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Posted on Dec 27, 2019 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“Don’t die a nugget! Be an Ace!” – Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles Ship Booster Packs  Game Review

“Don’t die a nugget! Be an Ace!” – Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles Ship Booster Packs Game Review

Rick Martin

Battlestar Galactica Starship Booster Packs.  Publisher: Ages Games  Designer: Andrea Angiolino  and Andrea Mainini Price  $15 to $18 each

Passed Inspection: Stunning miniatures, extra cards, different versions of each vehicle, sturdy boxes which can be used for display

Failed Basic: Nothing at all

Ares Games is famous for their innovative miniature game systems Wings of Glory (known in a previous release as Wings of War) and Sails of Glory.  Wings of Glory features World War 1 and World War 2 aircrafts while Sails of Glory is a game of sailing ship combat in the 1700s and early 1800s.  Last year, Ares brought out their Battlestar Galactica game which uses a similar system to their previous air and sea combat games.  This year, Ares is thrilling us with new fighters and support crafts for the game.


As with the ships in the starter set, these new miniatures space fighters and support ships are beautifully sculpted and painted.  Each ship has a rotatable base and four stands as well as pilot and talents and flaws cards and maneuver cards.  If you are using the 3 D flying rules, you add stands to the ship to show its “altitude” which, in space, which would be its differential on the Z axis.  The stands easily fit in to the base unit.  The base is marked with a zero for straight ahead and a 1 for behind.  If using the complete game rules, the ship can rotate from its direction of travel to shoot at targets to the sides – just like they do in the TV show.

For each ship on your team, you’ll use a control panel to set its throttle and using the complete and optional game rules, you can set and track your altitude, your kinetic energy and your ship’s rotation from its 0 degrees forward path.  The base set comes with four control panels but Ares is also selling additional control panels for your ships.

The 9 new ships which have been released are:

Starbuck’s Colonial Viper

Starbuck’s Captured Cylon Raider

Scar– the Ace Cylon Raider

Boomer’s Raptor

Search and Rescue/Electronic Counter Measures Raptor

Assault/Combat Raptor

Combat/Transport Cylon Heavy Raider

Veteran Cylon Heavy Raider

Captured Cylon Heavy Raider (to be used by the Colonials)

Let’s look at each ship mentioned above.

Starbuck’s Colonial Viper Mark II adds special talents and flaws geared towards Starbuck’s character including the ability to tow a damaged ship, inspire her squadron mates and flying like a “daredevil” pilot.  She is a real force to be reckoned with if you flying a Cylon against her!

Starbuck’s Captured Cylon Raider gives the Colonials one of the living, self aware, bio-mechanical fighters that the Cylons use in droves. After shooting down this Raider, Kara “Starbuck” Thrace captured and flew it back to the Galactica, adding her call sign under the wings with adhesive tape. The Captured Raider is very maneuverable plus has Starbuck’s skills added to its effectiveness when Starbuck is piloting it.

Scar– the Ace Cylon Raider is a Cylon Raider to be especially feared and respected.  He . . . er . . . she . . . er . . . it has killed more Colonial pilots than any other known Raider and was prominently featured in the T.V. series.  As all Cylons, when they die, have the good possibility of having their personality and memories put in to a new body at a Resurrection Ship, it appears that Scar has learned a great deal about its human opponents over the years and is ready to take advantage of their every weakness! 

Boomer’s Raptor – OK Boomer! (Sorry but I had to go there. It’s not my fault, it’s just my idiom!” – Raptors are the work horses of the Colonial Fleet.  They serve as transports, troop transports, assault ships, ECM and Search and Rescue ships, and anything else that a dedicated fighter can’t do.  This craft is the one flown by Sharon “Boomer” Valerii and includes her pilot card plus her talent cards.  The Raptor has more hull points than a Viper but is not as maneuverable.  But, it can be upgraded with different electronic and weapon pods.  It is more maneuverable than the Cylon Heavy Raider.

Search and Rescue/Electronic Counter Measures Raptor – this is a Raptor which includes several pods for disrupting enemy missiles, scanning for resources and search and rescue missions.  It can definitely hold its own against the Cylons but is not intended for prolonged combat.

Assault/Combat Raptor is the Raptor you want to take in to action against the Cylons.  This Raptor is outfitted to drop troops in to combat or as a heavy assault ship armed with heavy Alar guns and rocket pods!  When outfitted with these heavy weapons, the ship’s acceleration is reduced but this ship can even the odds with the Cylons.  It also comes with a named, skilled pilot to use if you chose.

Combat/Transport Cylon Heavy Raider – a real monster of a ship. These Heavy Raiders have more Hull Points/Structure Points than any other ship in the game to date – 24!  They also either carry a squad of Cylon Troops or are mounted with two frontal tri-barreled automatic cannons which tear up the opposition.  An optional Cylon pilot is  included and he has the “Daredevil” talent as well as “Resolute Pilot”, “Exceptional Gunner” and “Lethal”.  That last word, lethal, says it all!  But, you should know that these ships are slower and less maneuverable than any other ship to date in the game.  All that killing firepower does come with a detriment.

Veteran Cylon Heavy Raider – if the Heavy Raider wasn’t bad enough, now the Cylons have another ace pilot!    He/She/It is a sentient Heavy Raider with six skills including “Exceptional Pilot” and “Dodging”!

Captured Cylon Heavy Raider (to be used by the Colonials) and includes Sharon “Athena” Agathon as a Pilot.  In our review play, we used the Captured Heavy Raider to transport fuel ore from an asteroid field back to Galactica.

These ships are beautifully painted and each one is packaged in a box sturdy enough to protect the ships from wear and tear during transport while artistically pleasing enough to be a display box on your game library shelves.

These ships are works of art and belong in every science fiction gamers’ collection – So Say We All!

Viper Mark VII fighters and Vipers and Cylon Raiders from the original series are coming out soon.

The battle pictures and asteroids are from Greg Johnson’s Battlestar Galactica game session at Epic Loot in Centerville, Ohio.

Armchair General Rating:  100 %

Solitaire Rating: It depends on the scenario (1 is not suitable, 5 is perfect for solo play)

About the Author

A college film instructor and small business owner, Richard Martin has also worked in the legal and real estate professions, is involved in video production, film criticism, sports shooting, designed Tiger Leader, The Tiger Leader Upgrade Kit and Sherman Leader with the team at DVG Games and is an avid gamer who can remember war games which came in plastic bags and cost $2.99 (he’s really that old)!

Starbuck’s captured raider
Starbuck and her Viper Mk II
Combat Raptor
new ships
Sharon flying a captured Heavy Raider
A Colonial Squadron launches from the Galactica
A Colonial Squadron
evil looking ships
escorting a captured Heavy Raider
Heavy Cylon attack wing
a Raptor
close range combat
a dog fight