Board games are great fun to play with friends or family and can definitely bring some good memories and enjoyment. The hardest part can often be introducing a new game to players and having everyone enjoy it. Some players love more strategic games and others are happy with very simple, no thinking, types of games. Space Base is a game that has a mixture of everything and is very simple to pick up. I’ve taught it to friends and family who have little board game experience as well as very experienced players and all have picked it up easily and enjoyed it.
The game throws players into the role of Commodore as they take control of a base where their fleet of starships is docked. Ships are deployed to sectors to take control of your territory while new ships come into dock. You control cargo vessels, mining vessels, and carriers. These ships can help you trade and build wealth, build a base income, and spread influence throughout the territory. As you grow and gain influence you fight to become an Admiral with great power.
Now that might all sound a bit complicated at first but I promise it’s really not. The overall mechanics of the game are roll dice and everyone gets something from it (another reason I like it so much is that you’re always doing something even if it’s not your turn). We’ve all played a game where you spend an eternity waiting on one person to take a long and complicated turn, none of that happens in Space Base.
You can see here that Board Game Geek rates the weight of the game a 2.12 out of 5. If you arent familar with “weight” ratings this is not too bad. Monopoly holds a rating of 1.64 out of 5 for comparrison. This rating could honestly come down a bit if you removed some of the more complicated cards of Space Base. The actual rules are pretty simple.
In fact, most people I played with got the turns figured out once we went around once or twice. At that point you can start developing a strategy for how you want to accumulate the most victory points the quickest. The main time the rule book ever came out was when we had questions on specific actions that some of the spaceships do. These actions mostly appear on the most expensive to buy, level three, cards.
Take a look at the above picture. This is a starting board for the game. While there are 12 slots down the board those are not the spaces you want to focus on yet. You will notice three colored cubes on the very left. these are the counters for gold, income, and rockets (VP). As you roll the dice you will get to take the recources (the symbol in the blue box) from the corresponding card. If two dice are rolled and you get snake eyes. You can choose to take either the resources from the “2” spot above or take the resources from the “1” spot twice. As we can see they both offer one gold, so it would be more beneficial to take the “1” spot multiple times.
As you go on you use that gold to buy a new ship for different spots. Once you replace a card you take the one that was previously there and flip it upside down on the same spot so only the red box is showing. Red box rewards you claim whenever another player roles that number on their turn.
We won’t get too involved in the rules in this post. That is just a basic overview of how the game goes. Pretty straightforward and simple. You can definitely try and build come crazy engines in this game to do cool stuff. There are cards that let you increase the dice roll by a number, and switch ship spaces around the board. Even a card that makes your opponents lose 4 victory points and will definitely set them all behind. You can get very sneaky with the game and try and take over quickly if you want. Or you can relax and just try and flip all the cards over so you constantly get gold every time someone else rolls.
I’ve found that the length of the game can really be different based on the players. Some games do seem to drag on a bit if everyone is taking long turns and complicating things. But I’ve also seen 4 player games last no longer than 20 minutes if people are working to simply buy victory points as fast as possible. Depending on who you play with and what type of playstyle the group has, time can really depend.
If you are looking for a lighter game to break out between those heavy gaming sessions, or just looking for something new the entire family can enjoy, I would highly encourage you to check out Space Base. This game often comes with me for family game nights or for something easy to enjoy with friends. It is worth picking up on Amazon for sure.