(P)review: Septikon

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I woke up early this morning to make coffee for the crew. Personally, I don’t touch the stuff anymore. But the rest are young and have yet to learn. I knew it was going to be a long day and I wanted everyone to be awake and alert. The kitchen had a strong aroma of coffee and that’s usually enough of a wake up call for everyone. While I waited I decided to crack a manual to read for a bit when that fateful noise came from the ceiling above.

Ping.

Like a rock on a lead roof.

Ping.

Crap.

I ran to the airlock, closed and pressurized my suit an entered. Peering out the small viewport I saw it. Another rocket headed right for us. I sounded the claxon. Sorry guys, no time for coffee…

This review is a long time coming and for good reason. There’s a ton of bits to this game. Here’s a rundown.

After a long wait for parts from thegamecrafter.com for stuff for another game we decided that we should make our own counters for this instead of ordering. This is the result. We went the fimo/sculpy route and are very happy with the result. If you are in this at the PNP level, order your bits now or start making them yourself. You’ll be glad we prepared you.
our first try…

This game is massive. The complete game has something in the realm of 160 counters/markers/minis.

You control a bunch of clones who control a uranium mining station that is perpetually under attack from another uranium mining station. You move your clones around your station to create resources which you use to make more clones and lasers and bombs and shields…

At first glance of the board it looks overwhelming.  I’m not here to tell you it’s not. Though it is, a bit. This isn’t one of those that you can just start playing and expect to pick it up as you go. You should know what everything is BEFORE you start or you are doomed. The board is approximately 20 x 30 inches broken into three sections. Your side, space and your opponents side. Yours and your opponents side is then broken down into sections which you MUST know BEFORE you get your ass handed to you with a nuke.

Closest to you is the Production Zone. This is where you make, well, stuff. Moving your clones in this area produces the base components for operating the station, including oxygen for clones.

The middle section is mainly your warehouse where you store the stuff you use to make all the fun stuff you’re gonna throw at your opponent. In the middle of the warehouses are a shaft containing your armory. Your clones aren’t allowed in the warehouses, but a shaft down the middle will take you up to the battle zone.

At the top two rows are the battle zone. This is where your clones can activate lasers launch rockets, nukes, shields and all the things any mining station needs to properly mine.

Almost forgot the topmost row above the battle zone, it’s basically the surface of the asteroid where your clones are now gunners kinda like Missile Command.

You’d think that the object of the game is to collect the most uranium before you get destroyed, right? Nope, Your sole job is to destroy the other mining station. With the sheer massiveness of the play area gameplay is insanely simple. Roll a d6, move a clone and do what the spot you land on says. In the production zone, produce, in the battle zone, make offensive or defensive weapons, or send your opponent a nuke with a Valentine’s note attached. That single roll determines your moves for your whole turn. Yup, 1d6. That’s how far you can move a clone, it’s how far you move your rockets, how far your shields, satellites, rockets can move this turn. Did I mention you can only move 1 clone? Just 1 clone. Then there are biodrones. You can send biodrones to your opponents base to wreak havoc from the inside. If you manage to land a biodrone on their base you can use your armory to destroy, destroy, destroy, from the comfort of your opponents digs.

Though there is a ton of stuff going on, the rules for each thing are simple. Make sure you have an instruction book handy for each player. You should have no problem remembering what each thing does after half way through the first game.

This video is the best “how to play” that I’ve found. It’s
also the only one I’ve found…

Jennifer and I have been playing this long form. Playing a few rounds every day. “I thought you loved me” is said by Jennifer every time I send a biodrone over to destroy her supplies.

This will be a staple in our house and you should run over to Kickstarter right now and back it. At the very least get the print and play for $10. The full game is $60, but it’s completely worth it if you don’t want to make all the pieces yourself.