Monday, 11 January 2010

Club Night 8th January

Since the snow meant that we were not going to get anywhere near the club hut, we decided rather than abandon our free Friday we would gather at Steve's and play a game anyway. Since we were limited on space we decided a board game was in order and as Luke owns loads he bought Starcraft from Fantasy Flight games. We love their games as the production quality is immense, the rules always really innovative and different, and most important, no matter which one we play it is always really close.

It took us a while to go through the rules and get the galaxy set up, but finally we where ready to play, with Steve and the staunch humans, Luke as the bugs out to consume everything and me as the mysterious psychic aliens whose tech was far in advance of everyone else's.

The first turn was quite tentative as we got the hang of the rules and worked out what was what. In the second turn things heated up a little as Luke tried to invade my outer planet. We then found how good my tech was as I through the gribbly aliens back.

The game then picked up pace as I regrouped and Steve landed on Luke's starting planet. AS I enhanced my armies they fought and Steve achieved a foothold. The next turn though saw us enter phase III of the game and suddenly the special victory condition game into play. Steve had to occupy the entirety of two planets and Luke has to have bases on three planets. I just had to ensure no one won before the end of the game, and then I won be default!

The orders phase was tense as every one planned their final moves. We could see Luke planning an invasion to achieve a base on the third planet, but I could do nothing about it as I could not reach that world. I had to rely on Steve to repel him. However, if Steve was successful he would be in control of two planets so I had to attack him to ensure he did not win either. I launched my invasion and gained a foot hold, which Steve vigorously counter-attacked. He was successful, but had taken heavy casualties. Did he have enough to repel Luke and his giant beasties? As we lined up the combats it looked close, and then Steve won the first skirmish, but it was not enough, the giant beastie won the second skirmish, and repelled Steve counter attack leaving Luke victorious.

In my initial review I thought Steve should have ignored me and dealt with Luke. If he stopped Luke winning he could try for victory himself next turn, rather than try for it all at once with an increased risk of failure. On further reflection I think that was more wishful thinking, he had to resist my invasion, and having seen how good my tech was earlier in the game I should have moved against Steve earlier and also against Luke. I took too much of a hold out till the end for victory approach, and then when I needed to stop the other I was in no position to prevent them achieving victory.

I really liked this game, it has some simple resource management, a clever combat system and really challenges you. I'd love to play it again with some more players.

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