While visiting the new gaming store in Plainfield Illinois yesterday I happened upon a copy of Sky Traders sitting out on the table for demo The new store was quite nice. The owner has good stock, a specific FFG wall set aside with a video replay in loop nestled into the wall covering all their products, ample gaming space and totally new fixtures and facilities.
The Wandering Dragon was quite simply the perfect place to spend a Saturday evening gaming and I happened to be there on opening day. The store's website is located here:
Their Facebook page is here
A quick review of Sky Traders by Fantasy Flight Games and then on to the photos.
I gotta admit I kinda liked it. I would say 7/10 but it would probably be 8 with more than 2. What I like is it has built in methods to still make it fun for 2 people.
I am not the best reviewer out there I am more of a explain the game face to face but what I thought was great were the way you could get personal with your Skyship and upgrade the hull, the crew, and even haul illegal goods like Grog and Sludge.
There are built in ways for players that are doing poorly to still make money, you can mine clouds for more fuel and even mine minerals
If you haul illegal goods there are random sky marshal cards in the deck that may attack you
Combat is one die roll and add your modifiers. The damage is cool also if you lose draw a damage card and place it in a hull spot. You have 6 hull spots. I like how personal it feels because damage can be light medium or heavy and to get rid of it you would have to fly to a city and repair it. I could see a skyship all beat up limping into port smoking and damaged from combat
If you attack other players you can get a wanted token and there is a bounty on your head. Of course if they have a bounty already you can collect the reward.
The market can randomly fluctuate also plus players can influence it by placing dice to make certain commodities go up or down at the end of each turn.
There are great mechanics built in for 3+, 2 plus works well also but you know eventually you will have conflict etc etc. So the wanted token is a little useless. I could see it being nasty in multiplayer games because the reward is a fat 50 gold and that's a lot in this game.
I liked it, I was surprised. If I wasn't saving for more war mongering titles I would pick it up! Would be an awesome group game and there are methods to speed it up at the back of the book (can be long to play at least 2 hours)
The head tokens of the pilots are a little odd I would have preferred actual ship models. I can see expansion possibilities by adding extra map tiles or maybe some pilot stats on cards.
The map is also random everytime you play the game as each player places tiles before the first turn to form the map.
The components are top notch and the rulebook is near perfectly written. We were up and playing in 15 minutes
Shots of the store can be seen below: