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First of all, Tiny Epic really is tiny! The box is about the length of my hand. But don't be deceived! There is a boatload of fun packed into this tiny little box. I consider this series the ultimate "travel" game series. Normally when we pack up games for a game night or just heading out to family's house, we have several canvas bags stretched to their breaking point with just a few standard box size games. Not so with Tiny Epic! Our diaper bag alone could fit four or five of them. It's the perfect "grab-and-go" game.
Now on to the game itself. Essentially, you play as one of many warring factions intent on impeding others from progressing while investing in your own kingdom's expansion. It's an exciting balancing act throughout the game. The starting player takes one of several actions (movement, progression, or trade). All subsequent players may take that same action or collect resources from their meeples throughout the kingdom.
Battles and alliances are awesome! When an occupied space is invaded, a battle ensues. Attacker and defender each have a dice with 1-11 and a white flag. Hidden behind their hands, they select an amount to invest in the battle. The higher number wins. The catch? Both winner and loser have to pay the amount they selected (blech!). The loser then pays food to retreat, or he dies if he can't retreat. Now, the infamous white flag. If only one player selects the white flag, he loses but doesn't have to pay a battle cost. If both players choose the white flag, an alliance is born. Both players stay and reap the benefits of that space. Now, if those two battle again and both select white flags, the alliance remains intact. However, if at any point one of the players selects a number higher than the other, the entire alliance is broken and that player then takes over all spaces they previously shared. So fun!
I love the physical game size. I love the game length (about 30 minutes). I love the game variety (i.e., many factions to play with, many ways to win, each game can be very different than any game before it, etc.) which lends itself to great replay value. I especially love the psychological aspect of the battles (what's your opponent going to do?). I love the simplicity of the gameplay (takes no time at all to learn). Throw in the capital cities, crags, water, ruins (I love the ruins!), and the optional but awesome exploration tokens (included), and you've got a great game packed into a tiny box. Overall, I give it a solid 7.5.