grand space-stations to improve commerce, protect against threats and to just chill out in this brilliant card-drafting tile-laying game!

Components:
- Location Cards (Basic & Special)
- Conflict Cards (Various Sets)
- Objective Cards
- Power/Main Reactor Cards
- Race Tiles
- Coin Tokens
- Transparent Plastic Cubes
- Scoreboard + Score Tokens
- (A) Ambassador Cards (Phases I & II) + Bureau Cards + Tokens
- (P2) Event Cards

Good components, all the cards are holding up great to lots of use, with the race tiles & energy cubes being great quality. Ambassadors includes a load of random cardboard bits which are a bit of a pest to organize (But otherwise nice quality). The original scoreboard was quite poor, but I have the better folding scoreboard from ambassadors which we use instead.

4/5

Setup:

1. Pick 15 Basic Locations (3 of each type), getting the set of 3 or 4 of each (Depends on #players)
2. Randomly Pick X Special Locations (Depends on #players)
3. Shuffle the Chosen Basic & Special Location Cards as one huge stack - shuffle very well.
4. Put Coins, Cubes, & Power Reactors in reach of all players.
5. Randomly Pick Objectives and place where all players can see (Quantity depends on 'players)
6A. Shuffle the Ambassadors Decks. Draw 3 Phase 1 Ambassadors and put out for drafting.
6C. Shuffle the Conlict Deck being used and put in reach of players.
6E. Shuffle the Event Deck being used.

It's not the worst, but keeping the basic locations organized for Step 1 is a pain. The 3 '6' steps are optional, so only if you're using those components do you need to do them (Ambassadors, Conflicts & Events respectively).

2/5

Gameplay:
Players draft and build location cards into an expanding space-station, having to think about the positioning of those cards to score the most possible points and outdo their peers. As familiarity increases, it also becomes more important to keep an eye on what other players are building, to avoid passing them cards with powerful scoring opportunities. Cards can also be discarded for various actions, which generally provide additional resources for building purposes. Various conflict decks can be added to a game, providing more opportunities to interact with other players in a number of ways (Depending on the conflict deck used).

Ambassadors adds a new type of card which players can gain as an action, they provide various abilities aligned with the different races in the game (Although you may not invite an ambassador of your own race). The abilities provided are more involved than the location cards, increasing player interactivity in the game. The ambassadors are also split into 2 phases, (Years 1/2 and 3/4), such that Phase I cards are more about building up and Phase II more about scoring.

Gameplay is fantastic, giving you a lot to think about each turn and leading to hugely varied layouts between players while staying competitive in terms of points. As it's for the most part simultaneous (With only order-of-execution being otherwise), downtime is minimal, and players are part of the game from start to finish. I still don't use everything in the game, so there's a ton of replayability awaiting me in the conflict decks, event decks and even ambassadors, which I've only used on rare occasion (Due to new players, rather than not wanting to use them).

10/10

Theme:
The theme of Among the Stars is that following a great galactic war, peace has been made throughout the key races in the Galaxy. In the name of a better future, various great architects of each race have been tasked with building great space stations to strengthen ties and defend against outside threats who might interfere with the alliance. The player to build the greatest station is um...a really cool guy? =P

In terms of how the mechanics fit the theme, 'loosely' is definitely a fair assessment, but it's one that fits well. While it's easy to concentrate on what your locations are doing, I've many a time found myself talking about how I'm aiming to fatten up the population with my many fast food joints, or that the section seal in my station is to keep the militarian and commerce aspects apart. (Still, I'd love to see a city-builder using the exact same mechanics).

7/10

Conclusion:
To sum up, I think that Among the Stars, and all of it's expansions, make for an absolutely fantastic game which also happens to be one of my most played in my collection. The theme, while loose, matches well to the gameplay making this a good fit for anyone interested in a sci-fi (fairly) non-aggressive game to pick up.

I first came across this game after playing 7 Wonders, and just want to mention how I think this is a grand improvement over it with the addition of a spacial 'where should I build' element added, as well as making discarding for actions an important consideration when making choices. While I think the former game might lead to deeper interactive play when you've played a large number of times, the variation in AtS along with the points mentioned above make it an absolute winner.

How Much I want to Play/BGG Rating: 9/10

Overall Rating: 8/10
16 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Bussema
United States
Lansing
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To be fair, you're only supposed to do step 1 in your setup after several games with the same basic cards. That's by far the longest part of setup, and could be done between game sessions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Smith
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
flag msg tools
http://www.youtube.com/user/SmoothCJS
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
InfoCynic wrote:
To be fair, you're only supposed to do step 1 in your setup after several games with the same basic cards. That's by far the longest part of setup, and could be done between game sessions.


True, I keep meaning to sort it out but just seem to forget and end up sorting our all the decks at the end, I'm a fool like that =P
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.