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Galactic Knights» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Galatic Knights, lances and horses missing. rss

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Joe Lott
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I must be getting worse, my titles are becoming slowly more and more stupid.

Galactic Knights is a space game of blowing each other up. YAWN boring right? I mean these types of games are everywhere right.

Well... Lets take a look.

First let's look at the first big question: Vector thrust?
Yes, and it does it via a method it calls drift. Basically, the first phase of each turn is drift, your ship moves, from it's current location x spaces in the proper direction(s) equal to the distance your drift marker is from your ship. Then place your drift maker where your ship was, and viola, drift.

Now the intresting thing that this game does, is now, instead of just spending points and moving your drift marker, around you have two options.
You can spend 1 thrust, to turn. 1 thrust to move your drift maker in ANY DIRECTION, or (and this is the neat bit), you can move your ship foward in the direction it's facing for 2. So, if your facing away from your marker, and you spend two, you are moving one further space NOW, and your drift for next turn will increase. IF you are facing your marker, you will decrease your drift next turn and you will be one space closer to where you started. And of course, you can also go in other directions too. So this bit allows you some minor tactical adjustments before the shooting begins, but if you really want to speed up or slow down, you just move your drift marker.

So whats next? Shooting? Ok in a second, but we will go over initiative first. For a two player, its very simple, both sides roll 1d10 and add their total sensor rating of their entire fleet. (So scouts with more sensors along help). Winner gets to be A or B side. In movement, A moves half, then B moves all, and A moves half. Simple? You bet.

Shooting, ok now this bit, is pretty neat, simple too.
Shooting is done back and forth with the init side shooting first. They fire one ship, then the other shoots one, and back and forth till all ships have had a chance to fire, BUT, unlike most other similar games, shooting is NOT, i repeat NOT simultaneous, a ship that is damaged and looses some weapons or shields, or is blown up before it gets a chance to fire is out of luck. So the order of fire is very important, and some of the most interesting decisions is are made simply by deciding which ship your going to fire. Do you fire the one that might get destroyed? Or do you fire the one that might destroy an enemy ship that might fire next? etc...

Fire is simple, most of the time, there are few mods. You just roll 1d10 for every gun that fires, and if you roll less than or equal to the target ships profile # then you hit. There is no mod for range, or speed, only things that get in the way like asteroids, or nebula, and the like. There are also fighters and missiles which can be shot down by your weaker guns then will hurt you in copious ways.

Damage, is an interesting system, first I noted that range has no mod to hit, this is mitigated by the fact that it does how ever have a mod on damage A light laser does 2, a medium 3, a heavy 4, and a super heavy 5, but at medium range you subtract 1, and long 2, if it does less than 2 damage at that range, it does nothing. So lights are limited to short (4) range, mediums to medium (12) range, and everything else long (24). Now for how that stuff effects ships we will come too. In most games, we have shields, which this one does, and a shield blocks one point of damage. A double shield blocks 2, and so on.

Then you have armor which takes 1 point per damage. Now this is what I thought was really NIFTY. In most games, after shields any damage goes to armor, and you ablatively work away at it. There MIGHT be rules for possible critical hits, but it's usually a all or nothing event. GK, not so. If you have one layer of armor, with 20 points, and are hit with a laser that does 2 (ignoring shields) then the first point knocks down 1 point of armor, and the second goes and does something nasty to your structure hitting some component like a weapon or shield generator, taking it out. So... this means more important than having lots of armor, is having lots of layers.

Example: two ships with 15 points of armor. Ship A has 15 points in the first layer, thats it! Ship B has 10 in the first layer and 5 in the second.They both take 5 hits from a laser (ignoring shields and not all ships have shields, some just have lots of layers of armor) that does 2 points per hit.
Ship A will take the 5 hits, with each hit doing 1 point to its armor (leaving it with 10 at the end) and 5 to its structure. Meaning it will loose 5 systems!
Ship B will take the 5 hits, with each hit doing 1 point to its 1st layer (leaving 5 at the end) and 5 to its second layer (leaving 0). Now, which ship would you rather have? I'll take B, because if all else was equal A will be going down a lot faster. This is also saying only weak hits. If you hit A with a 3 or 4, that means 2 or 3 components per hit, ouch.

Damage to components is done with a 1d10 determining the row, and damage going down that row, with each component taking a hit. Any row with no components left hits the power generator (or what ever). If the pg takes enough hits your ship is toast. This means, that if all your opponents 1 points through armor all hit the same row, you can have a dead ship fast!

That's pretty much it for how the game functions.
When I played it we had 3-4 players per side, an asteroid belt that moved and about 8-10 ships per side ignoring fighters. For most of us it was the first time, and it took us 3 hours to play a 5 turn game which was long enough to resolve the whole battle. (technically we could of gone one more turn but it would not of mattered, my side had won the scenario). We would of cut that too 2 hours had we known the rules before we played. So it's a decently fast game, with quick action. Not a lot of tables to look up, and simple book keeping, with the ship logs being quite small.

Fun factor 8 here, because its an aggressive game with deceptively simple yet practical applications. Everything makes sense from how many ships you have, and can launch in a turn, to missile volleys and shield rules. The armor system is what hooked me with ships loosing capability but still fighting and resisting some what till you have taken a real beating and your shields go down and you run out of armor, then its quickly boom, with the occasional good hits basically crippling fresh ships (generally only if they are small ships and the volume of fire must be massive, like 4 large and 12 medium lasers that a dreadnought once brought to bare on a destroyer.)

The rules include building your own ship rules, and 2 factions for those who don't want. You can use any models you want, but there is a line. I'm going to totally convert my Battle Fleet Gothic ships!

Fun game.
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Les Marshall
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Nice little review. I've played a couple of times and only with 2 players. I am not in love with the initiative system but, it's not a bad game and any space minitatures game with a decent stab at vector movement is worth trying in my book.

You should add that there are now three races including terran(human), avian(birds) and entomolian(insects).

Galactic Knights is made by Monday Knight Productions which bought or assumed the rights to the molds from an old 70's game called Space Wars by Superior Models. The miniatures are actually pretty cool. If you find them at a con, you can get a deal by purchasing at a pound rate rather than by piece.

The old line includes Carnivorans(cats) and Aquarians(fish). I keep waiting for the expanded rules sets but, it's been quite a while.
 
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A. B. West
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Beech Grove
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You know this is one of those niche games that I would play alot if I had the miniatures and fellows to play along. I lack both. Still, the game sounds just finely done - although it doesn't seem to stand out from, say, Full Thrust.
 
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Les Marshall
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Having played both systems, I would still play them but, my first choice for both ship construction and play mechanics is Starmada which has a great deal more variety and a simpler construction system.
 
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Joe Lott
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Carnivorans are an expansion that is available. Also the game is rather cheap.
 
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Rulesjd wrote:
Galactic Knights is made by Monday Knight Productions which bought or assumed the rights to the molds from an old 70's game called Space Wars by Superior Models.



That 1970's game is actually called Starfleet Wars. Never played the original, but it sounds like the GK rewrite changed a few things.
 
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