This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series The best board games

It's been a long time since the last board game top list. But as is well known, every wait has an end. Board games from different genres inspire board game fans from different genres. There is more choice for some than for others. In the end, however, every board gamer will find the perfect board game for them. One area that comes along with a small but fine selection of titles is space. Gamers love stories from galaxies far, far away, actions that take place at different sidereal times or take place on planets populated with monkeys. Each setting clearly announces: This is where an imaginative background story is hidden. For fans of space operas, space battles and dangerous aliens, I have selected the best board games for adults from the space category.

Eclipse - New Dawn for the Galaxy

The title occupies the entry position in the top 5 of the best space board games Eclipse - New Dawn for the Galaxy. It is easy to see that this board game title requires rudimentary knowledge of English, because there is unfortunately no completely German edition of Ecplise. After all, a German version of the instructions can be easily downloaded from the Internet. Assuming some training time, everyone can have a lot of fun with it Eclipse to have. Training period will be at Ecplise Incidentally, not only required because of the possible language barrier, but also because this board game is extremely complex and boasts multi-layered game mechanisms. That is a curse and a blessing at the same time: The entry into Eclipse is tough, it takes some time until the first game runs really smoothly, but then this board game is a lot of fun and the complexity is a wonderful playful challenge. So the place in the top list of the best space board games is well deserved. The aim of the game is simple at first: 2 to 6 players fight for victory points. Whoever gets the most wins.

However, players can achieve points in different ways. First of all, each player slips into the role of an alien race or joins the human faction. Where people show themselves to be fairly standardized, the alien races have different strategic points of contact, which in the long term ensures an enormous amount of motivation through the reversal of roles. When it's your turn as a player, you have various options for action: maneuvering spaceships, colonizing planets, building and equipping ships or developing state-of-the-art technologies. Ecplise - New Dawn for the Galaxy reminds a little of the popular 3X games, which are about discovering, exploring and conquering. It's great that something like this is also possible on the board game table at home. Above all, it is exciting that every play element can still develop its usefulness. For example, there are victory points just for taking part in space battles, which encourages players to take part in battles that have already been believed to be lost. So there is always something epic going on. But number five on the top list of the best board games around the world is not number one. So there has to be something to complain about. Indeed, there are points that are negative about Eclipse. The points of criticism, however, do not relate to the fun of the game, but rather to the trappings. Eclipse rather scares off beginners and the board game seems a bit trashy in places, which can make it extremely attractive again in the eyes of sci-fi fans. Describing Eclipse is difficult, you have to experience this game. It offers a bit of everything and entertains at an extremely high level. Fans of complex space strategy can hardly find a better board game title. And the Extensionsincreasing the number of players up to 9 make it even better and more epic.

Space Cadets

Stardate 9715,5: This is the captain's log. Who is the packaging of the board game Space Cadets looks inevitably reminiscent of one of the most popular sci-fi brands: Star Trek.

+ Six bizarre guys, fresh from the Star Academy, go on space patrol and experience a lot of adventures. Each player slips into the role of a crew member and has different tasks depending on the command post chosen. Space Cadets is a cooperative space board game and inspires with its weird humor and the hectic gameplay. Life in space is anything but leisurely. You have a lot of well-made game material at your disposal to cope with the mission. Including your officer monitors, repair and damage cards, enemy ships, maneuver cards, energy cards and of course torpedo cards for the particularly impressive special effects. Each of these tiles is thematically and specifically reminiscent of the spaceship technology from Star Trek, which is especially great for Star Trek fans, because they immediately feel at home. This is also one of the biggest pluses of the space board game, because a lot of it sounds familiar. This makes it easier to immerse yourself in the game world. The bizarre at Space Cadets is the game idea on closer inspection. Instead of relying on epic and persistent spaceship battles, the game authors Brian, Sydney and Geoff Engelstein pack all sorts of entertaining mini-games in their work. Space Cadets is something like a collection of exciting, sometimes hectic game parts. Including, for example, references to memory, puzzles or poker. Combined with a good helping of coincidence, is Space Cadets a wonderful mix of games that, despite its simplicity, can inspire in the long term. Each officer position is connected to a different mini-game, so that changing roles also ensure new fun. While as a captain you have to keep a cool head and ensure an overview, it is especially difficult for the helmsman, because here chance often plays a trick on the player. The right route can be found by randomly drawn route maps. It quickly becomes clear: that everything runs smoothly together is more of an exception. If there is also an enemy contact in the hustle and bustle, the game is great fun, because then there is damage to the spaceship hull or even the critical systems.  

It is the successful mixture of individual play elements that Space Cadets makes it one of the best board games in the space category. The coincidence factor and the regular worst-case scenario are, in precisely this combination, the perfect ingredients for hectic and exciting gaming fun. The fact that the mistakes of the players themselves often lead to disasters does not need to be mentioned separately at this point.

Space Alert - Alert in space

The bronze medal in the competition for placements on the list of the best space board games goes to a title penned by Vlaada Chvátil: Space Alert - Alert in space. This space game is the cheapest representative of the top list and shows that the purchase price alone does not have to be a quality feature. In 2009, the board game won the special prize for “New Game Worlds” from the Game of the Year jury. Totally deserved, as you will see in a moment. If you think of an alarming emergency in space, hectic, life-threatening events automatically appear in your head. And that's exactly what happens in the space board game Space alert, because a hectic pace and the ability to react quickly are elementary game components. The title Escape should be familiar to many board gamers, as it is the epitome of a popular hectic board game that drives gamers to a hurry with exciting soundtracks. Also Space Alert - Alert in space works with a similar system in which the mission briefing is presented in audio format from the enclosed CD. Similar to Escape, the game rounds are limited in time due to the use of a soundtrack. In the space board game Space Alert, one round takes about 30 minutes including preparation. The game itself runs for 10 minutes. That sounds like a short time, but a lot can happen in space in 10 times 60 seconds. This makes this title ideal for inserted, exciting game games that loosen up a board game evening and let the blood pressure rise again after spending a few hours with a role-playing game, for example. The highlight: The game mechanics of Space Alert - Alarm im Weltall even allows solo games, completely without other players, in which you compete against time alone. Of course, it's more fun with friends, of whom up to 4 others can participate. 1 to 5 players slip into the roles of brave space cadets who go on an exploration mission. Anyone who reads the term “exploratory mission” as an experienced SciFi veteran knows what follows: Lots of dangers. In Space Alert, these dangerous situations occur, among other things, in the form of confrontations with enemy ships, asteroid impacts or alien boarding commands. In order to master the emergencies successfully, the players have to coordinate their game actions under considerable time pressure. An example: You have to fire the laser cannon. That sounds simple, but it doesn't work without enough energy from the engine room. So some of the players set off in the direction of the laser launch system, while the other part has to take care of the energy supply. It hardly needs to be mentioned that further dangers have become manifest in the meantime. So for 10 minutes you are fully employed and work cooperatively against time. The better the team game works, the more successfully you solve the emergency situations.

You can do this by using your action cards sensibly and talking to your comrades. Sometimes you even have to make some unpleasant decisions. The cards are not evaluated until the chaotic 10 minutes have elapsed, so it remains exciting until the end. For cozier natures is Space Alert - Alert in space Incidentally, it can also be played without the accompanying CD. 

There is a bit of criticism after all: the great game system wears out over time. This takes time, but is a known problem in purely cooperative board games without unexpected twists and turns by scheming opponents. However, it takes countless hours until Space Alert is ready - and even then you would first have the fun with the extension Infinite expanses extend. This brings a lot of new play elements that can be used individually or combined. Exciting!

Star Wars Armada

No list of the best space board games without Star Wars. That was clear to me even before I typed the first sentence. Not because I'm a Star Wars fan myself and really wanted to accommodate a Star Wars board game, but because the new generation of board games for the Star Wars franchise is tremendous fun. There would have been plenty of choice. From the miniatures game Star Wars - X-Wing, about the mission game Star Wars - Imperial Assault, right down to the brand new title Star Wars - Rebellion, I could have picked a lot of board games and put them in second or even first place. However, since this is about space, I wanted a board game that also takes place in space to a large extent, i.e. a title in which spaceships play an important role. Imperial Assault is ground strategy, so it falls out. Rebellion is a mixture and requires its own long review. X-Wing is like Armada, only smaller. In the end, it came in second place among the best space board games Star Wars - Armada managed, a tactical space game that not only scores with its popular brand. What strikes you when unboxing Star Wars - Armada are the gigantic and detailed spaceship models that make the hearts of fans beat faster. In particular, the gigantic star destroyers of the empire make a powerful impression. At a purchase price of around 80 euros for the basic set, you can expect high quality, the models from, Star Wars - Armada but are much more valuable than one could wish for.

The game principle is similar to the ideal predecessor Star Wars X-Wing: The miniatures game. Instead of relying on small combat units, however, the two players in Star Wars - Armada bring out larger guns. In this 2-player space board game, the players take over the battleships of the rebel alliance or the empire and, in addition to agile combat units, even command leisurely capital ships with enormous firepower. Maneuvers and flight routes should, however, be commanded in a tactically wise manner, for each unit has individual advantages and disadvantages which it must be skillfully deployed during the battle in order to be victorious. With the help of markers and templates, the strategic decisions are transferred to the game board. Modifiable dice results decide on the battle results. This creates tension and makes battles, to a certain extent, unpredictable. Even if Star Wars - Armada is more about the big ships, the fun dog-fight feeling from the X-Wing miniature game quickly sets in. The excellent game instructions and the well thought-out concept also allow beginners a shallow introduction, Star Wars - Armada quickly addicting. In addition, this space board game is constantly changing expand new classes of ships: Long-term fun is guaranteed.

Battlestar Galactica - The board game

Perhaps a little surprising is the fact that neither the Star Wars nor Star Trek brands are ranked number one among the best board games for adults in the space category with a board game. However, the title holder is not entirely unknown either, after all, battle star Galactica has been casting its spell on its fans since 1978. Space board game backdrop Battlestar Galactica - The board game is, however, the new edition from 2004. The space board game penned by game designer Corey Konieczka is basically not just a title for space fans, because board players who like to playfully deal with intrigue and betrayal are at the right place here. Insidiousness isn't just in the board game Spartacus desired to be victorious. 

Up to six players flee from the dangerous Cylons to Kobol. In order to win, they have to achieve their goal and at the same time have a sufficient supply of resources. However, within the game round there are also one or even two traitors who try to thwart the players' plans with insidious maneuvers. Quite extraordinary and extremely exciting. In addition, about halfway through the game there is the possibility of defection to the Cylons. It's an incredibly cool idea and usually a surprise for the players if you don't let the super-Cylons hang out beforehand. Anyone of the players could be the traitor: This uncertainty creates a tremendous amount of tension and makes you rethink every game plot at least twice. Thanks to the excellent game mechanics, the scheming Cylon player is hardly exposed to the danger of being discovered. He can act calmly in the background without being exposed. Pretty much every game plot can be manipulated, which often presents the group of players with problems that need to be solved. Even though people are outnumbered, it is very difficult to reach the goal of the game. Constant scarcity of resources, exciting space battles and a portion of living room politics make for an extremely exciting setting. The joy is all the greater when people with sufficient resources reach Kobol after all.  

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