Jayson Myers
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2528427#item25...



Conclusion:

Warhamster Rally is a race game where your program your movement a round before you do it. This causes the "board" to change and you to move in a direction you did not intend. This is really the main mechanic of the game: "oh man, my plans are ruined because I had to decide on my move before I had any idea what the board would look like when it was my turn". If that sounds like fun, this game is for you. If that sounds frustrating, steer clear of this game.

This game is most like Robo Rally. I find the game really frustrating and I do not really like games where I plan only to have my pans ruined.

The components were likely nice when the game was released. By today's standard, they are alright. The license/theme of "Dorks" riding hamsters is lost on me.

It is a fun little game that will frustrate you. It can go on a tad too long for what is in the box. You are always pulled in a direction you do not want to go.

This game is a purge for me. If the components were fantastic, I might have kept it as a race/chaos game, but in the end there isn't enough for me. If you like this genre, keep/buy this game. Otherwise, you can safely pass.

Let me be clear, this is a good little game. It is not a game that I would normally like/play. So, judge for yourself whether this game will work for you.



Components:

The art in the game is based on the license of "Dork". I believe this is a comic strip based on humor. This is not a property I was familiar with, so it was lost on me.

The board is 4 squares and is not modular. It was bizarre to put together. It won't stay together "tightly", but it doesn't affect game play. The board is really just a bunch of hexes with arrows on them.

The action chips are cheap blue chips and are generic at best. The blocks have stickers on them, but are thick and sturdy. The cards are made of good stock and seem to be very sturdy. The cards are easy to read and use and the art work is very consistent. Not my favorite cards ever, but very good for such an old game.



Rule Book:

The rule book is black and white and includes a comic in the back (Dork). The rule book includes examples, but I wish they were a little bit better and in color. It took me about 2-3 minutes to figure out how to move, but that was the only part of the rule book that tripped me up.

Overall, the rule book is good. The game is rather simple and the book could have made life easier, but I really can't complain too much. You can learn the rules with 10 minutes and you can be playing the game. The rules are not complex.



Flow of the Game:

The flow of the game is rather easy. The idea is you are trying to race to the finish line, but the hamsters you are riding want to go in their own direction.

On a players turn:

1. Turn up the card in front of you. You will align this card with the arrow on your space and move where the card tells you (this will likely not be the direction you want to move).

2. Choose a card that will be played in section 1 of next round.

3. Draw a new card.

Here are some facets of the game:

A. You can run into things, be "distracted" by NPC enemies on the board that are moving around.

B. Other players can run into your character and push him where you do not want to be. This is a must if you want to win.

C. There are NPC's on the board that will affect your movement and future movement. You have to plan for this.

D. There are also special actions that you can choose to perform. You can choose 1 per turn and they cost the blue chips I described earlier. These actions allow you to move an extra space, move the NPC's, Discard/redraw hand, make an extra move, etc.

E. Each character has a different ability they can use once per game. You have to use these wisely!

F. There are advanced rules that should be moved where the NPC's move around the board. I highly advise using this advanced rule.

Final words:

The idea of the game is to make it to the finish line. You will be forced to move in directions you do not want to move. You have to mitigate the unexpected. You have to just roll with what happens despite how much it will frustrate you (this is the point of the game!).



Should I buy this Game?:

If you like chaos, then yes you will have fun with this game. The game is a tad dated, especially concerning the components but with the right crowd there is fun in the box. While I want to say this kid would be good with kids, I could also see some kids being frustrated with the constantly changing "decision" and you really can be screwed by things out of your control.

This game is not going to be for all gamers. You have to be okay with your "plans being ruined". The "Dork" license may or may not appeal to you.

Purge for me. A likely pass for you.
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I bought my copy off of Tanga, I think, largely based on my love of the artist, John Kovalic, who also has done the art for Munchkin, Apples to Apples and the Dork Tower webcomic and subsequent games. Most of the games he does work for have heavy doses of luck and silliness, so I knew I likely wasn't getting an award-winning or critically acclaimed game when I bought it, but I had hoped that it would be a hit with the right crowd. I was wrong. I still have it, mostly because I know I couldn't sell it or trade it for much, but maybe I'll unload it on someone I'm less than thrilled with as a "gift." Who knows. Damn shame as I'm a fan of Kovalic's, but he didn't design the game, just the art, so I don't feel too bad.
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Frank Branham
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Duluth
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A: The game was pretty much my take on "improving" Robo-Rally, and was "reskinned" for the Dork Tower theme. A picture of the original Aquarium Derby game is here: http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/GroovyPrototypes.sht...

So the game is DEFINITELY pretty abstract.

B: I really don't like the advanced rules with moving Koboldkin. It makes the game too chaotic. I often ignore the special powers when teaching the game as well. In both cases, it adds a rules complexity and length without much benefit.

And Warhamster Rally ABSOLUTELY has to be under 60 minutes to be fun. Any longer, and it just isn't.


C: I'm sort of baffled by who the "correct" crowd for the game is. Robo Rally players are probably going to choose Robo Rally. Kovalic fans are probably going to go for Munchkin.
There were a handful of people who played in the WR tournament every year at Origins for a few years after I did it. I always joined in the final game, and those were easily the best games of WR I've ever played.

As I look back, the whole open field racing game was a bit of a trend which has been mined to death by now. And so the game seems quite dated.
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Jayson Myers
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fbranham wrote:
A: The game was pretty much my take on "improving" Robo-Rally, and was "reskinned" for the Dork Tower theme. A picture of the original Aquarium Derby game is here: http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/GroovyPrototypes.sht...

So the game is DEFINITELY pretty abstract.

B: I really don't like the advanced rules with moving Koboldkin. It makes the game too chaotic. I often ignore the special powers when teaching the game as well. In both cases, it adds a rules complexity and length without much benefit.

And Warhamster Rally ABSOLUTELY has to be under 60 minutes to be fun. Any longer, and it just isn't.


C: I'm sort of baffled by who the "correct" crowd for the game is. Robo Rally players are probably going to choose Robo Rally. Kovalic fans are probably going to go for Munchkin.
There were a handful of people who played in the WR tournament every year at Origins for a few years after I did it. I always joined in the final game, and those were easily the best games of WR I've ever played.

As I look back, the whole open field racing game was a bit of a trend which has been mined to death by now. And so the game seems quite dated.



Frank,

Thanks for the response to my humble review. The funny part is it isn't a terrible game. It is actually a fun little racer game. Something like this I'd like to play in about 15 minutes (personally). I saw a trend of these games as I go back and play older games.

Playing a game like this and judging by today's standards is a little unfair, but it is all I have. I'm sure it was a solid little game for its time. To be honest, I'm the wrong audience. I don't mind some luck, I'm just not a huge racing fan.

I do appreciate your kindness in your response. It would have been easy for you to rip into me as I have zero credentials as a reviewer. Your job is much harder than this one.
 
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