Publisher: Lock ‘N Load Publishing
Game Designer: Blackwell Hird, Gottardo Zancani
Playing Time: 20-60 minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $79.99
Star Grunts Redux
The first edition of Space Infantry has been out of print for some time, but that’s about to be rectified with the release this year of Space Infantry: Resurgence. SI:R is a retooling of the original game, including its follow-on New Worlds expansion, and all of the extra content that was created for the original game, now all together in one package.
I recently had the chance to sit with Space Infantry: Resurgence, and check the current state and progress being made. So, I wanted to share a quick sneak peek about what’s being done behind the scenes as Lock ‘N Load Publishing works to bring the game out later this year.
Same action, new look, and some additions
First off, Space Infantry veterans will be happy to know that the game that we all know and love will be very much the same, but now looks and plays even better. While the gameplay has not undergone any drastic changes, it has been given a needed visual makeover, along with further development tweaks to improve the overall experience.
Space Infantry: Resurgence will give you the whole smash; both the base game and the New Worlds expansion in this 2nd Edition. New art elevates the bleakness of the first edition with a more colorful, yet equally dystopian feel to it. This isn’t neon lights and colorful tights, but the dangerous and spartan existence of a space grunt.
The game has a couple of minor, yet welcome tweaks. One of which I know may have some purists balking, but fret not, for they are good changes. Originally SI used a chit pull system for random number generation, and it is still in the game as an option, rather than the rule. If you want true random number generation, there is no better way to do that than with dice, which is now the primary method. While some may not like the change, I welcome it with open arms!
As much as I love chit pull as an activation mechanic, more often than not I thought it sorely lacking for action resolution. I found that it caused odd, and telegraphed shifts in gameplay. If you drew well, you knew the enemy didn’t stand a chance. Likewise, when the draws from the limited pool were weighted against you, it seemed a fools errand to pursue the impossible. This took me out of things a bit more than I would have liked, so I began using dice in place of the chits to add true randomness and chaos to the game’s combat and action resolution phases. I definitely prefer the dice rolling over the chit draw since it adds a wider array of both good and bad luck, rather than the calculated guessing of a limited chit pool. Aside from that, it’s just plain quicker!
The next new bit is the use of node cards to flesh out the mission maps. These cards are randomly drawn and placed on each empty node space before you select your squad. This brings in a little more variation to each mission, changing things up from the more static feel of the original. It also creates the potential for new expansion cards to be published by LnL in the future, or designed by the community at large. They can easily be plugged into the game, furthering the life of the existing missions. While no plans for those have been shared with me, I don’t see a reason why this couldn’t happen if the demand was there.
If you want to really punish yourself, you can try the fog of war optional rule. Using this, you keep the node cards facedown until you are ready to explore it. Then you better hope that you’ve got the squad abilities to overcome the challenge presented, or it’s going to be a bad day for your troops.
Space Infantry: Resurgence is a really fun solitaire game, playing either one-off missions and full campaigns, and I’m excited to see it will soon be available again. This new edition will offer both cooperative and head-to-head play, bringing in every expansion ever created for the original game. There is a lot of fun in this box, and the upcoming reprint looks to be well worth the wait!
A time of resurgence
We’ve been waiting a long time for SI to get a reprint, and things are now in the final stretch. From the stint that I had with the game, I’m very excited to see it heading back to our tables soon. The original gameplay remains intact, but gets a needed face-lift and some new additions to help flesh out and expand upon the gameplay, to bring us what looks to be an epic experience. Keep in mind that the images you see here are of the prototype, and the finished product will have far better components.
This sneak peek should be enough to whet your appetite for Space Infantry: Resurgence. For those lucky enough to be at Game On in Seattle this week, you’ll get the chance to check it out in person. So don’t miss out!
If you’re a fan of the original SI, or are a solitaire gamer looking for a really fun solo challenge, don’t forget to jump on the pre-order price now and save 25%.
Company Website: https://store.lnlpublishing.com/
Company Twitter: https://twitter.com/LnLPub
Note: A prototype copy of this game was provided to me for this preview.