Review: Space Cats Fight Fascism
In the year 3 million Earth's animals have evolved and moved beyond the solar system. Humans have long been extinct but some of the worst aspects of the culture have not. This is the setting of Space Cats Fight Fascism designed by Brian Van Slyke and published by the TESA Collective. TESA(Toolbox for Education and Social Action) is a group that designs games, tools, and programs for social change that merge cause and play.
In Space Cats Fight Fascism (I cant type that title enough it so fun). The players (Space Cats) work cooperatively to fend of the fascist Rat Pack and free the universe from tyranny and blue cubes. The game plays fast and is heavily space cat themed! The Galatic News deck is a favorite of mine its full of funny headlines that you would expect in a time of tyranny against cats.
Setup of the game has a lot to set out on the table for such a small box. Do not worry its not complicated or difficult. First shuffle up the 12 planets and then place them out in a 4x3 grid. This will be the game board. Each player randomly grabs a Space Cat character card. this is where you will track your wounds (scratches). The card also contains your Space Cat's special abilities. The next step is to place the Fascists (blue cubes)out there. place one on every even numbered planet and one more on each of the cats home planets and while your there you should put your cat token on your home planet too. Next each player draws 2 resist cards into their hand and place all the other tokens in easy reach. Now your ready to go!
To win SCFF You need to have four liberation flags on four planets at the same time. If at any time there are 3 planets with the fascist occupied flag, the Fascism Scale reaches "Lose" or all 20 of the Fascist tokens are on planets you will lose. When you have four of the Liberation tokens on a planet then you place a liberation flag token on it. You remove it if at anytime the planet is reduced below 4 liberation cubes. The same works in the other direction for the Fascists.
...playing a resist card is where all the fun happens.
On you turn you may take up to three actions from the following, travel, fight fascism, restock or play a resist card. The travel actions lets you move to one orthogonality(the game groups new favorite word) adjacent planet. Fighting fascism allows you to remove one fascist cube on the planet you are on. The restock action lets you draw up to the 4 card hand size. Finally playing a resist card is where all the fun happens. Resist cards allow you to remove multiple fascists, heal, transport or gain new lasting powers.
This is where the game shows you how mean Fascism is.
At the end of each players turn you will have to roll between 1d6 and 3d6. This is determined by how far you are along on the fascist scale 1-6 rolls 2d6 and 7-12 rolls 3d6. However if during your turn you removed fascist cubes you may reduce the amount of dice you roll by that number (never less than one). When you roll you will place a new fascist on each of the planets that correspond to the number rolled. There is a trick here, the planets 9-12 are protected by the Rat Pack's fleet and if you roll those you will draw one Galactic News(only one per turn) card in addition to placing the cube. This is where the game shows you how mean Fascism is. Galactic News cards will move the Fascism scale up cause scratches and all kinds of other not nice things to happen.
Space Cats Fight Fascism is a great game that has the feel of pandemic but the urgency of fighting Fascism and both are so very relevant in the world right now. The game plays fast and the mechanics are tight. We never ran into a situation where we did not know exactly what to do. You really cant beat the theme and how well it was applied from the mechanics to the artwork. We played it a few times at the brewery, the box is small and the game itself does not take up much space. I recommend it for a casual game with a good life lesson all in one little box.
Year Published: 2018
Recommended Ages: 13+
Time to Play: 45-60
A review copy of Space Cats Fight Fascism was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games by TESA Collective for review purposes .