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Look at this.

 

A thing of beauty.

Also a confusing mass of chaos.

Both those things can also be used to describe the game it’s associated with.  That game would be High Frontier, by Sierra Madre Games.  It is also my favorite game because it combines all my passions: Boardgames, space, science, & reality.  In this game, you are using ACTUAL science to send REALISTIC spaceships to ACTUAL rocks in our ACTUAL solar system (or beyond if playing the Interstellar expansion) all in the context of a game that’s actually PLAYABLE.

Don’t believe me?  PLAY IT!

But wait! How can I?  Didn’t I hear this was a Kickstarter that went to pot?  Well, yes, presumably.  Phil Ecklund, the mastermind behind this game as well as many others by Sierra Madre (which all should be in your collection if I had anything to say about it) sold the game to One Small Step Games, the Games Division of Ares Magazine.  The kickstarter raised enough money to launch 6 and two-thirds pounds into space (by an estimate of $27,000 per pound that the Dragon Capsule is currently using at $133 million per launch) and had a delivery date of October 2015.

As we near October 2016 as I write this, these are the only pictures of components that have been seen:

The latest of those came on January 7th, 2016.

Following this, the only pictures given were digital pictures that could already been freely gotten from game files (more on that later), and talks of delays.

Am I worried?  Meh.  I backed a game called Democracy and the designer stopped talking to the backers and moved to Europe a year after the game was to be delivered.  There was talks of lawsuits and so much else.  The hatred and bile that was thrown around was palpable.  This was a project run by one guy who had some “cred,” but not a company backing him.  Yet 3 or so years after the delivery date, a random box showed up at my house, and it was the game I was promised.

Here I have an actual company who is still making other games and acting like a company and not a single person who fled the country.  Something will arrive at some point.  And in the interim, I can still play the game.

But how, oh wise man?

Well, you can play on VASSAL with this file. 3rd edition Vassal Mod. (You need the main engine at Vassalengine.org)

But I don’t want to play on a computer!  Fine.  You know what a Vassal Module also is?  It’s a .zip file filled with image files.  So you know what you have there?  A picture of every card in the game.  A picture of the board (that’s how I got the picture used as the header of this post), a picture of the playmat, a picture of EVERYTHING in the game.  Fire up your printer, and make your own game.

Is that illegal?  Immoral?

Well, yes.  But I think of it as a “try before you buy,” and with the cost of ink prices, you’re costing yourself a bundle anyway.

Rules? Found right here on the product’s pre order page.  Yes, there are 4 rule books.  Ignore Interstellar for now and go with the Starter Book and Rulebook for now.  When done with those, then the Reference Guide is important.

OR you can just follow along with my next post, which will be a play-by-play of a CEO Solitaire game I played back in July.  It contains almost everything you’ll need to get your ships off the ground and into the heavens.

Any questions before that, feel free to ask away.  That’s what I’m here for: Very Wordy answers.

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