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Subject: In space, no one can hear that jangling sound rss

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Shane
United States
Lombard
Illinois
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While on a mission to find new printable board games to play (unemployment sucks, ladies and gents), I came across this little game. You just need the board and some change? Hex based combat? Incomes? Variable player powers? Sounds like gold! I couldn't wait to try, and here's what I found:

Components:
The only component provided is the board, which fits on a standard sheet of paper. Go for the 'low ink version', since the other really only wastes ink. For pieces, you're going to need a good amount of change (26 pennies, 5 nickels, and 3 dimes) per player. It helps if you have some colored glass beads or other small counters as well, as in larger games, keeping track of who's ship is who's becomes a little irritating.

Gameplay:
Players start off with one base and 26 cents in change. The change is used to build their ships, with different coins representing different powers. Pennies represent a space of movement, nickels the ability to shoot, and dimes act as a 'wild card', allowing for a point of movement or attack, as well as serving as a point of armor. Combat is performed by rolling a 6 sided die and subtracting the number of dimes in the target ship as well as the number of spaces between you and the target. What's left over is the damage the target takes in cents. This results in ships losing abilities as they take damage (higher coins getting broken down into pennies). You can also attack the opponent's base directly, which does damage to his cash stores. Once he either has no money in the game or his cash stores are empty and you move onto his base, he's out. Income is 1 cent per turn, plus one more for each unclaimed base you sit on. On top of all this, each player is randomly assigned a race with special powers, such as the Bankers (20% more starting money) or the Clovers (who can spend a cent to reroll).

I had some problems playing this at first, but quickly discovered that the 2 player version of the game needs a higher starting building point total to prevent it from being a brief slugfest reliant on die rolls. Shipbuilding was unexpectedly fun; ships can be designed to a multitude of purposes, from straight-out assault to defenseless runners. The game plays quickly and doesn't typically drag, but manages to have a good wargame feel to it (in my first playthough, my opponent dumped most of his reserves into a ship we dubbed "The bismark", which I struggled to combat with my fleet of smaller ships). Combine that with the income factor, and there's a surprising amount of strategy in this.

Replay factor:
It's tiny, and it's tactical. Makes for a really good portable/on the fly game.

As stated above, there are a couple snags in this game, but nothing that can't be fixed, and certainly nothing that overcomes the fact that this is FREE. Print it out, have a few skirmishes. I doubt you'll be dissapointed.
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Abby
BC West Coast
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Hey I was wondering. You understand tactic level games and seem to like sci-fi. Would you like a complimentary copy of Wetwar and Bandit Dawn in exchange for solid testplay of the products? I will print and construct the books and pieces for you.

I need the game to be put through it's paces for planning and development for future Wetwar and the forthcoming Dirtwar and Urbwar games. You and your cohorts will get credit in the books if you stay on as a testplayer. Please know I am looking for someone who will follow the line (and will get complimentary products of each game/module).

Here is the home for this game universe:

http://www.esprawl.com/bpg/spacepunk.htm

Let me know!

Del Esau
Black Powder Games
www.esprawl.com
 
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Jonathan Leistiko
United States
Austin
Texas
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Thanks for the informative and accurate review!

InShaneee wrote:
[T]he 2 player version of the game needs a higher starting building point total to prevent it from being a brief slugfest reliant on die rolls.


What total have you used for 2 players that works best? I'd like to add it to the rules and credit you for it.

Jonathan Leistiko
Games Advocate
Invisible City Productions
 
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Shane
United States
Lombard
Illinois
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I didn't test that too extensively, but we were playing fairly comfortably at 32 cents (though I was thinking of going as high as 36). I just found that in a two player game, you need more resources to make base capture and option and keep it from turning into a slugfest in the middle of the board.
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