Finally, my set is complete!
Clank in Space is always near the top of my games played. I just love the deckbuilding aspects, how the board works, and how you can end the game without any points.
Ok, I don’t love that last part, but that’s only when I’m the one with zero points.
Otherwise I laugh hysterically!
I also really enjoy the two expansions I’ve already reviewed, Apocalypse and Pulsarcade.
However, I just haven’t been able to get the Cyber Station 11 expansion to the table (other than using the cards) since I got it.
That finally ended last weekend, and I think I can finally review it now.
Clank in Space: Cyber Station 11 was designed by Evan Lorentz and Tim McNight with artwork by a fair number of people (check the BGG page linked above). It was published by Dire Wolf Digital and Renegade Game Studios in 2019.
This expansion adds a couple of interesting things to this already great game.
Since I explained how to play Clank in Space in my review, I’ll just go into the additions below.
The main addition to the game, and definitely the most distinctive, is the new board layout.
This time, you are on a circular station instead of a space ship, and facing off against the dreaded Commander Preon, a boss lady who knows what kind of cybernetics she likes!
And will kill anybody who wants to take them from her.
The three modules that you can use are placed framing the central hub, one on the bottom and two of them on the sides. Players start in the central hub, but once they get their artifact, they have to get all the way to the bottom of the station to get an escape pod.
The safe areas (where you can die and still get points) aren’t very big!
The Command Center (which you still need to hack dataports in two modules to access) is on top now, with all five artifacts spread out and lots of security checkpoints.
The expansion comes with one double-sided module to add to the ones you already have.
There are still teleport pads and a moving walkway (this time framing the central hub) that you can use. As with the base game, if you use them, you will get tired and not be able to use Boots any more that turn.
One interesting addition to the game, once Commander Preon’s rage has increased to a certain level, are the Executive Escape Pods.
These are located in the Command Module and are handy if you’re falling behind everybody else. Even more helpful is that they’re near the teleport pads! But they are blocked by security checkpoints.
If you choose to use one of these, you don’t have to make it to the bottom of the station. However, you only get 10 points instead of 20 when you escape.
But at least you get points!
The other neat addition to the game is cyberware.
These cards are purchased normally from the market row but they have a green title instead of blue (or red for the enemies you defeat).
The Secondary Skeleton gives you 1 Skill while the Blade Arm gives you one Fight (Strength, whatever it’s called).
The trick with Cyberware, though, is that if you spend a power crystal when you play the card, you can install it! That means it stays in front of you and gives you that benefit for the rest of the game.
Even if you don’t install it, you will get the effect the turn you play it, but it will go to your discard pile like any other card.
Thankfully, the expansion gives you at least a couple other ways to install them (like the Demented Inventor or the Shady Installer above).
Some cyberware is even better, but it requires certain classes of cards to have been played that turn to activate it.
I hope you’ve been collecting those!
Some of the other cards introduced in the game are pretty cool too.
I like that there are new ways to acquire power crystals.
I do wish the expansion had come with a few more crystals, though.
Granted, you will be spending power crystals to make them available again, but only having five crystals in a four-player game can make it really tight. Especially if somebody gets the secret that gives you points for power crystals at the end of the game.
They’re going to be hoarding them then!
(Then again, if more were available, that secret could be worth a huge number of points, so maybe that would be bad)
I really enjoy the base layout as a contrast to the ship one. It gives you more to think about as you may be going back and forth to the modules to make sure you hack dataports in two of them.
The new modules both give you opportunities to get power crystals, which is nice as well.
The rulebook says that you should only play with one expansion as otherwise the cards from each expansion will be diluted.
While I can see the point, for me I just smash all of them together into one big deck.
I don’t like having to separate out cards.
That being said, if you’re not playing with the schemes from Apocalypse, there’s no point in using some of the cards from that expansion, namely the ones that let you spend or acquire black cubes.
The easiest thing for us to do is just remove those cards when they are drawn.
In our two games, enough cyberware has come out that we didn’t feel like the deck was diluted too much.
Keep that in mind, though, in case you feel otherwise (and don’t mind separating tons of cards).
Speaking of, the addition of cyberware is phenomenal. I love being able to install it and get the benefit every turn (or, if you get one of the more powerful ones that have to be activated, getting the effect when you play the right class of card). It can really focus what kinds of cards you are going for.
The basic gameplay of Clank in Space is relatively unchanged, though I also really like the Executive Escape Pods. It makes it so the game isn’t quite as hopeless for those who are falling behind.
In one of our games, one player got out fairly quickly while the other two players hadn’t even moved toward the Command Hub yet. One of us managed to make it to an Executive Escape Pod and the other…well, I was close, damn it.
Between the cyberware, the base map, and those pods, I have to say I really love this expansion. It’s not quite as good as Apocalypse, but it is very close.
Future plays of this will go back and forth between the base and the ship, and I don’t think I’ll ever play without at least one of these expansions, if not both.
If you love Clank in Space, this is a must-have expansion.
If you don’t, it won’t change your mind. There are no changes, so whatever annoys you about the game will still annoy you.
For me, it’s the utter opposite of annoyance.
I love it!
This review was written after two plays with the expansion board, though there were multiple plays with cyberware and cards from the expansion before that.
Always good to see more Clank!
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