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Subject: Why would I dislike this game? rss

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K S
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So, I recently learned of this game and it sounded awesome to me. I've never played the first edition of Battlestations, but the things that appeal to me are:

Sci-fi theme
Simultaneous action on the starship interior and exterior
Character customization and progression
Roleplaying absent from "dungeon crawlers" like Imperial Assault, Level7, Away Missions, Star Saga
Campaign playble
Ability to play either moderated or unmoderated
Dozens of missions by accomplished game designers
A bunch of minis

It even has a well-reviewed first edition, so it's "proven" to some extent. But, again, I've just now heard about this game and, looking at the KS campaign it didn't raise nearly as much money as campaigns for other miniatures-based games. It's even supposed to ship in a few months and I've heard nearly zero buzz.

So, I'm wondering whether I'm missing something. Is there a reason that I might not want this game? Is there a reason to prefer other scifi miniatures games? Or is the market for scifi tabletop/RPG hybrids simply much smaller than that for purely tactical combat dungeon crawls?
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Mark Phelps
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Do you like really complex games? If yes, go for it.

I missed the Kickstarter and I'm also considering getting this when it comes out in January. The one thing that made me wonder whether I'd like it was hearing Tom Vasel mention how complex the rules were for the first edition. It sounds like a very good game, but the work vs fun ratio may not work out for me.
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K S
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Thanks for the response, Mark! It looks like you can still late-pledge if you want to pick this game up (there's a link on the Kickstarter page). I personally don't have a stable group to play with yet, so I think I can afford to hold out till it release in January and hopefully hear some reviews (or maybe not, considering the limited attention it's been getting). I infer from your remarks that you haven't played either edition yet? I'm not really scared off by the complexity, because I am coming at it from the perspective of this being a lighter-weight replacement for a pen-and-paper RPG, in which case I certainly expect this to be substantially less work.
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Rob Koch
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There are links to the "QuickStart" rules on the KS page so you can see if you might like the complexity of the Basic rules. The Advanced rulebook is where all of the meat is and it can be as complex (or simple) as your group likes.

This is more akin to a light RPG with boardgames movement (IMO).. Role-play is up to the players too (it's more fun if you care about your character) ... but remember that death is not permanent (unless you want it to).

BS2E provides a set of rules for combat, ship construction, character creation / development, movement, etc.

Watch a few of the videos of Jeff and others playing the game also! You can even create your own copy to play the basic rules if you want, or use parts for BS1E.

I created some standees and tokens (with Jeff's permission) and uploaded them to the files section so all you would need are some ship tiles and hex maps!

I hope it's to you liking... also if you have Tabletop Simulator I think there is a module for it there as well. Jeff & Joey streamed a play of a mission there.

-Rob
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Dolem Thorn
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It has miniatures, but it's not really a miniatures game. The miniatures are neat, but I doubt they pass muster for people that are all about the figures. That combined with a design aesthetic that doesn't appeal to everyone could explain why it didn't smash Kickstarter records.

The game (v1) is awesome. It's a board game with rules for so many different possible actions that it gives you an RPG feel. Much more so than any dungeon crawler.

Given your list of things that appeal to you, you should jump in on it now.
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K S
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robkoch2112 wrote:
This is more akin to a light RPG with boardgames movement (IMO).. Role-play is up to the players too (it's more fun if you care about your character) ... but remember that death is not permanent (unless you want it to).

BS2E provides a set of rules for combat, ship construction, character creation / development, movement, etc.
...
If you have Tabletop Simulator I think there is a module for it there as well. Jeff & Joey streamed a play of a mission there.

Thanks so much for this, Rob! All of this sounds like precisely what I'm looking for, hence my interest. I hadn't realized that it was available on Tabletop Simulator; I should look into that, thanks!

Dolem wrote:
The miniatures are neat, but I doubt they pass muster for people that are all about the figures. That combined with a design aesthetic that doesn't appeal to everyone could explain why it didn't smash Kickstarter records.

The game (v1) is awesome. It's a board game with rules for so many different possible actions that it gives you an RPG feel. Much more so than any dungeon crawler.

Given your list of things that appeal to you, you should jump in on it now.

Thanks for this, Dolem! I was hoping that it was primarily aesthetic reasons that it wasn't getting buzz. I don't really mind much about the miniatures or the art (though I have to admit the new edition does look more attractive to me than the first edition). And the "board game with RPG feel" is precisely what I'm looking for.

You advise me to jump on it right now, is that because it's not likely to be available later, or is it because everything included in the Kickstarter won't be available later? I guess what I'm asking is whether there's a reason for me to not hold off a few months until I can secure a stable playgroup to try this with?
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Rob Koch
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Another thing to mention is that backers got access to the 3D files used to created the miniatures as well and the art for the tiles (for PnP players)... I don't know if they will become generally available but I thought it was a fantastic way to support the community!


The extra miniatures (especially the 3x each @$50) is not guaranteed to be available after launch. Only the base game and Advance rulebook will be available. Hopefully Jeff or Joey can chime in... if you're not sure do contact them they are great guys!
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K S
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robkoch2112 wrote:
The extra miniatures (especially the 3x each @$50) is not guaranteed to be available after launch. Only the base game and Advance rulebook will be available. Hopefully Jeff or Joey can chime in... if you're not sure do contact them they are great guys!

What do you mean by "extra minis"? Are the stretch goal minis separate from the base game, or were they added to base game?
 
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Rob Koch
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I took this from an older comment on KS and may have inaccuracies:

Each Base Box (or $40 add on [Extra set of miniatures]) will contain the following miniatures (Retail or KS):
2 Sourced starships
8 Bots
4 Zoallan
4 Silicoid
4 Xeloxian
4 Canosian
4 Tentac
2 Human Male
2 Human Female
1 Fungaloid
1 Whistler
1 Meek
1 Diploid
1 Gorilloid
1 Kerbite
1 Trundlian
1 Cheetahoid
1 Powered Armor
1 Crocdilian
1 Lupenoid
1 Elephantoid
1 Modeled Starship

The $50 add on [3 each of stretch goal miniatures] adds the following (per set):
3 Fungaloid
3 Whistler
3 Meek
3 Diploid
3 Gorilloid
3 Kerbite
3 Trundlian
3 Cheetahoid
1 Powered Armor [Yes, only 1 extra PA Suit]
3 Crocdilian
3 Lupenoid
3 Elephantoid
3 Modeled Starship

I'm not sure if the $40 (extra copy of base set minis) or $50 (3 each of stretch goal mini) add on will be available after the game ships...

each base box will have the same miniatures as the $40 add on.... Did I clear that up or muddle it more? I can't tell....

NOTE: I am not a representative of Gorilla Games .... just a mook!
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K S
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I don't know how "big" Battlestations scenarios tend to get. Is 4 of each species usually enough, or would I have to start using counters if I didn't get the bonus pack?
 
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Rob Koch
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It would depend on your willingness to accept proxies. If 2 players want to play a Whistler you'll have to proxy with the base set only if everyone wants a miniature. You can always print out some of the Standees I created ... you can see the in the gallery in play as well.

My ship tiles are from the PnP files that the backers had access to.

I'm in for Base set + $50 add on + Advanced rule book.... that's what I figured I could tolerate and game me the most options without proxies too often.

If the players are all Silicoids and the enemy is as well I'll proxy.... minimally I'd suggest base set + advanced rulebook and know you might have to proxy with standees of other miniatures.. don't bankrupt yourself trying to get them all!

There is even a scenario in the Quick start rules that will require proxies due to the number of Xeloxian enemies unless you get 2x$40 option + base set!!!!!

Enjoy!

Rob
 
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Rob Koch
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You can always state to your group that players must have a miniature and if you have the base set you can only have multiples of the "core" races due to a mandate from the UREF (Universal Republic Expeditionary Forces).
 
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Jay Shaffstall
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You might dislike this game if you're not into complex games. While the basic mechanics are simple, it can be tough keeping track of all the special abilities and working through the edge cases of those.

You might dislike the game if you want a game that doesn't take up an evening all on its own. 1st edition scenarios almost always went a full three to four hours for us. That wasn't an issue for us, but may be for others.

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K S
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Thanks for the response, Jay. I see that you are an RPG fan; the only pen-and-paper RPG that I have played is Dungeons & Dragons (3.5 and 4th edition). I really appreciated the adventure and character development aspects of it, but I found that we got bogged down in the rules, especially during combat. One of the things I am hoping for with Battlestations is something lighter (especially on the "gamemaster"), so I wouldn't mind a full-evening session, so long as it scratches the RPG itch. Do you think that Battlestations would be a good choice for that, or could you recommend something that might serve better?
 
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Rob Koch
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Want fast combat? Arm the enemy with disintegrators.... devil
 
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Peter Cobcroft
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Battlestations is degrees of magnitude simpler than any form of D&D. It has a basic formula for every skill check - it doesn't have tables and exceptions all over the place....
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K S
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So it seems like the overwhelming sentiment that I am getting is that I can expect this game to fill the niche that I am hoping for: an enjoyable hybrid of a heavy scenario-based "dungeon crawler" and a light sci-fi RPG. It seems like it's not generating massive buzz or smashing fundraising records because, even though it seems to be what I'm looking for, this isn't a particularly in-demand type of product and the production values aren't exactly jaw-dropping?

I'm actually quite glad to hear this, and I hope that I'm able to pull together a play group in the not-too-distant future and give it a go.
 
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Rob Koch
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BS2E falls into an interesting category in my opinion. It has boards for movement of both the ships in space and players within the ship. The scenarios can be played stand alone or in a campaign. Characters can be generated for one-off missions or enhanced over a campaign.

Is it a board game? Partly.
Is it a RPG? It can be.

The tricky part is that you don't need to use all of the rules to enjoy the game. The quick start Rules show this if you know nothing about the game and just play through them with the generated characters in the base game. You are presented with a new rule (or two) as you progress through the basic 8 missions in the guide.

The QS Guide still glosses over many things that are in the advanced rules: character progression, campaigns, all of the skills, weapons, gadgets, ship cargo bay modules, ship design, etc.

This game (mostly) requires a game master to control hidden information, though there are many solo scenarios that were unlocked during the campaign.

This has the feature that the game is what the players make it... the rules are a foundation and many can be ignored if the players choose it. There are no "tournament" rules that everyone must obey (Unless Admiral Siadek says so ). The basics (moving, combat, actions) should be used as is, but if you don't want to there is no effect except to you and your group. Houseruling is perfectly reasonable if you are enjoying the game.

You can even only use what you get in the base box and still create your own missions and create your own progression rules. Think of BS2E as a Lego set: you are given the pieces and plans to create something but do what you want with the parts.

- Rob
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Marc Bennett
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its not really complicated, all the rolls follow a fairly simple template, but there can be more math than some people like. so for example, lets say i want to pump the engines for power. difficulty is 8, so i need to roll an 8 on 2 dice. my skill is 4 so that adds to what i roll, so as long as i roll a 4 i pass. thats pretty easy, so i decide to pump for an extra power which is +3 difficultly so i need a 7, oh and the ship is still recovering from a crazy turn the pilot did last phase to avoid a mine so i really need a 9 on 2 dice.

a good ref can boil that all down for the players and describe it simply. if youve ever seen jeff run a game in the videos, he is awesome at it and he should be its his game. im pretty good at it myself. but if no one in your group is willing to take on the math heavy roll and make it simple for everyone else, this might not work so well.
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