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Subject: Thoughts after 4 player game rss

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Charlie Theel
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We played BG for the first time last night, the first 4 player scenario with the moving asteroids. The ISN won a very close game, only a single squadron of theirs remaining when the space dust settled.

Questions we had come up:

-Do you suffer ECM damage if you start adjacent to an opponent and then continue to move adjacent to them? (We said yes but it's not clear in the rules)

-When a card says something like "Gain 1 range if one of your ships is adjacent" does that "your" apply to both team members? (We think so)

-If you lose all your ships in a 4 player scenario but your ally still has ships remaining, do you still get your turn? Would you still receive energy and a card and still be able to move the asteroids in the scenario we played? (We said yes)

We had a fun time but one of the players remarked how he felt the game may become somewhat boring tactically after several plays. We're used to miniature games, wargames, complex board games (Car Wars), and RPGs so I'm definitely keeping an eye on the variant forum to spice things up.
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Christopher Taylor
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I don't know about your other questions, but you do not take ECM damage as long as you start and stay adjacent.
 
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Charlie Theel
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Thanks. I actually just spotted that in the rules sub-forum and was going to edit it out.
 
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Kiren Maelwulf
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charlest wrote:


We had a fun time but one of the players remarked how he felt the game may become somewhat boring tactically after several plays. We're used to miniature games, wargames, complex board games (Car Wars), and RPGs so I'm definitely keeping an eye on the variant forum to spice things up.


May I ask what the concerns were in relation to the "boring tactically" comment? I was considering this game because I thought it looked kind of neat but some people bring up Heroscape and my group found that game extremely simplistic and boring, I dread a repeat purchase that will not get played. How did you think it faired as a 4 player game compared to the games you usually play?
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Charlie Theel
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Kirenx wrote:
charlest wrote:


We had a fun time but one of the players remarked how he felt the game may become somewhat boring tactically after several plays. We're used to miniature games, wargames, complex board games (Car Wars), and RPGs so I'm definitely keeping an eye on the variant forum to spice things up.


May I ask what the concerns were in relation to the "boring tactically" comment? I was considering this game because I thought it looked kind of neat but some people bring up Heroscape and my group found that game extremely simplistic and boring, I dread a repeat purchase that will not get played. How did you think it faired as a 4 player game compared to the games you usually play?


Good question Kiren. I'll do my best to answer.

The player in question made this remark based on the following items in relations to the 4 player scenario we played (other scenarios may be different):

-After about the half-way point it seemed like both sides had enough energy to activate all their ships. Once you lose a couple ships energy management becomes less of a concern. Energy management seems to be a large chunk of the strategy of the game.

-Maneuvering is not that important. Without facing and with the movement rates of the ships combined with the weapons we found only 1 or two times where movement really had to be thought out to accomplish what you wanted. Most of the time you can just move into range and blast away.

-The cards are really interesting and add some depth to the game but we never struggled too hard deciding when to play them and when not to. There are certainly times where you have to put some thought into whether you want to deploy a hero or weapon but I don't remember agonizing over any decisions. The INS players always played the Sparrow (I think?) card where they got an extra damage and we always played the ressurect card on the Fouvu (that can't be correct spelling). Didn't really have to think about it as most of the cards and their costs can be easily analyzed.

-Damage is very predictable. Hitting is less predictable on Fighters but generally you're not really surprised. The small chance to critical certainly spices the game up but you still don't see any massive surprises occur (this is certainly subjective as you could argue there are massive surprises with carrying and launching ships etc.). The predictable damage ties into the cards being easy to analyze.

One way I can some up the predictable damage is that with relative certainty you can predict which ships will die next turn. Most miniature/wargames I play I have a very hard time predicting what the next turn of my opponents will look like. From our play of BG it seemed I knew what the opponent was going to do.

OK, so all of that out of the way I like this game. It is accessible and we often play a game then don't play it again for at least a month (too many other games/hobbies going on). I can see us picking this up and easily recalling the rules, kind of Conflict of Heroes or Cyclades. Contrast that with a game like Car Wars or Arkham Horror where we'd have to lookup rules throughout play.

We also only played it one time so far. I'm not arrogant enough to believe we know what the game is like. These are just initial impressions and we could definitely be wrong.

Other games we love that feature more tactics and how they compare to BG include:

-Earth Reborn: Way deeper, no way way you can predict what will happen, so many more options

-Claustrophobia: Simpler than BG but depth is achieved through the action lines and the options on the demon players turn

-Conflict of Heroes: Another light wargame that is a bit more complex than BG. I think this has much more depth than BG simply because of its modified IGOUGO system which allows you to react. BG is not an IGOUGO it's turn based which means larger chunks of action which means the battlefield changes in larger chunks. It's easier to plan your turn this way because you don't have to account for things changing before you activate all of your ships.

Those are just three of our favorite games with broad stroke comparisons. Those games aren't similar at all so you may think the comparison is unfair, I still think it's useful.

Once again, I'm not trying to dog BG because I think it does what it set out to do pretty well. I'm just hoping we can implement some house rules to up the complexity slightly to make things more interesting.
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Charlie Theel
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This just made me think about how the game would play if it was a combined action phase for both sides with IGOUGO mechanics. That would add a crazy amount of additional depth because maneuvering becomes so much more important (you can't count on spaces being open for you to occupy or combining abilities, etc.)
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Kiren Maelwulf
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Thanks for the well thought out response! There is not a huge amount of information out yet about this game so every bit is helpful. I was a bit worried that this might be one of those games that is well designed and accessable but prehaps to simplistic for certain groups. This game does still sound interesting to me but also I fear what your friend said about the replayabilty and can see waiting a bit before a purchase.

Thanks again!
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Ben Boersma
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We also found it a bit too simplistic for our tastes. There wasn't a lot of strategy - just pile on and blast away. This might change with more ship releases, but it fell kind of flat with us (and we're big Heroscape fans)

I think the crux of the problem was that it didn't 'feel' like a spaceship game when there was no incentive to maneuver. The theme and components are 'spaceshippy' but we didn't feel the rules reflected a spaceship game if that makes sense.
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