Geeklist Review: It came from the desert
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After http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/32118 this is my second "special Geeklist review". Im having fun, I hope some of you can enjoy it as well!
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1. Board Game Designer: Kevin Wilson
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Name: It came from the desert
Designer: Kevin Wilson, Elliott Reid
Company: 9 degree games
For 3-5 Players
Playing time: 60-120 minutes
 
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2. Board Game: Ants in the Pants [Average Rating:4.27 Overall Rank:15211]
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Background Story: Like the old Amiga game of the same name this game is also a reminscent of the "Big Bug" movies of the 50s: The gameboard shows a desert and some backyard villages around it. Its somewhere in the Us - Nevada I suppose. Coming from the center of the desert are mutated ants, eating villagers and -finally- villages. Of course the players are trying to destroy the ants and of course nobody really believes them until its too late...
The players get "keys to the city" for the villages they safe. More than that: Every village has its own objectives and if the players fulfill that, they get a key. If (and only If) the ants are destroyed the player with the most keys wins.
 
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3. Board Game: Atta Ants [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:8774]
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Gameplay: Like I said, at first nobody is believing the players, so at the beginning the players are fairly weak - its bassicly just them and their handguns. Later in the game, the players can buy additional action cards and even the army awakes - via cards. That works a bit like the overlord-cards in descent. And indeed the gameplay-mechanic could be described as "Descent backwards". Did I mention someone is playing the ants? Ooops, yes someone is playing the ants. The movement of the ants is more strategic than in Descent, the antplayer is trying to get into key positions before his opponents is getting strong cards.
The key to the game are the villages: They want different things from the players (ranging from "Get me some goods from A or B" to Destroy all ants within 10 hex" or "Visit the mine on Spot A55"-in the rulebook there are the storys to these mission for additional flavour) and apart from the key to the city, they offer points and additional units in return. You can also buy this units directly, but money is tight (but in the beginning you have to invest to fight of the ants long enough to get enough points for stronger reinforcements). So: The players are trying to figure out which villages to visit to built uo an army and fight back the ants, while the antplayer is trying to destroy the villages that would harm him most. To destroy a village he basiccly has to move there with enough ants (depending on the size of the village). But the antmovement is restricted too - He has to built up a nest first, and the range he can move depends on the nestsize.
 
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4. Board Game: Ant Army [Average Rating:4.83 Unranked]
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This thing plays like a cross between Descent, a wargame and a modern Euro. Although there is tons of theme, the basic mechanism is pretty pedestrian (but in a good way). The two roles are very balanced. Some of the citys are not fixed on the board, but their place is determined by a random setup routine, so there is flexibility in the gameplay. The antplayer has a lot of strategic options and he feels a bit like a general. The players on the other hand have to compete against each other, because only one will win and at the same time cooperate to win against the ants. If there is to much infighting the antplayer is unstoppable. This creates some nice tension. In games like these there is always the posibility that one player who cannot win, spoils it for the others. Not so here - he cannot block anybody, so the worst he can do is not to do anything. So thats usually not an issue.
 
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5. Board Game: Ant Wars [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
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The main problem is the same as with Grimms War: It doesnt exist yet. Yes, I totally made everything up. I credited designers I like and I hope they will be inspired to really design this game.
And I hope the readers had fun with this review
 
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