Review: Star Ascension

Star Ascension sells itself as a gritty sci-fi RPG inspired by Firefly, with Warhammer 40k undertones that take it to a darker place. At the time of writing, their Kickstarter campaign has almost been successfully funded. A simple D6 system allows for easy play, and if you’ve watched any of my Twitch shows you’ll know that I love any system which assists a narrative based game experience.

Star Ascension takes a classic approach to a genre which has some incredible competitors for it to stand next to, and it does so with aplomb.

Star Ascension offers this in droves, and I’ve had the opportunity to experience this from both a GM and a player perspective, with a total of 3 sessions clocked into Star Ascension with many more to come. Despite the sci-fi genre being generally less appealing to me as a fantasy nut, I’ve enjoyed every moment I’ve spent playing Star Ascension. The base rules of the game are incredibly simple – you roll a few D6s and add to the total if you have any bonuses in that skill. At its core, the game is great for the beginner player. That’s not to say that it’s dull and boring however, and Star Ascension realizes some impressive depth.

One area which might interest those war gamers out there is the depth of mechanics for gun fighting. As you might expect, Star Ascension offers a veritable arsenal of weaponry available to players, with the option to burst fire, take cover, make called shots, hack turrets, man ship weaponry, chuck grenades, fire missile launchers and far more. The sheer amount of detail involved in the gun combat will please any weapon enthusiast, and for those less interested in these rules, they’re optional, so everyone wins!

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While the Kickstarter campaign is still running, you can grab all the starter PDFs for just $10, and a range of miniatures are available for a discounted price provided by UK creators Heresy Miniatures. If you play your sessions in real life (you strange person!) these are worth a look. Priced competitively, they look like great quality. I haven’t been able to get my hands on the models myself yet, so I can’t say from personal experience what they’re like, but there’s some great character displayed by these models.

Star Ascension takes a classic approach to a genre which has some incredible competitors for it to stand next to, and it does so with aplomb. It’s not going to revolutionize your Tabletop experience, but it’s a great starter point for new RPG fans with an easy system that can get as detailed as you want it to. Oh, and you get to make loads of Firefly references! What’s not to love?

Star Ascension Kickstarter

EncounterRoleplay Play Session

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