(I may be one of the last interested parties to finally pick this up. I've been one of the holdouts on this because the pricing seemed really high, but I ended up receiving it for Father's Day so that makes it OK.)
My space-gaming goes back a long way. Star Fleet Battles was a big deal for us in the 80's (I'm from the "Designer's Edition" generation and stuck with it thru "Commander's" and into the early part of "Captain's") and morphed into Full Thrust in the 90's, then BFG in the early 2000's along with some Babylon 5 Wars and Call to Arms and later some Federation Commander to come full circle. All that experience aside the space thing has kind of quieted down here over the last few years. I have played some Gothic and some Fed Commander with the Apprentices once or twice but that's been about it. We skipped the WOTC Star Wars space game a few years back though I was tempted a few times.
So what makes this game worth picking up?
- Pre-painted mini's - well done and not adding to the backlog!
- It's Star Wars so I know the Apprentices will at least give it a look
- It's designed for short playtimes, looks like under 30 minutes most of the time
That's a pretty strong list of positives. It took about 15 minutes to put the parts together and read the intro rules and then we were zipping through our first game. It feels right and played fairly quick. Thumbs up!
I will admit I am a little leery of all the custom hardware they have for this game - bases, templates, dials are all essential to the game and so this is not just mini's and rules - there's a lot of this other stuff that's needed to actually execute the game. It's not a huge issue, it's just something I normally stay away from when getting into a new game.
The pricing of the ships still bothers me too but if we take it easy it should be manageable. Only including 3 ships in the box still feels pretty limiting to me. Business-wise I assume the $40 price point was an important target to hit because I would feel better about it if it had been $50 and included 4-5 ships.
RPG tie-ins? Well, it could be used for a fighter-scale battle as part of a Star Wars game but the ships are fairly fragile so it's a dangerous undertaking as always. It does play fast though.
I am looking forward to something else tied to it, though not a direct expansion:
More info on that here.
So we have it, we're playing it, and we'll be experimenting and expanding on it as well in the near future - I'll let you know how that goes.