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[Ares Games] Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles

atanakar

Hero
I bought this game in 2019 and played several games. The starter set is loaded with stuff and offers a lot of replayability thanks to the pilot cards, talents and flaw cards and tech cards. A much better starter experience than X-Wing. I called it starter but this is a full game by itself.

Movement is tracked using pre-planned movement cards. Velocity, Gs and acceleration are tracked using a control board for each ship. The great innovation of this game is that, just like in the tv series reboot, your ship can go in one direction but you can rotate and fire in another. It's very dynamic and lethal. Cylon Raider have short range FTL jump but they are imprecise. Range and direction of reappearance is semi-random.The Cylon is never sure to land were he wants.

The game comes with a booklet containing several missions. Once you are familiar with the rules a games lasts about 45 minutes to one hour. The game can be played on the kitchen table ( 36" x 28"). The rules are short and well written. You have basic rules to get you started quickly. Then you can play with the advance rules and the options rules you like (altitude, fuel, asteroid fields, planetoids, pilots talents and flaws.)

We didn't feel one side was stronger than the other. Cylons seem to have an advantage because of FTL at first but you learn how to ambush them rather quickly. And if they FTL out of the table they are out of the game.

The game is expandable. Ares has been putting other ship models if you want to do larger battles.

Overall I would say this is the best ready to play space fighter skirmish game I have played - and I have played many starship games since 1980! It's a keeping and goes into my classic game shelf.

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You get two copies of the Cylon Raider and of Colonial Vyper. The pre-painted job is superior to X-Wing's. FTL scatter template (2d6) for direction.
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Ship cards
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Range, altitude tokens and damage tokens
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Skills, equipment and movement cards
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Example of play
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TwiceBorn2

Explorer
I've been determined NOT to buy this, because I don't see my friends wanting to play this instead of X-Wing due to the heavy investments we've all made into that game over two editions (and one friend actually hated what he saw of the Battlestar Galactica reboot series)... plus, I'm trying to curb my spending on games (failing miserably at it), especially since I don't have time to play all the games I own!

That said, BSG remains one of my favourite TV series, and what you've posted here in terms of rules features really makes me want to pick it up (I curse you, atanakar).

Then again, maybe I should resist buying it because the pandemic has brought my in-person table-top gaming to a screeching halt.

Convince me otherwise, atanakar!

P.S.: I feel like Smeagol/Gollum having one of his internal struggles. :p
 
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atanakar

Hero
I've been determined NOT to buy this, because I don't see my friends wanting to play this instead of X-Wing due to the heavy investments we've all made over two editions of that game (and one friend actually hated what he saw of the Battlestar Galactica reboot series)... plus, I'm trying to curb my spending on games (failing miserably at it), especially since I don't have time to play all the games I own!

That said, BSG remains one of my favourite TV series, and what you've posted here in terms of rules features really makes me want to pick it up (I curse you, atanakar).

Then again, maybe I should resist buying it because the pandemic has brought my in-person table-top gaming to a screeching halt.

Convince me otherwise, atanakar!

P.S.: I feel like Smeagol/Gollum having one of his internal struggles. :p

As a fan you should definitely buy it. I'm very happy with it. I plan to buy the Apollo Viper MK VII, the Starbuck Cylon Raider. I already bought a pack of four extra control panels, the Boomer Raptor and the Cylon Heavy Raider Combat/Transport.

Also, you should know they will put out the Galactica and Cylon Base, but not to scale cause that is impossible. Now you must really hate me!

Just wait for a more appropriate time says Smeagol. Gollum says weee musssst havez'it for Christmasssss. My preeeeciioussss!
 

TwiceBorn2

Explorer
Cylon base and Galactica expansions? Argh!

What is the difference between the various "identical" ship expansions? Does it come down to paint schemes and player cards, or does something else set those expansions apart?
 
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atanakar

Hero
I don't even know where I could possibly store all these additional ships, not to mention a Cylon base and Galactica! Argh!

What is the difference between the various identical ship types? Does it come down to paint schemes and player cards, or does something else set those expansions apart?

They come with a unique ship profile, pilot, talents, gear. A set of movement cards. It's not like Star Wars. There isn't a myriad of ships and factions. I view it as a casual game that packs a punch.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Sadly, Ares games has lost the licence. It ended on Dec 31st. Sale of inventory will continue until June 2021. Source: News « Ares Games

I'm glad I have my starter set and the models I wanted. A fun game.
 

Movement is tracked using pre-planned movement cards. Velocity, Gs and acceleration are tracked using a control board for each ship. The great innovation of this game is that, just like in the tv series reboot, your ship can go in one direction but you can rotate and fire in another.
That's not innovative. In fact, there have been games doing so since the 80's and later. Renegade legion. Brilliant Lances. Full Thrust. Half-a-dozen other games of the 80's and 90's.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Decided to invest a bit more into this game despite not being supported anymore. It's a keeper. Easy to understand and to put on the table. Wanted to grab a second starter set, very useful for games with more than 2 players because of the extra tokens.

My fleets so far. Only need one other ship per side. I'll be able to do 4 vs 4 players with 2 ships each.
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MGibster

Legend
Sadly, Ares games has lost the licence. It ended on Dec 31st. Sale of inventory will continue until June 2021. Source: News « Ares Games
In the late 90's I got into Babylon 5 Wars by a company called Agents of Gaming. I thought it was a lot of fun and the miniatures looked great but I had trouble finding other players. When AoG lost the license in the early 2000s I just gave up on it. These days I'm somewhat hesitant to purchase a miniatures game based off a licensed IP. How long can I count on that company having the IP?

That's not innovative. In fact, there have been games doing so since the 80's and later. Renegade legion. Brilliant Lances. Full Thrust. Half-a-dozen other games of the 80's and 90's.
Babylon 5 Wars was doing it in the late 90s. Handling movement and facing was one of the more complicated parts of the game for new players to wrap their head around.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
In the late 90's I got into Babylon 5 Wars by a company called Agents of Gaming. I thought it was a lot of fun and the miniatures looked great but I had trouble finding other players. When AoG lost the license in the early 2000s I just gave up on it. These days I'm somewhat hesitant to purchase a miniatures game based off a licensed IP. How long can I count on that company having the IP?

Good question. I started this one as soon as it came out hoping to buy as much as I can in the first three years. Their licence was cut short because of the new BSG reboot TV series. No one could have predicted that...

I'm buying these models to have a fleet of pre-painted ships to do space dog fights. I'll try other rule systems eventually. That is the beauty of models. I have a few friends who will play space games with me. I provide everything. I play their WWII and historical games. They provide everything. I like our arrangement.
 

Babylon 5 Wars was doing it in the late 90s. Handling movement and facing was one of the more complicated parts of the game for new players to wrap their head around.
I'm well aware; I playtested (and am in the "foreign playtesters" because someone at AoG was clueless about US Geography) B5W 1E.

Mayday was simpler; the 3 counter solution was brilliant. I wish GDW had kept it for Brilliant Lances. BL was as cumbersome as B5W on that score. B5W is what killed SFB for me.
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
I'm well aware; I playtested (and am in the "foreign playtesters" because someone at AoG was clueless about US Geography) B5W 1E.

Mayday was simpler; the 3 counter solution was brilliant. I wish GDW had kept it for Brilliant Lances. BL was as cumbersome as B5W on that score. B5W is what killed SFB for me.
WOW! I owned a copy of Mayday by GDW, in 1983(?) but never could find someone to play with.
 


Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
I've only ever used it as part of Travelller sessions. You don't find Mayday players, you train them in RPG sessions.
I played many wargames with my friends but they were into too much into WWII Avalon Hill games. They didn't want to play my sci-fi dogfight game.

As for Traveller I'm glad for you but with my RPG group it didn't stick. Different people, different tastes.

Oh, and I don't 'train' people. I play with them. :p
 

I played many wargames with my friends but they were into too much into WWII Avalon Hill games. They didn't want to play my sci-fi dogfight game.

As for Traveller I'm glad for you but with my RPG group it didn't stick. Different people, different tastes.

Oh, and I don't 'train' people. I play with them. :p
Until you do, you're likely to have issues with players for anything unusual. Teach a friend mayday. Then Starfire. Then SFB. Then B5W, Restart if you want to play SFB again, because B5W is so much better a design... ;)
(THe above is only halfway snark.)
In all seriousness, it's easier to find willing victims for training than to find extant fans of many lesser known games. That is as true of boardgames as it is of RPGs.
And with D&D versions, it's as often required retraining them to the rules of the edition I'm using at the time. Most were unaware that they didn't actually know the content of the rulebooks...
 

Marc_C

Solo Role Playing
Until you do, you're likely to have issues with players for anything unusual. Teach a friend mayday. Then Starfire. Then SFB. Then B5W, Restart if you want to play SFB again, because B5W is so much better a design... ;)
(THe above is only halfway snark.)
In all seriousness, it's easier to find willing victims for training than to find extant fans of many lesser known games. That is as true of boardgames as it is of RPGs.
And with D&D versions, it's as often required retraining them to the rules of the edition I'm using at the time. Most were unaware that they didn't actually know the content of the rulebooks...
My current group of wargamers is willing to play BSG and StarFire*. We've played a few games of both before Covid. They are the kind of people who actually study the rules before the game. That is why I say I play with them rather than train them. I don't play very often either so it's more a collaborative effort when we play.

(*my Mayday box was lost at some point during a move in the 90s.)

______________________________

We played a BSG game last night. Apollo (MK VII) and Boomer (Raptor) vs Scar (Raider) and Level 4 (Raider). The (my) Colonials prevailed. Scar used his FTL to jump behind Apollo but Boomer also jumped near Scar. Putting it in a 2 against 1 position. Scar's ship was destroyed. After that the Level 4 Raider fought hard but was destroyed on turn 8.
 
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