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Subject: A brief review of Star Fist rss

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Adam vanLangenberg
Australia
Cheltenham
Victoria
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As this game is no longer in print I will not go into a detailed review (unless somebody wants me to). I will explain the basic concept of the game and give you my impressions.

Star Fist is essentially a light war game with a science fiction feel. One player controls the Terran fleet (a bunch of space ships) and the other controls the Rebel forces (a massive asteroid complete with shield, weapons and a small squad of short-range interceptors). The board itself has the asteroid in the center (it is treated like an immobile base despite the fact that it is hurling through space) surrounded by rings which denote the range.

Each player takes it in turn to move their ships and shoot each other. The movement of a ship is based on how far it traveled in its last turn. Each ship has a maximum speed and maneuverability rating so it can take several turns to get a ship pointing in the right direction. Movement is tracked by drawing lines on the board (which can be a challenge as my second-hand copy game with a yellow crayon, not so great on a black board...)

Each ship has its own record space and being shot can cause them to lose either movement or weapons capabilities. These can be repaired depending on how hard they were hit. A ship with no engines will continue in a straight line until it gets too far away from the action, but can at least fire a few shots on its way out. A ship with no weapons simply becomes a kamikaze device.

The rebel asteroid can fire missiles and particle beams at ships, but also has two super-weapons handy. The first is the Nova Gun which fires a ball of superheated plasma that can destroy ships just by getting close to them. The second is the Warp Gun which can be used to steer enemy ships off course. Into your shields, off the map or into other ships if you're clever.

The asteroid is also surrounded by a shield and a layer of drone globes. The shield defends against weapon attacks whereas the drone globes fly out and attack ships that get too close.

The game also comes with a couple of scenarios that give each player a different amount of starting pieces, included some pre-game damage.

What do I think? Well this game is great fun. The themes works really well and you really find yourself getting caught up in the battle. It's a little fiddly as the board doesn't lay down flat too well. It's also hard to see where you've drawn your lines on the map. We tried replacing the crayon (the original game comes with an erasable marker) with pieces of string and Bluetac, but that didn't work so well...

If you can find a copy of this game on eBay or somewhere else I suggest you pick it up. I really enjoy it and writing this review has gotten me in the mood for some more!

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Thomas P. Felder
Germany
Munich
Bavaria
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How about putting a plexiglass square on the map and drawing on that, like the wargamers do it?
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Adam vanLangenberg
Australia
Cheltenham
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That's not a bad idea, I might have to try it. Clearly I'm not a war gamer so such a thing would never have occurred to me :)

Thanks!
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Grag Smashes
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Sternenfahrer-MUC wrote:
How about putting a plexiglass square on the map and drawing on that, like the wargamers do it?


I ended up grabbing the glasstop from one of our coffee tables for it. I am thinking plexiglass for next game.

My six year-old insisted on playing when he saw it on the shelf (I bought it years ago at a con for a few dollars and went "meh" when I read how the crayon vector mechanic works. Looked cool but unwieldy.

My opinion hasn't completely changed... we played a couple of turns in about 90 minutes and had to put it up.

I think it would make a fun PC game, but keeping track of ship momentum is annoying at best. A great idea but I don't know how to execute it better. Maybe if the game were played on a non-gridded map with small pewter minis, you could attach to each a little "last move" indicator stick and move it with the ship.
 
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Scott Muir
United States
Farmington
Connecticut
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Quote:
I think it would make a fun PC game


If you want to play the video game of "Star Fist", check out the arcade game, "Star Castle". It's what "Star Fist" is based on.

I NEVER drew on the board to keep track of movement. I ran into the same problem where I I didn't have a piece of plexiglass to put over it and drawing on that thing with a white crayon without messing the pieces up was impossible.

What I did was just make a ship course order sheet. I numbered each direction a ship could possibly point on a hex picture. Then, we just recorded our ships on the paper with a pencil and each turn, we just wrote down how many hexes we would move followed by the direction we would end up pointing. We would then refer to that move for determining our momentum for the next move.

I would imagine even using a piece of Plexiglas would be tough unless you manage to find an erasable white marker as the game board is black.

Making the "move order" sheet worked best for us. This is definitely a fun game once you figure out how to determine the momentum with minimum fuss.
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Terry Maciw
United Kingdom
Thatcham
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I've just acquired a copy today and mine has a yellow crayon, so maybe that's standard with the game. If I get around to playing it, I'll use plexi-glass and whiteboard markers.
 
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