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Colonial Battlefleet: Core Rules
Publisher: Steel Dreadnought Games
by Chris C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2010 21:54:08

While it might dissapoint some that this isn't a BSG specific game, it's not supprising given that now that it's a for-sale thing that would require expensive liscensing. However, it should be noted that there is a very flexible tech-level system which can be used to create your own factions, and they can easily be adapted to create BSG.. .especially since the base rules came from a home-made system designed around BSG. Just make a faction with no shields, high conventional weapons and high fighters... there ya go :)

As for a basic review: there is a lot of freshness here compared to other popular starship mini combat games. Ships are assigned roles which provide bonuses, so not all abilities are determined by the equipment you install at construction. Weapons are balanced as anti-shield or anti-armor, so it actually does make sense to have some diversification in the weapons you equip. It uses an initiative system with a twist that prevents the conga-line of spaceship you get from you-go-I-go init systems like you find in games like Silent Death. It has the most practical rules for cloaked/stealth ships I've ever seen, although they might be too abstract for some people. So far I've found the construction rules to be fairly unbreakable. Armor is pretty well modeled, where you have to penetrate it to get full effect, rather than armor just adding some hit points to the ship ala Full Thrust. Fighters are pretty well balanced, in my opinion, although they get a lot more powerful in a game with no shield tech, like the BSG setup I suggested above. I have found that battles rely a great deal on how you position your ships and focus your fire, and how well you build your ships. There's little chance to win if you just hope for good roles.

There are some cons though: it's not a highly complex game... Attack Vector this is not. Firing arcs are very broad, so different ships with the same role often feel kind of similar to me. Critical hits are somewhat devalued in my opinion, because they are fairly easy to repair. And balance and non-breakable construction systems come by way of artificial limits on certain aspects, such as area point defense for escort type ships is determined by the role, so all escorts are the same.. you can't sacrifice extra offense in order to make your escorts better at lending point defense to your carriers. There is also a bit of ambiguity about certain things in the rules, although the designers are very active on their board so its easy to get questions answered.

All in all I am having a lot of fun with the game and would recommend this game to anyone who likes games like Full Thrust. It's cheap, its well ballanced, and it's not just the same mechanics as other games recycled through different fluff.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Colonial Battlefleet: Core Rules
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