Cardboard Combat: Starcraft the Boardgame

Another Boardgame Sunday, another day to duke it out with our tabletop tacticians. This time around, we had Starcraft: the Boardgame.

First look at the board and components, Starcraft: the Boardgame is a handsome game with all of the miniatures you'll be getting right out of the box. There's tons of them by the way and you'll probably wonder why Starcraft didn't make it as a miniatures game too. Anyway, aside from the minis the other game components are eye candy. The planet boards, faction sheets, tokens and cards were all nifty and set on heavy stock cardboard ready for some rough handling. Overall, Starcraft: the Boardgame's looks alone is worth the purchase. 

What the board looks like. Daunting even with out the connectors.

Yes, this is how cramped the play area is with 6 players.



My pwetty littwe zerlings.
As for gameplay, we all know how the PC game works: build a base, gather resources, build an army and over run your opponent. Simple. The board game is never far from that. Except that you have to do all the math and management in front of a sheet of cardboard (which we fondly call 'tactical place mats'). As for the feel of the game, it has all that the PC game has. All the 3 races: Terran, Protoss and Zerg are well-represented in terms of their minis, tactics and abilities. Furthermore, each race is divided into 2 factions for added variety.  

The following series of pics might be disturbing for some people (or its just pics of us in some candid moments)


The Beef getting jiggy with his Marines 



Me. 'Thinking'.
Starcraft: the Boardgame differs from the PC game in the sense that you're not there to wipe your enemies out. The rulebook itself explicitly states its possible but quite hard to achieve. So instead of an all-out brawl, Starcraft: the Boardgame is won with victory points. Get 15 at any point in the game and you win, except when special circumstances arise (such as when a player chose to play the Protoss Aldaris faction for example). This can be achieved by controlling and securing the sectors within planets which comprises the game board. And if you played a couple or more modern tactical board games (like A Game of Thrones and Rune Wars) you'll be already familiar with how action tokens work and how the sequence of play goes. With a sci-fi twist of course, this is Starcraft after all.  
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Starcraft: the Boardgame is a lot of fun and work at the same time and it never disappoints. Although given this aspect, expect an average game to run for about 2 hours or more. Our 6-player game for instance ran for about 6 good hours, preparation and other dangly bits not included. I'd recommend this for advanced players who would love to try out a game with lots of depth and play value.

For a more detailed 'battle report' on our session, read Badbeef's  take on it in his blog: http://badbeefspawningground.blogspot.com/2011/11/boardgaming-6-player-starcraft.html#more

More Cardboard Combat next time
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