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Subject: A Post Gencon Review rss

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Edward F
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I picked up Starcraft: The Board Game at gencon and had a chance to give it a few plays. I’ll assume you have either heard the basics of game play or read the rule book so I won’t explain how to play. Here is a short review to give you our thoughts on the game after 2 sessions (3 players each).

Components:
The components line up with fantasy flights usual quality. The figures are nicely sculpted and look like the computer images. I really liked the clear base on the flying units. The cardboard tokens and plants seem to be of the same stock as the dungeon tiles in descent, so we were happy with the quality. All the artwork was nice and worked well with the game.
Overall: 4/5

Rules:
The rulebook could have been laid out a little better. We found ourselves jumping from different parts of the rulebook to find answers. Sometimes it didn’t seem to follow a logical progression of where things were located. It did, however, provide us with many nice examples to aid in learning (although there is already errata). As far as the rule system in general, over all we liked it. The method of placing orders was a little challenging at first, but by the end of the game, no one had any problems of when to place an order or where. In fact, each game people used the system to strategically block people. Which we enjoyed.
Although I love rolling lots of dice, I like the combat mechanic. The higher end units felt more powerful then the lower end ones. Battles were pretty easy to do by the end of the game. Although part of me feels that Starcraft the computer game was about amassing large amounts of troops and I wish that was incorporated into the game here.
Overall 4/5

Gameplay:
We thought the game played pretty well for what it was. Someone had compared it to Nexus Ops on steroids. That’s not too far off. I like it much better than Nexus Ops because it has a lot more depth. I played the Protoss both times (my favorite race from the computer game) and loved researching their tech tree as fast as possible. I noticed the zerg player was able to amass a large number of troops fairly quickly. While I like the game, in some ways I wish it would have stuck more true to its computer game roots.
For example, in the computer game, all the action took place on one planted, in TBG your going from planet to planet. I already mentioned the large number of troops desire. I also wish bases/structures were a bit more unique. Now, all the bases/defense turrents/upgrade buildings all do the same thing. It would have been nice for them to make them more true to the computer game (terran bunkers having to be staffed by marines for example).
Overall though, we had fun playing. Thanks to the round robin orders, there was minimal downtime for any player. I think the more we play, the more we will be able to develop more advanced strategies.
Overall: 3.5/5

Final thoughts:
To buy or not to buy. If you are/were a starcraft addict like me, then buy it. Simple to enjoy a good game set in the starcraft universe. The game IS fun to play. Personally, I would have like to see more of a “starcraft” experience.
Overall: 4/5

Pro:
Great Components
Nice combat mechanic
Easy to learn after a few rounds

Cons:
Strayed from its starcraft roots a bit too much
The order token system can be a bit difficult ot learn until you get the hang of it
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Nate Merchant
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Thank you, Tony!!!
 
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Nice review. Good to know how it stands up to the computer game.
 
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Nathan Baumbach
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Glad you covered the bases.

From what I've played, that is my initial reaction as well. It deviated from the video game somewhat, but still was a lot of fun.

Nice review.

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Guy Srinivasan
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Just for reference... what game components rate a 5/5 from you?
 
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Philip Hoffman
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Thank you for your thoughts, Tony.

I was struck by one of your statements in particular - that you wish the game has stayed a bit more true to the PC game.

I am wondering how others feel about this. I haven't played the game yet, but this is a concern of mine as well. To be honest, at first I thought the game looked like it might stray too far as well what with the planet hopping and combat style. However, my next thought was, "wait a minute, do I want to play the exact same game but in board format? If it was very similar, wouldn't I rather just play online?"

I realize there are still reasons to play a very similar game on the table, such as face to face contact, more contemplative turns, etc. But it also strikes me that maybe it's rather a good thing that it has a different feel but still takes place in the SC universe.

Just my thoughts. Anyone else have thoughts on this, whether you've played it already or not?
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Nathan Baumbach
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I thought that despite the fact that it ventured somewhat from the RTS aspect, the game's pacing and mechanics were fairly decent. The combat can be intense if you know that you're both relying on that tech card you upgraded for to show up before you run out of units, as well as trying to stop that player from capturing that last zone.

I mean, I'm a big fan of Starcraft's story along with the gameplay. The boardgame is true to the units and the story, so I enjoyed the game for what it was - a more strategical and slower paced Starcraft.

I hope that answers your question, Philip.

 
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Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
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DarkJedi wrote:
While I like the game, in some ways I wish it would have stuck more true to its computer game roots.
For example, in the computer game, all the action took place on one planted, in TBG your going from planet to planet.

That's exactly what I meant when I said I thought FFG missed the point of the game when doing the adaption for SC. They changed the scope of the game and made it more of a game inspired by and set in the SC universe than an adaption.
 
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Rich Chamberlain
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Thanks for a good review.

Now all I am waiting for is a "2 player" comparative review to find out how this stacks up.
 
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Michael Sillion
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Since the computer version is more of a RTT game it will be nice if this is actually "Strategic" game set in the SC universe.
 
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Matthijs v S
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how does the game play with 3? any balance - gang up on the leader- issues?

It's hard to find 3 player strategic games without that issue, and we usually get stuck with 3 people...
 
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Edward F
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Pistoolkip wrote:
how does the game play with 3? any balance - gang up on the leader- issues?

It's hard to find 3 player strategic games without that issue, and we usually get stuck with 3 people...


The game actually worked out well with 3 players. The first game was a little harder because the way we laid out our planets, everything was in a big line. I was stuck on the end and really had no where to expand too other then onto player 2's homeworld. So I just tech'ed up a like a madman. Players 2 and 3 expanded and eventually fought and I eventually came down on player 2's homeworld (but by then he had 2 other planets so he didn't care as much).

Game two had a bit more varied setup. I think the thing that helps balance the game is the Z-axis routes. With those, even if a player's planet is on the other side of the board, you can still get there through the z-axis. That helps keep the threat of invasion pretty real.

While there can be a gang up factor, it didn't really come up with us. May have just been luck that it didn't happen. At one point the 3 of us were all fighting over the same planet.
 
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Matthew M
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Surya wrote:
DarkJedi wrote:
While I like the game, in some ways I wish it would have stuck more true to its computer game roots.
For example, in the computer game, all the action took place on one planted, in TBG your going from planet to planet.

That's exactly what I meant when I said I thought FFG missed the point of the game when doing the adaption for SC. They changed the scope of the game and made it more of a game inspired by and set in the SC universe than an adaption.


I'm really not buying this argument. Having regions represented as planets is merely a thematic choice of convenience. The game could easily be conceived as taking place on a single planet, but how to make a single planet with a modular board and how to represent flight paths for troop transport ships on a single planet is tricky. It's much easier from a thematic standpoint to portray them as different planets rather than being different regions on a single planet.


-MMM
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Captain Spaulding
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For comparison, I always describe Tide Of Iron to my RTS playing friends as a board game version of the PC RTS Company Of Heroes. It's turn based, but it retains many of the same tactical elements and objectives, and everyone I know that has played both agrees that it's an accurate description(even though it's not affiliated with the Company of Heroes license.)

I was hoping the Starcraft board game would retain more of the tactical elements of the PC version in a similar way. I haven't played the single player campaign of Starcraft since it came out, and frankly, that was just to learn the game; the storyline was unimportant to me.

I know not everyone was looking for a Tide Of Iron type game set in the Starcraft universe with Starcraft units, terrain, and obstacles... but I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this either... right?
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Nate Merchant
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Mr_Bickman wrote:
I know not everyone was looking for a Tide Of Iron type game set in the Starcraft universe with Starcraft units, terrain, and obstacles... but I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this either... right?


Actually, Mr_Bickman, the sainted Barnes said just as much in an entry on the Fortress: Ameritrash blog. Maybe he was referring to Twilight Imperium units, but in any case I agree with you both. That particular game would have been HUGELY difficult for me not to buy. Yet another tactical WW2 game? Not so much.
 
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David desJardins
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WhiteKong wrote:
I just got done playing through Starcraft on the PC for a second time. Rarely do you play more than two missions on a single planet.


I think what most people expect(ed) from a Starcraft board game was that it would correspond to a single mission.
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Sean Franco
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Surya wrote:
I thought FFG missed the point of the game when doing the adaption for SC. They changed the scope of the game and made it more of a game inspired by and set in the SC universe than an adaption.

Who said that they wanted to make a perfect replica of the computer game? Why would people complain about this, but not complain about the fact the the Atreides and the Harkonnen can ally in Dune?

That may seem completely off topic, but really it's not. Two game based off of overwhelmingly popular source material. Not perfect representations. To get perfect representations of Starcraft, tho', you'd have to be playing 40K. Or ASL: Mar Sara.
 
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Nathan Baumbach
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I myself wouldn't mind a tactical version of StarCraft.

However, you'd need to have more options than the video game gives you to make it more exciting as a turn-based tactical wargame. I like the variation in units, but you'd need to explain to me how we're to run an economy at the same time as rushing across a small board space.



 
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Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
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logopolys wrote:
Surya wrote:
I thought FFG missed the point of the game when doing the adaption for SC. They changed the scope of the game and made it more of a game inspired by and set in the SC universe than an adaption.

Who said that they wanted to make a perfect replica of the computer game?

Off course they weren't, but maybe some people would have preferred that...
 
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Sean Franco
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Surya wrote:
logopolys wrote:
Surya wrote:
I thought FFG missed the point of the game when doing the adaption for SC. They changed the scope of the game and made it more of a game inspired by and set in the SC universe than an adaption.

Who said that they wanted to make a perfect replica of the computer game?

Off course they weren't, but maybe some people would have preferred that...

I'd prefer if Fantasy Flight got the Doctor Who license from GW rather than everything else, but it's not going to happen because I want it, is it?
 
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Philip Hoffman
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One other thing I thought they might do is find a way to actually implement a real time strategy board game using sand timers like Space Dealer. I think there's a lot of potential there, especially for games like Warcraft and Starcraft.

Obviously they chose not to, but if someone could do it well on a future game, it could be unimaginably cool to have an RTS boardgame that played in 30-60 minutes where you had to constantly flip sandtimers, and perhaps play cards or roll dice very quickly for combat. I think that would simulate the chaos and tension of trying to manage 3 different areas on a map in an RTS computer game and I'd love to play something like that!
 
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Mike Ellis
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They brought this to SFX in Toronto but those turkeys wouldn't demo the game for us. I wanted to play!!
 
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