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Sunday, January 21, 2007


Game Notes: Star Wars, Imperial, Antike

My vow to work fewer hours each week in favor of family and gaming has been a smashing success. Last weekend we had a huge game day at our house, this weekend I was able to play with a fellow I met on BGG, and there have been a few other games scattered here and there.

Oh. And my wife is happier too.

First off let me reiterate a point I made several months ago. Star Wars Miniatures is the bomb. It is a fun game and pretty damn cool to boot. Too bad it is collectible. If you know someone who collects the figures I have to advise you to give it a try.

Think HeroScape without the Lego-like terrain but much cooler.

Star Wars Miniatures is played on a large paper "board" depicting terrain or the inside of a building. Numerous "boards" are available. Each player controls a squad of several characters. There isn't much nuance in the game, players simply move their characters around the board attempting to kill the opposing characters. If your squad is eliminated you lose. Attacks are conducted with a 20 sided dice. Each character's abilities vary so widely as to be difficult to encapsulate in a short review. Suffice it to say that there have been some very interesting characters developed for the game in addition to the standard storm troopers and jedi fare that you were expecting.

Had a chance to play one game of Imperial two weeks ago. Despite utilizing very similar mechanisms to Antike and having a feel much like Antike, Imperial is a very different game from Antike. Antike is a straight forward Civ-lite civilization-building/limited-war/expand-your-empire-for-victory-points game. Imperial is a game of investing in various countries. Players are free to invest as much as they choose in as many countries as they choose. To determine the winner at the end of the game your investments are multiplied by the number of points each country scored during the game. In fact in Imperial no player actually has pieces on the board. The player who has the largest investment in each nation gets to control the military and finances of that nation, but control can change many times in the coarse of the game.

Very interesting game. I will report back with a better informed opinion after a few more plays.

After numerous games of Antike with 4, 5 and 6 players I have to report that it is an upper tier game. The rondel mechanism was a stroke of genius. By limiting players to a single action each turn play was streamlined without over simplifying the game. I stand by my earlier analysis: With no down time to speak of, Antike is the civ-lite game that makes you feel like it is always your turn. If you need to take a bathroom break make it quick 'cause it will be your turn before you get your zipper down. Antike may be the best of the civ-lite genre.

Next time: Why you should always tip your cabbie.

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