April 18, 2024


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Under the Coup Skies - Basic Game - Photo: Steffi Münzer

Under Falling Skies – Board game

People, this is serious. Earth is under attack by a foreign power and we must defend the city. The mother ship is hovering over us, attacking us, and getting closer and closer to our base. Tim, you take care of energy. Svetlana, how fast can you create a research laboratory? Captain Miller helps us with their anti-aircraft defenses, but we must hurry! what should I do? I’m president, and if I fail, New York will drown. Then Paris, London, Mexico City and other cities. And finally, the entire human race.

From an arcade game to a massive strategy game

Let’s go back a little. Tomáš Uhlíř worked at CGE on developing the sacred. Meanwhile, he submitted his design to Under Falling Skies BGG-Wettbewerb 2019 9 Card Game Print & Play Design Competition It won in the categories of Best Solitaire, Most Objective Game, Most Innovative Mechanics and Best Overall Game. Anyone interested in this first type can do this Download Print and Play for free. Together with CGE, the prototype was tuned, the material design was developed and the game complemented with an extensive campaign. Illustrations prepared by Kwanchai Moriah.

How is Under Falling Skies played?

Under the Distressed Sky - Detail View - Photo: Steffi Munzer

The game setting is simple. The mother ship hovers over everything with five enemy spaceship landing points. Including four paintings skies over our city. The base, with many chambers, is located underground. Next to it we find three bars: Chi Points, Damage Points, and Quest Points. The Supreme Commander has five dice at her disposal, which she must use skillfully. Three blossoms are gray and two are white. If white dice are used, all remaining dice are recycled. One cube can be placed at the base for each column and can trigger the following events:

  • Dig tunnels to open more rooms
  • Power generation (for research and defense)
  • Conduct a search
  • The launch of combat aircraft
  • Use air defense
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Under the Distressed Sky - The Rooms - Photo: Steffi Münzer

In the bonus track of the game, especially in the campaign, additional rooms have been added. If you place dice at your base, the hostile spaceship advances down the column by the corresponding amount and can trigger actions (for example moving the parent ship). If a spaceship collides with the city, we suffer one point of damage and the spaceship returns to the parent ship. When all the dice have been placed, the space stage begins, where the dice can be used. Finally, the parent ship sinks one space toward the base and can also trigger actions (for example, attacking tunnel digging or bringing more ships to play). The small spaceships that returned to the mother ship began over again. Then the dice stage begins again. The goal is to reach the end of the search results bar before the spaceships do us a lot of damage.

Was that all?

not exactly. The first base game starts with Roswell. In the next step, Washington or New York can be defended. Each city has different rules and additional special procedures. And if we are bored, we can flip the sky panels and increase the difficulty level. I can’t tell how many hours and periods it took to reach the most difficult level all at once (!).

Under the Troubled Sky - Um - Photo: Steffi Munzer

But that is what happened now, right?

With my description: Yes. With the game: No. This was just the base game so far. Because the campaign only starts now. In four chapters including additional game materials, we get to know the story behind the attack. Why attack aliens? There are new cities with new rules, new rooms, and different scenarios against us, but we are getting support from the Allies. No more will be revealed!

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Conclusion: Is Under Falling Skies Worth It?

People, this is serious. I’ve never been so intrigued by this solo game. I always wanted to keep playing, improving myself, and winning. Even if the setting remains the same, every roll is different. Alone through luck or bad luck. Boredom never appears, the game offers endless variants. You also only played a quarter of the odds. And if you have run through the campaign many times, you can experiment with your own scenarios with the game material. The gameplay is very simple, and finding the perfect strategy is very difficult.

Under Faling Skies - Box - Photo: Blue Bear

I admit: The beginning was bumpy, I definitely cheated on purpose. Watch a few Let’s Plays beforehand, then read the game rules again and go. My tip: design the game horizontally in front of you. It should be a great table for the campaign! The game is recommended for ages 12 and up, and I find it challenging. You can also play cooperatively in pairs and discuss your tactics, which did not convince me, but it is a matter of taste. If we are attacked by aliens, I am definitely not the best commander in chief. That’s why I’ll keep training now. During this time, you buy Under Faling Skies if you are a strategic and tactical friend, love to play alone and if you want an immersive gaming experience.