Update: Starcraft

We’ve played Starcraft: The Board Game a few more times, so I thought I’d update my opinions of the game. Those of us who have played the Starcraft videogame enjoy the gameplay and mechanics well enough, but our overall feeling tends to be of disappointment once we’re finished.

Reading the boardgamegeek.com forum discussions, there seem to be two main opinions about the game:

  1. “It just Ends all of a sudden…”
  2. “You’re doing it wrong.”

Well, we must be doing it wrong, because just when things start to get going, the game “just ends.”

Those of us who enjoy it will probably play again, because it’s still fun enough before it ends. Maybe we’ll even start to “get it” and stop being surprised by the ending. Or, maybe we’ll tweak the victory conditions to make it longer. However, the attic is Really Hot this time of year, so we may wait until it cools off for a while first.

The other problem we have with Starcraft is that it suffers a bit from Event Card Syndrome, aka “The Golden Snitch.” The game progresses, and everyone is working towards their goal, when all of a sudden, Poof! An external force (an event card, or the golden snitch) comes along, and hands victory to one of the players arbitrarily, making the effort put into the rest of the game somewhat pointless.

We’ve managed to get the playing time down to a reasonable length, but since it’s not really satisfying when the game ends, that may not be exactly what we’re looking for.

Starcraft is a typical “Ameritrash” game: it’s deeply tied to its theme or source material, and ends up being somewhat fiddly because of that. If you’re familiar with the theme, this isn’t necessarily a problem, but it’s probably best to play with people who care about Starcraft the video game, or at least who have played it before.