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Subject: Forget Crack. I have a Bakelite addiction. rss

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Derek Gallacher
Canada
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My gamestore owner finally surprised me. He brought in a great game without our group needing to beg him.

Hive - Abstract strategy
22 pieces
Parity
No luck factor
Big chunky hex tiles
Piece specific point to point movement
Fast gameplay


The Object

Completely surround an oponent's Queen Bee with either your own insects or a combination of your own and your oponent's pieces.
Prevent your oponent from doing the same to you.

That's it. Sounds simple right?
It is that simple! That what makes this game work so well.
There are no hidden strategies.
No luck factors.
No erata on the pieces.
One (1) simple instruction page, of which 50% is covered in images of game situations.
No secrets.
It's all out in the open.

In the Box

Each player starts with the exact same number Bakelite (big chunky) hex tiles - One set black and one set white.
1 Queen Bee Each - may only move 1 space at a time
2 Beetles Each - May only move 1 space at a time, BUT may move onto any other piece, subsequently allowing it to drop down
2 Spiders Each - Must move 3 linear spaces
3 Grasshoppers Each - "Hop" in a straight line to the end of the connected row they are attached to
3 Army Ants Each - May move freely around any outside/interior edge that they can slide into and past legally.

They all fit perfectly into the framed interior of the very small box.
Also comes with a travel bag which secures the pieces into the box. (not needed, but thanks for trying to think of everything

NO GAME BOARD - big cool factor cool

Play

Pick who starts - we tend to put one bakelite hex in each hand then choose a hand (standard chess start to decide on colours). After that you alternate, loser goes first.

Pieces come in from off the play area to create a play area.
Pieces must touch
The first placement is the only time that a piece may come from off the play area and touch an oponent's piece. This creates "The Hive".
Any subsequent placement from off the play area can only touch your own colour.
Each Queen must be placed within the first 4 turns (each).
Once a piece is on the board it may be moveb according to its specific point to point movement abilities, but only after your own Queen has been placed ( they need their leader on the board to BUZZ instructions)
At no time can "The Hive" be split into two, or more.
Force a situation where a Queen is surrounded on all sides and the game ends.
That's it.


Strategy

The Ants have the ability to pin oponent pieces in quickly, but can be forced out of some areas.
The grasshoppers can jump into areas and hake sweeping leaps accross the hexes.
The Beetles rise above and march across the hive unless pinned down by another Beetle. A stacked Beetle also changes the colour of the piece it is pinning to match its own. (Stacks of 4 Beetles have happened regularly)
The Spiders were initially though to be weaker pieces because of their strict 3 move limit, they sweep in and pin with the best of pieces.
The Queen is devastating when you can move her one space away from an end game pin.

Opinions will vary, but a combination of all 5 pieces working collectively, highlighting each strength has been more successful than focussing on a single plan of attack.
However - A single minded attack strategy has wielded more than a fair share of victories.
The moment you lose track of even a single piece that is on the board, or waiting off the board - the end game is near.


Replay Value

We figured out the movement during the first game.
We attempted different placement strategies in games 2-5.
We looked for ways to abuse the movement powers of the pieces in games 6-12.
We each thought we had "figured it out" - we were wrong.

This was too much fun to play. We must have misinterpreted the rules.
We checked. http://files.boardgamegeek.com/viewfile.php3?fileid=7724
We looked at forums to be sure.
It is that easy.

Games 13 - 30 were a best of ten series.
Games 31 - 45 were supposed to be a best of 5 series.

45 games on the initial play test night and we were still not bored, tired, but not bored.
Pheonominal Replay Value

Weight - I say Med/Light

It is simple, yet incredibly complex.
Should fun be a measure of weight?
If it is then Hive is the heaviest game I've played in ages.
I have played Hive with 10 year olds who enjoy video games, 40 year old Uber Gamers, and I have played Hive with 50 year old Chess junkies.
We have never just played "one" game.
More often than not it becomes a question of "can we play one more game".


I'm getting kinda twitchy - nnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeed my fix!
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Rob Leveille
Canada
St. Catharines
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Well done review. Nice formatting. A definite thumbs-up.

BTW, are you up for Hive at Starbucks tomorrow?
 
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Derek Gallacher
Canada
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Hive + Coffee at Starbucks.
Oh colonel, the vapours are getting to me. laugh
 
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Dave Dyer
United States
Playa Del Rey
California
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MacGee wrote:

I'm getting kinda twitchy - nnnnnnnnneeeeeeeeeed my fix!


Get your fix anytime at http://www.boardspace.net/

 
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Derek Gallacher
Canada
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I've played there. I like it. But it just ain't like holdin' the Bakelite in your hands. Oooooooooooohhhhhhh, so smooth and bakelite-y.
 
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Kyle Symoniak
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Your subject line and obvious unhealthy addiction have convinced me to pick this one up. Great review.
 
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Andy K.
United States
Lawrence
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Who would put a sweater on a duck?!
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JeremiahClayton wrote:
Congratulations!! You have discovered the most enjoyable board game in the world.


My older brother and his wife, after my getting them back into gaming earlier this year, have become obsessed with Hive. I haven't yet played, but I look forward to getting my ass kicked by one or both of them at Thanksgiving.
 
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Josh
United States
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How did the country lose its way, Mel? When did we stop rooting for the man with a flamethrower?
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ACK ACK wrote:
JeremiahClayton wrote:
Congratulations!! You have discovered the most enjoyable board game in the world.


My older brother and his wife, after my getting them back into gaming earlier this year, have become obsessed with Hive. I haven't yet played, but I look forward to getting my ass kicked by one or both of them at Thanksgiving.


I'm that brother, and it's true, Hive rules.


The portablity and short gameplay time are huge plusses.


It's fun to teach it to new players, and see them try out strategies that I'd never be able to imagine. It's also fun to see the way that with one opponent the hive will be round and blobbly, and with another will be linear.


The above review is quick and to the point, much like the game. We also choose first player randomly, then with the loser going first. This is an attempt to modulate the advantage the first player might have (see the threads discussing this topic).
 
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