Monday, December 16, 2013

StellarSkill - The Tactical Boardgame (AKA getting in touch with your inner Archon)

Well now, his write-up is something completely different for a change.

I was playing and playtesting a homebrew boardgame that used hexagon board and miniatures from the old Starcraft board game from Fantasy Flight Games.

First of all - I don't know what to write. I mean that any references to rules will not tell anyone anything about the game itself. So maybe I just ditch any attempt to make this write-up readable to anyone not familiar to the game. Which is not a very big group of people.

Also because the rules may be adjusted this write-up will serve only as a document what happened during game on 15th of December 2013 with the rule-set that was available then.

Few things about the game itself - players took turns where you activated all of your army with each unit rolling dice to see how well they activated. Failing this activation roll resulted in quite limited options during activation. At the start of every turn players also rolled dice to see who got to play their turn first - possibly giving the player two turns in a row.

When I was reading the rules first on my own and not actually having played the game I was a bit concerned how big an advantage first player would get. There was, however, a clever trick in the rules that removed most of the advantages of getting first turn or even two turns in a row. Any casualties and/or damage inflicted took effect only after both players had resolved their turns. This meant that the player who was playing second during a round could still play a full turn even if some units had already suffered enough hits to get killed.

Anyway, first we played a small game of zergs vs terrans. Back in the times of Starcraft I was a zerg and protoss fan. I took zerg for this first game, and wanted to try out the ol' basic zergling rush. I also wanted to try out how well game rules would handle quantity vs quality mentality.

And there seemed to be no real problem at least in this match-up. Terrans in much fewer numbers made for a tough game, though in the end zergs managed to kill all terrans who had any attacks at their disposal. We didn't, however, play exactly to the scenario requirements, so it's a bit unclear which side actually won.

Next game was a big one with terrans vs protoss, where I was trying out the terrans.

This game was dominated by science vessels which had a disruption ability. Of course that feeling could've spawned from match-up, too. Terrans had two battlecruisers, whose amazing damage output was quite good countermeasure against the shields of protoss. At first protoss were winning by the scenario in question, but an atom bomb to the right and battlecruiser and a crapton of other attacks in the middle secured a majority of control points for terrans later in the game.

But as was said, science vessel and their disruption abilities were a big hinderance to protoss, and they themselves were nigh invulnerable when backed up with a Medic.

All in all, the core rules felt pretty solid on this homebrew game.

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