Assault on Galactus Prime
Galactus Prime is the capital of an evil empire that the rebellion is about to attack. The only thing stopping the rebellion from taking over the capital is an ion supercannon that they must take out via a successful attack run. Think “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” and the famous Death Star trench run at the end of the movie, but without the creepy voice in your head telling you to trust your feelings.
In Assault on Galactus Prime, two players will be building a deck of cards (much like in Dominion) in an attempt to be the first one to make a successful attack run and blow up the ion supercannon. They’ll be recruiting pilots, applying upgrades to ships, and managing fuel all the while managing a deck of cards that recycles itself and builds over time. Before we briefly go over the rules and gameplay, I’d like to thank Stephanie Marroquin from Victory Point Games for sending me a free copy of this game to review.
Game Map – Both players will be using the game map to track their squadron’s movements in their quest to destroy the ion supercannon, as well as provides trackers for the resources acquired and used throughout the game. The map also lists permanent cards that players can pay to use during their turn.
Pilot Worlds Mat – This mat is the resource pool for unrecruited pilots. Some pilots cost more than others, and some have special abilities that will provide bonuses when making attack runs.
Units & Markers – Units consist of qualified and unqualified pilots that are placed face down on the pilot worlds mat at the beginning of the game. Markers help players track the resources and bonuses that are gained or lost during the game, along with other miscellaneous information.
Deck Cards – Cards come in various forms, consisting of starter cards, crystal cards, and other purchasable cards.
Setup & Gameplay
The game map is placed between players and each player sets their markers on the appropriate numbers on their individual tracks as explained in the manual (which I will link later on). The pilot markers / units are placed faced down on their respective spots on the pilot worlds mat, except for the Bhaalik pilots, which are placed face up. The cards are split up into their own decks (by card type) and placed nearby, representing the cards that can be purchased during the game. Each player gets one Commander and one Battle Tactician card of the same color and four “1” crystal cards, which make up their starting decks. Players initially draw three cards to form their starting hand.
A player’s turn is fairly simple and consists of the following:
1. Take one action – A player plays a card from their hand and performs the action listed on the card. Some cards allow players to play more actions, among other things…they resolve those actions as they are played.
2. Buy one card – Using the crystal values from the action cards played along with the crystal cards still in a player’s hand, they can buy one card from the pool. Purchased cards go straight to that player’s discard pile, but will be drawn again as the deck is recycled.
3. Discard all cards – When the player is finished, they discard everything they just played and everything in their hand to the discard pile. Three more cards are drawn from the deck. Should the deck run out, the discard pile is shuffled and becomes the new deck.
As turns are completed, players will eventually acquire four pilots. Once this occurs, that player will move their squadron down the track one space at a time. In between moving, the opposing player can pay fuel to activate “defensive fire” on behalf of the Empire in an attempt to shoot the pilots out of the sky. Fortunately, the player controlling the pilots will be able to equip their ships with shields, as well as deploy ECMs that allow the pilots to advance without opposition. If a pilot has a special ability, it is also factored in during the appropriate moment. The first player to destroy the ion supercannon wins the game!
The above is just an overview to give potential buyers an idea of what the game is like. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the manual here:
This game isn’t bad as far as deck building games go. While other deck building games offer more in terms of gameplay, this one does a few things that I don’t often see in your average deck building game. For example, I like the idea of permanent cards that are always available to be purchased so that their effects can be used. This can really help out players during turns where they draw cards that they just really didn’t need at the time. I also like seeing the direct effects of my actions from the cards I play through the tracks on the game map.
The different pilots that one can recruit adds a bit of diversity and thus, encourages strategic play. You can buy up some cheap pilots that have no special powers, or chance dropping more crystal to hopefully get a qualified pilot from a pool that has special abilities. You can mix and match your squadron of four, giving you a few options while making your attack run.
My son Vinnie (11) took the extra time to purchase the better pilots and it turned to make a big difference during his attack runs. It was difficult for me to shoot them down, as he was able to force me to re-roll once per space and naturally add a “-1” to my roll when attacking one of his particular ships. I opted to buy the standard ships and was equipping them all with shields when he bought his fourth ship (starting his run), lost two along the way, and proceeded to blow the ion supercannon to kingdom come with a lucky dice roll.
Overall, Assault on Galactus Prime is a fun diversion from the norm and worth looking into if you are a fan of the deck building genre. My only complaint was that the game initially didn’t come with dice…small gift dice were provided, but I have trouble using them. If this isn’t enough to deter you, then by all means, check it out!
Final Verdict: 6/10
You can find more information on “Assault on Galactus Prime” by visiting the Victory Point Games website or on Board Game Geek, located here: