First off, I must say that my computer is currently experiencing the dreaded blue screen of death. To say that my ability to get anything but the most basic things complete when it comes to the internet is an understatement. I hope to get it resolved sooner rather than later, but it is definitely making it a bit harder to finish my column this week. Back on topic for the week… I have some games that were played off the list but since I added to my collection I am at a standstill in terms of remaining games to be played. It’s not a bad thing considering the most of those additions were from Kickstarter games finally making it here, but if feels like I have been at a standstill for a solid three weeks! In other news, I did manage to win a game at the game auction over the weekend. Look for me playing a game of Power Grid in the near future!
The first game off the list is Xia – Legends of a Drift System. Each player starts with a small ship and no fame looking to be the system’s most renowned captain. This is a Kickstarter game that was delayed to ensure that the all the pieces were perfect. I can understand a designer wanting to make their game perfect, but it’s another thing to have the game late due to the color of the ships being off. Of course, when an onlooker ask if I had painted them and I stated that they came like that – they were super surprised, so what do I know…
Game play is easy to pick up. Each turn, you may do as many actions as you would like with the following exceptions: you may only use your ship’s outfits (shields, weapons, engines) a combined total of 4 times a turn and you can only use an action if it has an undamaged allocation space available (for example you can only use a missile outfit once per turn since it has a single allocation space; an engine on the other hand has 3 spaces). There is many ways to claim fame (victory points) – one can complete missions, destroy other ships, explore the map, sell goods and even upgrade your ship. Once your turn is complete, you rearm your used tokens from your outfits (using energy) and play proceeds to the next player.
I have played this twice and had a blast playing it. Even when I got my ship blown up 4 times in four turns (space debris is bad – especially if you roll low on a d20 – like I can). I was still in the running in that game and that talks about how balanced it really is. I can’t wait to play this one again. I have heard some people comparing this to Firefly – me, I will have to get a couple more plays of each game before I can make my judgment.
The next game played is Monsterpocalypse. This is a Kaiju-themed collectable miniatures game – where two player battle it out with large monsters in a doomed section of the city. I haven’t heard of anything in recent years, so I believe it is not supported anymore (and a trip to the website sees that nothing new has been added since 2011). It turns out that I have a decent amount of stuff that two players can easily sit down for a game. When it was popular in the area, I limited myself to just 3 of the 6 factions and as a result can field those three fairly well for both players. I would imagine most people don’t have any sitting about these days – too bad since I had a pretty fun time playing it this week. The game had some really novel mechanics – for example, each player had 10 action dice that was used for movement, actions and attacks. Since you had to pick a Monster or Unit turn each time, you might want to keep a couple of dice in both pools so your opponent didn’t know which of your figures would go. Add in the ability for your monster to throw, slam, trample and stomp all while destroying buildings that get in the way and you have for a fun little game. I’m amazed that they didn’t convert it completely into a living miniatures game – especially since they did a stand-alone Voltron game.
Final game off the list is Star Trek Fleet Captains. This is another game that is exempt from the purge requirement – I am a huge fan of Star Trek; ever since Star Trek: Next Generation was first on TV. Before you ask, I am also a huge fan of Star Wars, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica and Firefly – pretty much all the iconic space genres. If you are a fan of any of the Star Trek series and have a chance to play this, I can’t recommend it enough. Every card, mission, location, ship and quote will make you smile with huge references to all the different shows (yes, tribbles are in the game as an encounter).
The game itself is pretty engaging (I did not mean that pun, but I am definitely keeping it in here now). One player is the Federation player and the other is the Klingon player (there is an expansion that adds the Romulans which I don’t have, but should). On your turn, you may move all of your ships and conduct three actions (actions include: influencing sectors in order to build stations, repair your ships, cloak a ship and attack just to name a few). Each ship can do a single power adjustment which rearranges the statistics of the ship – engines, weapons, shields and sensors. Since this is a “HeroClix” game, the ships are on clix bases made famous by Mage Knight (the original miniature game not the recent board game) and HeroClix from Wizkids. I’d say it’s the only real issue to the game since it would be easier to have your ship’s stats in front of you instead on the miniature itself, but it’s a minor gripe. All in all, it was a fun experience and a solid game. I hope to get it to the table in the near future.
Until next time – Play a Game!