It’s a Looney Labs twofer!
Today we finally take a closer look at Batallas Históricas Verdún 1916 from Runica Art Games. It’s a light 2 player game about trench war fare. Closed captions in Spanish. Subtítulos cerrados en Español,
Brandon: Good morning! Is it morning? I can’t even tell anymore; with the student teaching and having to set our clocks back an hour, and the election for the President of the USA. Happy election day! Where was I? Coffee! No. I mean, yes. Of course yes. Because, well, coffee. Right?
But, no, because Tiny Sword Tactics. Tiny Swords Tactics is an interesting game and I’m not really sure how to classify it. Is it a tile laying game? Technically. You do lay tiles down. You also move these tiles. Is it a fighting game? Absolutely. Is it an elimination game? Yes! Unless you don’t really want it to be. Well, it is regardless, but you can still give those who are eliminated purpose….
Let’s back up. You start with a Heart Of the Fight tile and then everyone takes turns laying down tiles from their team that they chose until all their tiles are down. Hold on. Let me set this up for you.
In this picture you can see how the game gets set up. You will notice that the tiles must touch sides. There’s no diagonal tile touching here! But now what? Hold on. Coffee. Mmmmmm, coffee.
Now you take turns moving, flipping, or fighting. Why? To kick your friends off the table, defeat their team, and win! Moving allows your team to run away from someone who might defeat them or even allow you to push someone else’s tiles along or even out of the game. Flipping tiles can limit or expand a tile’s actions. Fighting, well, is fighting. You defeat a tile or you lose a fight. Fights are mostly simple affairs that play out as rock, paper, scissors. I say mostly, because there are also damage tokens that come in to play based on how the battle goes. A player wins by having the only remaining tiles.
That brings us to player elimination. You can play that way, but there is also a variant where eliminated players get to move the Heart Of The Fight Tile. It’s a great way to mess with everyone who destroyed your team.
What is it like to play this game? Hold on. More coffee.
OK, this game has a lot of strategy and a lot of making plans only to have them immediately thwarted. Think of four way chess. Now think of four way chess where the battles aren’t as easy as rook takes pawn. Now add in fun retro 16 bit graphics.
Tiny Sword Tactics is a lot of fun and has a great look. We really enjoyed playing. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, aren’t you. Go ahead and get your own cup of coffee. I’ll wait. Just know that it’s not so much a shoe as it is a flip flop.
Does this game look great? Is it fun? Is there good player interaction? YES! There is, however the issue of player elimination. Sure, you can use the variant where the eliminated player messes with those still in the game, but it’s not as long lasting in the fun dept. as one might hope.
I forgot to mention something fairly important. Tiny Sword Tactics is currently on Kickstarter. As of the publishing of this review they have 10 days to go. $30 gets you a full version of the game. It seems a little high, but this is a kickstarter and with the total amount they are looking for I get the sense they’re trying to actually kickstart a business and not just create pre-orders.
So, my two concerns are player elimination and the price. That being said I still play Axis and Allies (hello mega player elimination) and I really want this game to make it. Tiny Sword Tactics looks good and plays well. Definitely check it out!
Here’s a link for you: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/637771097/tiny-swords-tactics
Brandon: I once made a dice tower based on the Porkins’ Dice Tower and helped Tarehna make a birdhouse themed dice tower for herself. You can get a good look at them both in this video! In that video you can also see a dice tower I purchased from Troll Works with cashy money. Well, with an electronic card thing over the internets. Thank you internets and thank you cashy electronic card thing. The first dice tower I purchased from Troll Works is a Memoir ’44 themed dice tower and I love it. The construction is excellent and the fake little rivets are all turned different directions. This dice tower fits in so well with the theme of the game. A Glen Miller playlist on Pandora, Memoir ’44, and this dice tower (pictured below) make for an excellent evening.
I enjoyed the Memoir ’44 tower so much I kept going back and looking at the Trollworks Etsy shop. One of the products that stood out to me was a fold-down (or up) tower. It appeared to have the same great quality as the dice tower I had purchased and presented additional benefits. It folded up, or down, or both. Space saver! Also, there’s a lid that goes on the top so that you can plop your dice in it, put the lid on, fold it up (or down), and travel to your next adventure!
I had a dilemma on my hands though. I already had a Memoir ’44 themed dice tower, and I was eyeing yet another Memoir ’44 themed dice tower. I couldn’t do it. There was no way that I could justify two Memoir ’44 themed dice towers. Or could I? No! I could not. Not to worry. Zpocalypse to the rescue! I did a review of Zpocalypse for the now defunct Zombease.com, but you can read the text of that interview at my BGG page. You can also read my review of the excellent expansion Zmergency. How did this help? Time for a zombie themed dice tower! It is a thing of beauty.
I can report that the construction and attention to detail are excellent. The dice flow and bump their way to the built in tray. The dice tower folds down (or up) and, with the lid on, does in fact keep my dice within for travel. The color is an excellent toxic green and really accentuates the feel of a game of Zpocalypse.
I do, however, have two issues. First, I wish I had purchased these in the reverse format. The fold-down (or up) tower seems more appropriate for Memoir ’44 to me. But that’s just me. Or maybe it’s you too. Go us! Second, I feel like I need to purchase all of the dice towers Troll Works has to offer. Castle designs, Star Wars (or Trek), Cthulhu, D&D. So many options. Unfortunately, I don’t have the space and I’m pretty sure that my being in grad school means my cashy money electronic card thingy just won’t be able to handle the strain. And that’s not all! Troll Works also offers box inserts and various game accessories. You should check it all out.
Visit Troll Works at this fabulous internet location and tell them Brandon sent you.
They don’t know who I am, but maybe they will if you tell them often enough.
Oh! I almost forgot to mention the lovely smell of freshly laser etched wood! Yum!
Due to Brandon currently being neck deep in Student Teaching we were unable to do a video review as we intended. Instead, please enjoy this old timey textual teleplay script and do your own reader’s theater at home!
Brandon: You probably shouldn’t be playing Pawns.
Brandon: Pawns is a game wherein you control cute, but disgusting, little military men and try to destroy your opponent by farting on them or vomiting on them, only not really.
Tarehna: It’s pronounced “PONES” you dilettante!
Tarehna: P-W-N-S is pronounced “pones”. Like “to be pwnd”.
Brandon: Like your mom’s friend, Pone?
Brandon: That doesn’t make a lot of sense. You see I have these military men and they are like under my control and stuff. That makes them my pawns.
Brandon: Anyway, you have this board. Do we have a picture? And then you have these terrain tile thingies you put on the board, and then you place your pawns..
Brandon: …pawns on the terrain tiles. Not in the water though. You can’t really swim and if you get pushed in the water it hurts. Like you fell from a great height or had the wind knocked out of you, but then you got back up. Go ahead and put your Pawn…
Brandon: Exactly! Put your…military men on grass, dry grass, dirt, ice and fire. No! Not the fire. Fire bad! Then you have these cards you can play to attack or defend or heal. All this kind of stuff. Like, you can use a dead rabbit slingshot, or a dead rat slingshot, or a smelly bag of smells. It’s kind of a lot of gross stuff. One pawn…
Brandon: That bit keeps on being funny. One of the…dudes…is named Queasy. There’s this whole potty humor component, but it doesn’t run all the way through. There’s one card that’s just called “Reflector”, not potty humor at all.
Tarehna: Your point?
Brandon: Other than this review has gone on for awhile without saying much? This game was kind of blah. The components are nice and the look, feel, and theme are all solid and work together but it’s just kinda…
Tarehna: Awesome? Yes. I know! This game has “Leaky Bag of Leftovers” and “Scary Mask” and is 2-4 players. You’re not just moving your pieces and playing cards and having some sort of board game version of magic. There’s strategy; especially when you have four players. Sure you could just attack and hurt an opponent, or you could use the aforementioned “Scary Mask” and knock an opponent into water, fire, or even into the path of yet another opponent and start a fight between them. Did I mention that the terrain tiles allow for you to use different setups so you don’t all fall into the same ruts of attack and defend this way or that on this specific part of the board?
Brandon: I think you just did.
Tarehna: Go me! And, as you mentioned, the theme is cohesive and solidly put together. So, given all that, why do you think people shouldn’t play it?
Brandon: Oh I do. I had a lot of fun with this game. So did our friends. But Awry Games should really redo that instruction manual. How some things resolve was a little unclear and visually it’s a lot of boxes. Also, I’d prefer if the different characters had special abilities. I don’t get naming all of them if it’s just for flavor text.
Tarehna: Like King of Tokyo?
Brandon: Totally like King of Tokyo.
Tarehna: But other than those minor things you liked it and would play it again and would recommend that other people check it out.
Tarehna: You mean “totes”.
Tarehna: So if you like it then what’s with all of that rambling you did up above?
Brandon: Cheap literary device! You’ve been pawned!
Brandon: Always funny.
Learn more at:
This was meant to be a quick 20 minute intro to field tactics, but we had a good time with tangents!
Available March 18, 2016. Buy your own copy at your FLGS or here: http://store.looneylabs.com/Firefly-Fluxx?sc=2&category=1468
Also visit http://www.pncn.rocks/
A few of our favorite dungeon-themed games. Please watch, like, share, subscribe, enjoy, play, love, eat, clean your room, do the dishes…
Retro Loonacy is a sophisticated game for those with a sophisticated taste. It’s also a family game. So grab an aqueous martini, a piece of licorice, and put on your sleekest coat while we slip into the super hip, and super fun game that is Retro Loonacy.
Designed by Andrew Looney and Illustrated by Andrew Heath Retro Loonacy is a fast paced matching game for 2-5 players. It is labelled as good for 8 years old and up, but I can tell you our 7 year old had no problems with it beyond some dexterity issues. The concept is quite simple. Everyone will have a hand of cards and try to match those card to the discard piles on the table.
There are two things I want to point out about how this works. First, each card has two images on it, so your chances are increased. Or are they? I’m not a statistician, but I did an internet search and found this, potentially(not at all), helpful video.
The second point I want to make is that the game has different set ups for the game depending on how many players you have. There is always one draw pile, but the number of discard piles related to players is as follows: 5 players-1 discard pile, 4 players-2 discard piles, 3 players-3 discard piles, 2 players-4 discard piles, 1 player-5 discard piles, 0 players… I may have gone too far…
“Wait,” I hear you saying, “Brandon, you have given us a lot of info, nice pictures, a very (not very) helpful video, but I still don’t feel like I know how to play.” Ah! You are correct. So, you know it is a matching game, and you know how to set it up, but what’s next? How many cards do you get? Who goes first? You each get 7 cards and you all go at once!!! Wait, not yet. Make sure you all have had a chance to look at your cards first and then, go!!
“Oh, man,” I can hear you remarking, “This game is moving so fast. Oh, I don’t have a match. You don’t have a match? None of us has a match? What do we do!?” Shh, it’s going to be OK. Look, there’s a draw pile. Everyone, take a card. Place it face down in front of you without looking. Make sure you are all ready and then go! The first person to play all the cards from their hand wins!
We here at Spaghetti & Meeples have covered various versions of Fluxx and Just Desserts and have enjoyed them. Retro Loonacy, however, is by far our new favorite from them. We all love the look, the style, the game play, the pace, and the player interaction. If you are a fan of Looney Labs then Retro Loonacy is a must have. If you have never played a Looney Labs game before then this is a great place to start. So get on it already!
You can purchase Retro Loonacy directly from Looney Labs here.