Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore

POWERSHIPS (Cwali Games, 2 to 7 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; 32€ plus shipping)


cialis less side effects elks essay contest 2019-2020 critique essay buy cialis using paypal reference thesis statements how to write an essay about good leadership antithesis in hindi see source bid business plan nursing phd dissertation topics go here headaches viagra levitra acquisto generico watch go to site essay in mandarin newessay 123helpme essay here spm english essay my dream essay cialis 2cpr riv 20mg examples of a thesis enter site tablete viagra cialis print ad Powerships is a 2018 release from Cwali Games, the private label of game designer Corné van Moorsel.  Corné is a well-established designer.  He has found several previous successes with his designs including Factory Fun (Summer 2007 Gamers Alliance Report).  In 2008 he released Powerboats to fair success.  With this release of Powerships, Corné has taken the basic ideas of Powerboats and built an updated game worthy of your consideration.

While the original Powerboats was a nautical race, in Powerships you will now race around the solar system.  The mechanisms are very similar, so if you have played Powerboats you will instantly feel right at home.  But if you are new to Powerships, the learning curve on the rules is short and simple.

At the beginning of the game, the map must be assembled.  The board comes in many different segments and is back printed.  A hexagon grid is imprinted on the board to regulate movement.  Assembling the board can be slightly confusing, as there are three different shaped board types, and care must be taken to avoid building any gaps.  Each board has a more and a less complicated side to it.  It will be possible to lay out a number of different board configurations with the tiles included. 

Once the board is assembled, a race course must be laid out.  For example, you might start at Earth, race around Venus, then around Mars, on to Jupiter, and then end the race in orbit around Mercury.  Several routes can be contemplated, and there are four buoys provided, so you can adjust the duration of the race to your taste.  The buoys are nice painted wooden dowels.  Each end of the round dowel has an arrow marker, so you can determine if the buoy is to be passed clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Up to seven players can race.  Each pilot has a chunky plastic racing ship.  This is a quibble but I find them just a little hard to pick up; I wish the tail had a bigger tail fin.  To move, each ship can add one die per turn to build up speed.  The dice are nicely engineered 3-sided dice which roll beautifully.  On any given turn you can either keep the values of the dice you previously rolled or you can re-roll any or all of your dice.  Each turn, you can add one more die to the total number of dice or, should you need to slow down, you can reduce the number of dice by one.

Since racing is almost never just straight ahead, top speed is not always needed.  Instead, you must pass around space buoys, avoid space dust, planets, and of course, the sun!  Further, the board has additional features such as space drifts, gravitational whirlpools, warp speed triggers, and hyperspace jump points.  Each powership requires its own space which raises the possibility of other pilots occupying that critical space you were wanting to land on.   

Maneuvering is limited to a single course correction to be taken at the beginning of a turn.  The game movement is regulated by a hexagon grid.  Powerships must always face a hex edge.  Each turn, a powership can adjust its heading by 60 degrees.  Once movement starts, there can normally be no course corrections.  Since there is almost always something that will lie in your path, you will constantly be looking for the most efficient path to your next goal.

The hazards on the board can cause your ship to be spun 60 degrees, shunted over a hex row, or even double your speed.  The only random element is the dice you roll for acceleration.  You must move your full roll or at least try to.  But it can happen that a pilot drives his ship into another planet or some surprisingly dense space dust.  Should this happen, your ship will take damage and you will come to a stop (clearing all accumulated dice).  Normally, a ship can have up to five dice in acceleration but should you have a collision, damage markers will occupy your dice slots, and limit your speed capabilities.  Fortunately, it is impossible to crash out of the race and you can even do some repair work on your ship during the race.

Player turns are usually brisk.  After considering any route corrections desired, the player will choose to roll their dice, or retain helpful dice from the prior turn, and possibly increase or decrease the number of dice by one.  After rolling the ship is moved.  There are no random events after movement begins.  This allows for swift turn resolution and moving on to the next player.  A game with seven players will take longer, but this reviewer found the game still moved along nicely.

If you play, it can be helpful to visualize your entire route for the race.  Since acceleration is random, your plan will certainly have to be adjusted.  Also, the actions, and the spaces occupied by the other pilots will impact your plan.  While colliding into board elements such as planets or the edge of the board are extreme events, it is also possible to use another ship as a softer bump.  The rules disallow two ships to ever share a space at the end of movement.  Should that happen, the moving ship will move 1 space less.  I have found using the other ships as a brake to be effective.  But mostly, I suggest being open to adjusting your course based on your dice luck, and potentially learning a neat move from one of the other competitors.

Powerships has a lovely theme, a fun race and plays in less than one hour for almost every configuration you might devise.  If you enjoy brisklypaced race games I recommend checking it out. – – – – – – – – – – – – – Kevin Whitmore

Have feedback? We’d love to hear from you.

Have a comment?

Other Spring 2018 GA Report Articles


Reviewed by Herb Levy ALTIPLANO (dlp Games/Renegade Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 60-120 minutes; $65) The highlands of the Andes between Bolivia and Peru and the goods to be grown, harvested ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy CHARIOTS OF ROME (Victory Point Games, 2 to 8 players, ages 14 and up, 60-120 minutes; $45) One of the great segments in movie history is the chariot racing scene from ...
Read More
Reviewed by Selwyn Ward CIVILIZATION (Gibsons Games, 2 to 7, ages 12 and up, 4 to 8 hours; about £46) If you mention the game Civilization to most people, they immediately think of Sid Meier ...
Read More
Reviewed by Chris Wray DECRYPTO (Iello Games, 3 to 8 players, ages 12 and up, 15-45 minutes; $19.99) Decrypto made a prototype debut at the Gathering of Friends 2017, where it quickly became popular, earning ...
Read More
THE THRILL OF VICTORY AND THE JOY OF DEFEAT Decades ago, the ABC television network had a sports show called The Wide World of Sports. Each week, the highs and lows of sports teams and ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy IQUAZU (HABA, 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, 50 minutes; $49.99) Peace and prosperity are things that people the world over have wanted. So it is with the Inox ...
Read More
Reviewed by James Davis LISBOA (Eagle-Gryphon Games, 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $99.99) The great Lisbon earthquake occurred on Saturday, the 1st of November at approximately 9:40 AM in the ...
Read More
Reviewed by Herb Levy MICHAEL STROGOFF (Devir, 1 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 60 minutes; $34.99) Jules Verne is one of the authors who lives on in his work. Nearly everyone has heard ...
Read More
Reviewed by Joe Huber NUSFJORD (Lookout Games/Mayfair Games, 1 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 20-100 minutes, $70) Once upon a time, Uwe Rosenberg was known as one of the greatest card game game ...
Read More
Reviewed by Kevin Whitmore POWERSHIPS (Cwali Games, 2 to 7 players, ages 10 and up, 30 minutes; 32€ plus shipping) Powerships is a 2018 release from Cwali Games, the private label of game designer Corné ...
Read More
Reviewed by Greg J. Schloesser PULSAR 2849 (Czech Games Edition, 2 to 4 players, ages 14 and up, 120 minutes; $59.95) Set in the future at the advent of an energy boom, Pulsar 2849 casts ...
Read More
Reviewed by Chris Kovac THIS WAR OF MINE (Awaken Realms, 1 to 6 players, ages 18 and up, 45-120 minutes; $69.99) This War of Mine is a one to six player cooperative game of survival ...
Read More
Reviewed by Pevans TULIP BUBBLE (Moaideas Game Design, 3 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 45-60 minutes; $40) I understand that there is some debate whether the early 17th-century tulip mania in the Dutch ...
Read More
Reviewed by Selwyn Ward WILDCATTERS (Capstone Games, 2 to 5 players, ages 12 and up, 120 minutes; $69.99) Designed by Rolf Sagel and André Spil and published by Capstone Games, Wildcatters is a recent second ...
Read More

No comments

Leave a Reply

If you enjoy games, then Gamers Alliance is right for you!