Review: Fleet Commander Ignition – two armies in space

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Have you always wanted to be an admiral of the entire fleet, but nobody would allow it? Bad luck! This place is already taken! At least for the moment. It is therefore important to burnish your stripes and wait for the opportunity to climb on the military ladder. Best way up is to become a hero!

And they may arise from board game : Ignition, which was created by and and their work was illustrated by Antoine Berger and . This game is from and published under logo of company.

Dark box with title Fleet Commander also depicts a group of spacecraft environment nebula and subtitle Ignition with number 1 (denoting being only first chapter). For us, however, it will become even more interesting, when we go inside, where nebula is located. First emerges game board with a circular battle space and large square sectors distributed over it. Players will also get their own command board with a few positions for dice. From cardboard are made also pieces of terrain (such as asteroids). For the players is also prepared a set of command dice, tokens of weapons, but mainly ship miniatures built on stands (with round tiles indicating the statistics ships – class, power and strength of the hull) and rotatable to change stats during the game.

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At the beginning of the game, each of the two participants will receive their order board and a set of dice (three of each color), seven ships and one special weapon of their choice (placed on their board). Plan is equipped with pieces of terrain as they wish. Then, both rivals place their ships in starting sector.

Players will alternate from that moment on. General on turn selects three dice from his inventory and roll them. Their icons can be used for actions or can be (placed on his bridge) for upcoming round. After that, player can use icons of dice rolled, but also those, that were kept from previous round. Conversely, those which were not used, may be then moved to the bridge for a future turn (as indicated earlier).

Dice by color belongs to different categories: motor (yellow), weapons (red) or shields (green). The symbols on yellow dice of movement will determine, whether ship can move between sectors diagonally or orthogonally (or in any direction). This can always be done only by one sector for one die and always for any number of spacecrafts. When moving ships, their presence (sum of the classes of ships) in one sector may never exceed five.

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Similarly, it simply works well with attacking and defending. Even these dice show slanted or straight lines (directions), allowing players to attack or block from these sides. Attacking with one cube allows all the ships to attend, at least those, that are adjacent to the contested ship. Hits may be blocked using shields, that players saved from his last turn.

Top class cruiser has also a special weapon on board, which was chosen by the general at the beginning of the battle. That is all for the basic rules of the game. Player’s task then is to destroy his opponent’s ship or different one, if they selected some of prescribed scenarios.

Fleet Commander is a purely tactical sci-fi fun for two. Players fight together with dice, that they can always cleverly exploit. An important element of every turn is choice of colors and thus actions, that the player makes. Dice herein only represent directions, thereby providing tension, but also sufficient predictability. Actual fights are random and its not always possible to defend against attacks.

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This is also the reason, why each game will provide an excellent experience. Both opponents have a good feeling of control over their ships throughout and positional status plays an important role as mere tactics and little luck. Ships with the course brings battle scars and lowers value of ship hull. So they can be eliminated out of combat and player will get no compensation for them.

But the basic rules are far from being everything this game has to offer. Beyond the basic secret weapons (possibility of attack, move or even repair your ships), there are advanced rules. And they are only way to bring the game to next level of tactics. Each vessel suddenly has some special ability. For this purpose, they also show different symbols on their tile. Thanks to them, players can perform evasive maneuvers or steal dice.

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When you are done with several matches, you should definitely be worried about variability of the Fleet Commander. Fortunately, rules also have scenarios, that set new rules and even victory conditions. All this creates a good and enjoyable mix, which will last for some time.

Game is designed for two players, who have just enough space for all their squadrons on the board. Duel takes place usually on space of one hour, and sometimes even in a shorter amount of time. Everything is interesting, because turns do not last long. Except for the attacks, although concerning both opponents.

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Fleet Commander offers everything such a sci-fi game should have, including a very solid processing with ships on high stands. At the same time, it remains sufficiently simple and accessible to less experienced players. The main asset is clearly an emphasis on tactics. Players have everything under their control even when the dice intervene. Fleet Commander is cool experience for every hobbyist in genre of sci-fi battles.

DesignerElwin Charpentier, Didier Dincher
ArtistAntoine Bergerat, Antoine Schindler
PublisherCapsicum Games
Year Published2014
# of Players2 - 2
User Suggested # of Players Best with 2+ players
Recommended with 2+ players
(8 voters)
Playing Time60
Mfg Suggested Ages12 and up
User Suggested Ages8 and up
(9 voters)
Language DependenceNo necessary in-game text
(10 voters)
CategoryMiniatures, Science Fiction
MechanicDice Rolling, Grid Movement, Hand Management, Secret Unit Deployment
ExpansionFleet Commander: 2 – Beyond the Gate, Fleet Commander: Avatar, Fleet Commander: Forge, Fleet Commander: Orbit, Fleet Commander: Pirates, Fleet Commander: Salvation
FamilyGame: Fleet Commander, Players: Two Player Only Games
Primary NameFleet Commander: 1 – Ignition

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Fleet Commander Ignition – two armies in space
Final word
Fleet Commander is a sleek sci-fi game, that is simple yet sufficiently interesting with enough tactical possibilities. This is a pure conflict duel, which is further enriched by the scenarios. If we had to find a flaw, then it might be lack of a little more variation in ships and their capabilities. Overall, it's a great game with miniatures, which can only be recommended. Fleet Commander can very pleasantly surprise.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
clever use of dice
matching game time
scenarios
ship miniatures
simple rules accessible to beginners
Cons
not many ships and skills (to insure replayability)
4
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