In this case, SPANC stands for Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Catgirls. A send up of anime fan-service silliness, SPANC is about space pirate amazon ninja catgirls on a quest for booty (no not that ki- well, actually, yeah, both kinds). You’ll put together a crew of SPANCs, assign them toys, and vie against other crews to be the first to compete capers.
You’ll start with a crew of four. Each member of your crew has four stats: Space Pirate (her skill at piloting vehicles, using big guns, and being scary), Amazon (physical might, survival, and swordfighting), Ninja (stealth and sneakiness), and Catgirl (sexiness, fashion sense, and unarmed combat). When attempting to overcome a challenge, you’ll roll 2d6 and try to roll equal or less than your crew member’s score on that skill.
To aid your crew, you’ll start with a toy, some neat technological device that will boost one skill, or a cute guy whose sideline support gives your catgirl +1 to all her skills (while also counting as game-winning booty). Each crew member can have one toy assigned to them. You’ll also designate one of your crew as the captain who can have two toys. You can also keep up to two toys in reserve, to assign as needed.
So now you’ve got a captain, her crew, and a toy. It’s time to get some booty! To do that, you’ll compete with other crews on capers. Each caper is made up of four challenge cards. Lay them out in a column, face down. The player with the least booty goes first. They turn the first challenge in the caper face-up and assign one of their crew (potentially even the captain) to tackle the challenge, rolling the dice to see if they can overcome the challenge. If they do, great! They can then move on to the next challenge in the caper.
If not, there are a few ways you can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. First, if you have a toy not yet assigned to any crew member, and it would give her enough of a bonus to succeed, you can give it to her and she has succeeded. If another player has such a toy, and they’re willing to give it to you, then they can do so. But of course, they’re going to want something in return. If the catgirl who failed already had a toy that gave an appropriate bonus but the roll was still too high, you can break the toy to get a re-roll still using the toy’s bonus, but you have to discard the toy after doing this. Finally, your captain gets a single re-roll per caper.
If none of these were good enough to achieve a success, your crew member is knocked unconscious. Turn her sideways and set her, and any toys assigned to her, aside. She can’t be used any more in this caper. However, the rest of the crew learn from her failure and get a +2 bonus to the appropriate skill for each crew member who has failed this challenge. However, if your captain is knocked out, all your crew members suffer a -1 to all their skills for the rest of the caper!
The first crew to complete a caper win two loot and a toy (individual challenges might also reward loot and toys to any crew that overcomes them). The other crews get one more turn to finish the caper. If any are successful, the get one loot and one toy. Any crew that has 10 loot at the end of a caper wins the game.
SPANC is whimsically illustrated by Phil Foglio whose work you might recognize from the Girl Genius comic. It’s for two-to-four players and takes about 45 minutes to play. SPANC was originally published in 2005 but is now being re-released by Steve Jackson Games. If you missed this game the first time, you’ll absolutely want to talk to the fine folks at your local Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy® about securing your copy today.