Fleet Commander: Genesis Review

Board games gaming

So a couple weeks back I received the rewards from a Kickstarter I had backed, Fleet Commander: Genesis. It is a space combat game that uses dice to determine movement, offense, and defense. There are two factions in the base game, Legion of Phoebes and the Hegemony of Amycles. 

Each faction has similar ships in the base game. Frigates are the smallest ships, able to scoot in and shoot, then scoot out. Destroyers can reach out and attack at a long range. Cruisers can lend their defenses and protect ships with them. Battleships, the heavies of the base game mount a special weapon. This is a choice of a number of weapons such as vortex missiles or the proton beam.

Combat is fairly simple, you move adjacent to your opponent and attack. If the attack dice you have rolled allow you to make the attack that is. Each ship does damage equal to its size (for the most part). Attacks may be countered by utilizing a defense die. This blocks all the damage from one square.

I should talk about the dice. Each die has two sides with pips arranged in an X and two sides with pips as a +. The remaining two sides are a special result and a multi-directional representation. If you roll a blue movement die and it comes up the X, you may move to one of the diagonally adjacent squares. The same holds true for the +, except you are moving in one of the orthogonal directions. Special results vary by die type, and two specials are required to fire the battleships special weapon.

The dice are blue – movement, green – defense, and red – offense. The related specials are blue – retreat, after being attacked you may move to an adjacent square; green – drain, you may force an opponent to discard a die of their choice; and red – counter-attack, after being attacked, you may return the attack to the attackers.

The game feels like chess with spaceships and dice, with the dice telling you which piece to move and where to move it.

The Kickstarter also came with a number of expansions: Salvation, Forge, and Pirates.

Salvation adds new ships called Tech ships. These ships have a customizable special ability, usually some sort of support ability.

Forge adds new ships also. Heavy Battleships available to both sides are like Battleships, but bigger and hit harder. Carriers, a Phoebian only ship has no innate attack value but can deploy fighters which can support an attack. The final ship is the Amyclean Dreadnought. Like the Heavy Battleship, it is bigger than the battleships. It also carriers long-range missiles which can do devastating damage to ships at a long distance.

Pirates doesn’t add new ships but adds a couple of new leaders and a couple of factions.

Overall, this is a fun game which can be completed in an hour or so. This one is a solid 5 stars.