Last updated 22 July 2013

Light Speed

Light Speed is a real-time card game designed by Tom Jolly and James Ernest. It was a turn based strategy game first, and Mr. Ernest suggested making it a realtime game, a stroke of genius. It's an intense 1 minute space battle, or a 20 minute strategy game. You decide how you want to play it.

Lightspeed comes with the components shown below, ten cards each for two to four players, cards numbered from 1 to 10. Two Asteroid cards are in the set for the players to mine for ore while they're taking a break from blowing each other out of the sky. Rules, too, and a nifty small ziplock bag. As it is with most Cheapass games, you need to provide your own counters to represent damage and mined ore. A collection of glass beads works great for this, but coins would work just as well. Or M&M's, for that matter.

Players each control a group of 10 spaceships, and attempt to mine an asteroid or destroy their competition. The ships are played onto the table around the asteroid as fast as you want to play them, weapons targeting both the asteroid and the other ships. The game ends when one player plays his last ship, so the game goes fast! After that, it's just a matter of resolving damage! The ships labeled "1" resolve their damage on other ships first, then the "2's", and so on, so you might lose your "3" ship before it ever gets a chance to fire.

In the picture below, the "1" ship has mined the Asteroid for 2 points (using the red weapon), but has taken a point of damage from an off-screen "1" ship, so it gets destroyed before the player gets to count the ore mined from the asteroid. It only had one point of damage it could take (the big red dots). The "1" ship failed to damage the "7" ship because the "7" has a shield (the red bars) along the side of the card, blocking the attack. There are 3 different sized weapons (1, 2, and 3 damage) and 3 sizes of ships (2, 3, and 4 points), all armed and shielded slightly different from one another.

The next pic gives you an idea what the table looks like after the ships have been played (2 players), but before all the damage has been resolved.

In the next picture, we see the #1 ships' damage resolved. Red tokens are damage, the blue tokens indicate what's been mined from the asteroid. Note that the #3 ship has been destroyed and would be removed from the table before resolving the damage of the #2 ships.

You can order Light Speed from Cheapass Games or from Jolly Games for $5.

And here's the Polish Version, called Kosmiczna Eskadra! It actually has a box, wooden counters, and some placeholders for your cards. And it's $20, fresh from Poland, order from Jolly Games.