Star Command, which is essentially Doug Wood's version of his Phantasie series in space, is an unfinished-feeling pulp space RPG. The designer went to the trouble of creating a detailed rules set featuring more than four dozen interesting weapons. But the game doesn't let your party of six space heroes move into different squares from each other -- when you move behind a table for cover, the entire party moves for cover, even though enemy parties may be split into multiple parts. This gives battles a distinctly klutzy feeling.
The plot begins with the destruction of Earth. The rest is a combination of Robert Heinlein novels and Star Wars. After recruiting pilots, marines, soldiers and Espers, you patrol the galaxy rescuing princesses, battling the space pirate Blackbird, and taking on an alien race of Bugs. As in the Jagged Alliance series, you buy your equipment with funding, not treasure. As your characters increase in military rank, they can buy more expensive guns, like the 5-Coil Neutron Gun or the 12ga 'Slugmaster' Riot Gun, capable of scaring away galactic pests with their intrinsic intimidation factor.
Star Command is a quite unknown sci-fi role-playing game by SSI, designed by Phantasie designer Winston Douglas Wood. It features a huge universe to be discovered, detailed character generation and development, a mass of items, some exotic aliens and tactical space and squad-level combat, similar to SSI's Pool of Radiance released the same year and other games of the Gold Box series. The game has nothing to do with Star Command Deluxe or Star Command: Revolution.
The game plays in a distant future. Earth is a distant memory, having been destroyed long ago. The small human population is concentrated in a small portion of the galaxy, called "The Triangle" due to its form, and threatened from its neighbors: The Alpha border is plagued by pirates, recently united under a certain "Blackbeard", the Beta border is frequently ambushed by an intelligent insect-like alien race who is thought to plan an all-out war. The third border leads to largely unknown territory with space-faring robots of unclear origin. The only hope for mankind is the Star Command, the headquarter of military forces. You control a spaceship crew, trying to secure peace by completing missions issued by Star Command.
Star Command is a highly underrated space RPG/ strategy game that's similar to Psi 5 Trading Company in exotic aliens and expansive universe, except it has a stronger focus on RPG aspects than commerce. Start out by recruiting your crew members and choose their expertise, then buy a ship and equipments before setting out for fame and fortune in the vast galaxy. Neat combat interface and ability to upscan / downscan planets and galaxies. The missions get difficult fast, so be warned. The game is simple to learn, but very addictive once you get into it. If you enjoy RPGs that focus more on character and plot development and funds management rather than on throwing a lot of tough battles at you, you will enjoy Star Command -- one of SSI's most underrated games ever released. Highly recommended!
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