Shy Pluto adds a legacy style campaign where new features are slowly unveiled as key events occur.
Publisher: Alderac Entertainment Group
Designer: John D. Clair
Artist: Chris Walton
Game Type: Expansion
Game Type: Card Drafting
Game Type: Dice Rolling
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 14+
Expected Playtime: 30-75
Number of Players: 2-5
Theme and What is it?
In Space Base, players assume the role of a Commodore. Each player has a fleet of ships with various abilities they will use to trade for money, buy upgraded ships, setup mining operations, and ultimately race to gain enough influence to get promoted to Admiral!
Shy Pluto starts with the Deep Nova Project at the very edge of Earth’s Solar system. Scientists there are working on faster-than-light travel. This kind of breakthrough will prove to have far-reaching consequences to those in the U.E.S.
What does it add?
The unique feature of Space Base is that on each turn an active player will roll 2 dice then activate a ship based on the sum of the dice OR use each die separately to activate two lower valued ships. Each other player will also benefit from the active player’s roll if they have upgraded any of their ships corresponding to the current options.
Shy Pluto adds a legacy style campaign where new features are slowly unveiled as key events occur. Once the campaign is over, players will leave with 56 new cards in the deck for future plays. They will also have a few new unique ways to play the game with some… mystery elements. From the mystery boxes.
What does it fix/ break?
Space Base had nothing to fix! It was a masterpiece of a game that is easy to teach with many possible routes to victory. Shy Pluto has cards that allow players to activate multiple sectors at once, use extra dice rolls, activate diagonal sector bonuses (red powers for blue cards and vice versa), and a few other surprises that should remain that way. I have found nothing broken in the way the new cards play. They are exciting enough that there is competition to gain them but nothing is so good that they significantly skew results.
Do I want this?
Um, yes. Of course you want this! Everyone needs a reason to play some of their best games more frequently. What more reason could you need than a legacy campaign? It also keeps the complexity from being overwhelming with dozens of “what does that card do” questions through the first few plays. Instead, you learn new cards 5 or so at a time.
Do I need this?
Honestly? Probably not. Space base is a wonderful game all on its own. The added cards give a boost to the game if you have felt you have reached mastery. The story of Shy Pluto is so much more compelling than any feeling of story and purpose in the base game.
Often today, players want to understand the world they are in and feel like they are experiencing something. Shy Pluto delivers this in a way the base game just wasn’t focused on. If that is what you need to engage with your games, then you do need this after all.
This is one of my new favorite games for when we have around an hour left to play. Space Base is an extremely exciting and fun game with many interesting choices for players to make in their attempts to win the race to 40 points.
Shy Pluto gives me a campaign I have even reset for different play groups. Working through the story gives us an excuse to play more than just once in a while. Despite being at its core a dice game, Space Base doesn’t feel like pure random luck decides who wins. There are many strategic decisions that make the game a welcome addition to my collection or on my table.
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