Michael Eckenfels, 16 June 2022 ~ #UnboxingDay
Secrets of the Lost Station is a cooperative sci-fi story-driven game where you play as explorers entering an ancient space station and going on grand adventures. Because. Because…why? Fame? Fortune? Because it’s there? Maybe all of the above. Do you need a reason? Did you need a reason to delve into a dungeon other than glory and riches? There may be more to that, here, but ultimately, it’s about the experience, so when I was faced with a deal on this game, I could not resist.
But once it arrived, I was suddenly given the realization that I bought a rather deep pool when I cannot hardly swim. Metaphorically, of course. Speaking of deep pool, strap in to your seats, kiddos, because this one is going to be a long unboxing article, ripe with tons of pictures.
The box that arrives has two smaller boxes in it. The total weight of the shipment was around 26 pounds.
click images to enlarge
Rest assured that the Core Game box on the right in the above image is about 95% of that weight.
The other box to the left, which holds the miniatures, has hardly any weight at all, and makes me thankful it was shipped securely in a larger, overly thick cardboard box. Maybe that’s a normal thing for such games, but this is something of a new thing for me, going all in on a game offering.
The back of the Core Game box gives you more detail than I could impart here in these words. I don’t know what Secrets of the Lost Tomb is, as I’ve not really investigated it, but my research on this game found that a few people that loved Lost Tomb are not exactly over the moon with the Lost Station. Regardless, I prefer the sci-fi theme here, and after having pawed through the contents, I’m happy with this acquisition.
Time to open the Core Game box with the handy Batknife! Not exactly thematic, mind, but nerdy as hell, and therefore, highly appropriate.
The shrink wrap is off, and the Everything Epic logo brings to mind other games in their catalogue that I own – Big Trouble in Little China, which is a fantastic game, and Rambo The Board Game, another fine one that’s highly thematic for those of us old enough to remember the movie itself – and therefore, I feel even better about this acquisition. I’ve yet to find an Everything Epic title that’s missed the mark for me.
I mean, look at the thickness here. This box is heavy AND large. And the artwork is very nice.
Another view, this one with Commander Shepherd’s cousin, Commander Sheepherder.
And another side shows a Dark Elf Jedi. Ish? I really do like the art and I kid around here, but it’s impressive regardless.
And then this character, with what looks like a laser axe. Definitely gotta go with the laser axe character. That’s a given. No question.
Hoo-boy! The deep end becomes apparent once the lid is pulled off. STOP!, says the game. You know you’re in for it. This story-driven game requires a careful set up and particular instructions to ensure you don’t blow it by revealing details. It’s sort of like reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book by flipping to random pages, and then trying to reverse engineer things. I can’t tell you how many times my friend and I tried to get on the Titanic in the ‘Cave of Time’ CYOA novel.
A closer look at the warning. This sheet looks to spell out requirements rather clearly, but still, I’d be worried of accidentally revealing something, somewhere. Or, that I would not be setting the game up correctly.
The back side of this cover sheet has a lot of interesting artwork. If Buck Rogers ever deserved a sequel of a movie, this could be the poster for it.
Removing that sheet, the Rule Book is revealed. More interesting artwork, with what is likely a boss character. She looks to be a mixture of Borg Queen and H.R. Giger.
Flipping open the first page, you’re always faced with that moment of truth; was this a good purchase? Is this going to be immersive? Did I leave the oven on? These, and other profound questions, come to mind, but my own reaction is that yes, this is going to be a fantastic game full of potential.
The design of the Rule Book is heavily visual, which is very important to me. Effective iconography and short, informative blocks of text designed in a visually appealing way will go a long way to wanting to learn the game.
I really like the set-up instructions, here. The large yellow numbers encased in a sci-fi-themed circle help them to pop out of the page. You see this kind of thing often in board game set-up instructions, so it’s nothing new, but the yellow numbers on a dark background are eye-catching, and effective.
More effective use of iconography, color-coding, and short text.
Hopefully, this will help all things come together, and not eventually be the butt of jokes.
By the way, aliens and laser swords do mix pretty well. Maybe not when you’re on the receiving end of things.
The rules, just from the bits I’ve read, seem clear enough.
More Rule Book examples.
This book comes out to 36 pages total; this is the last interior page, and is an Index. It’s a bit to get through, though it doesn’t feel insurmountable. Plus, an index, which is an oft-ignored inclusion, is most welcome here.
Removing the Rule Book from the box reveals even more layers. Like ogres. And onions.
I’m not sure what this is, but it must be some kind of location tracker and turn record, perhaps. I guess I could look it up in the Rule Book, but like Harold and Kumar ten feet from their apartment door, no, we’ve gone too far already.
A Station Ability Board. …waitaminute, a “station ABILITY board?” What the heck is this? The Station is alive like a character and has ABILITIES?!? Oof. This is going to leave a mark, I bet.
Removing THAT, we’re faced with even more content! It’s a bottomless pool, it seems.
Each playable character in the game has their own little mini-books. I won’t go into these to show in images for spoilers’ sake, but some of these are pretty funny.
I mean, come on.
Would you say there are some that call you…TIM? You I, Robot movie lookin’ wannabe extra.
Lots of cards. LOTS.
The other side of the above-seen deck.
Guess what? More cards!
And that’s the other side of those bad boys.
Annnnd…wait for it…
With those out of the way, more stuff is revealed.
This is a…Station Track.
Don’t question my psychic powers.
DICE. Lots of dice. The dice extends life. The dice expands consciousness. The dice is vital to space travel.
They look pretty good, though I may have gone with a bit darker color so there’s more of a contrast, though this should be fine. The camera captures things a bit brighter in pictures than how they look in person. Could I have adjusted this in HyperSnap or Photoshop.
Why yes. Yes, I could have.
These are character trays. The character’s card goes into the large center area, while their four stats are tracked around the exterior of the tray.
With that out of the way – more stuff! Lots of baggies. LOTS. Plus foam inserts.
With THAT removed, we find the Scenario Guide, which probably accounts for 90% of the weight in this box.
It’s nearly an inch thick, after all.
And it’s 358 pages long. Three hundred. And fifty-eight. That’s a lotta content!
Next, we have lots of cardboard tokens to look at.
Seventeen of them, apparently. Whew.
A random sampling appeared!
Lots more here. You get the idea. There’s lots in the box.
And that’s just the ONE box. We’ve not looked into this minis box yet!
A teasing Styrofoam slit stands to tease as to what is to come
As first impressions go, this is pretty nice. Considering how thick this box is, there’s a treasure trove of miniatures here to explore.
One hundred and eight of them, if I’m not mistaken.
I will not go through each and every one of them here in this unboxing article, but I will grab some at random and share. As I have no idea what these objects, robots, creatures, and characters are called, I will take my best guess via first impressions.
Low-rent Death Star. Though this is likely the titular ‘lost station,’ I imagine.
Purple low-rent Death Star.
Angel of doom. Purple, even.
I’m guessing the purple color separates similar characters, in that the gray ones are ‘normal’ of their type, and the purple are probably ‘elite’ or something similar, for a higher level of difficulty, perhaps.
Transmogrified Avatar-type creature.
And now for the second level of miniatures.
Swirly Mme. Moon Knight.
Extra from The Road Warrior. Or sax player from The Lost Boys.
Amazon Echo Dot, Generation 2.
Universal Soldier 3: The BRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTTT-ening.
G.I. Joe: The Next Generation, Scarlett. Seriously, are high-heeled boots even practical in space combat?
Cad Bane, if he were a Dick Tracey character.
Generic Soldier #4.
GenCon Cosplayer That’s Way, Way Into Warhammer 40k.
“Aaaahhg, I can’t reach the itch! HELP ME!”
Badass armored laser axe lady.
Now, for layer three!
Gollum of the Nine Space Stations, and the Laser of Doom.
Same, but purple, man!
A mash-up of Maximillian from The Black Hole, IG-88 from Star Wars, and perhaps a dash of Trade Federation droid as well. Maybe not so much Maximillian. Oh God I need to watch movies other than sci-fi once in a while.
Space elf ninja.
Space Marine elf ninja. Err, warrior.
Next layer! Lots of big minis here.
Mobile soda dispenser. Or another cosplayer. I can’t decide.
Cthulhu space weed.
And none other than the main boss, I believe. A big model. Lots of tentacles. Meh, I bet this one’s a pushover…not.
GFRTRYD (Giant Frikkin’ Robot To Ruin Your Day).
That’s about it for now. Nearly 80 images later and I will say, I’m rather impressed with this content. I better be, considering how much is here. This game is rather highly rated on BGG; combine that with what looks like an immersive storyline with branching scenarios, and some very detailed and visually interesting miniatures, I pray I have time to get this one to the table sometime soon.
Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions. You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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