In Deep Space D6 you've answered a distress call, only to find it's a trap. All kinds of enemy ships attack you. Will you survive before you're rescued yourself? Roll some dice and find out.
There are four playable ships in the box, each with unique abilities. My first session was with the Halcyon. I lost in 10 minutes. Then I remembered the Infirmary card is double sided and that I should use the one with the bonus action printed on it. It lets you pick an action side on a die when things get rough. And they get rough real fast.
My second session was with the Athena Mk. II. I lost in 10 minutes. I had turned over the Infirmary card, but was so excited all the time, that I forgot to use it.
I decided to give myself another chance with the Athena and after 30 nailbiting minutes, I had won! Not just against all regular threats, but against the Ouroboros capital ship as well. This is a special boss you can add either at the end of the game or that can appear at a surprise moment during your game. I always save it for last as I like the old fashioned Big Boss End Fight. Also because I'd like to stand a chance.
I decided it was time to try the Mononoaware next, and lost two games in succession before I knew what was happening. For this ship you have to arm the beam weapons before you can fire them, but they can be used in different ways. Very cool. You can also prevent enemy attacks from happening, and switch the hull and shield strength before reparing. A lot to think about. And on my 50th play of Deep Space D-6 I beat the Ouroboros once more! It must be my lucky day or I am finally getting the hang of it.
Pretty confident now, I moved on to the AG-8 drone ship. Again, this play took me all 30 minutes, but I survived and won.
AG-8 is a very interesting ship. Two or more of your dice are blocked as they are outside the ships, as drones. This meant I could not use the bonus action of the Infirmary (it would temporarily remove another die from the game and I needed them all). The drones do their programmed action every turn (attack, repair, remove a threat detection die) - you don't need to roll them again once they're in place. So gameplay changes to adding drones, recalling them or reprogramming them to make them do something useful.
Hero of the day was the Commander die, that (for this ship) reprograms the drones. I went from attacking to repairing to threat reduction a lot. Three cheers for the Commander!
Deep Space D6 is easy to learn (three minutes max), plays fast and is a lot of fun. There's a lot of replayability and not just because you'll lose most games. You can set the difficulty by adding in or leaving out Don't panic-cards, play with or without Ouroboros, and with or without the bonus Infirmary card. I haven't even opened The Endless Expansion yet or started on The Long Way Home-adventure. This is some of the best money I ever spent on a game. Unfortunately it won't be reprinted - at least never with this box art, now that Choose Your Own Adventure-games are being produced again. And even though we'll have Deep Space D6: Armada later, I am glad to own this elegant simpler version.