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Review: Hull Breach In Defiance of Dictators

Hull Breach is back with its third expansion to its story and timeline. Providing us with more lore, more factions and more ways to seek out a victory against the forces arrayed against us. Some of you might already be familiar with Hull Breach. Some of you might be hearing about it for the first time. So for those of you new to Hull Breach let’s quickly break down what is Hull Breach?

Hull Breach is a sci-fi cards-and-dice game featuring epic space combat between ships, firefights between Marine boarding parties, and plenty of clever tactics and galaxy-shaking events. You assume command of a space station belonging to one of our several in-game factions and fight it out with one or more other Commanders to achieve galactic domination! The object of the game is to protect your Station – your home in space – from other Commanders while trying to capture or destroy theirs.

If you want a deeper look at the system you can also check out my previous review of the game HERE .In my first review, I covered my thoughts on gameplay. I am opting to skip going over most of the gameplay rules as they are largely the same. In this blog, I am going to only focus on the new rules and other content. (Note: if you are curious about a deeper look at the gameplay you can get a deep walk-through done by the guys at Skip the Rulebook)

NSB Games third installment of the epic space conflict game Hull Breach In Defiance of Dictators expansion. Defiance of Dictators takes what they had learned with Corporate Wars & Loyalty and Vigilance and builds upon both the lore and rules. Bringing us 4 more factions and two more paths to victory. Better yet, it remains fully compatible with all previous editions of the game.

Defiance of Dictators is packed with content, with 4 new playable factions that will now raise the number of play decks in Hull Breach up to a total of 10 predesigned decks. If that is not enough for you, you can customize your decks as well and add a bit of personal flair. Just because you can build your own deck do not think that you will automatically dominate the trade routes. Great pains have been met to make sure that the existing pre-built decks are highly competive.

HULL BREACH Factions Decks List

  • RDF Skyline Defense Headquarters
  • Deep Space Colony
  • Stellar Tax Gate Bureau
  • Xeros Orbital Shipyards
  • Anaheim Manufacturing Platform
  • Bank of the Galaxy Regional Headquarters
  • Merchant Marines Logistics Center
  • Marine Training Division
  • Independent Shipping outfits
  • Rattlesnake Confederacy

The artwork has only continued to get better in Defiance of Dictators as they have added a few new great artists like James C. Hill. Even with the uptick of art the cards in this set still look and feel like they fit seamlessly into the Hull Breach style.

WHATS NEW?

Back in my first review. I gave Hull Breach a Runkle Ranking of 18. Even so, I did point out a few Cons that I had hoped to see addressed in coming expansions. Well, I am here to say that not one but both of my biggest Con’s were addressed.

Old Con’s

  • Hull Breach sadly had a rulebook that was nothing short of painful to read.
  • Hull Breach also only had one path to victory.

The Rulebook Then

The old rulebook for Hull Breach was a dog of a read. I found myself after several games still going back and rereading rules to make sure I fully understood them. Overall just about everyone agreed the old book was difficult to slog through. Often because there are a ton of terms to learn in Hull Breach you spent a lot of time in the old book looking up terms. The game was in dire need of a quick reference sheet. There was one online that you could download. Yet unless you had gone looking for it on their website, you likely would never know it existed.

The Rulebook NOW.

We have a fully revised Rulebook, complete with easy access rules for beginners; and a digital video rule book put together by the awesome team at ‘Skip the Rules’ (Linked here for your enjoyment)

 In addition to the updated and digital Rules, they gave us a handy-dandy reference sheet to speed things up at the table, no more jumping back and forth to the rulebook constantly. My advice to you when you pick up the game is that you makes a second copy of this sheet straight away, so each player has one on hand. This is a full 8.5 x 11 Double-sided sheet that will speed the game play up dramatically.


Victory Conditions Then

The only way in the past to win the game was to capture your opponents base station or destroy your opponent utterly.

Victory Conditions Now

Conquest & Capture are still the most likely and straight forward manner to win a game of Hull Breach. The creators heard the call from the fans and added additional paths to victory in Defiance of Dictators. Players can now win a game of Hull breach through Diplomatic or Economic victories. This gives players several options to win a game of Hull Breach. Additionally, it motivates military power players to play more aggressively and not sit back too long “Fleet Building” lest they let the win slip by as their opponent secures the victory without firing a shot.

Runkles Ranking Then

D20 #18Back when I reviewed it first. I gave it my highest score to date at that point. High praise indeed. I had never thought I would give out a 20 at the time. Eventually, I did when Savage Rifts came along. Still, an 18 is tremendous praise for a tremendous product.

 

Runkles Ranking NOW

d20-17With all the work that has gone into this product. New ships, new art, new streamlined rules and new faction decks as well as new victory conditions. There is no denying that this product is unmistakably better in every way! So I am proud to raise Hull Breach In the Defiance of Dictators game up to a 19!

 

Final thoughts.

I am honored I was asked to take part in a review of this game yet again. I am thoroughly impressed with it. Going forward I would love to play mats or rules for developing campaign play. Heck with all the lore a “Hull Breach Campaigns” set might be an awesome idea. Where players would get a set of campaign cards with set victory conditions and such playing out battles throughout a war or in wars of the past.

Lastly, the only things keeping Hull Breach from a Crit Hit would be that it is built to play best with two players. Like all games when you add players to the mix the game time increases slightly. Now it might be because some of our players are novices still but each added player dramatically increases the play time in our experience.

Additionally, I think it is still a little too complex for some players, because of this it will turn some players away. Even so I would not want to tinker with that formual as it makes Hull Breach the awesome space combat epic that it is.

Head on over to their website hullbreachgame.com and take a deeper look at their lore and other products available. See you all next time!

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2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the great review! I wanted to add a few things that players may not know. Firstly, the Quick Reference Sheet is available as a free download on our Website, http://www.hullbreachgame.com – and for that matter, so is the rulebook, in PDF form! As for the player-count sweetspot, I personally like the game better at three players, but it is true of Hull Breach that adding players will always increase play time. This is offset somewhat as you gain experience in play, but even for longtime players like the Dev team or Operatives (Our demo team volunteers and Playtesters – YOU can become one! Look on the Web site to see how!), a larger game will take more time. Lastly, I want to mention a little teaser…. We’re not done in the universe of Hull Breach just yet. We’re already working on campaigns, new Scenarios… and more. For those of you who know our lore… the Tau Ceti Incident may soon prove to be far more important than anyone thought… Stay tuned… And thanks again for the great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad that you enjoyed the review! The best part of this for me is to know that the game is going in directions that I would like to see it take. As well as being one step ahead of me!
      For my readers. I had no idea about the upcoming news mentioned here! Awesome!

      Like

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