Waddingtons Blast Off space board game

Blast Off! is a Waddington's board game, produced at the height of the 'space race' and just after Mr. Armstrong first walked on the moon. This game perfectly captures that exciting era of space travel.

Of the many board games published around the concept of the space race and of course exploring the final frontier, Waddington's Blast-Off! (1969)is probably the exemplar. It was cited as "the game of modern space exploration & technology" in which players raced to reach the outer planets of our solar system. The word "modern" is of course relative; today the game is practically an antique and fits perfectly in your retro game collection.

Blast Off! Game play

The game is for up to four players and each player gets two distinct playing pieces - a satellite and a command module or capsule. This capsule docks with each other to form a spaceship. Players each get a cardboard control panel which has three dials showing a player's orbital velocity, course recorder and fuel gauge. A master control panel has four dials to record the progress of each player. The game board is striking and very nice presented. It has the earth at the centre and 16 concentric rings represent the different orbits. The eight planets are marked on the board and each in a different orbit. A plastic moon, an inch in diameter, a pack of "thruster rocket" cards and a die make up the other components.

The game divides into three stages. Players must:

Alas, most of the game play is determined by the roll of the die. The greatest scope for tactical play occurs when a player is navigating a spaceship onto the moon, which moves after each player's turn. Choosing a suitable orbit and using your fuel allowance and available thrusters cards play a big part here.

Updated: 28 September 2021

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