I missed the 10-minute noob intro for Battlestations because I was talking on the phone. That was quite unfortunate: the game is quite complex. There is one board to show space location and a board each for each ship, built from square modules. It is a blend of space tactics, board games, and role playing. I really liked the game pieces and layouts: the artwork was clear and well done, plus the pieces make roleplaying easier when we aren't having to draw every dungeon/room/alley. Having read zero of the modules, I spent most of the game feeling frustrated. As I was playing the game with its developers (Jeff and Jason Siadek), two other seasoned Battlestations veterans, and a lifelong gamer, it was difficult for me to overcome my “first-timer” jitters.
I had everyone telling me what to do and most of my independent decisions were pretty bad. The veterans and game developers were immersed in advanced play and I kept having to stop them for instructions. I wish I had played in an all-noob demo first. For example, the ship designs were relatively complex and I had no idea what were the best actions. From what I saw of the game, this is the type of adventure that can be built to be more challenging as the GM allows. I would love to play again after reading the modules and grasping better the space concept. I have never played a space RPG so it’s all new to me, unless watching endless episodes of “Star Trek: the Next Generation” counts for anything.
Other online reviews also report this is a complex game, but often the complex ones are the most challenging and (duh) most rewarding.