#Boardgame Bits – Early Thoughts on One Small Step (@Academy_Games, 2020)

My Kickstarter Deluxe Edition of One Small Step (Academy Games, 2020) arrived this past week. The Kickstarter campaign ended in August 2019 and the game was supposed to be delivered in December that same year – an ambitious schedule given inevitable Academy Games production delays and COVID-19 which conspired to push delivery all the way mid-late 2020. Now that I have it in hand I am seriously reading the rules and getting ready to get it to the gaming table, possibly as soon as this weekend. Presented here, without full play, are some of my early thoughts as I ready for our first game:

  • Apollo at 50: Part of the original marketing for One Small Step was being able to play the Space Race in the 50th anniversary year of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. Well, that didn’t happen. I still have a great interest in the topic but the thrill of associating history with first play is kinda lost.
  • Worker Placement: The RockyMountainNavy house and worker placement games haven’t met with much success in the past. We anxiously tried Raiders of the North Sea (Garphill Games, 2015) and found it wanting. In One Small Step each team has two workers, an Administrator and an Engineer, each of which ‘activate’ spaces and cards differently. Looks interesting…we’ll see how it really works.
  • Three Players: Given my usual gaming partners are the two RockyMountainNavy Boys, we need good three-player games which are surprisingly hard to find. Other Academy Games like the Birth of America series allow us to play four-way games with three-players. Here’s to hoping One Small Step with the two teams of players (and each team playable as a single player) keeps up that tradition.
  • Plastic Bits: My Kickstarter Deluxe Edition shipped with several bags of plastic bits. They all look good but I can’t help but wonder if some good differently shaped wood bits with screen printing wouldn’t look, and feel, better. It’s a tough call: I really enjoy the wood bits in a game like 1775: Rebellion (Academy Games, 2013) but also enjoy all the little plastic ‘dudes on the map’ in a game like 878 Vikings (Academy Games, 2017).

Lest all this sounds negative, rest assured that I am anxious to play One Small Step. I do not regret buying the game and from what I have seen so far I am encouraged and looking forward to experiencing the game and sharing it with the RockyMountainNavy Boys. Whatever happens I will let you know!

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