Game Review: Space Station Assault

Space Station Assault is a two-player card game from Your Move Games.  Each player controls a fleet of ships that are use to defend his lone space station and to destroy his opponent's ships and accumulate the necessary 60 victory points to win.

 

Space Station Assault

Ships have four statistics: speed, firepower, shields, and victory.  Ships are played in an imaginary grid between the two players according to their speed (i.e., players take turns playing their speed 1 ships, then their speed 2 ships, and so on).  When enough firepower has overwhelmed a ship's shields, it is destroyed and adds its victory rating to the attacker's total.

 

What's Good

  • It's fast.  Space Station Assault is easy to learn, and a typical game lasts less than 30 minutes once you've played it through the first time.  
  • Interesting strategies.  Since you can only attack a ship adjacent to yours, you have several approaches you can take during play.  You can play your ships near your own ships in order to build up a defensive line, or you can try to time your ship placement to leave yourself a hole to drop a new card into.  The rules say that you can play a ship next to any ship already on the board, but I found the game significantly more interesting if you allow a ship to be played only next to friendly ships.  It allows you to create walls of defense and to develop strategies for punching through your enemy's walls.
  • Great artwork.  The ship pictures are slick full-color images that are perfect for combat in space.
  • Blank cards.  A nice touch to let you add your own ships.

 

What's Not So Good

  • Stats colors.  My only real complaint with the cards is that all four ship stats are printed on the same background color and are differentiated only by the different border shape.  This makes it difficult to distinguish ship stats at a glance, especially when the cards are facing away from you.
  • Rotating cards.  The rules suggest that ship cards be rotated after they're played so you can tell which ones have yet to act.  In practice, I found this made the board even hard to analyze, especially with the confusing stats colors mentioned above.
  • Bookkeeping damage.  When a small ship attacks a larger one, especially the space station, you need to track damage with your own tokens or dice.  It's only a mild annoyance but one that bugged me every time I played.

 

Overall Space Station Assault is probably not going to be the go-to game for your weekend game group, but it's a fun filler for two people who are sidelined between games.  You can read more about it at Your Move's site.

 

Rules: 
7
Components: 
9
Fun Factor: 
6