Deep Space D-6 is a solitaire worker placement game published by Tau Leader Games. Designer Tony Go has put together a nice little game here that really gives players that sense of space survival and of being over run by threats.
The very first thing that caught my eye about Deep Space D-6 was the box art, I was a huge fan of choose you own adventure books as a child and the tip of the hat to that aesthetic grabbed right away.
The cover was enough to get me to look into the game but what really prompted my purchase was the theme and mechanics. I love worker placement and science fiction so I knew I had to try this game.
Setup & Gameplay
Setting up a game of Deep Space D-6 is simple.
- choose a ship.
- setup the threats and threat deck
- place the shield and hull markers on the board
voila! You are ready to face all the harshness of space!
Now that you are ready to roll (pun intended) you can start a round of play. Each round has 6 steps:
1. Roll Crew Dice
Crew dice are you workers. The face rolled indicates what that worker can do whether it’s fire the weapons, repair the hull or shields, or revive lost dice. Different ships will use the workers in different ways.
2. Scan for Threats
If the scanner area is filled with scanner dice you must immediately reveal a new threat from the threat deck. If you reveal a new threat the dice in the scanner area are released otherwise they are locked and unusable to you until the scanner fills of you use an ability of another worker dice to free them.
3. Assign Crew
As with the majority of worker placement games this is the bulk of the round. You will now take you available workers (those not locked in the scanner or infirmary) and use them to execute the tasks required to maintain your ship and eliminate the threats currently menacing your ship.
4. Discover new threats
Draw the top card or the threat deck and place internal threats to the left of the ship and external threats to the right in the slot according to their hit points.
5. Activate threats
Roll the black Die and activate all threats that match the face of the Die. Resolve threats from top to bottom starting with internal threats. Follow the directions on the threat cards to determine the impact they will have on your crew and/or your ship.
6. Gather up crew
Gather all the dice that are not in the infirmary, scanners, or locked by a threat affect.
The goal of the game is to deplete the threat deck and survive. If at the end of step 4 you cannot draw a new threat AND their are no currently active threats then you have survived and you win! Space is a dark, dangerous and brutal place for humans however so if at any point in step 5 your hull reaches 0 your ship is destroyed and you lose, if at the end of step 6 you cannot gather up any dice to roll in the next round you lose. Such is the harshness of space exploration!
The single greatest component of Deep Space D-6 is the box and not simply for the glorious cover but it is solid and I am a sucker for a magnetic clasp. The rest of the game’s components are good. The graphic design and artwork are minimal and functional. There are 4 ships included in the game and this allows for some longevity and variability. The dice are nice and feature distinct colourful icons on each face. The cards are sturdy and easy to read.
Deep Space D-6 will not blow anyone away but I have gotten a lot of fun out of this little unassuming box. I find that I really get quite anxious and tense as the game rolls along and I start losing crew members and the threats pile up. I also really enjoy the simple mechanic of having stronger threats come out higher in the queue (on the right of the board) and moving down the line as they sustain damage until they finally drop off when destroyed. It was fun to zap the baddies and how them drop out of site.
Considering the small footprint and relatively small cost I think Deep Space D-6 is a good purchase for solo players especially those that have ever watched and enjoy any of the Star Trek series. The game definitely has a strong feel of boldly going where no one has gone before.