Five Parsecs From Home: A Solo Wargamer Review

5 Parsecs From Home, designed by Ivan Sorensen (also known as Nordic Weasel), is a sci-fi game from the family of Five-core games. Unlike other games from the series (Five Clicks from Zone – Postapocalyptic, Five Men at Normandy -World War II), 5PFH but got exclusive treatment from Modiphius, which released it as a third edition.

It’s a pretty exciting and well-developed solo narrative wargame with many RPG elements. Check out what’s interesting in the 5PFH.

5PFH Core Mechanics:

  • Sci-fi setting: As the name suggests, 5PFH is set in the future, and the player leads the party of space adventurers flying on their ship, taking randomly generated missions and fighting various enemies.
  • Solo Play Focus: Tailored specifically for solo (or cooperative) play, “5 Parsecs From Home” provides a rich, engaging experience without the need for an opponent, utilizing AI behaviors for enemies and scenario outcomes.
  • Character and Crew Development: Players start with a small crew of characters, each with their own backgrounds, skills, and personalities. As the campaign progresses, crew members gain experience, suffer injuries, and develop their stories.
  • Randomized Campaigns: The game features a dynamic campaign system where missions, encounters, and events are generated through tables and dice rolls. This game features a lot of enemies to fight, loot, and quests to take on, so the game always feels fresh.

Sample enemy table

5PFH Gameplay

5FPH is pretty much a blend of a solo wargame with strong RPG elements. Your crew typically consists of 4 to 6 characters who will progress, gain experience, equipment, recurring enemies, and powerful patrons. The gameplay loop centers on missions, with the party looking for “rumors,” a kind of tokens that allow them to get access to new quests. You can also recruit new party members, trade, upgrade your ship, or travel to new and randomly generated planets.

But since it’s a wargame, ultimately, you will have to get into some firefights. While on a mission, you typically have to fight a band of randomly generated enemies from a single type of a “band,” like spaceport punks, infected (zombie) colonists, mercenaries, other spaceship crew, or various kinds of aliens. The game’s turn-based combat system is streamlined, requiring players to think strategically about positioning, cover, and the use of their crew’s unique abilities.

The simple bot system directs the enemies based on their behavior, i.e., aggressive, cautious, or “psycho,” prompting you to move and attack your crew based on simple conditions, i.e., if cautious, they’ll be sticking to cover and shooting your heroes.

Once the mission is over, you collect the loot and can go on another “RPG” session, looking for the next quest. The game has no definitive “ending,” but you set up your target yourself: either completing a set number of missions, surviving long enough, or earning a number of experience points for the party.

There’s really a lot of items to get, usable both in firefights and between missions.

Required minis and terrain

5PFH is not a Games Workshop game, so it’s totally miniature agnostic and can even work on various scales – typically you would play it on a 28mm scale, but you could play in 15 mm as well. The author suggests getting some minis that you can use as your crew – just a few, and then add less than ten alien-type enemies and ten ganger-type enemies.

As it is a skirmish game, terrain is also very much required, and you can use whatever you want for buildings, hills, and whatever you have in your collection. You could even use paper minis or tokens instead of plastic & metal figures if that’s your preference, and there are plenty of paper minis available on Wargame Vault, too.

Is it good?

“5 Parsecs From Home” is a rather immersive game that combines elements of tactical skirmish games with role-playing and strategy. Its focus on solo play, coupled with a deep narrative and a highly replayable campaign system, makes it a great choice for gamers who want to play at their leisure. It’s pretty immersive as a solo game, and the fights offer the right amount of complexity without bogging it down with the rules.

Also, it’s worth noting that there are already two small expansions available on the Modiphius site and on Wargame Vault (digital PDF), and the recently released large expansion Bug Hunt is inspired by Starship Troopers taking the player to lead the squad of alien-fighting soldiers.

Five Parsecs from Home is the best-selling PDF on Modiphius Wargame Vault page, so it’s definitely a popular one.

Check out the Five Parsecs from Home on Wargame Vault, pick up the PDF, and make your crew now!

Get the PDF from Wargame Vault:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Bolt Action Campaign: D-Day Overlord – Review

Next Story

Top 5 Favorite Osprey Books on Medieval Warfare

Latest from Solo Wargaming