Last week Thursday, Game Club was introduced to a completely new game………. Ad Astra.
Ad Astra is a economical game and is slightly similar to Settlers of Catan, but is far more challenging and requires more thought on your part. It most resembles Catan with its building rules. (You have to have this and that to make this. etc…) The game didn’t really have a lasting effect on me, or anyone else on my table, but that could have to do with the fact that we played the game ever so slightly incorrectly. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it, but the action on our table was a little too slow-paced. But no worries, I’m still ready to give Ad Astra another try.
The game starts off with each player selecting a color, corresponding “player”, and card decks. Everyone picked their colors pretty fast, and I was stuck with red, and this slightly-strange-mohawk-laser-gun-guy. Sam W. started off first, and he placed his colony on a random planet in the beginning solar system, and a spaceship in deep space. Yaseen, Zach, and I did the same thing. You also have resource and “play cards”, which you use to build things, and to be able build things and do certain actions.
There are actually “phases” in the game, so every player doesn’t just go around throwing their pieces on the board with no organization. There is a card board to the side of the playing field, and it contains a certain number of card spots. (Twelve, in this case.) Going in order, each player puts down one card, until everyone has put down three. ( Or four, depending on playing conditions.) After you this, each player flips up their “play card”, each one has a special effect, such as moving your starship to another galaxy, or cashing in some gold to make a colony.
The effects of these cards can have a great effect on your score, making you win or lose. The game continues onward from their, from action phase to card phase, and vice versa. In order to win, you have to get 50 points. Sadly, half our players could barely reach 15. This was probably due to our faults, and problems understanding the rules.
The rules are slightly difficult to understand, and the game is a little challenging and hard to play, but it was still a fun Game Club experience and I wouldn’t mind playing the game again.