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FARLIGHT: is for 2-5 players. 45-60 minutes. Designed by Nick Sibicky. Published by Game Salute


The FARLIGHT STATION is the Earths interplanetary industrial and commercial hub for all extraterrestrial business, including trading, exploration, research and colonisation. It is to this most required place in space that the player's are each building Spacecraft to reach so that their enterprises become famous and powerful. The current problem being that there is only one available spot on the hub and only the spacecraft which finishes the toughest missions, prior to launch, will be awarded that space in space.

FARLIGHT is a bidding and building game for 2-5 players. It is a best, in our opinion, with 4 players, but as far as game challenges and playability go it is equally as entertaining with just 2 players.

Play is over a number of Rounds, ending when one of two conditions are met; either there are not enough Parts cards remaining to completely refill the display or one of the Climactic Missions is completed. 

The Mission cards are set up in 3 columns, the number in each depending on the number of players. The Mission cards are dealt into the stacks (which will make the columns) and then sorted from highest number (top of the column or last reached) to lowest per stack; the top card always being a Climactic Mission - the deck of these being separately shuffled and one dealt to each stack of Mission cards - there can be only one Climactic card in each Mission stack.

Players begin with a Primary Code card in the colour and identity of their chosen company. They also each have 5 bidding tokens marked 0-4 which are used for secret bidding on the available Spacecraft parts. These tokens are placed face down in a specific manner, players alternating in turns of placement, and only revealed once all tokens have been placed. Crew tokens (one only per) may be placed on bidding tokens, at the time of placing, to add one point to their value - this is the only way a 0 valued token can win on it's own.

Once the bidding phase has ended any Crew tokens added to winning bids are discarded, Crew tokens placed on bidding tokens that do not win are handed back to the player. Highest value Bid wins the Part card.

The parts won must then be assembled onto your ever-expanding spacecraft or discarded. There may be a cost (in Crew tokens - shown on the parts card) to attach the pieces, there are one to four connectors on each Parts card but only one needs to connect to an already assembled Part. This means you may block off other connectors as long as you complete one other. 

All cards must be positioned in the same orientation, ie all with the title of the card in the top left corner.

Cards may give bonuses when assembled, some being one-off immediate bonuses others being collected every Assembly Phase. Missions are completed by spending the necessary required components and maybe having a powerful enough engine or engines. All players who bid on a Mission get the opportunity to complete it, though the player with the highest bid (and necessary components) gets to do it first and thus gains its full value, this score is halved (rounded) up for each player who completes the Mission on the same turn. Missions score their points vale, Climactic Missions are the most valuable and it is possible to win with just one of those even if another player has had success with two ordinary Missions.

In your first game, possibly also second game as well, it is easy to get carried away with adding modules to your construction and not leaving open connections to expand further. I know this from experience, first game. Second game, totally convinced I had the connection design concept fully grasped, I forgot to take note of the bonus Bio-Tech and Science symbols. Yes. I lost again. But from then on I was more thoughtful when playing.

There are many games that require module connecting and FARLIGHT is up there with the best of them.

FARLIGHT has superior production and excellent card art (Dann May & Zheng Fang) for such an inexpensive and fun game, if you look around you can find it from under £11.00 + Tax to just over £22.00. 

I think the box information that the game is for players aged 14+ is belittling younger players. Regular games-playing 10 year olds should have no difficulties with the rules of FARLIGHT,  and will easily able to handle the assembling of a modular spacecraft. Other than who you have playing I cannot think of any reason why FARLIGHT shouldn't be in the majority of board-gamers collections.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2021