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Flagship: Coyote Stands
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Store:  Card Games, Family Games
Series:  Flagship
Theme:  Science Fiction
Format:  Card Games

Flagship: Coyote Stands

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30 minutes 2-4

Designer(s): Dan Verssen

Manufacturer(s): GMT Games

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Product Description

On the fringe of human space, raiding fleets prowl the star links for valuable cargo. Genetically engineered to survive their fierce jungle worlds, these disparate raiding tribes have unified into The Standing Nations in a bid for sovereignty.

At distant outpost Coyote Station, the threat comes not from human space, but from beyond. In search of food, the living ships of the Kirikin Swarm have arrived. The Overqueen broods deep in the bridge-womb of her command ship. She has seen great possibilities in the resources of this "human" space.

FLAGSHIP is an expandable card game. It includes everything two, three, or four players need to play. Flagship also includes deck construction rules for expert level commanders.

Each player selects a Flagship, Commander and fleet of escort ships. Ships rip into each other with Guided, Direct and Boarding attacks in an attempt to destroy the enemy fleet. The first player to destroy the enemy Flagship wins!

Product Information


  • 55-card Kirikin Swarm Deck
  • 55-card Standing Nations Deck
  • Six Dice
  • One Rulebook

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4 in 27 reviews

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Fun and flexible
October 02, 2002

I really like this game. The artwork is very good, though someone commented on it being a bit dark, which I can see. It plays very quickly and is fairly easy to get into, even for non-gamers. It is basically a battle game, so those looking for something else should look elsewhere. On the other hand it is playable as is, but holds out the hope of expansions that could make the gameplay variety even more compeling. I am hoping that the game generates enough sales to allow the expansions to be produced, I think they will add alot to the game.

my teenage sons & their friends like this game
July 16, 2002

My sons & I like this game because it is fairly simple & quick, but there are many choices to make and there is uncertainty in the card draw.

The game never plays the same way twice and there is no perfect plan. While not a game for everyone,

we like the variety and the fact that GMT is coming out with 'stand alone' expansions for the series. How can one be bored ?

A great, quick playing sci-fi game that the family can play
May 28, 2002

Dan Verssen, designer of GMT's superb 'Down in Flames' series of WWII combat games, has come up with another winner. The perfect wargame to entice your kids and spouse after they've seen 'Star Wars: Attack of the Clones,' but also a quick-playing blast to play with your wargame grognard buddies.

Vaporizing those bugs without breaking a sweat
May 27, 2002

Flagship: Coyote Stands is one of the two games in the Flagship series by GMT Games. The full description of the game is laid out nicely in the other reviews so I won't rehash it here. What you get is a quick, easy, space vaporizing game with just the right nuances to keep you trying for more. The basic 20-points-to-pick-your-side scenerio provides for many games of tweaking-your-lineup to find those killer combinations. But you can't have just one because each nation (as represented by one of the two decks in the game) rely on different tactics, so one killer lineup against one nation will crash and burn against another. This game will provide a lot of quick aggravating fun, especially with kids who love blasting their parents. For the full effect you also need to get the Prometheus Unchained set as well to be able to spend countless hours tweaking the variations.

A CCG-type game with some meat to it
May 26, 2002

The only collectible card game I've ever enjoyed playing was 7th Sea, which was also designed by Dan Verssen. I like the fact that even though Flagship uses some mechanics that will be very familiar to the CCG crowd, it is NOT a collectible game. I don't have to go out and buy a gazillion booster packs to build a good deck. Each race in this series has their own strengths and weaknesses, so you really end up playing each one differently. The Kirikin swarm are the power boarding experts, and some of their ships can take massive amount of damage. I haven't quite figured out how best to play the Standing Nations yet, but I'm having a lot of fun in the process.

Thank heavens it's not a CCG
May 26, 2002

As claimed by the publisher, Flagship is easy to learn. I taught a few friends to play in 5 minutes and they were soon turning my flagship into so much debris. While there is only one way to win, to destroy your enemy's flagship, there are a variety of strategies available to accomplish this, even without deck construction. With deck construction (and with another wave of expansions coming out soon) the possibilities are constrained only by your imagination. It's this and the tense gameplay (Do I use these command points to strengthen my fleet with crew cards, or should I use them to focus attacks for a knock-out blow this turn? Or maybe I should keep them and this defense card to thwart his attack?) that keep me and my friends coming back for more.

Tactical Space Combat that actually works
May 26, 2002

Let me state at the outset that I do not normally play card games (except Galaxy), and that REALLY dislike Magic. That said, when I was persuaded to try this game (both Coyote Stands and Prometheus Unchained), I was very pleasantly surprised.

The physical components are of a very high order of quality. The cards are really something else, both in illustration quality and in durable construction.

The game itself plays rather quickly, and what is really good is that each of the races feels distinct. This has been a historic problem with these types of games, where there may be pretty cards or pieces for the races/factions, but they all feel the same in play.

Game play is also pretty tense, with a nice balance between decision making and speed.

Overall, I think this is a worthy game, that definitely succeeds at its stated purpose.

One note about an earlier review. To pan a game because you wanted something different than the stated intent of the game is not an example of good reviewing. The game clearly calls itself a tactical space combat game. That is what it is. You also seemed to have positive comments about just about everything in the game. Now, if the game itself was not doing what it said it would do, that would form a basis for negative review.

by Mark
Flagship: Coyote Stands a big winner
May 23, 2002

This is one of the first two releases in the Flagship universe, the other being Flagship: Prometheus Unchained.

The game itself is easy to learn, fun to play, and unique every time. In this game you play one of two races, either the Standing Nation, a cat-like race, or the Kirikin Swarm, a hive-like race from another galaxy.

The battle itself seems simple at first glace, you have X number of points (often 20, but 10 and 15 point battles work well for some small fast action) to select your fleet. You must have one flagship and one commander plus any other supporting ships you can afford. But the different combinations and option make each game unique and exciting.

While Flagship is an expendable card game with future releases coming soon, it is NOT a collectible card game, so you won't have any endless hunts for that super rare card to make the 'prefect' deck. With the future releases coming the number of options for your fleets will continue to grow. The welcome addition of bases with the next modules will also add new dimensions with each battle.


Short, fun, plays differntly every time.
May 23, 2002

A short game with a lot of punch. Each turn requires many important decisions. Use your resources wisely and conquer. The action is tense as each race (each with a different deck) has its own strengths and weakenesses to be exploited. What plays well with one may not work with the other. Friends will swear that this side or the other has an advantage but they can never agree on which side. Its all in how you play the deck. (And it's non-collectible so you don't have to keep dumping your wallet into it.)

Great art and interesting cards too, but above all a great GAME.

Helpful play aid for a good game
May 23, 2002

I am a huge fan of the Flagship series. the idea of a non-CCG is a huge plus for me. I stopped playing Magic when it became a bottomless money pit. Flagship will have expansions but they will be playable by themselves and the initial releases are a blast to play.

The game itself can be taught in about 15 minutes and once a player gets going they will pick up the system pretty quickly.

Others have detailed how the game plays and the pros and cons to it. One thing that has been said is that the dice given aren't sufficent to play if you choose a large force of smaller ships.

To help fix that problem there is a player aid at:

There you will find counter sheets that you can print out and mount on cardboard that give you enough counters for damage markers.

Give this game and it's sister Prometheus Unchained a try. If you are a fan of sci-fi space fighting this is one of the best games out there.

Finally a card game for people who hate Magic!
May 07, 2002

Got the game a couple of days ago. Nice art, both box and cards (Up to the unusually high GMT standard), easy to follow rules with a clear extended example of play. The art on the cards coincides well with the function of each card. I broke it out and taught my wife how to play in about a half hour. Surprisingly, feels NOTHING like the Rock-Paper-Scissors combat mechanics of Magic, as the ships are more durable and what you start with is all you get (in the basic scenario at least). The turn order makes sense, and the game flows very well. In addition, there are no quirky timing issues; everything flows logically. Good replay value, even out of the basic box, as comes with five or six scenarios to play through and an assortment of alternative ships and captains. Each faction has a particular feel, and it doesn't take much time to figure out the strength and weaknesses of each side, although exploiting them does take some study. All in all, excellent.


Non-collectible without being closed-ended, beautiful art (Think Babylon 5), plays intuitively


Wish it came in a full sized box, because with the cards in sleeves they will not fit back into the original box.

Tactical Space Combat that works!
April 28, 2002

I just recently picked up Coyote Stands and its sister release Prometheus Unchained (more races and cards) This is an excellent game in that it is relatively simple and fast but subtle in its play and variations. With the promised expansions of star bases, new ships and races, and other goodies, it is a definate winner. I am primarily an Historical Miniatures player who is slowly devoting more and more time on board and card games and this offering is certainly helping that along! It is certainly worth the money. Nice prodection values and both come with dice!

Great beginnings
April 25, 2002

This game is a blast to play when you are looking to fill some time. It plays quick and has a lot of options for both players.

From choosing your fleet to the battle itself one is given many choices on what to do each turn. Do you attempt to repair your damaged ship or launch what might be the decisive attack?

The cards are beautiful and the promise of future expansions to add more interesting options to the game make it a winner.

by Derek
This is one Great Game! Kids will like it!
September 15, 2001

I demoed this game at a recent game convention and got hooked. I played all day and into the night. It was addicting. I played the KS or 'bugs' as I called them. I played with many adults and liked whomping on the adults with my ship-boarding strategy. This game is suited for players from young to old. This game has great strategic options and game play like Hera and Zeus. Gamers are faced with multiple options and it really involves you till the very end. It forces you think ahead in planning your next move/action and yet many times your best laid plans come to naught with your opponent's next move. Highly recommended.

Mickel Knight
July 09, 2002

I'll make this quick. This is a pretty good game. I gave it 4 stars vs. 3 for several reasons. One, its a non-CCG with a CCG feel. Two, there are some nice decisions to make in combat. Three, the included scenarios add depth and give it a little of a war game feel. Four, it is serving as a nice bridge to more complicated games for my kids. Five, Dan Verseen and GMT have added some nice touches (e.g. each card has a year on it so 'historical' scenarios can be played).

I thought that with Ivanhoe, GMT put out a well packaged and themed version of an entirely average game. Flagship is a well packaged and themed above average game.

by Brian
Hits the mark.
June 05, 2002

The Flagship games are attractive, fun, tactical space combat games. (*IF* you like such games, give it a try. If you're looking for Princes of Florence, look elsewhere.)

They're somewhat abstract, with only three different forms of attack (beam, missile, & boarding) and only two different strategic locations (front & rear rank), but I think this offers an interesting range of tactical choices without bogging the game down in details. Cards to strengthen, weaken, or otherwise modify results add variety and a bit of chaos.

The need to conserve rare command points adds a nice strategic overlay, requiring one to think ahead to future turns. I also like the fact that a ship that attacks cannot actively defend until the next turn (it must rely on weaker passive defenses). That too adds an interesting strategic wrinkle.

My son and I have played both releases of the game and enjoyed both equally. Game time ran a bit longer than estimated though, at least an hour per game and I can't see it coming down too much.

GMT is predicting a future release that will add starbases and other fixed defenses. I'm looking forward to it.

Quick, fun tactical game with room for expansion
May 27, 2002

I bought both Flagship games out of curiosity - the designer has several excellent games under his belt and I've enjoyed another GMT light card game (Formula Motor Racing). My original intent was to continue drawing a nephew into gaming and I thought the science fiction theme might work. When I played the game with another gamer however, we both found we enjoyed the game more than we had expected.

It's a fairly quick-playing tactical game that should have legs thanks to the ability to play the four races against each other in different combinations. Each race has different strengths and weaknesses and players need to adjust their strategy accordingly. You can purchase extra decks in order to engage in deck construction, which would give it more of a CG feel, but the game will provide many hours of fun right out of the box. Now I need to get a coworker interested in some lunch hour games.

With clear rules but layers of strategy, Flagship is a hit.
May 27, 2002

Prometheus Unchained is one of two flagship releases, the other being Coyote stands. Flagship is not a collectable card game but it is customizeable in that multiple copies of each set can be combined to make 'custom' decks. Future releases will add to this mix of cards. Each release gives us two races or factions set in a sci-fi world of space combat.

The game has very simple rules but allows for layers of strategy. Will you be on the offensive or sit back and play defense while building up your forces? In what order will you make your attack and with what ships? How will you spend your limited resources? What is especially unique is that each faction has strenghth and weaknesses and needs to be played in a different way from each other faction.

As always, GMT does a fine job of production. They include dice for damage markers but there are not enough and counters or downloadable markers become a better option.

My only complaint about the game is that it isn't collectable and can therefore be repetitive. While many will find this a blessing (you can collect a 3-card playset for around $100), there is something to be said for the anticipation in buying a booster pack of cards and trying to guess what cards you will get. All in all, if you like CCGs but don't like the expense and hassle of collecting them, Flagship if for you. If you don't mind collecting CCG, I would still give this one a try. You won't be disappointed.

Fun without the tedium of CCGs
May 10, 2002

Flagship plays like a CCG without the tedious deck construction or cost. The game design seems tight. Flagship can be played with an upbeat tempo without having to consult a long list of intricate rules. There are lots of opportunities for decision making every turn. Card design is attractive and clear. Furthermore, the game feels like Buck Rogers space combat. The blend of personalities, manuever, defense, and attack (direct attack, guided attacks, and boarding attacks) is just right. My only complaint are the dice. Keeping track of command points and ship damage with 20-sided die is a pain (though certainly nowhere near a game breaker) and the red dice with green numbers are not only as ugly as road kill, they are hard to read. So into the nasty pit they go. These complaints are only minor blemishes on an otherwise great game (worth a reduction in score to 4.5). My hope is that the success of Flagship will cause future would-be CCG developers to create stand-alone games instead. I'm looking forward to any expansions to the system.

Warning: No longer 'expandable'
April 20, 2003

Flagship is nice fighting card game with a little more complexity than most fight games.

Gameplay is a little dry because the 'Coyote' and 'Prometheus' sets were only supposed to be starter decks. Advanced elements like starbases, minefields and morphing ships were to be added later to add a lot more flavor.

Sadly, GMT has discontinued the Flagship line already so we'll never know if expansions would have helped.

So, buyer beware. This is as far as the Flagship will fly. There will be no expansions in the forseeable future unless another company buys the idea, and that seems none too likely judging by the disappointing sales that sunk Flagship right out of the dock in the first place.

Not Bad, But Not a Barn Burner
June 15, 2002

I've only played a couple games so far, but I've played enough (I think) to give a reasonible review.

I think it's pretty good, but limited in its initial release. Some expansion packs, some extra rules and it might really start to click.

On the initial reading of the rules, I was confused about a few things. But in application, things work pretty well. The cards are, more or less, easily understandable, although in subdued lighting, the backgrounds can blend away.

I agree with one of the other reviewers: introducing personalities in mid-battle, seems a bit odd. Perhaps it would make more sense if the personalities were 'generic' in name, such as 'gunner' or 'commander' instead of giving them actual names (I think it's weird to have 3 different commanders with the name 'bill' or 'charles' in the battle). If they were just types without names, we could then assume that in the first few attack rounds, the gunnery wasn't all that good, and then suddenly they got their house in order and opened up. Givng them real names implies one person...and why the heck wasn't he at his post? Doesn't make sense.

In looking at the game as a full package, I found the backstory a bit flat, and I've never liked having ficticious quotations on cards (not even in Magic) to try to apply backstory and/or personality to the game. Most of these quotes are silly, and taken out of context.

What I like about the game, however, is how combat is resolved. I like the sequence of steps in an attack order, and I find the application of non-personality bonuses just fine. The Tasking/Untasking function (a la Magic) works. And I think the fleets are pretty well balanced.

Combat itself, however, is really a matter of attrition. Like someone else said, you wind up wailing away at each other, and the person who drops the hammer last wins. The function of shifting ships from 1st to 2nd row and vice versa, gives some good fluidity to the battle, and is one of the most interesting things about the game.

So it's not bad, and I'm certainly going to play it some more, but right out of the box, it's an acquired taste.

Space is dry... terribly dry...
May 29, 2002

Flagship is not a bad game but I found nothing about it that really stood out in any way. The graphics on the cards are okay but the card design itself is 1st generation ccg stuff with some really ugly color palettes.

Rules are also functional but lacking any real flair or pizzaz. On the plus side, for a ccg-type game there isn't the typical amount of ambiguity that you find but on the negative side, I didn't really find much flavor to the game itself. It boiled down to blowing away the escorts and then very slowly eating away at the flagships.

My one other issue with the game was the weird mechanism that introduced technology and crew members into the battle while it was raging. I suppose that could be explained by squadrons refueling, refitting, etc. - but it seemed really awkward to me.

Although I am giving a so-so rating to this game, it's not a bad game. Clearly written and somewhat amusing to play, it just doesn't 'click' for me with it's sterile atmosphere.

Tedious to play, and not customizable
February 25, 2004

This is a game (a series of games, actually) that I really wanted to like. It has a cool sci-fi theme of tactical starship combat, it was supposed to be expandable and have customizable decks so there would be a lot of variety, and I really like the company that publishes it (GMT)--they did a great job on the earlier Galaxy and Battlelines games. Unfortunately, Flagship fell very flat in just about every way.

First of all, the sci-fi theme wasn't very well done. For example, two of the races are silly anthropomorphized 'cats' and 'bugs'. Also, the heart of a good customizable game are cards that break (or change) the rules, and in a sci-fi game a good designer can dream up lots of things like this, but you don't see many in Flagship. Finally, the artwork was uninspired, I thought they did better on Galaxy.

As for the gameplay, I found it pretty tedious. You line up your ships, you shoot at the other guy's ships. The same designer did the Modern Naval Battles line of games, which I believe has many similarities. One of the few decisions is: do you 'tap' your ship so you can shoot, or do you stay 'untapped' so you can evade and get a defensive benefit? One other decision is when to play special cards. (Usually it's fairly obvious.) As I recall you also roll dice to determine whether your shots hit, so the game is quite random.

Possibly worst of all, GMT didn't include rules for deckbuilding! The format for the game was supposed to be customizable (i.e. you can build your own decks--but you don't have to), but not collectible (i.e. each set has a fixed set of cards). Instead, it's just 2 sets of 2 fixed decks each.

GMT lost a bundle of money on this game due to over-printing and then being unable to sell it. After playing it a few times, it's not hard to see why. I can't believe so many people gave Flagship 5 stars, they must not play very many different games. There are a lot of sci-fi cardgames out there that are so much better than Flagship. For some examples, try GMT's Galaxy, or Fantasy Flight's Mag*Blast.

Flagging Ship
February 25, 2003

It's a game I wanted to like as sci-fi is of interest to me. The rules are very clear with fine examples etc. As has been noted in other reviews, the game's focus is on tactical space combat. Lay some ships; play some cards; roll some dice. Simple if not old fashioned combat system. The problem is that it feels flavorless. The factions are all fictional with some decent backstory. But in the end, I just don't care about them. This is a product that could have benefited greatly from a major license like Star Wars or Star Trek or maybe a sci-fi novel series like Dune or Honor Harrington. And even though these are stand alone games, you don't begin to get enough options until you buy at least two installments from this game series. Which begs the question isn't it a CCG in stand-alone game clothing?

June 03, 2002

The artwork is fair, I didn't like the combinations. The rules are straight forward.

The game itself is nothing special. It doesn't suck, just no real hard decisions to make. Its just an ok game. I can see playing it a couple of times as a filler game, but not more

Coyote stands, turns around and goes back to sleep
May 22, 2002

I borrowed a copy of Flagship: Coyote Stands and its sibling release Flagship: Prometheus Unchained from a friend. The idea of a non-collectible card game with different player powers looked like a clever idea, so I was eager to give it a go.

Well, it didn't really work for me. The problem was that I found the game kind of boring.

I will say that the rules are very well-written, and leave absolutely no doubt as to how the gameplay proceeds. The cards are likewise clear and attractive, with neat computer-rendered artwork reminiscent of the battle scenes from TV series such as Babylon 5 (and no wonder, the art design is from someone who worked on that series). A neat feature of the cards you start the game with is that they each cost a certain number of 'setup points', so you can alter the scope of the game by having both sides select a ten-point fleet or a twenty-point fleet. You could even balance unskilled players by an appropriate point selection system.

Also very clever is the difference between the two decks. With some card games (such as Hera and Zeus, which has been compared to Flagship in some mechanics) the two sides may have different artwork, but the cards' features are identical. In Coyote Stands, one faction (The Kirikin Swarm, aka 'bugs') go heavy on ship-boarding tactics, while the Standing Nations (from where this box gets its title) are cat-people who go for lots of fighters with wickedly powerful short-range attacks. Whatever faction you play, it affects your strategy and tactics immensely. I'm told that you can also play the decks in this box against decks from the Prometheus Unchained set, but I haven't tried that.

My problem with the game comes from the fact that the only way to win is to fight, fight, fight. Attacking is resolved reasonably quickly, especially once you are familiar with the card text, but it's all you ever seem to do. As a result, Flagship doesn't really appeal to my sense of variety. This is probably because of me, rather than the game, but conflict games have never really scored big in my world. Wargamers, on the other hand, should feel right at home.

I'm hoping that later releases in the Flagship line (all standalone games) will improve on this first offering by providing other ways to win the game; if that happens I might be persuaded to give it another go.

by Trent
This game is the worst I have ever played!
May 27, 2002

I bought this game on a lark to kill a Sunday afternoon at a game store and instantly regretted the purchase. The boxed set says 2-4 players, but realistically you need to buy the supplement for the 4 player game. The rules are clear, but the game play is really, really boring. You have two lines of ships that you can upgrade using specific crewman. For example, one crewman may give you a better defense or attack rating. Ships are tasked and untasked as the game progresses. This is just like Magic, with tapping and untapping. Player 1 launches attacks, overcomes defenders defenses and does damage to ship's hull, exceed the hull score and ship dies...repeat until fleet is exterminated. Strategy is non-existent, since you have to rely on card draws for offensive cards. Might be more fun with 4 players, but my friend and I were bored stiff.

Dan Verssen
August 26, 2001
I designed Flagship to give players as many tactical decision making options as possible, while keeping the game as simple as possible.

Kevin Wilson, who helped to create other well known card game worlds such as 7th Sea and Warlords has created a rich and exciting universe for our battles to take place in.

Chris Richardson and his team of computer artists have created truely amazing 3D rendered computer art which is by far better than any other computerized art seen previously in a card game.

I have great hopes for the future of Flagship. It is easy to learn, teach, and play, it looks great, and we have an exciting story to back it all up. I look forward to your comments!

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