|I can hear the title song now . . . Whoo eeee oooo, Ooo wee oooo. But where is Mr. Baker's unforgettable smile?|
|Back of the tin.|
|Clear and concise rules! Strange powers! Combat resolution! Made in England!|
|Incredibly detailed miniatures of the various Doctors. You can see that "Doctor Blue" chose U.N.I.T. as his companion, whilst I (playing Tom Baker of course) chose the incomperable Sara Jane.|
|The board consists of four pieces of cardboard, depicting the galaxy writ large - basically an 8x8 grid with four spaces combined in the middle. At one point, some mild warping (no pun intended) in the board caused a rift in the time/space continuum.|
|A d12! No 2d6 bell curve here. Man, were the 80's great or what?|
|And, with tons and tons of counters! Small sample size above may not be representative.|
|The game - in action!|
|"Hey, where is Rose?" asked my young companion.|
|A giant, flying stingray attacks the Sydney Opera House.|
|Now then, she really IS incomparable.|
|Sixty counters of three types are in the quadrants - it takes a bit of time to set up 180 counters. Green counters are "key" pieces, red are aliens and the blue one (beneath the red) are items that can be obtained by defeating the aliens.|
|MOVE! SEARCH! FIGHT! REPEAT!|
Searching is simple - a player just turns over the counters in the grid section in which they reside. There are some items, such as the "Zonal Scanner", which allow for a player to flip over counters in a grid section other than the one in which they reside. Blank "key" counters are discarded. If the alien counter is blank, then the player may automatically takes possession of the key and items in the grid space (being "unguarded"). Blank counters play a major role in the game, as they are many and numerous.
|Selection of the combat rules.|
When starting out with only one, lowly (apologies, Sara Jane) companion, a player requires a roll of 3 or under to score a "hit." Later in the game, as more items or different companions are gathered, a combat factor of 10 or more is not uncommon, but starting out players wind up with a lot of failed attacks.
Aliens have a counterattack as well. Same as a player, the alien needs to roll equal to, or under, its combat factor - though the combat factor may be reduced by an item such as the creatively titled "Power Drainer".
|A Cyberman, with a combat factor of 4, must roll a 4 or under to "hit" - unless weakened by a player's item.|
In lieu of fighting, a player can use certain items to reduce an alien's combat factor, subdue an alien so as to take its key and item without a fight (e.g. Jelly Babies can be used to distract an alien), or dispatch an alien to another grid space.
|I scored a box of Jelly Babies back in '84 whilst in London. Well . . . Epcot London.|
|Aliens love Jelly Babies way more than lasers or Time Lord keys. But how does a Dalek chew the darn things?|
Items can be: (a) one-time use; (b) permanent use; or (c) subject to random loss. An item with "12" is kept for the game (unless otherwise discarded or lost to aliens or other players), an item with "0" is one-time use. Any other number requires a die roll under, or equal to, that number for a player to keep the item after use.
|After using the Tranquiliser Beam, a player must roll under a 4 to keep the item.|
The game is a bit conflicted as to whether it is cooperative or competitive. For example, players may trade key pieces if they are in the same grid space. However, players may also attack another player and steal a key piece. Many items, such as those that can move players or aliens, can be used either to help, or hinder, the other players. Given the youth of my opponent (and the risk of raising his ire and absorbing his resulting vengeance), we played cooperatively - until the last few turns.
After a slow start, our game ended with each of us stealing away "key" pieces from the other, to get the last one needed. I think it may be more exciting if more players are involved, though it would also slow down game play. That said, it was a close run thing, which is always welcome in a game.
|Finally - off to Gallifrey!|
Final Thoughts:The game works well for young players, with some adult supervision to interpret the various special rules that apply to items and aliens. The setup is not complex, but it is time consuming and monotonous.
|I'd have lowered the Luck factor to 1-3, but otherwise this looks spot-on.|
|The unholy union of the BBC and GW. What's not to love?|
All that said, it was an amusing outing and worth an hour and half's time. In short order, I will report further on the most surprising, and potentially controversial, item I found in the game. Points to whomever can spot the issue, based on this post.
Final scores, on a scale of 1-11:Fun: 5
Replay value: 3
Solo or Co-op play: 3, but has some potential with house rules, such as a limit on turns.
Favorite bit: The rule that certain items are lost on a random basis.
Not-so-favorite bit: Set-up process.