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From Tsunami Press


"Back in 1969 a unique wargame was published, 'Lensman'. As far as can be determined, this was the first published space wargame. It looked great! The map was glossy black with white hexes and richly colored stars. And the colors weren't just decoration, crucial decisions needed to take the color, and therefore the type of star into account. Game play was excellent too. It was the kind of game you could play again and again and still find interesting. The rules were moderately complex, enough to keep you involved, but not too much, so the game wasn't hard to play.

Lensman was very well liked and over the next few years several thousand copies were sold, excellent sales for a wargame. And it was influential, it established the space game genre and inspired designers to create their own science-fiction games.

But, by the mid-seventies the game was out of print and increasingly hard to find."

"Lensman provides three versions, each more complex and detailed than the last. Game 1 is a fun, quick game that plays in a few hours. Game 2 is a longer game with exploration, industrialization, production and lots of combat. Game 3 is the most complex version with tactical combat in deep space or in star systems uniquely generated for each game."

"Tactical combat is particularly cool with orbital forts, torpedoes, tractor beams, mines, freighters, troops, planetary bases, asteroid belts and gas clouds. The forts orbit the planets they defend and if you do it just right you can slip a ship up to the opposite side of the planet from where the fort is. That lets you drop troops or fire on a base or wreak havoc on the industry of the world without being fired on by the fort. But it's not easy to do."


8/1/2010 - Phil Pritchard's Lensman was released at Origins this year and is now available online for their website.


11/30/2004 - An update of the status of this game from the Lensman site:

"We will not make the November 2004 release date, please accept our apologies. Our goal is to make the new edition as good as we possibly can and that may take some time. However, despite delays, we are making progress and we will, eventually, release the game. We've waited more than 30 years, please be patient while we do this right.

CURRENT STATUS: Playtesting in progress, Graphics development in progress"


7/20/2004 - The original version of this game was self-published back in 1969 by Phil Pritchard.  This new version is due in November 2004 and will include the classic version of the game along with a new ultramodern version with updated rules, counters and maps. 

"Fight your space fleet battles on the beautiful strategic map. Transfer play to the new tactical map to chase your opponent through one of the many detailed solar systems. Close in on a heavily industrialized planet complete with orbital fortresses. But plan wisely or it will be your planets under attack! Or instead of emphasizing military action, seek victory through exploration and economic expansion. The game has three levels of rules complexity. The introductory game is a simple, fun, beer and pretzels game with a limited number of turns and a fixed reinforcement schedule. The Basic game brings in economics and production. At this level, you must plan the exploration of worlds, their economic development and what these worlds produce. The Advanced game brings in the battle board for tactical combat in solar systems. Each solar system is individually generated, so until you explore a star, you are completely unaware what that system contains. Don't forget your scouts and command ships!"

Demo and playtest games were run at Origins 2004 and got a positive and enthusiastic response.