I suspect that since the time of cheesy Buck Rogers television shows, the first Battlestar Galactica series as bad as it really was, and from the pure wonderment of Star Wars on the big screen I’ve thought about dog fights in space.
There is something about a battle in the skies/space, a place man in relative terms has only learned how to ascend too, that makes a dog fight something a poet can feast upon.
It is the stuff of legends from the time of World War One and the likes of Manfred von Richthofen ‘The Red Baron’. The German ace was on the opposite side of one of the most devastating conflicts of all time, yet he remains a near icon of the chivalry associated with biplanes taking to the skies to battle.
With such influences from history and beloved science fiction it is no wonder a game which looks to recreate dog fights would be of interest.
So when I came across Dog Fight: Starship Edition I was immediately intrigued and interested.
The game is a combination of board and card gaming coming together.
The cards are played to affect the attacks of the space fighters.
As a system it works pretty well, especially considering the game is not from a major publisher spending thousands on product development.
I tip my hat to designer Michael P. Fox for what he has created here. The game first emerged in 2008, but is not widely known as it has largely been a self-promoted game.
The copy I have is from The Games Crafter, LLC, which means functional, but not the quality of a game from large manufacturers. That does not limit playability, but it does lower the aesthetics.
In Dog Fight: Starship Edition each player controls only one ship. There are different levels of game play to keep the game fresh.
Each player has a range of actions to choose from, allowing players to manage their crew, weapons, movement and the ship’s special abilities.
The 52 cards in each starter deck allows players to choose a ship, then allows them to chase down their opponents.
Once in range the dog fight begins and it’s a chance to play out the fantasy of being Luke Skywalker, something anyone older enough to remember the thrill of the original Star Wars on the big screen will be thrilled by.
The game has limitations, as you might expect. No game is likely to ever fully mimic the idea of a battle in space with its special vectors of attack, but Dog Fight tries valiantly to give players a feeling they are in control of the ship, and that choices influences outcomes, both positive and negative.
This might not make a top-100 games list for any regular gamer, but it tries hard to deliver on the promise of recreating what a space dog fight would be like in terms simple enough for casual players to grasp rather easily.
Overall, a nice niche game offering.
Check it out at www.dogfighttcg.com
If anyone is interested in this game, or other board games feel free to contact calmar...@sasktel.net