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Digital Subscriptions > The Best Games of 2019 > The Best Games of 2019 > GALACTIC SCOUNDRELS



Solo play is a big thing in games right now, but only a few let you play capital-S Solo, as in Han. Galactic Scoundrels wears its influences on its sleeve; it’s a game of smuggling, sabotage, smirking and shooting first, with three rounds titled Episode

You’re all captains of scrubby little starships. A job comes up and all players can bid for it in a blufung round based on Liar’s Dice. The player who ends up with it must do the mission; this is mostly the other players playing encounter, character or twist cards, and the captain trying to counter them with traits, crew or passengers, dum ping their cargo, or bartering with the other players for help. There’s blufing, lying and cheating, tensions build, ships get upgraded and jobs get harder.

Every time a card is played, the person who played it must build it into the unfolding story of the job, so the game turns into a collaborative story. At least, it’s supposed to, though we found it bitty and small-e episodic. Although the individual cards catch the atmosphere of Star Wars, Firefly and similar stories, it’s too easy to get stuck with a hand that shuts you out of the play, and therefore the narrative.

It’s entertaining – natural storytellers and genre fans will enjoy the experience – but the gameplay is too random to appeal to competitive gamers, the narrative isn’t solid enough for story game fans and, at one-anda- half to two hours long, Galactic Scoundrels is never going to set a record for the Kessel Run.


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About The Best Games of 2019

Must Plays and more in our Best Games of 2019 issue of Tabletop Gaming. Over the next 196 pages discover all of the most positively reviewed games of the year. With a massive 181 games reviewed, this is the definitive “what to play next” guide of 2019! Games reviewed include: Wingspan Copenhagen Hellboy: The Board Game Res Arcana Lifeform Century: A New World Megacity: Oceania Pandemic: Fall of Rome Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Rough Nights & Hard Days Azul: Stained Glass of Sinatra Tapestry Letter Jam Hako Onna Everdell Battle Ravens Dune + Many more!

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