The game of heroic starship adventure!

Battlestations is the game of heroic starship adventure that integrates ship to ship and boarding action in a hybrid boardgame/rpg. The cool thing about this game is that your starship moves on the hex map simultaneously with your characters moving on the square grid based starships. The ship to ship and shipboard action is integrated. You move around your ship and operate the titular “Battlestations” to activate your ship’s modules. Use Piloting skill in Helm to turn or accelerate. Use Engineering in the Engine to get more power and use Combat skill to launch Missiles or fire the Cannon. Where you are on the ship matters because when enemy ships shoot back at you, you might get personally damaged or have to move to repair the damaged module.  You can use the Teleporter, boarding missiles or docking to go to an enemy ship to have boarding action.

This is a one vs. many game but can be played unmoderated, solitaire, or pvp. The description here assumes the traditional one versus many format in a campaign.

One player takes on the role of the enemy. They run the game for everybody else. They are the equivalent of a “dungeon master” in a role-playing game but since Battlestations is a boardgame, the enemy plays to win. I’ll have more about that later.

The other players each play a character working together as the crew of a starship.  

Your character will have skill in Combat, Engineering, Piloting, Science and Athletics. Athletics determines how much damage you can take and how much you can carry and resist stun or disintegration. The other skills have relevance in operating your starship.

Like a roleplaying game, your character continues to grow from session to session. The Mission Difficulty scales based on the number of characters involved and their ranks to provide an appropriate challenge.  Your characters have clone backups back home so if you die, it isn’t the end. It is a bummer to lose whatever treasure you have gathered and for the mission where you die, you won’t gather experience so there is a real risk but it isn’t catastrophic. Because of this, the enemy can play to win. They don’t have to pull punches to avoid a TPK. The heroes still tend to win most missions and occasionally have overwhelming success with commensurate rewards but the very real fact that failure is a possibility makes victory all the sweeter.

Battlestations is played in a series of missions each of which taking 1 to 3 hours to resolve. The modular nature of the missions is ideal for gaming groups with casual attendees. Since you begin and end each mission back at base, there is no need to worry if the cleric can make it this week. If a given profession is unrepresented, you’ll get a bot to fill the role. It is sub-optimal but the Mission Difficulty is lower when you are understaffed.

The “blow up the enemy” aspect of the game is important but barely scratches the surface of what is possible in Battlestations. There are missions where you are trying to figure things out playing 20 questions with your Science Bay, navigation hazards, rescue missions, entire campaigns built around economics and diplomacy and a ton more in the box. However, the best thing in the box is that it contains the simple tools you can use to make your own universe come to life. The hard and fast rules for operating a starship and the people aboard it can be adapted to anything you can dream up.


The boxed game above is complete with a 32 page quickstart guide but if you want more, there is an advanced rulebook available here:




Click here for the quickstart rules in English

Click here for the quickstart rules in German

Click here for the quickstart rules in French