Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 2
Amount of time to play: 30 minutes
Age requirements: 10+
Set-up time: 5 minutes
In Star Borders: Humanity, you and your opponent are viceroys from battling galactic empires. You must manage your scarce resources, outwit your opponent and get a bit lucky to win.
The games main resource is Logistics Points (LPs). You gather them by controlling more spaces on the map. You spend LPs to move and attack as well as repair ships and buy development cards.
Combat is resolved by rolling a die and getting equal to or under your ships attack rating. The owner of the hit ship rolls a die. If it is lower than that ship’s defense rating the hit is treated as a miss. If you roll your ship’s defense rating it must retreat. You can form engagement groups to bolster our smaller ship’s ratings.
Faster ships can avoid combat if they have a place to retreat to while larger ships can withstand a hit.
You can also purchase a development card on their turns. Development cards cost half your total LPs (rounded down) and grant you advanced technology or even victory points.
The game has a set number of rounds based on the scenario. But the last four rounds have a sudden death mechanism. You countdown to one in Star Borders and rounds 2-4 have a die on it. If you roll lower than the number showing on the die in the round space the game ends immediately.
In most scenarios if you score more victory points you win. Points are scored by controlling the spaces on the map. Some scenarios will score VPs differently.
Star Borders: Humanity is an area control game combined with a resource management and war game. This combination requires you to be judicious when you try to gain more area. Stretch too far and you’ll be too thin to defend yourself. But if you don’t expand enough you won’t have the resources you’ll need. This helps avoid turtling.
The combat system is fun and a little complex but not too fiddly time consuming. It may take a few turns for you to run combat smoothly, but once you have the order down it is easy to execute.
Another highlight is being able to form engagement groups. The Alliance tends to have more ship, but they are weaker and faster than Imperium ships. The engagements can help them overcome their lower stats a bit.
The rules are typical fare for Victory Point Games. Clean concise and easy to follow. And the components are typical as well. In Star Borders the components work well. My only complaint is small in that the maps tend to peak a bit at the folds.
Star Borders: Humanity is a fun game that combines a good combat system with resource management. Quick gameplay makes Star Borders: Humanity a good 2-player war game to pull out when you don’t have a ton of time. The theme is intriguing and from what I hear there are more games to come from the Star Borders universe. I look forward to seeing the new games, but in the meantime will enjoy playing Star Borders: Humanity. You should give it a try too.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 3 out of 6
Luck 5 out of 6
Player Interaction 4 out of 6
Replay Value 4 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 4 out of 6
Overall 4 out of 6