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Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Best Game You Will Ever Play!

Still unsure about Flames of War Version 4? Shot you bolt in Bolt Action? Not warming up to Star Wars based games? Then I have just the game for you! In a few months we will all playing a great new game and I want to tell you about it before it hits Kickstarter. The folks who developed it provided me with an advanced copy and I have been playing non-stop ever since. The other day they asked me to send it back so another reviewer can play it and I said “no way, it’s mine”. The beauty of this game is how you can use components from other games to augment the core set. So I now have a use for those command and staff teams that will no longer be used in FoW. I may even throw in some unpainted Napoleonic figures I have lying about!

The beauty of the game is how the two players create a lot of the game in real time. The mechanics are very simple; during your turn you can move, take an action, or do nothing at all. The core box that will be offered on Kickstarter features old Dir Cast Metal tanks from Corgi. These were the bomb of toys back in the 1970’s and are now reproduced for this great game. The other playing pieces that come with this set are Yoga-Joe’s, and will offer the most seasoned Grognard a tough time when using or facing these guys. Also included in this box are the rules, which are about 500 pages long (without punctuation) however they explain every situation you can get yourself into when you play. Also included and which is key are the related books Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig and The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump, two life changing literary classics.

The Unboxing
The great thing about the game is that it is ready to play right from the box! Well ready to play after you read the rule book. The beauty of the rules is that you retain none of them and if you do not like a rule you can change or ignore it at any time. So after spending a month going over the readings, I was ready for my first game. The models look great and they add so much flavor to the game.

The Key Mechanic
The most important aspect of the game is how the player deals with both the rules and their opponent. It is important to have an opinion on everything, no matter your expertise or sense of importance, and communicate that opinion in the most passive aggressive way possible. This style of play came about during the first turn as my opponent started to move. They went for the tactic to ignore all movement rules and kept looking for me to object. I said “Stop your tank” a few times and they kept going, and crushed my Zen-Lotus Warrior. What I should have said is “don’t you think you have moved far enough?” which would have stopped the tank in its tracks. Same thing happened in the shooting step, but I remembered my lesson from before and said “haven’t you shot up enough stuff?”

For combat, players have the choice of using a dice of any type, a coin flip, pulling cards from a deck, or even rock paper scissors (lizard, Spock for advanced players) with the winner being the player who scores the highest or lowest (as agreed upon) winning. Want a challenge, play this game with D20’s!

Like all other games, it comes down to the tanks. Tanks can shoot any of the opponents pieces, except for a Yoga-Joe, but it can run over the Yoga-Joe by accident thus killing it.  Unused playing pieces brought in from other games cannot attack, but can be attacked at any time. The defender can suggest that a player shoots at a piece like the Mid-Late War German Artillery Staff team by stating “OK fine, how about shooting at this guy?”.

What I love about the game is how during the course of play create an experience which is unique and rewarding. Unlike all other games, the rules state upfront that this game was written for you and you only and it will be perfect, just like yourself.
Another great aspect of the game is that during play your opponent takes notes in a note pad and you do the same when they play. These notes have no bearing on the game, however they are slipped into your game box for you to read later. It is best to wait until 3-4 players have dropped notes in your box so you do not know who wrote it.

Special Characters
The game revolves around using your tanks and special characters. The box comes with its own unique set of special characters; the Yoga-Joe’s. Each Yoga-Joe model has a unique pose witch correlates to a special power. Players can use the special powers as stated in the rule book or make them up as they go. Normally a Yoga-Joe can use their power only once, however they can try to use it again and if your opponent does not say “didn’t you use that model already?” then you are free to use it again.
Other special characters can be brought in as long as they are anthropomorphic and retain the qualities they historically had.
So on turn two I played the Giant Gunny which stopped a tank!

Later on I used the Churchill creamer to persuade a Yoga-Joe to surrender. Being from India and staunchly anti-empire it didn’t work at first; until I found out the Yoga-Joe was lactose intolerant.

The game was tight until we had a huge standoff between two major religions, and following the “agree to disagree” rule the game ended. I learned my lesson and for my next game I used the "Peace is our Profession" rule and called in an Arc-Light strike!

I loved this game and so will you. If you win it’s because you are the best and if you lose it’s because of the fact the opponent cheated or that the game was flawed. I also noticed that when I didn’t play the game for a long time, I became a bigger expert at it.

I recommend this game to everyone and I know it will be a huge hit!

Twitter @MitchWWPD

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