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Tabletop Spotlight: The Captain Is Dead

4 Minute Read
May 25 2017
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It’s the last 10 minutes of your favorite Sci-fi Space Ship drama – can you and the crew save the day in this game?

The Warp Core is damaged, the aliens invaders are closing, just when you think it can’t get much worse: The Captain is Dead!

Our friends at Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy brought over this new one from AEG and I must say I love the concept. You and your fellow players take the role of the crew in a sci-fi star ship adventure. The catch is that everything is going terribly wrong. The Aliens are boarding the ship, the defenses are shot, shields are down, the engines are down, and the one person you were counting on to lead you through it all (the captain) is dead. So how will a ship without it’s captain run? That’s for you to decide!

The game itself plays like a team-survival simulator. The end goal is that you’ve got to restore your engine power so you can warp out before you’re all killed. But there are various catastrophes befalling the crew. Random attacks, asteroids and other anomalies are plaguing the ship. You’ve got to work together to overcome the challenges. This is done via the different roles the crew members have.

For example, the Chief Engineer is better at repairing the Jump Core (the engine) than any of the other 17 roles. They also have 4 actions per turn and a hand size of 6. Any other Engineer tasks can also be performed at a discount. That said, the Chief might not be the best when it comes to trying to defend the ship from other ships, Alien invaders, or even trying to get folks patched up in the med-bay. All of those things will come into play if you want to make it out alive.

The game turn is pretty simple. On a player’s turn they take their actions and then they draw an alert card and resolve the effects. Players have actions to do things like moving around the ship, gathering supplies, repairing/reactivating system, fighting invading aliens, or activating the Jump Core. There are quiet a few actions and you read all of them in the rules HERE. But the point is game play is really quick and simple – it makes for a very easy game to learn and play with a group (up to 7 players). If you’ve played games like Battlestar Galactica or X-Com, this has that same “pressure” of survival, but it’s a bit more relaxed – there are no Cylons trying to trick you and no Computer AI trying to mess with you. At the same time, this one is a “win as a team, lose as a team” type of game – so you better pull you weight or I’m shoving you out an airlock! (That’s not actually a thing I can do in the game…OR IS IT!?)


Overall, I really like this one and want to add it to my collection. It’s great for larger groups or for family game night. It’s a good game to keep all the players involved and interacting. Because you really do have to work together, I’d make sure everyone knows what type of game this is before you start playing. At the end of the day everyone is looking to have a good time and if you’re wanting to play something a bit more competitive this might not be for you. But, if you’re down to try it out, it’s a really great way to spend some time not getting killed by aliens in the cold, dark vastness of space. Can you surive once The Captain is Dead?

The Captain Is Dead

It’s the last 10 minutes of your favorite sci-fi TV show…

Except that this time things have gone seriously wrong and The Captain Is Dead!

The Captain is Dead is a frantic and fun cooperative board game that puts you and your friends in the role of crew members on a besieged starship. You must work together to repair critical systems and fend off hostile aliens, or you will share the captain’s fate. From the chief engineer, weapons officer, and visiting admiral, all the way down to the ensign and the ship’s janitor, you must combine your unique talents to avoid utter annihilation in the cold depths of space!



Jim? He’s dead.

Author: Adam Harrison
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