I immediately liked the game from what I saw in reviews, but I wanted to wait until I played at least one campaign turn to get a better grip on it.
So far, I'm really liking it.
I'm playing the battles on Tabletop Simulator so I have access to minis and terrain, and playing ther pre-battle and post-battle phases on my desk.
I had mostly used TTS to play Castle Ravenloft, so my collected minis didn't quite fit the theme, but I think over time I'll build a better sci-fi collection to pull from.
I'm even considering buying custom figures from Hero Forge. Entirely due to this game.
I like that on the first playthrough, I didn't have to read everything. A lot of the stuff only needs to be read if it's pertinent at the time.
For example, my crew consists of three humans, a feral (felinoid) a precursor and a robot. So I could skip reading about the other aliens for now.
Combat is real simple to learn, but more thorough than it looks.
Finally, a combat system that separates defense from the 'to hit' roll.
Five Parsecs really does have an X-Com or Heroclix feel to it as far as the tactics go. Another game it reminds me of is Avengers Alliance Tactics, a game I loved but flopped because it couldn't find its audience.
Something else Five Parsecs reminds me of is a little-known game that only appeared in a magazine - Star Wars: Corellian Smuggler. It was a solo game that had a Daily Activity chart and random events for traveling, arriving on a planet or just hanging around at the starport. I liked it a lot, but it faded out of view and barely made any impact. Likely due to its limited release.
The reason I bring these up is because I've been house-ruling most of these things from these different games into my rpgs, with varying results.
Recently, I got Star Wars: Outer Rim and was working on adapting parts of Corellian Smuggler over to it.
Then I discovered Five Parsecs from Home. The price tag scared me off at first. I rarely buy anything on DTRPG over $10. Unless it's a physical product.
But then I saw the in-depth review by TheSoloWargamingShow. Wow.
After a day of pondering it, and realizing that I could've bought two $10 games on DTRPG that I'd crack open once then forget about, as opposed to a $20 game that I may really like... I finally dived in.
Five Parsecs is just elegant.
It does what it sets out to do.
Gameplay is really smooth. Once I finished reading the rules (ending at the weapon list), I was ready to start playing.
Everything else I learned as I played the game.
One thing that should probably be mentioned sooner is to keep track of the first non-robot hero that takes out an enemy. For dealing out the XP later.
Fortunately, I knew it was one of two heroes and one of them was a robot. So I figured it out after the fact.
I also don't mind that there's really no ship combat in the game. I was always more of a Wing Commander: Privateer player than an X-Wing Starfighter player, so I'll survive.
I may house rule the modular combat from Corellian Smuggler over to it later.
Before I started playing, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't a quickstart available for the game. Especially since it's $20.
But once I started playing, I realized that a quickstart would be almost impossible to do without it giving away all the rules.
And if you're going to play it, you really want all the charts that are in the book.
I tend to buy PDFs first, then if I really like the game, I'll buy a physical copy.
However, with Five Parsecs, it shot itself in the foot by not only being $20 for the PDF, but alao being so much more expensive in print.
Ordering from the Modiphius site, the physcal copy is $37. Plus shipping to the US for $32. A total of $69.
After I've already spent $20 on the PDF to see if I liked it.
Make no mistake about it: I really, really do like this game. I love it, even.
But spending $89 total would be a bit outrageous for me.
You're still getting five stars, because it's an amazing system and I see myself playing for many years.
I'll also be on the lookout for upcoming products for Five Parsecs, as well as any updated Five X from X games.
Congratulations on a job well done.
And finally giving me the framework I needed for my homebrew games.
Detailed gameplay here: https://reprep.blogspot.com/2021/06/five-parsecs-from-home.html