Rayguns and Rocketships is like XCOM meets X-Wing, if that doesn’t grab you, I can’t help you.
Seriously, this game is incredibly fun. What else can you say about a game that lets you combine space pirates with alien robot overlords, have them fight each other, while desperately trying to control your ship as it careens through the battlefield. Well, about 15 minutes’ worth of stuff, apparently, so check out our tabletop spotlight!
In Rayguns and Rocketships players take control of one of four different factions and a ship. Each ship is represented by one of the cool retro-sci-fi minis you see pictured above and belowm and each ship is also represented by its own little miniature board, allowing you to have actions taking place in the interior of your ship. This is important, because as your ship flies through the battlefield you’ll be maneuvering your crew to make sure you’ve got people manning the stations you need manned (so I guess it’s also a bit like FTL).
Or, alternatively, you’ll get boarded by one of your opponents–or board them yourselves, but I’m just going off of my own experience–but in that case, you’ll have to battle it out on the inside of your ship.
The four factions you can control fit the tone of the game perfectly too.
The Galactic Astro Rangers are a peacekeeping force dedicated to bringing justice to a lawless, broken galaxy. Their ranks consist of adventurers, star jockeys, idealists, and scoundrels. Astro Rangers are the fastest of the Planeteer factions, whether at the cockpit of their speedy Rocketships, or flying their jetpacks through the inky void of space. All Astro Rangers are armed with deadly neuralizer pistols and circuit-swords—AI-driven weapons that give their wielders a lethal advantage!
The Grand Zardian Navy is the military force of the proud Zard race from the planet Zardia. Once feared as savages, the Zard have evolved into highly cultured, highly civilized beings, despite their fearsome appearance. The modern Zardian culture is layered with ceremony, tradition, and manners. Instead of outright warfare, the Zard prefer dueling, and have developed superior melee skills. Swordszardship is taught as soon as a Zard hatchling can wield a blade.
The Star Pirates of Samadi were once the mighty military of the galactic empire, but now they have turned to piracy, displaying a fearsome skull to strike fear into the hearts of their victims, and to show that they take no prisoners. The crew don terrifying skull masks that disguise their identities. Emerging from a hidden base in the Samadi asteroid belt, the Star Pirates prey on passing merchant- and pleasure-ships. Their heavily armored Rocketships possess the strongest Raygun weapons of all of the Planeteers.
The Blaarg Collective are an alien race from another galaxy. They are a hive mind led by a gigantic leader who controls the smaller Blaarglings to carry out his every command. The Blaarglings have no individual identities, and live and die to serve their master as they scurry around their saucer in their mechanical pants. The Blaarg have found the chaos left in the wake of the galactic cataclysm to be the perfect environment to torment any being they encounter, which they dominate with their terrible mind powers. Will the galaxy survive their invasion?
What are you waiting for? Give this game a try, click that link below!
You are a PLANETEER, fighting for the fate of the galaxy! Which side will you choose? The brash ASTRO-RANGERS? The powerful STAR PIRATES? The brutal ZARD? Or the alien BLAARG? Use COMMAND CARDS to manuever your rocketship and ROLL dice to fire your rayguns! Strap on your jetpack and take the battle into space as you BOARD your enemy’s rocketship! Which side will WIN? That’s up for YOU to decide!
For best results, put on an episode of MST3K (or get some of your smart-aleck friends to hang around) while playing.