I Need My Space!--A Double-Take Review of Damage Report

Today we're reviewing Damage Report, a real-time co-op game from Break From Reality Games that places you and your fellow players in the role of crew members on a space ship undergoing various trials. Is this real-time real fun? Let's find out!

The Components -

  • 12 Large Modules - These are what make up the control rooms of the ship--things like Life Support, Hyper Drive, Cargo Bay, etc. These modules have a percentage tracker that tells you how well they are operating.
  • 9 Small Modules - These are corridors, airlocks, etc.
  • 4 Supply Modules -  These are storehouses for your supplies -more about those soon.
  • 1 Ship Hull Card
  • 2 Crisis Tracker Cards
  • 24 Module Cards
  • 100 Repair Cards - 5 decks of 20, sorted by color
  • 40 Damage Report Cards
  • 12 Event Cards
  • 120 Supply Tokens -evenly divided between Metal, Circuits, Energy and Crystals -you use these to fix the ship!
  • 8 Tools - 2 of each -Wrench, Blowtorch, Laser and, of course, Duct Tape!
  • 6 Character Pawns and Dashboards
  • 8 Damage Tokens
  • 30 Injury/Fire Tokens
  • 15 Cargo/Passenger Tokens
  • 4 Runabouts
  • 6 Sand Timers
  • 4 "No Teleport" Tokens
  • 1 Electronic Damage Report Timer
  • The Rules
  • 1 Damage Report Coin

The Setup

Damage Report will all be different, depending on the scenario you choose to play. The rule book comes with 5 pre-designed scenarios, and each has a list of modules you'll use, as well as a nice color diagram to show you how to set up the ship. It also includes a list of which characters do well within that scenario. Here are a few things that are common to every scenario: 

You will be playing with Damage Report cards. The "first game" scenario has you hand pick those cards, but most of the time you're randomly pulling out cards and using the rest. You will also have Repair cards on certain modules, which tell you what is needed to improve the status of that particular module. Lastly you will always play with the included damage report timer. 

Players will select their characters, grab the Dashboard and pawn for their characters, as well as a sand timer. Players then select a random Module Card from the deck to find where they will be starting for the game. After that, hold on to your butts!!

The Turn

The game begins by starting the electronic timer. Then it's EVERYONE'S turn!

Everyone flips his or her timer over onto the green spot on the Dashboard and takes their turn. Before we talk about what exactly you can do on a turn, let's talk about WHEN you can take your turn...

You can take your turn the moment you flip your timer onto the green spot on your player dashboard. Your player dashboard has four spots on it, black, red, yellow and green, these correspond to the level at which your Life Support is functioning. If it's in tip-top shape, then your timer stays on the green which means every 15 seconds you can flip your timer and take a turn, as your Life Support takes damage, the tracker on the module will change from green to yellow, to red, to black. When it's on yellow, instead of completing your turn and flipping it to green, you instead place it on yellow, wait for it to expire, then flip it over onto green, you now have to wait 30 seconds to take each turn. When it's on red, you wait 45 seconds, and black is a full minute. 

Now, let's talk about what you can do on your turn! You have these options: 

  • Relay - For one "Relay" action you can grab and drop, move, and grab and drop again. Which means, you can grab anything on the floor that you can hold--you grab by placing the objects on your player board to the right of your timer slots--and also drop anything that you don't need, or you want to leave for someone else. Then you can move to the next adjacent room, and grab and drop once again.
  • Inspect - If you're in a room with a module that has a repair deck, you can take an inspect action to flip over the top card of that deck to see what is needed to repair the module.
  • Repair - If you've got the items--supplies and/or tools--required on a repair card, and you're in the room with the module, you can use a repair action to complete the repair by returning supplies to their supply rooms and dropping tools on the floor, and then repairing the module for the percentage noted on the card.
  • Special - Some of the characters have a special ability that requires the use of a special action, likewise for certain modules. 

So, what about this Damage Report deck and the electronic timer? 

Every 3 minutes the timer will beep and everyone will say "Damage Report!" Say it with me: "Damage Report!" Good! At this time one of the players--it's a good idea to have someone designated to do this--will flip over a Damage Report card and resolve it by reducing modules by the correct percentage or flipping corridors to their damaged side, etc. The game doesn't pause for this to happen, the clock is still ticking and players are still taking turns while this happens! If the last Damage Report card is flipped over and you haven't yet completed the repairs/tasks needed for victory in your scenario, you lose! If your hull tracker hits 0 at any point, you lose! If Life Support ever reaches 0% you lose!

The clock is ticking, work together, work fast!

The Verdict

Jeremiah--As soon as I heard of this game I was pretty sure that unless it was completely botched I was going to love it! They didn't botch it and I do really like it! Love it? Maybe...let's keep chatting.

It's no secret that I love co-op games, and this is no exception, the concept, the scenarios and the gameplay all are great and well executed! And don't be fooled, this game is HARD! Some of the scenarios are nearly impossible, but that adds to the replay ability, you're not going to walk through the game and not sweat it.

Firestone--I have a troubled history when it comes to real-time games. They stress me out. I'm usually terrible at them. The ones I can tolerate are real-time co-ops: Bomb Squad, Space Alert, and now Damage Report. It has some rough edges, but I enjoyed the experience. This sort of game absolutely needs multiple scenarios. It keeps things fresh and interesting. 

Jeremiah--Because of the frantic everyone take your turn gameplay it's super important to make sure everyone has a firm grasp of the rules and the scenario before you begin. It's even a good idea to discuss your strategy beforehand because you're not going to have much time to spend doing that during the game. This is cool because it's nearly impossible for any quarterbacking to take place--everyone works together and does what they think is best for the team to succeed.

Firestone--There were a few things that bothered me--none of them major. For one, I'm not a huge fan of the artwork--the character artwork, specifically. The ship art is good and functional, but the characters aren't great, IMO. And while I love the small pieces of wrench and duct tape and so forth, making the blowtorch round was a bad choice, as they roll all over.

Jeremiah--Yeah. I'm right there with you on the artwork. The components are okay. I've seen the game setup at conventions and the little bins for the resources are usually held together with rubber bands to keep them from falling apart and spilling bits all over the place. The concept is great! The manufacturing is okay.

Jeremiah's Final Verdict--Damage Report is a super-fun fast-paced, frantic co-op with a fun theme! It might miss a little on the components and artwork, but it makes up for it in fun, mechanics, and replayability!

Firestone's Final Verdict--If you like co-ops or real-time games, I definitely recommend Damage Report. It's fast, frenetic, and fun.