Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
So my wonderful wife said it was cool for me to go to the World Boardgaming Championships. I was even able to get off work. I headed out not knowing exactly what to expect and ended up having a day full of fun and games.
After getting registered I checked out the vendor hall. I didn’t purchase anything, but there were definitely deals to be had. I walked out the doors of the vendor area and saw Warparty. I had been interested in the game so I sat down and played it.
Warparty is for 2-4 players and with 4 it is a team game, good vs. evil. I was the dwarves and after a quick run down of the rules I was hacking my way across the map killing goblins and undead. Warparty is an excellent mix of World of Warcraft: the board game and Conquest of Nerath. There is even a dash of Civilization in there. You have a tech tree, can buy heroes and explore dungeons. The combat is straight-forward and although the entire game is fairly complex it is easy to pick up. I was even able to lead team good to a win. Anyone who is interested in fantasy war games will enjoy Warparty. It is on sale right now during the pre-order period.
I then ventured upstairs to the open gaming room. Who else did I meet up with but Chris from Dice Hate Me. I was happy to meet him and get to try out Carnival. Carnival has some nice mechanics like rolling dice to determine your actions combined with set collection. I played both three player and 4 player team game. Both were a lot of fun and moved pretty quickly. I am really impressed at how quickly the game was designed and developed it will soon be on kickstarter and is definitely a game you should support. It is enjoyable for young and old and will make an excellent gift for gamers and non-gamers alike.
After Carnival we played a prototype of Pulsar. You are a scientist need to collect samples from planets. The map has a random setup except for the black hole in the middle. Fall in there and you’ll probably lose some of your specimens. Pulsar is chaotic and playing with 6 players made it hard to collect everything. This is a game for people who like Fluxx or don’t mind not having a ton of control over a game.
After lunch I tried Dice Hate Me’s VivaJava. It can play up to 8 and we filled the table. Again this was a prototype but it looked great and was fun. VivaJava combined many common mechanics from Eurogames into a unique game experience. Each turn you might team with different people to blend coffee beans. Some beans are rarer then others and there is a hierarchy in the blends you create that is similar to poker. The catch is that you pull beans blindly so you aren’t always guaranteed to get exactly what you need. This game is a nice combination of strategy and luck and since you are constantly teaming up there is not much down time.
I also got to try out a couple rounds of States After the Fall. This happened to be another prototype of a complex war game set in post-apocalyptic time period. The States are no longer united and you are a warlord looking to grow your territory. The combat system is simple one unit takes one unit. The complexity exists in that each state has special abilities it grants to its controller. The abilities are even based on real historical events.
I was needing to head home but was told I had to try out Wartime by Tall Tower Games. Surprise, surprise it was another prototype. But it was tight. The tagline for Wartime is “In war it is always your turn.” Wartime is a real-time game where you move your units and flip timers next to them. You get one 30 second timer, two 60 second timers and one 90 second timer. After you move or attack you flip the timer next to the unit that acted. That unit is unable to activate again until its timer has run out. If you eliminate all but 2 of your opponent’s units or run off their end of the map you win. I lost but the game only took about 8 minutes and was a lot of fun.
I had a great time at the World Boardgaming Championships but it turned out way differently than I thought. I did not play a single game that has been published (although I am sure Warparty and Carnival will be). I wanted to thank everyone who showed me their games and played them with me. I had a blast!