I finally managed to swing by the Greater than Games booth and say hi to Christopher Badell – it helped that I miraculously caught him at a moment when he wasn’t occupied with a dozen other things, at least for a minute or two. He recommended I try out Galactic Strike Force, another cooperative game they publish.
Fortunately a table was open shortly thereafter so I jumped in on a demo. We had a full table to take on some sort of space Spider menace.
My ship was the “bomber” of the group so I took to a location all by myself while the other players spread out to the rest of the planets. I have to say I was fairly successful at keeping the ship count down on my enemies. After only a single round, though, another planet had become overrun causing our feared Spider enemy to come into play. We decided to go all out in hopes to destroy her quickly, ignoring the other locations – so if we failed to take her out in a round or two, it would have been bad news for the galaxy.’
Fortunately I drew a good set of bombing cards which allowed me to make a significant dent in spider-lady’s shields before the main attack even started. Combining powers of the different player’s ships together we managed to knock her down to only a few HP – not the total wipe we were hoping for, but it was enough. In the next round a second location was overrun but one of the other players was able to do some early damage to the spider, removing her last few hit points! What a glorious victory! I’m told we were given a more “friendly” version of the game for a demo and that the real game would be much more difficult – and I believe it. Things were bad enough as is, though.
I had a good time playing and I would be interested in exploring the full game and having to spend more time balancing the defense of each planet versus attacking the main enemy, not to mention actually having a chance to buy some cards to mix into my deck. The one concern I have with the game is that it seems like there’s a lot of upkeep. There were 3 planets to defend and each had about 3 enemy ships on it, and each of those ships had some effect printed on the card that triggered in one of the 5 phases of the game. And even in our short demo the ships started piling up on planets. I would think it would get a little tedious to make sure to look through all the enemy ships each round to make sure you didn’t forget one of the triggered effects. That’s on top of the effects of each location, new cards to purchase, and my own hand of cards. That’s a lot of text. I dunno.
Anyways, it was enjoyable, and it was definitely a challenging co-op. If you enjoy Sentinels, which has a bit of upkeep time of its own, it’s probably worth checking out if you get the chance. Besides… spaceship minis.