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[Robert Bartelli's] Galaxy Command
Published by Worthington Publishing
1-4 players
Playing time: 30mins
Ages: 10+
Complexity: 2 out of 10

Galaxy Command is a Kickstarter reimplementation of Robert Bartelli's print and play game Micro Space Empire

What's in the box?



Game contents

The game comes in an old style VHS cardboard box with a colour sleeve. The box contains: 52 cards in a plastic case, 4 Home Mats, 4 Technology Mats, 1 d6, 40 cubes in 4 different colours, and a folded colour rulesheet.

There are 3 types of cards: events, near systems and distant systems.


The 3 types of cards and an example of each

Included in the event cards are 3 Red Alert cards which are special event cards.


Red Alert cards (special events)

Gameplay and setup – The basics

Set up is quick and easy. Give each player a Home Mat and a Technology Mat and a set of 10 cubes. The player starts with a +1 Metal Production and +1 Wealth.


Set up for solitaire

Shuffle the three different decks of cards, then deal 6 Near System cards face down and 3 Distant System cards face down to each player (leftover cards are not used). Shuffle the event cards and create the Year 1 deck of 7 cards, unused cards are kept to one side and are shuffled back into the deck for the Year 2 deck which will be 6 cards.

Player Turn Sequence

1 Choose one of the actions; Explore and Attack; Conquer; or Bide Time
2 Collect Metal and Wealth
3 Build Military and Technology
4 After each player has had a turn draw an Event Card
5 Repeat steps 1-4 until all Event Cards are used for Year 1. Then reshuffle the event Cards and make the Year 2 deck. Once the Year 2 deck is used the game ends

To Explore and Attack a player turns over one of their face down Near System Cards. Each card has a Resistance Factor to claim a system the Player needs to roll the d6 and add their current military strength. If that total is equal or greater than the system’s Resistance Factor then the Player conquers that system. If the total is less than the system remains free and the Player loses 1 military strength. When a system is conquered the Player turns their card to the Aligned side.


Unaligned system and Aligned system

Conquer follows a similar path to the Explore and Attack action, only this time the Player is attempting to conquer an already revealed system.

Bide Time is more or less a pass action. The Player does not Explore and Attack or Conquer. They also don’t risk losing a battle and thus reducing their military strength.

Each conquered system has a Metal and Wealth Value (these can be zero). Each time the Player conquers a system they adjust their Metal and Wealth Production accordingly.

Build Military and Technology allows the Player to spend Metal and Wealth to increase their military strength or work on their technology tree. Technology advances have different effects. For example without Forward Star Bases a Player can not explore their distant systems.

Event Cards have a Year 1 and a Year 2 affect. These can be positive (eg increase in wealth or metal), neutral (nothing happens), or potentially negative (eg invasions). Technology and Military Strength can lessen some of the affects. Good die rolling also helps.

Game End

At the end of the game Players get points for various accomplishments, as well as each conquered system is worth VP. The winner is the Player with the most points. If playing solitaire then you are just trying to better your previous score (there are also 5 different ranks).

Three game sessions

I have played three games with mixed results.

Game 1 – using just the original 18 cards (they have yellow numbers) I ended up with only 3 aligned systems and a final score of 12 (remain a commander).

Game 2 – using all the cards except for the Red Alert cards. The Dice Gods were displeased with me and I ended up conquering and then losing systems on a regular basis. I ended up with only 2 aligned systems and a final score of 9 (remain a commander, barely).

Game 3 – using all the cards. The Dice Gods fickle as they are this time they favoured me. I ended up conquering all 9 systems and having a full technology tree giving me a final score of 28 (Promoted to Admiral).

Final Thoughts

Galaxy Command is a good little sci-fi game that has quick gameplay and an easy to understand rule set. Each turn gives the Player choices of how to advance their command ... however the Dice Gods do play a significant role. If you don’t mind a well designed luck based game that can be offset somewhat by the choices you make then try Galaxy Command. It may be a filler game but it does have that addictive quality of just one more game (especially if you fail miserably).

The designer is also working on some variants, so more options for game play will add to what is already in the box. It is always good when designers support their games in forums like BGG.

I have only played this solitaire so i can't comment on the multiplayer game.

One Negative

I know some people have complained about the box and a bit about the contents. I have no real issue with this. Worthington Publishing are a small publisher that focuses on games that are fun, and Galaxy Command is fun.

However in my copy 24 of the system cards have some colour issue, specifically around the Wealth Values. In particular the background grey colour for the Metal value has not come though properly and in some cases not all.


examples of the colour bleeding

Just a minor gripe. The cards came shrinkwrapped so it wouldn’t have been possible for the Worthies to check them. It does not affect gameplay. I only mention it just in case other gamers find a similar issue with their copy.

SK
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Ben McGuire
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Parsons
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Yeah this game is awesome.

Since the color behind the Wealth and Metal numbers is semi-transparent, the color can vary depending on the color of the background image in that area.

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Rob
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This game is pretty terrible, as in super simple boring. Furthermore, even the box is terrible, not because it is done in Victory Point Games style, but because with the card protector case included and the size of the player mats which must stack somewhat under the card case, it doesn't all fit in the box without bowing the box which is stupid. How can you not plan this out better as a publisher? There weren't any boxes an inch longer or wider to make this work? Lame.

Edit: And, wow, is this game over priced. $25 OLGS? It should sell for $10.
 
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