Astral Sailors: Civil War (A.S.C.W.) is a spin-off boardgame - with wargame variant- inside the A.S.T. universe that let players take part in the civil war started right after the CEOs War ended in 2460 CE.
Encounters are fast paced, combats easy to solve and rules are short and simple while being compre-hensive in elements required to simulate an intense combat. Each player leads a squad of elite super soldiers and a group of condemned civilians forced to join these troops to be used as disposable tools; cannon fodder to reach an objective whichever it be.
Second half of XXV century: a humankind divided in two factions faced in a conflict that sees no other ending that the definitive submission of one of the two parties. In one side, the Exiled after the CEOs War in the previows decade, now settled in celestial bodies and objects, scattered throughout the solar system and behond, organized through a Corporatocratic goverment. In the other side the Terrestrial;
immersed in a Totalitary Stratocracy accepted -in passive/submissive mean- by the population thanks to the effects of two centuries of social engineering, orchestrated by the groups that controlled the world in that time, whose descendants where overthrown and exilied after the CEOs War by the Astral Entity who nowadays works through the GUN (Global United Nations) to control the population.
A.S.C.W. takes us to the conflict zones, whether they be agricultural colonies, mineral colonies, technological research or industrial colonies located in planets, planetoids, asteroids or space stations, all and each of them considered of great interest by both sides who, besides tactical groups, they use - by the force- civil population as disposable tools to achieve objetives.
Customization: Give each model a name (military units) and profession (civilian units) to reinforce that feeling of belonging; imagine a story for each one of the personalities taking part in the conflict!
Uncertainty: The respawn mechanics of the game adds a new factor during the battles which has as much weight as the random: the uncertainty. Not knowing where are the next round of reinforcements to be deployed makes you think twice before making your moves; the main conflict area in the battlefield may be moved to another different zone in the next round! Where are the reinforcements coming from!?
Players: Can be played by 2 up to 8 players.
Components: Each player needs a small amount of miniatures to start playing (10-15), 4 dices, a dry eraser marker (or pencil & rubber) to track units stats in the units profile cards and a playable surface of at least 80x80 cm) with scenery elements. Boardgame version requires to print the board quadrants (A3 full colour printable files below).
Factions: Both Exiled and Terrestrial factions share most of the miniature models, with differences in Commanders (characters), Machines and Mercenaries.
Content: Downloadable content like the board tiles, rules, units data cards and even setting building content as art and stories will be available for everyone.
HOW TO PLAY
More complete rules and details can be found directly in the downdoable rulesets; meanwhile lets take a look into general gameplay:
Preparing a game
Before playing a game, there are 6 tasks or steps to be done:
Game Area: the more players -and models-, the more "quadrants" are recommended to be used. Each quadrant is 30x30cm (in wargame mod) or 8x8 squares (35x35mm each).
Armies: after choosing game area, its time to choose the amount of points to use to assemble an army. The number can range from 100 points onwards, increasing 50 by 50 points if desired for bigger encounters.
Teams: now that each player has an army, they can choose to team up with other player.. or not! Teams sizes can be varied and asymetric as long as the playing level/experience is balanced, for example: 2v3.
Objectives: each team (not player) has to roll 1D6 to randomly decide its objective... or they can opt to join the fight for the sake of making the war and sowing chaos!
Deploy: the game area perimeter is divided in so many segments (of centimeters for wargame mode, squares for boardgame version) as players. Each player deploy area is a rectangle of the lenght of the segment and the depth (into the board) of 6 squares or 30cm.
Starting the match: at last! all teams roll 1D6 and the team with higher result, start the match playing its first phase.
Playing the game
Each round, players will play their turn through 3 phases: Points phase, Activation phase and Reinforcements phase. Phases are played alternately: first, all players play Points phase, then all play Activation phase and lastly, all play Reinforcement phase. Each new round as a new turns order, which is stablished by having all teams except who started previous round, rolling 1D6.
Points phase: each player earn points by rolling 1D6, adding to its points pool as much as the result. Also, they earn 2 points for each civilian unit in the game area and 5 points for each enemy unit in a radio of 2 squares or 5cm around the main Commander unit.
Activation phase: in the previously stablished turns order, players activate half (rounded up) of its units in the game area; after all have done this, its turn to make the same with the second half. Activation allows each model to do 2 actions.
Reinforcements phase: here, players can bring from reserve (units of the army that are out of the game area) more troops by paying their cost with the points in the Points pool.
Winning the game
Those teams that chose to accomplish an objective, win if they fullfill it FIRST than any other team. If the main Commander unit dies, they dont lose, but they wont be able to win, deciding whenever they wish to leave the game.