These rules are OK, but hardly in the same league as Full Thrust or Starmada AE - some criticisms being ...
- Full Thrust is simpler, requiring less fiddling - EG: You won't see an FT player having to reduce shield stremgths before armour and damage.
- Both Full Thrust & Starmada AE are easier to access - and way more flexible. In FT your beam batteries are whatever you want them to be (whether it's lasers, particle beams or fancy meson/quark guns), in Starmada you can actually design your own weapon systems, but in CBF you get what they think your settings ships should be armed with (which all sound rather Star Warsy to me). For a generic system your surprisingly restricted to what options the designers have given you. It feels like a ruleset written for a specific setting with only a bit of extra thought given to playing non-setting specific games.
- Both Full Thrust & Starmada are visually much more appealing - FT with its ship displays and Starmada with it's printed records - even Starmada's Drake notation is superior. CBF relies on densely formatted printed record cards with written text records for each shield facing, armour, hull points - in a way it's mor elike some of the old 1980's wet navy wargames I played many years ago.
However ... the game itself is quite good as a ruleset, and plays better than it looks - if some of the niggles with it were tidied away and the limitations reduced it'd be better.
But for me I felt rather disappointed with it.
[3 of 5 Stars!]