I Will Never Grow Up
A Preview by
- 1-4 Players
- 60-120 minutes
- 13+ Age
Please Note: I was sent a prototype copy of Into the Black: Boarding Party for preview purpose and therefore component quality and quantities are subject to changes. Also rules and balancing will continue to change during projects finalisation.
What is Into the Black?
AVAST Me Hearties! Fire up those laser Cannons. Into the Black: Boarding Party is a Space Pirate, Tile Laying, Exploration and Survival co-operative game (with potential traitor element). You take on the role of a crew of space pirates sneaking onto a federal ship aiming to take over the bridge (Or other key objective) plundering for all your worth along the way. Being pirates you of course are merciful and gentle with the crew you encounter….OK you got me. You blast the heck out of them gaining reputation for fearsome exploits along the way. Watch out though one or more of you might not be who they claim to be.
- 12 Player Boards.
- 75 Tiles.
- 96 Loot Cards.
- 38 Event Cards.
- 7 Primary Missions.
- 14 Personal Goals.
- 52 Tokens.
- 4 Player Meeples.
- 35 Enemy Meeples (in 3 colours signifying strength).
- 20 Reputation Cubes.
- 12 Custom Dice.
- 2 Standard Dice.
- Draw Bag.
- Apprehension Track.
- Moral Track.
- Reference Cards.
**NOTE Component quantities not finalised due to potential Stretch Goals**
There are quite a lot of components with Into the Black. At first glance it can seem a little daunting. Fortunately the Rulebook has a nice set up guide and after a couple of plays you will find it becomes very simple. You start with just an Airlock in the middle of the table. This is where you board the ship. Upon opening the Airlock you can see a short way along the corridor including potentially some doors to other rooms. And so your adventure begins. What treasure will await you?
Bring the guns to bear.
As previously alluded to you start a game of Into the Black with the Airlock Tile. From this you will place Corridor Tiles. You only get to lay a few to start with. After all it is not your ship (YET!) so you do not know the layout. On some of these Corridor Tiles you might see some Doorways. You will need to place Room Tiles adjacent to these (face down of course). Following your own characters movement restrictions, you will start to explore the ship. Hoping to complete your Primary Objective. Each player will also have been allocated a secondary Secret Objective. These are important because even if you achieve the main Objective you will lose individually for not completing tour secret Objective. As you explore you will reveal more of the ships layout. Placing more Corridor and Room Tiles. You will also be exploring the Rooms for precious Loot and Weaponry. If you encounter any Room Tiles with a yellow eye icon on the back. These rooms are guarded so you will be placing Enemy Crew on guard. These crew will need defeating. Be careful as some of the rooms will have other dangers apart from crew. Blast doors might close, Radiation leaks to name just two. This is handled nicely with the mechanics used helping to add to the tension of the unknown. This exploration can lead to some fairly large layouts so be aware.
WOW sounds good!
The theme of Pirates in Space is a nice mix. We have all dreamt of being either a Pirate (thanks to a certain Captain Jack Sparrow) or having adventures in Space (Thanks Picard, Buck Rogers, Kirk et al). Here is your chance to blend both together and when you immerse yourself into the characters. Who are wonderfully illustrated on the character cards. You will have a blast. The Loot you discover again mixes the two themes nicely with cutlass’ sitting comfortable next to electric batons and High powered rifles. As you collect this arsenal you will be equipping the best you can to take out the crew of the ship as you try to complete the objectives.
Combat within Into the Black: Boarding Party is handled well. You will utilise different coloured dice each colour with different chances of success. This mechanism will feel very familiar to a lot of gamers. If you are unlucky and your character dies. All is not lost (well actually all of their equipment is lost). You select another character from the stack and enter the airlock to continue. If however there are no more Characters left then I am afraid it is Game Over. But not just for you. Your whole Pirate Crew is defeated. In matter of fact there are several ways to lose Into the Black.
Running out of Pirates is one.
Another is Not completing your Secret Objective (personal loss).
If crew Moral reaches zero. You will lose the will to carry on.
Apprehension reaching maximum is another (your brave not foolish).
Normally at this point I like to look at the component quality. As this is a prototype version I cannot do that in the normal sense. That being sai I can say that in the current Kickstarter They have already unlocked Linen Finish and Blue Core Card upgrades along with Room and Corridor Tiles upgraded to 1.5mm Chip Board. I am sure that they have other upgrades to the components planned as well.
Into the Black: Boarding Party is a game with some good potential. I do feel that there are however some issues. In terms of Characters, Some of them are currently overpowered especially with certain equipment combinations. While some of the other Characters did feel underpowered. While there is a need for some variety of movement over power I hope this is addressed prior to release. Also some of the rules left some ambiguity over events resolution. So much so that in one playthrough we encountered a situation where it became impossible to complete our Main Objective with our Apprehension on 6 and there is no possibility of changing the Objective until our Apprehension reaches 15. Even allowing for these points this is still a game which shows a lot of promise and has the potential for being a good space romp co-op.
ONE TO WATCH
It is my understanding the designer is aware of these potential issues and is working on tweaking them prior to release.