Players: 2 or 4 players co-op
Play Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
Learning Curve: Medium
OK geeks, a copy of Battleship Galaxies was gifted to me by Chie over the holidays (OMG it’s exactly what I wanted!) and I’m here to do a series of posts on this amazing board game that draws nostalgia from the original Battleship game by Hasbro. With the new Battleship movie coming to theaters pretty soon, I found it timely to showcase this 2011 release of the next-generation game that uses grids and pegs … in outer space!
Since the game is pretty much a standalone and doesn’t base itself on any sort of background lore, the creators bundled a bonus graphic novel that builds up the story behind the conflict of the two factions: the Intergalactic Space Navy (humans) and the Wretcheridians (evil aliens). The graphic novel was outsourced to IDW, the guys responsible for Transformers / GI Joe crossover and the Megatron series, among others. Then of course, there’s the game rulebook which teaches you how to play the game and also gives the different scenarios you can play with.
Beneath the paper, you’ll find the first components of the game — two large dividers, similar to the stuff I had in grade school which we used while taking exams to prevent people from copying answers. LOL. The dividers are used for a number of game scenarios to help you keep your choice of fleet ships a secret from your opponent. Explanation: Some game scenarios have pre-assigned ships while other scenarios allow players to choose their navy based on a set number of “energy points” at the beginning of the game. More powerful ships cost more points to launch / activate.
Speaking of energy points, there are two energy boards with markers. You gain 10 energy per turn (sort of like mana in Magic: The Gathering) and can hold 40 maximum energy points. It’s an easier way to track your balance as the game progresses.
Unlike the original Battleship where the ships can’t move around the transparent grid, the playing field of Battleship Galaxies allows for the free movement of ships around the hex outline. Both players will be able to move their fleet across the board and engage in combat.
OK time for the exciting stuff: The fleet ships! There are 20 ships divided into two fleets; ten for the ISN and 10 for the Wretch. The models are made of plastic and are detailed pretty well. They look great even without a custom paint job. The ships are divided into three classes — capital ship class, medium and light fighters. Each faction has access to one capital ship, two squadrons of light fighters (6 total) and three medium ships.
Each ship type has a corresponding base and schematics card. The base is used to track the remaining shields and damage dealt. The schematics card shows you the inherent stats such as the cost to move and attack, shields and hull strength, primary and secondary weapons, and a grid that determines hit or miss, which was pretty much the soul of the original Battleship. The game comes with 2 sets of dice — one with numbers and the other letters. You guessed it: you attack by rolling the dice and if it points to any gray part of the schematic diagram, the enemy ship takes a hit.
The red spot on the schematic indicates a weak point and if a player rolls this, it’s a 1 hit kill.
Battleship Galaxies also comes with a deck of cards that adds variety to the game. Cards serve as new weapon attachments, tactics and summoning heroes that can help augment your ship’s defensive and offensive capabilities.
In a nutshell
The components inside the Battleship Galaxies core set is sturdy and of amazing quality. The boards don’t warp and the plastic components are very sturdy. This is considered a high-end game as it is priced at around PHP 3,000.00 locally but if you buy online you can get it at USD $40.00 on Amazon.
I’ve done a couple of play throughs with some friends and in my next post I’ll outline the overall gaming experience based on the number of skirmishes I’ve made. Battleship Galaxies is a two player game but can be scaled to two teams of two. If you own another set, the game can easily accomodate 4 way-skirmishes.
So, anyone want to play?