Future Friday – The Plot Thickens

Hello, and welcome back to another Future Friday! There are no new releases planned for next week, however next Wednesday will see a new installment in Season 2’s ongoing narrative, the logbook of the ASV Ranger!

ASV Ranger, Accords Heavy Research Vessel

As a Heavy Scout-class vessel, the Ranger is equipped with various ground survey and planetary operation equipment, as well as powerful interstellar sensors. First of her class, the Ranger was assigned to research duties, looking for clues as to the disappearance of the ancient Psiar race. As the previous log entry detailed, less than a year into their journey, the Ranger discovered a deadly threat – an ancient Starbeast named Dread Nova.

Akula Dread Starbeast

Wildly outmatched, the Ranger’s only hope was its Psionics officer, Lieutenant Urielle Sakorra. Miss Urielle’s psionic abilities were more than a match for the ancient Starbeast, but before she could learn of its plans, Dread Nova dove into the atmosphere of a nearby planet, killing itself in order to keep most of its secrets.

Now aware that the Akula are using the Selourians to further their goal of wiping out all life in the universe, the Accords need answers as to what Star Terror and the other Akula are looking for. To get those answers, the ASV Ranger must delve deep into Selourian territory and recover an unlikely defector…

To learn more, check back Wednesday for the ASV Ranger Log!

ASV Ranger Log, Stardate 97.287

Captain Myla Jerrik Recording.

I don’t know how to process everything we discovered in the past cycle. What we’ve found makes the struggles of the past 5 years feel like just background noise. I’ll try to parse out what I can here, but the implications for our future are impossible to ignore.

Prior to today, the status of Grandis in regards to other galaxies had been in doubt. That is no longer the case. We can now confirm that, at some time in the past, Grandis was not one galaxy, but an entire universe of galaxies. Through some technology we can’t currently understand, these galaxies were wiped of memory and much of their life in what was called the “Galactic Apocalypse”. The true intent of this process was to bring every star in the universe into one massive supergalaxy.

We still have no frame of reference with which to discern the placement of this event on our timeline, but we do now know of a race whose memory predates it.

They call themselves the Akula.

We encountered one of them near the Psiarian Outpost. They are a powerful race a psionic Starbeasts. This one called itself “Dread Nova”, and seemed determined to prevent us from learning more about Grandis. Lieutenant Urielle was able to merge minds with it, but the results were catastrophic.

Rather than allow itself to be probed, Dread Nova plunged itself into the planet below. It… It just killed itself. We found out what it was trying to hide, although I don’t know if Urielle will ever be able to recover. She spoke of a hatred so deep, it wanted to wipe all life from every star. To end all chance of existence. Apparently that hatred is shared by all Akula.

She did also learn that another Akula, one called “Star Terror”, has made friends with a Selourian Warlord, Brehkkis. And that they’re looking for something to wipe out all life in Grandis. All life in the Universe.

Grandis is not only our home. It is now home to all life in the Universe. The Accords cannot allow the destruction of that life to happen. We have to find this artifact first. No matter what it takes.

My advice to Naval Command is this: All other research concerns should be considered secondary at this time.

Future Friday – The Fate of Grandis

Welcome back to Future Friday, where we preview upcoming releases and discuss long-term plans for Cage Free Games and our ever-expanding library. Now back from a much-needed vacation and wellness break, and with a new month on the horizon, we’ve got some exciting new details today regarding the future of our flagship game, Admirals: Star Strike!

Digital Release Roadmap

Season 1 of Admirals: Star Strike built a core game with a strong and unique rules framework and a good depth of List selections for constructed play, with 10 ships for each of the four Factions and 70 different Order cards. Season 2 will continue to build on this core installment with new ships (such as the mighty Valkyrie class Battleship) and new ways to play (Such as fielding Heroes to increase your options for scoring Objective Points). And before Season 2 officially lands in May, you can expect Allied Reinforcements Expansion, adding Minor Factions to the game. The full roadmap for digital releases at this time is as follows:

  • April 2022: Allied Reinforcements Expansion (Rule Booklet, Ships and Orders)
  • May 2022: Battleships (New Super Heavy ships)
  • June 2022: Heroes of Grandis (Rule Booklet and Hero Upgrades)
  • July 2022: Allied Escalation (New ships for Minor Factions)
  • August 2022: Tactical Gambits (New Orders)
  • September 2022: **NAME REDACTED** (Rule and Scenario Booklet for Co-op/Solo play)
  • October 2022: **NAME REDACTED** (New Hero Upgrades, Season 2 Finale)

In addition, several Map and Historic Play expansions will be released as they are completed. These releases will be available via Patreon. For fans of our Physical products, a roadmap will be released for these next month, as well as a roadmap for the release of remaining Season 1 items.

The Star Strike Story continues…

Next week, be ready for the Story of the Season 1 Finale to finally be revealed, paving the way for the many plot threads of Season 2’s Heroes and Co-Op play. We can’t say much yet, but for now, know that next Wednesday, an ancient Terror of the Stars will be revealed…

New Rulebook Updates

We are constantly looking for ways to improve the Star Strike Core Rulebook, and another new update to the rules is on the way, this time allowing players to change which player is “First Player” every turn, changing who gets to activate first in the Activation Phase. We hope this new rule will put additional weight on positional advantage in the game and strengthen the role of Light and Escort ships in your fleets.

More Games!

While Season 1 of Star Strike took a lot of focus, our hope is that Season 2 will allow us to spend more time on other projects that have been waiting in the wings, both expandable and standalone. Our party game Bird Overlord will make you squek and squawk as you and your friends try to sneak millets away from the titular Overlord herself, who is having NONE of it! The long-awaited Transforming Starfighter game Sol 3 has been undergoing a total engine remaster, and a Starship Command RPG codenamed “Omega Force” will excite any Tabletop RPG players with a love for Spaceships!

We’re looking forward to bringing you more fun new games that you can print at home and enjoy for a fraction of the cost of big box titles. Remember, you can subscribe to our patreon at any level to access our ever-growing back-catalogue of digital releases. Have a great weekend, and we’ll see you next week!

What’s in the Advanced Operations Ship Pack?

Now Available for download through our Patreon, Advanced Operations contains 4 new starships (one for each Faction), each one bringing new tools and tactics to your fleets.

DC-BC “Darkwater Class”

The Darkwater Class Battle Cruiser is the second Dathian ship with the Heavy Role, presenting an alternative to the Meteor heavy cruiser. Armed to the teeth with 6 dice of SRM-A and 2 dice of LRM-A, only the heaviest Flak coverage will save you from this deadly vessel’s close-range barrages. Enemies should beware Coalition players using Storm Launch Protocol to saturate close range targets with Storm Missile attacks.

NE-C8 “Wasp Class”

Imperial Carrier enthusiasts rejoice, for a far cheaper alternative to the Hive Class is now available! The Wasp mounts the new C-DRONE armament, remote starfighters that have a 1-in-6 chance per die to double the total hits scored by the rest of the armament’s dice. While the Wasp lacks the direct combat capabilities and durability of it’s larger cousin, it is an excellent support piece, coming in at 4 Fleet Value.

PA-NCA “Galaxy Class”

Clearly designed as an upgrade to the venerable Dictata class heavy Cruiser, the Galaxy Class is armed with 6(!) dice of Malus Blasters (M-BLASTER), making it one of the most aggressive vessels in the Accords fleet. Additionally armed with an adapted Turkhen Beakon Cannon (B-CANNON) and a single die of LRM-A, the Galaxy brings respectable long-range pressure to the table as well.

SW-TS5 “Torton Class”

With increased sieges on all fronts, the Selourians now have a cheap Light vessel designed to hold and take territory rather than outright obliterate it. The Torton Class is a lightly armed, 2 Fleet Value Light-Role Strike Transport. As a fairly durable Light starship, the Torton is a powerful tool for taking and holding Star Systems. With Armor [3], Deadly [3] and Shuttle Hangar, this small but tough starship gives you new options to approach Objectives.

Ready to add these ships to your fleet? Head on over to our Patreon today to gain access to every digital file in our Print and Play collection!

Future Friday – Season 1 Complete!

Welcome back to Future Friday, starship combat fans!

There are no new releases planned next week, as we’re taking a small vacation here at Cage Free Games. So this week, we’re going to talk a little about what you can expect next month, and where we go from here now that the final Ship Pack of Season 1 “Advanced Operations”, is now available to our Patrons.

Next Month, to wrap up Season 1, Patrons can expect a Rules Expansion booklet with 4 new keyword rules, a “Season Finale” scenario, and a summary of the current state of the Grandis Galaxy, going into Season 2. In addition, a new type of Ship Pack is incoming…

Allied Starships

Aranidae Holdings Cargo Cruiser

If you were wondering why we needed to introduce 4 new keywords, here’s your answer! Each of the 4 Colors are getting a minor subfaction that can be used alongside of existing vessels, or you can elect to play a fleet made up of only these unique starships!

In addition to the Turkhen (who are being introduced in Penguin Quarterly Volume 2), you can expect 3 more Minor Factions. While we can’t talk about the Yellow or Red factions yet, some players may have already recognized the name “Aranidae” above. After the Aranidae rebellions in the Nataran Empire (which took place shortly before our story began), the few surviving Aranidae fled coreward. Encountering the Coalition, the Aranidae found the idea of working for profit far preferable to the Empire’s hive-minded labor programs. They now operate a number of small Mining operations throughout Coalition space, and support Coalition fleets in their defense against the Selourian invasion.

You can expect the first wave of Minor Factions and their Starships next month, as well as the first Rules Expansion booklet (which will be filled with other unannounced goodies!).

Weapons Index now available!

The Weapons Index for Admirals: Star Strike is now available! But what exactly is an Index, and how can I get it?

Indexes are a collection of cards made available to the public for free, both as a reference tool and to improve accessibility to new players. Cage Free Games offers these card Indexes in two formats: a Web Gallery containing the cards, and a downloadable PDF allowing you to easily print your own set. Both will be consistently updated as additional cards are added to the game.

Ready to dive into the variety of deadly weapons available in the Grandis Galaxy? You can find a link to the Index page on the Admirals: Star Strike home page, or click the button below to go there now!

Future Friday – New maps, New Ships, Penguin Quarterly, and the Weapons of Grandis

Welcome back to Future Friday, where we talk about next week’s releases (digital and physical!).

March marks the end of Star Strike Season 1, and we have a lot planned for the Finale at the end of the month. Before we get there, there’s a whole range of new options coming for your games of Admirals: Star Strike!

The final Ship Pack of the Season, “Advanced Warfare”, brings 4 new Ships to the game, one for each Faction. We’ll preview these in more detail in another article, but for a taste of what’s to come, here’s a peek at the new Dathian Battle Cruiser:

Also coming next week, the Silent Forge digital map pack will make the fist single-system map available for all Patreon subscribers. This map has previously been seen at our local game store (Battleground Games and Hobbies, Norton MA), and is currently available in the Southern Invasion introductory set. The digital map pack contains additional background on the Silent Forge sector, and strategy tips on how best to maneuver around this single-system map.

You can expect another map pack by the end of March, and if you’re looking for more new maps in the meantime…

Penguin Quarterly

As with volume 1 of Penguin Quarterly subscriptions, volume 2 will contain a brand new playmat with a new map. This map will be exclusive to Penguin Quarterly subscribers until its digital release later this year. If you missed the boat on volume 1, don’t fret – we’ll return to the Darksteel sector in April for the debut of Season 2!

If you’re excited to get a new map, or looking forward to using the TR-KEY’s powerful Beakon Cannon, make sure to sign up for Penguin Quarterly on our Patreon before 5pm on March 1st. And speaking of Cannons…

Weapons of Grandis

As Admirals: Star Strike expands, and our player base grows, we continue examining our design model to find ways to be more player-friendly. With a trickle of new Weapons persistently being added to the game, we made the decision that all weapons cards will now be consolidated into one, continually updated document.

This new pack, called “Weapons of Grandis”, will join our selection of free downloads. In addition, each time a new Weapon is added to the game, it will be added to this file as well. You’ll be able to use this new pack to print any extra Weapon cards you need for your fleets, as well as looking up Weapons an opponent may bring to the table.

Take Care of Yourselves

The world is going through a rough patch at the moment, and many of us are stuck holding our breath and praying for the safety of others. We encourage everyone who is not currently in harm’s way to sit down with some friends, chat, and play same Tabletop games (of whatever genre or publisher you prefer). A good de-stress session is important for your mental and physical health in these distressing times. Stay safe, stay healthy, and we’ll see you all next week.

New Patreon Release – Bombers!

Small, independent attack craft, Bombers are Escort ship cards with a low Fleet Value cost and powerful offensive weaponry. These tiny starships are now available to add to your fleet via print and play through our Patreon!

Fire Ant Bombers mount 2 dice of Metallic Cannons and a single die of Railcannons, making them deadly and durable long-range combatants. While their Fleet Value of 2 means they won’t be replacing the NE-AC “Silverfish” anytime soon, the Fire Ants give Nataran players a cheaper alternative to the Tenarrik Destroyer for adding Escort-based firepower to your fleets.

In contrast, the Planetary Accords “Electrus” Bombers mount powerful Malus Blasters. This deadly improvement on the Malus Launcher fills two roles, allowing the Electrus to skirmish other lightly-armed Escorts at little risk, and providing easy Escort removal via its Critical Icon (and easy access to rerolls via Target Locks). While filling the same 1 Fleet Value cost as the Defender interceptors, the two vessels fill very different roles in your Accords fleets.

There’s even more Bomber goodness waiting for you in the Bombers! digital expansion set, available for download now through our Patreon. Also a reminder, that should you wish to rescue the Turkhen from near extinction, both the Planetary Accords and the Nataran Empire will play a role in our next Penguin Quarterly issue, so sign up before 5pm on March 1st if you want this exciting new chapter of the Star Strike story delivered to your door!

Future Friday – Intro Sets and your local game store!

Welcome to Future Friday! Taking the place of our previous Tuesday segment, Future Friday gives a preview of what’s coming next week, and any updates we have on releases further down the pipeline.

Next week, you’ll be able to find Introductory Sets for Admirals: Star Strike at Battleground Games and Hobbies in Norton, MA. These Intro Sets retail at $49.99, and provide an excellent starting point for 2 players to jump into Tactical Battles in the Grandis Galaxy. Each set comes with 2 preconstructed Fleets and Order Libraries for a Clash-sized game of Constructed Play, as well as a poster map to play on, dice, and a dry erase marker. All included Ship Cards are in our new Tarot-sized format, and each ship card has been pre-sleeved for your convenience!

In addition, Fleet Expansions will be available, allowing players to add new ships to their fleets. Each expansion comes with 3 or more Ships, and a small selection of Order Cards to support them. These sets are designed to complement the contents of the Intro Kits, and are a great way to quickly add to your ship selection.

Of course, should you wish to play any card in the Season 1 set, our Patreon continues to offer the complete collection of Digital files, allowing you to quickly print and try out new ideas (or add to your fleet at a lower price point). Patreon subscribers can also look forward to a new set of ships next week with the release of Season 1’s second wave of additional ships, “Bombers!”. This new set will add a new Bomber Ship Card and Token for each of the 4 existing factions.

Should you wish to pick up these powerful Escorts in Plastic Cards and Composite Tokens, you can look forward to them being released in a Fleet Expansion set in March. And speaking of March…

Penguin Quarterly

Yup, it’s been 3 months, and Penguin Quarterly is back with a new set! While we haven’t finalized the set contents, you can expect a clash in a new sector along the Accords-Empire Border, as Accords ships investigate the reappearance of an ancient race long thought Extinct.

That’s right. It’s Turkhen Time!

While the TR-KEY will be available for anyone to download next month as celebration, the long-awaited ship originally created as a joke will be available as a Plastic Tarot Ship Card, along with Composite token, in this quarter’s Penguin Quarterly. The Ship Card includes the Turkhen-unique Faction Keyword, “Delectable”, and is double-sided, with the second side showing the “PA-KEY”, allowing you to field your new Turkhen vessel alongside your Planetary Accords fleets!

You’ll find the rules for the “Delectable” keyword and a new Historic Play scenario in Penguin Quarterly, which you can have delivered to your door by signing up for the V-I-Penguin Tier of our Patreon before 5pm on March 1st, 2022.

That’s all for Future Friday this week! If you want to see Admirals: Star Strike in your friendly local game store, let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or have your store reach out to us at cagefreetabletop@gmail.com. Have a great weekend!

Admirals: Star Strike – Quick Reference Sheet now available!

Welcome back, Admirals! In preparation for our new Intro Sets being available for purchase next week, we’ve been working on a handy new reference sheet for playing Star Strike:

This Quick Reference helps you through your first games, giving you easy access to the basics of Star Strike. It also has a list of 4 Intro fleets for Constructed Clash play, helping you start playing this exciting Tactical Space Battle Game faster than ever before! These intro fleets are also the contents of the two Intro Sets, pitting rival factions against each other and giving you a set to sit down and play with a friend.

We’ll talk more about these Intro Kits when our long-running preview series moves to its new home on Future Friday. See you then!