Update #1: How to play Galactic Strike Force!
Greetings, Strike Force!
That was an exciting launch! In our first 24 hours, we got over 400 backers and blew well past the 50% funded mark! Wow! We're pretty thrilled over here at the Greater Than Games headquarters.
We've heard a lot of requests for more game information - fear not! We have plans, and they involve making the most of the thirty days of this campaign. That said, day one is full of game information, so let's get right down to it!
Keep in mind, some of the artwork you will see is final, but a lot of it is not, and the same goes for specific card text. This game is still a work in progress, even if it is in its final stages, so if there's something that seems like prototype art, well, there's a good reason for that!
Now, onto the rules and gameplay info!
Galactic Strike Force is a cooperative game in which two to six players each take control of a ship and a crew in defense of the galaxy! The Opposition forces threaten to overrun the entire galaxy, and something must be done to stop them! However, you are not stalwart defenders, space cops, or Volnethian Guardians - the players play as members of the galactic underworld. Smugglers, pirates, gun runners, bounty hunters, and information brokers make up the ranks of the Strike Force which has come together to defend the Galaxy.
The game comes with three primary types of components that come with the core game: panels, tokens, and cards. An optional miniature pack is also available for Galactic Strike Force.
Panels: Full-color, two-sided cardboard sheets detailing the properties of a given Sector, Strike Force ship, or Opposition Flagship. Strike Force Ships and Opposition Flagships have 4” x 6” panels, while Sectors have 5” x 7.5” panels.
Tokens: Full-color, two-sided tokens printed on 1.3mm greyboard (like the tokens in Sentinels of the Multiverse). These tokens are used to represent the Weaponry and Defense of ships, as well as the locations of Strike Force Ships and Opposition Flagships in the Galaxy. Collectively, Weaponry and Defense tokens are referred to as Energy.
Cards: Full-color, two-sided 63x88mm cards. Each deck of starting Strike Force cards and starting Opposition cards share a unique back (like decks in Sentinels of the Multiverse). Station cards have gameplay information on both sides: a Strike Force side and an Opposition side.
Miniatures: The optional miniature pack comes with one 30mm scale, grey PVC miniature for each Strike Force Ship and Opposition Flagship. These miniatures may be used in place of the Strike Force Ship tokens and Opposition Flagship tokens.
Strike Force Ship Panels: A Strike Force Ship panel displays the name of the ship, a picture of a ship and its pilot, and its Weaponry and Defense values. The back of each Strike Force Ship Card lists Grounded abilities, which are used when your ship runs out of both Weaponry and Defense.
Strike Force Cards: All Strike Force cards feature a Credits value in the upper left corner, just under the title. This number indicates the number of Credits this card makes available to a player during their Requisition phase. Strike Force cards also have one of two keywords: Boost or Tech. Boosts may be played at any time during the game (unless they specify a phase, in which case they may be played any time during that phase). Techs may only be played during the Installation phase when they are Installed on your ship. In addition to a Credits number, Tech cards may have a Weaponry or Defense number in one of their lower corners. This number indicates how much weaponry or defense this Tech adds to the ship when Installed.
Opposition Flagship Panels: The Setup side of an Opposition Flagship Panel displays the name of the Flagship as well as its action track. As each action is performed, the Flagship token (or miniature) is advanced along the action track. When the final condition is fulfilled, the token (or miniature) is moved to a sector, and the Opposition Flagship Panel is flipped. On the assault side, an Opposition Flagship Panel lists unique actions that the Flagship performs in specific phases of the game, as well as the Weaponry and Defense of the Flagship (which fluctuates with the number of players).
Opposition Fleet Cards: All Opposition Fleet Cards are ships, with a Weaponry and a Defense number. Most also have additional rules that trigger during a particular phase of the game.
Sector Panels: Sector panels display the name of the sector, and a unique feature of that sector that triggers under certain conditions. Sector panels also have zones indicating the placement of Station Cards and the Station Deck.
Station Cards: Station cards have two sides: a Strike Force side and an Opposition side. The Strike Force side of a Station card has the same keywords and indicators as a Strike Force starting card. In addition, the Strike Force sides of all opposition cards have a Price, indicating the number of credits a player must spend to acquire that card during the Requisition phase. The Opposition side of a Station card can either be a Ship, like the Ships in the Opposition Fleet deck, or a Boost.
Galactic Strike Force comes with ten Strike Force ships, five Opposition Fleets, and ten Sectors. However, any given game will only include two to six Strike Force ships, one Opposition Fleet, and three Sectors.
To begin the game, each player picks a Strike Force Ship and places its Strike Force Ship panel, token (or miniature), and starting deck on the table in front of them. Each Strike Force Ship has a starting Weaponry and Defense value. At the start of the game, players place Weaponry and Defense tokens equal to these numbers on their Strike Force Ship panel. The starting Weaponry and Defense values do not need to be referenced for the rest of the game. Each player then draws four cards for their opening hand.
After setting up their individual play areas, the players chose three Sector panels and place them in the middle of the table. They then shuffle the station cards, placing thirty on each of the Sector panels in the space marked “Station Deck”. The top cards of the Station Deck are drawn to fill the Station slots (Strike Force side up).
Finally, the players choose one Opposition force to face. They shuffle the Opposition deck and play the top X cards of the Opposition deck across the 3 sectors, where X = the number of players plus 3. The remaining Opposition cards, as well as the Opposition Flagship panel and token (or mini) should be placed to one side for now.
Whenever a ship is deployed into the Galaxy, be sure to give it its starting Weaponry and Defense tokens! If a Ship loses all of its Weaponry and Defense tokens, it is destroyed and placed in the Scrap.
The galaxy should be entirely set up and the game ready to play!
Galactic Strike Force does not have individual player turns. Instead, there are five stages each round, and all players may act simultaneously or in any order they choose during those phases. The five phases that make up the gameplay of Galactic Strike Force are:
- Travel Players may move their ship to another sector.
- Requisition Players may purchase cards from the Station in their sector
- Installation Players may install Techs from their hand to their ship.
- Battle Strike Force ships engage in battle with Opposition ships in their sector.
- Aftermath The round clean-up phase.
Many cards have an icon which references a specific phase. Upon beginning any phase, first check for any such icons in play. Those actions happen immediately upon beginning that phase, in whatever order the players choose.
Travel: In the Travel phase, after completing the actions on any cards in play with [TRAVEL] icons, each player may move their ship token (or miniature) to any sector. All Strike Force ships are equipped with perfectly adequate Internodal Drives and can Travel from one sector to any other without difficulty. Strike Force ship tokens start the game on their play area, or “deep space”, and during the first Travel phase of the game, each player moves their ship to one of the three sectors. Strike Force ships cannot return to deep space until the Opposition is defeated.
Requisition: At the start of this phase, after completing the actions on any cards in play with [REQUISITION] icons, each player reveals their hand and totals the value of the Credits on their cards. Then, each player may purchase cards equal to this value. For example, if a player has 70 credits, then they could purchase one card with a Price of 70, or seven cards which each have a Price of 10, or any other combination. However, even if additional cards are added to or removed from a player’s hand after the start of the Requisition phase, that player’s available credits for the phase do not change. Available credits do not carry over from one Requisition phase to the next.
When a player Requisitions a card, that card goes to their discard pile and the card to the right of the requisitioned card in the station slides into the space that card formerly occupied. Then, the top card of the Station deck goes into the right-most station slot.
Installation: In the Installation phase, after completing the actions on any cards in play with [INSTALLATION] icons, each player may Install any Tech cards from their hand by moving them into their play area. Techs which grant Weaponry or Defense are slid under the player’s Strike Force ship panel, and tokens are added to the Tech card (NOT the main panel) equal to the granted amount. If all of the tokens are ever removed from a Tech installed in this way, it is scrapped. Techs which do not grant tokens are placed in front of the ship, and give players access to various abilities. A player may install any number of Techs, or no Techs, during the Installation phase.
Battle: At the start of this phase, complete the actions on any cards in play with [BATTLE] icons. Then, any Strike Force ships in a Sector with Opposition ships must engage the Opposition. Usually, each Strike Force ship can only engage one Opposition ship, however, there are many Boosts and Techs which allow Strike Force Ships to engage multiple Opposition ships. Strike Force ships can only engage Opposition ships in the same sector. If there are no Opposition ships in a sector, the Strike Force Ships there do not engage. When a ship is engaged, it is considered engaged until the end of not just the Battle phase, but the entire round.
After all Strike Force ships that are able have engaged, each engaged ship compares its Weaponry to the engaged ship's Defense. If a ship's Weaponry is higher than the engaged ship's Defense, remove Energy equal to the difference. Whenever Energy is removed from a ship, it is removed first from Defense, and then from Weaponry. This comparison happens from both ships simultaneously, so no tokens are removed until both comparisons have been made. A ship's Energy is the total of its Weaponry plus its Defense. If a ship has a Weaponry of 4 and a Defense of 3, then it has 7 Energy. If 5 Energy would be removed from this ship, first it is removed from Defense until Defense is depleted, then the remaining 2 Energy is removed from Weaponry.
Occasionally, multiple Strike Force ships may engage the same Opposition ship, or a single Strike Force ship may engage multiple Opposition ships. When they do, the ships sum their Weaponry (but not their Defense). For example, if 2W/3D ship and a 2W/5D ship engage a 5W/3D ship, the combined Weaponry of the first two ships (4W) cause the third ship to lose 1 Energy, and the 5W of the third ship causes the first ship to lose 2 Energy, but does no damage to the second ship.
Aftermath: After completing the actions on any cards in play with [AFTERMATH] icons, each unengaged Opposition ship flips one of the station cards in that sector and puts it into play, Opposition side up. Flipped cards cannot exceed the number of cards currently in the station. Then, at the end of the round, each player discards any cards left in their hand and draws a new hand of four cards. Whenever a player needs to draw cards and there are no cards in their deck, they simply shuffle their discard pile and make it their deck, continuing play.
Each sector has a Fleet Limit, which is the number of players plus three. If a ship would be played into a sector which is at or above the Fleet Limit, deploy it into the sector with the fewest Opposition ships. However, ships may move into sectors that are already at their Fleet Limit, just not initially deployed there. Whenever a sector reaches its Fleet Limit, the sector panel is flipped to the Overrun side. An Overrun sector is flipped back to the starting side when there are zero Opposition ships in that sector.
Winning and Losing
The game can be won by the players in two ways: either by destroying the Opposition Flagship, or if at any point there are no Opposition ships in play. The Opposition forces can win the game by Grounding all of the Strike Forces ships, or by Overrunning all three sectors.
Whew! That's a lot of information! Now you see why we didn't want to put all that on the front page...
Oh no! Look out! It's the CryoShade!
Thanks for reading, everyone.