“In Space Base, players assume the roles of Commodores of a small fleet of ships. Ships begin docked at their stations and are then deployed to sectors as new ships are commissioned under your command. Use cargo vessels to engage in trade and commerce; mining vessels to build reoccurring base income; and carriers to spread your influence. Establish new colonies for a new Commodore in a sector to gain even more influence. Gain enough influence and you can be promoted to Admiral!” – BGG Description
Space Base is a 2-5 player game for ages 10 and up that plays in 30-60 minutes. It is a fairly simple game and easy to learn since the majority of the game is rolling dice.
In Space Base players start with Ships docked in their Base in hubs numbered 1 to 12, everyone starts with a tableau full of basic ships, and 5 money. On each players turn they roll two dice and choose to either combine the numbers on the dice or split the numbers. What this does is activate one or two ships docked in the base in the hub numbers rolled. Depending on the ships activated this cmay give the player money, income (which means a player will never go below a certain amount of money), or Victory points. The ships may also trigger other ships within the base. At this time the other players can trigger ships that they have that are not docked at their base for the same options.
Next the active player can choose to use the money available to them to purchase a new ship for their tableau. The newly purchased ship is moved to the specific number on their base and the ship that was there un-docks and is moved off the base to be activated on other players’ turns. Giving the player better options when rolling their dice and better options when others take their turns as well.
When it comes to getting money or victory points it reminds me of Dominion in that you have to decide when the right time to switch from money making, to victory point taking. Too soon and you might stall your engine and not be able to bring in enough money to continue to get points. Too late and you’ll have a bunch of money at the end but not enough victory points to take the win (my issue).
Once a player reaches 40+ victory points the game is over. That’s it, that’s the game.
My Thoughts: I love this game. I had such a good time playing even though my wife Jen destroyed me badly. The game itself is a dice rolling engine builder, what that means is that you are building a mechanism that will bring you points or money or whatever your strategy is by buying ships and placing them in the optimal places at their optimal times in hopes that the dice go your way. Because the main mechanism is dice the game is a bit chancy but because you can either split the dice roll or not it does help you a bit, and having ships activate on others’ turns helps as well as there aren’t really any bad ships.
I love games with thick juicy themes in them, unfortunately the theme of this game really could be many different things. It’s not very strong. At the same time I am happy with the sci fi aspect since it is my favourite theme, pasted on or not.
The components are great. Good thick cardboard, nice dice, and great art. The art is very bright and colourful, sort of 90’s inspired I think. While some of the ships might look them same, the colours are all different so it helps break it up a bit.
My one other complaint might be the iconography on the ship cards. While there are only a few symbols in the game some of them didn’t feel so intuitive and gave us some difficulty figuring out what they meant. This is a small nit-pick as, like I said, the game has very little symbology.
Like I said, I love this game. It was really simple for us to figure out, and besides the icons on some cards, we didn’t really have to refer to the manual very much for our first play through. I will however have to choose a different strategy next time I play so I don’t lose quite so horribly.
For the Parents:
Sexual Content: None.