Review: Galaxy Defenders Operation Strikeback – guardian of the universe on the Moon

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Everything seemed to be good. Aliens have withdrawn from the surface of our planet and humanity has been saved. But what disappointment arose in the Central Staff a few days later, when they started receiving strange signals from the Moon. There was no doubt about it. Our enemies settled on the surface of our nearest extraterrestrial neighbor. All we have to do is to send team of guardians of the galaxy to re-explain to them, that they are not welcome here!

Success of the board game has created foundation stone for these expansions. There are two of them – and . Underneath both boxes, designer duo and are signed. This box also bears logos of and , but also year , when it first arrived at the store shelves.

Reason we write about them together is the fact that they are very closely linked. You will know this right after opening rules guide, which describes its vast 56-page pages of components and mechanisms common to and specific to both boxes. And in both, there’s a lot of news, that’s about to shift the experience of the box. Above all, there is, of course a new campaign and, therefore, a really thick book of scripts. Underneath the alien battlefield, there are a pile of components – there are large two-sided game boards covered with hexagonal spaces, a number of tiles and miniatures. However, due to the dimensions of the box, the overall contents are a bit disappointing.

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But that might be the last disappointment you will experience with these expansions. Just remember our enthusiasm for the basic game. It remains purely cooperative, and the story of the individual piece depends on the chosen scenario. Each player will take control of one of (sufficiently different) agents, including equipment and enhancements, which are becoming stronger with the course of the campaign. In each round, a group of heroes have to choose their commander for possible specific effects. As a result, the characters move according to their capabilities, fighting with the help of dice determined by the strength of the weapon. They use so-called signal tokens for orientation, which are only anonymous beeps. When the hero comes close enough, he finds out whether he is an ally, a mission target or a furious enemy.

At the end of each player turn (one of the heroes), some enemies are activated and take action depending on their card. They can not only move closer but, above all, attack. And while still being healed. After all the heroes turns are over, there is no time to take a moment to rest, because time has come for events, that can sharpen everything. The success of the scenario depends on the specific conditions, that can be fulfilled or not based on given conditions.

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The authors decided to go in a way of slight improvements. This is especially true for the first expansion on the Moon. In general, the boxes do not bring a flood of new rules, that will slow the course of the game.

For fighters, there is one bad news: in Operation Strikeback comes a new kind of extraterrestrial opponents, master aliens. They are a huge monster, that have been given new abilities. The main thing is recognizing the most powerful agent, that affects their behavior. So players must also adapt their tactics, as they completely change maneuvering on the map.

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Things not yet seen in the board game are fighters on the part of players, who are also controlled by artificial intelligence. This also means a large increase in tactical possibilities, as new allies are activated each time the player moves. And they’re definitely not a pencil sharpener, so you’ll love to use them.

 

Unfortunately, with all this, the Operation Strikeback box also has many more different statuses, that you need to be aware of. It does not actually bring longer game time, but rather the risk of forgetting something important. Experienced gamers of the original Galaxy Defenders, however, should not be embroiled in incorporating these new habits into this cooperative game.

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The second part is Extinction Protocol, that completes jigsaw puzzle story of this game and brings the trilogy to home planet of intruders, who are still in peace. So there is chance to destroy them once and for all. Boxes come, of course, with new types of opponents and new maps. But since the home planet looks different, it is not possible to represent it faithfully with the help of elongated plates. Therefore, in the second box, players will find modular boards, that will be (again, as different as hexagons) to create underground corridors.

There are not so many newcomers in terms of playability. New skills for agents and incredibly strong armor, that have their own cards. And each of the heroes has his own armor, further shifting the uniqueness of individual fighters for humanity.

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But the basic reason, why each of the players will be thrilled about these boxes, is the story. The one from the basic box was well written and exciting. The better news is, that new games follow continuously and make the game one epic battle for fate of mankind. There are six new stories in each box, together a dozen games, if you are successful every time. Well let’s face it: it’s not very likely, you will.

Both boxes are completely dominated by difficulty. You will repeat many scenarios, because the first attempt just will not be enough. The combination of bad luck with bad decisions can not usually be remedied, and so after a while, the heroes are defeated. Fortunately, mankind will get a new chance, when players will find a few hours and return to planet of the enemy.

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So Galaxy Defenders is a better game with these expansions! Certainly! It offers delicious finishing of a great story, together with improvement of the heroes. In addition, you’ll get lots of interesting new stuff, but above all enemies and challenges. These new boxes will last for a long line of hours before you complete them for the first time and thus the Operation Strikeback and Extinction Protocol offer fantastic value for every gamer.

DesignerSimone Romano, Nunzio Surace
ArtistMario Barbati, Fernando Peniche, Raffaele Stumpo
PublisherAres Games, Gremlin Project
Year Published2015
# of Players1 - 5
Playing Time120
Mfg Suggested Ages12 and up
CategoryExpansion for Base-game, Fighting, Miniatures, Science Fiction
MechanicCooperative Game, Dice Rolling, Modular Board, Solo / Solitaire Game, Variable Player Powers
ExpansionGalaxy Defenders
FamilyCreatures: Aliens / Extraterrestrials, Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Mechanism: Campaign Games, Players: Games with Solitaire Rules
Primary NameGalaxy Defenders: Operation Strikeback

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

DesignerSimone Romano, Nunzio Surace
ArtistMario Barbati, Fernando Peniche, Raffaele Stumpo
PublisherAres Games, Gremlin Project
Year Published2015
# of Players1 - 5
Playing Time120
Mfg Suggested Ages12 and up
CategoryExpansion for Base-game, Fighting, Miniatures, Science Fiction
MechanicCooperative Game, Dice Rolling, Modular Board, Solo / Solitaire Game, Variable Player Powers
ExpansionGalaxy Defenders
FamilyAdmin: Better Description Needed!, Creatures: Aliens / Extraterrestrials, Crowdfunding: Kickstarter, Mechanism: Campaign Games, Players: Games with Solitaire Rules
Primary NameGalaxy Defenders: Extinction Protocol

Infos courtesy of boardgamegeek.com. More Infos.

Review: Galaxy Defenders Operation Strikeback – guardian of the universe on the Moon
Final word
Galaxy Defenders have gotten two expansions (Operation Strikeback and Extinction Protocol), that work best together. They create a closed story line with the basic box, but especially provide difficult challenge for the player to complete. The new components and interesting ideas complement the basic mechanisms and make the game a bit more complicated, but they do not greatly prolong the time needed. Both extensions are great, but if you should choose one, what would it be? Operation Strikeback! It offers more and is connected with a basic story line. But that does not mean, that Extinction Protocol is bad. Both boxes will bring a number of excellent experiences to your game of Galaxy Defenders.
Reader Rating0 Votes
Pros
great and exciting campaign
good challenge
interesting little news
more heroes enhancements
new opponents
everything holds together
has no significant effect on the length of the game
alleyways on the mother planet of invaders
Cons
lots of tiny statuses to watch
at first glance, the contents of the boxes are not so breathtaking
4.5
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