By Chris Birch & Nick Fallon
Faction Overview: Kushan - What makes them special?
The Mothership! The huge and iconic vessel is central to the video game. The Mothership lies at the heart of the Kushan fleet, able to harvest asteroids & produce new ships of all types (in scenarios this is a mechanic for reinforcements).
Faction Focus: Taiidan - What makes them special?
Although the Taiidan lacks the Mothership they make up for it with Carriers. The Taiidan are more aggressive than the Kushan too. Their Faction ability grants an all-too-valuable re-roll for an attack when you need it most!
In the scenarios, the Taiidan tend to use Frigates and Destroyers against the Mothership and its Strike Craft complement.
How do you build your fleets?
Each scenario has a number of stars for the main force and reinforcements. Leaders and Units cost stars to purchase.
First players need to purchase their Leaders. Leaders use tabs like Airfix Battles but in this case to purchase ships, not army units. The tabs specify which type of Units may be purchased: Frigates, Capital Ships or Stations.
Some Capital Ships or Stations then have tabs for Strike Craft: Fighters, Corvettes and Platforms.
In this way, a whole fleet can be purchased, and Leaders are assigned to the correct vessels. You’ll need to be careful though, if you lose a unit carrying a commander you lose their contribution of Command cards to your hand size and play value.
How do you control your fleet? How do the cards affect gameplay? What different types of cards can you play?
Players take turns playing Orders from their Hand. There are two types of Orders: Special Orders and Interrupts. Every command card can be played at the least as a move, fire, harvest or reinforce action, but each has its own special order. Special Orders are more involved orders like Weapons to Maximum which can stop an enemy capital ship from using its weapons until repaired, All Ahead Full which sees one unit move twice in a direct line and has a bonus to ramming, or Repel Boarders which helps a ship increase its defence against an attack by another ship trying to board it. When played at the right time these cards can turn the tide of a battle. In this way each game is unique.
Interrupts can be played during your opponent's turn in response to their actions, this adds another level of unpredictability to the outcome of a game. As a ship moves past one of your to attack your carrier, playing an Interrupt Fire can cut them down to size and save the day, an Interrupt Move can get a vulnerable unit out of the way of an attack, or be used to leapfrog to an objective at the right moment. You’ll always be wondering whether your opponent can get in an attack or move before you can complete yours.
Solo Vs Coop Vs PvP. What makes each of these modes unique?
It’s the most fun to play against an opponent, however, it’s not always easy to get friends together, so providing an AI system was important for us not just because of Covid but because many gamers find it increasingly hard to get more than an hour or so free for a game. For those times a Solo Play mechanic allows you to enjoy our scenarios alone and really, you’re going to have a tough challenge!
A final word from Chris Birch…
I just want to add that this box is packed with stuff we want to focus on the ‘wow so many plastic ships’ as much as the ‘quick play’ nature of the game - like Memoir 44 I think we’ll see people playing a couple of scenarios when they sit down to play or playing both sides of the same scenario.
What started off as a streamlined fast-play game evolved as we added more content to the scenarios. You can play a simple game with just fighters and capital ships without needing to know too many rules, but for those that are interested in a rich space combat game, this is the game for you! We have rules for ramming, boarding actions, capturing artefacts, combat air patrol and more. There are plenty of tokens to expand the game, space stations, defence platforms, planets, asteroids, minefields, buffs, debuffs! The box is full of goodies.
Then there is the expansion, which takes the game to the next level by adding campaign progression, tech upgrades for your fleet, heroes, fully-featured planets with planetary batteries and bays and much much more!