Jayson Myers
United States
Clermont
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Please check out my other reviews at:

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

Update to the Review:

I decided to put this at the top of the review as I did make some rule mistakes that this great community was able to help me with. Perhaps this is a flaw of the rules, but really it is more of a flaw of me.

My main rule issue was that you draw a card after each "offensive". I took that to mean after each encounter. This left the game wanting quite a bit. It felt broken. It felt wrong. And it didn't work.

After writing this review, it was pointed out that I had played it wrong. I went back and played it with the correct rules. Here are my thoughts:

The game plays much better using the correct rules (which most games do). There is still luck in the draw of the cards and maybe less planning. Let me explain.

Earlier in a round, you have to build your ships. The cards you draw allow you to activate certain ships, but if you don't have the matching cards you cannot use the ship.

You have partial information when you are building ships. You know the cards you have, but you do not know the cards you will draw in the future. You can hedge your bets, you can count cards (a little), but sometimes you use that big gamble to either win or lose big.

This rule creates a much better game. I have chosen to keep the game a tad longer. It may still not be a keeper to me, but the game is dramatically better. This is a game that I will recommend for you to try before you buy.

Keeper. For now.



Conclusion:

Titanium Wars is one of my least favorite games that I like or my one of my favorite games I don't like. The reason I had such a strong reaction is there is so much I like about it. It has great art, great components, a good rule book (on first glance), and easy to learn combat. It just falls apart during play. It is random in which tactic cards you get so you may not be able to fight as you wish you could. I can live with that, but with 2-3 planets your opponents can win. If they get the first planet, they have a slight to a sizable advantage.

As you win planets, you also get upgrades (you can have more buildings, more cards, more money and/or more ships). This can lead to a rich get richer mechanic. If someone wins the first planet or two in a row, everyone has to team up against them. This leads to a scripted play through (or just group think on our part).

The sheer amount of cards was hard for some new players to pick up at first. You really need to know all of the cards to target a good strategy. Yet, the game play is pretty simple to pick up after a round or two. The hard part is combating all the different combinations.

There is a lot of chaos in this game. It will seem very random at times and you will feel powerless to control that chaos. This will appeal to some people, but I am not a huge fan of it. This has become a game we laugh about and all decided to never play again.

Purge.



Components:

This is a beautiful game. The cards that make up the majority of the game are so beautiful to look at. The art work is some of the best that I've ever seen. I also love the "high gloss" look of the cards. They are crystal clear to look at and some of the best I've ever seen.

The damage tokens are made from solid cardboard and will last you much longer than you will want to play the game. The icons used on all the cards are very easy to read and remember. Everything is nearly perfect about the components except for the miniature paper money. The money in the game is horrible and hard to use.



Rule Book:

At first glance, the rule seems nearly perfect. It is full color and has plenty of examples and pictures. Yet, during the game we had a few questions we were unable to answer.

A few questions we had:

1. What happens if nobody wins the battle (i.e nobody has any cards they can use)?

2. What happens if 1 player has 4 cards and another player has 3? Does the player with 4 win every time if both survive (the rules state the person wins if he plays a card and the opponent does not)? Seems odd you would lose with ships sitting there but your opponent has an extra card that commands no ships.

There were more, but I cannot remember them.

The rule book is good at getting you playing, but you are likely to have some questions not covered in unique situations.



Flow of the Game:

I'll try to explain this the best I can. Each round a planet comes out that the players will fight over. Each planet allows you to have additional buildings, cards, ships, money, or etc. This can lead to a rich get richer issue.

1. An event card is turned over. This gives you a new rule for the round a planet to fight over.

2. Get money from your planets/buildings.

3. Buy cards: buildings, ships and upgrades. You have to buy things within your limitations and based on which tactic cards you have. These tactic cards will tell you which ships you can attack with and which ships you can attack.

4. Fight! All teams join a cluster to fight for a planet. The main idea is everyone plays a tactic card face down. Everyone turns their card face up at the same time (there is a variant to do it one at a time). Cards are played based on the number on the card (lower card goes first).

The cards you play will tell you what ships you can attack with and which ships you can attack. You are limited by the cards you have. You have 3 in your hand to start the game and can play one.

Each ship has an attack value (and possible upgrades) and a defense value. You take attack until your defense is equaled and then your ship is destroyed.

The combat is very simple. Last ship standing wins the planet. Then, draw up to your hand limit.

5. Check for victory and clean up.

Rinse and repeat.

The flow of the game is you buy ships to blow each other up to win planets. The tactic cards you have will limit what who you can attack and win.



Should I buy this Game?:

This is a huge purge for me. While a great game to look at, we hated playing it and laughed at while playing. It is now a running joke in our gaming circle. I cannot recommend this game. Perhaps I just don't get it. Maybe it will work for you. The luck was just too much for me and I didn't like our house rules we made due to the fact the rules were lacking.

Purge and skip.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No mention of what this game is, and that's a negotiation game. Sorry it didn't work for you, but I've played it with many different groups now and it's been a hit everytime. Also worth mentioning you should always play the advance mode, but that's pretty much every board game.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frédéric GUERARD
France
Lille
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
william4192 wrote:
1. What happens if nobody wins the battle (i.e nobody has any cards they can use)?


Hi William,

The Planet goes back on the bottom of the pile and you start a new turn.

And you can use a Tactic card that activates none of your Unit (bluff, or to stay in the fight).

william4192 wrote:
2. What happens if 1 player has 4 cards and another player has 3? Does the player with 4 win every time if both survive (the rules state the person wins if he plays a card and the opponent does not)? Seems odd you would lose with ships sitting there but your opponent has an extra card that commands no ships.


This is a misunderstanding of the rules, which makes the game so chaotic. You have to draw up to your hand limit at the end of each Offensive, not at the end of the fight. Please try the game again with this rule, so you'll see that the game is way less random than you think.

If you need a FAQ, you can go here.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah you get to draw back to your hand size at the end of each offensive. You can also choose to discard 1 card for free. Then 100 for extra you wish to discard.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Jesurun
United States
Tennessee
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
william4192 wrote:


A few questions we had:

1. What happens if nobody wins the battle (i.e nobody has any cards they can use)?

2. What happens if 1 player has 4 cards and another player has 3? Does the player with 4 win every time if both survive (the rules state the person wins if he plays a card and the opponent does not)? Seems odd you would lose with ships sitting there but your opponent has an extra card that commands no ships.

...


The combat is very simple. Last ship standing wins the planet. Then, draw up to your hand limit.



As mentioned, I think you misunderstood the rules about tactic cards. Once each player has revealed and resolved their tactic card, then players can discard another tactic card from their hand for free, pay to discard additional cards, and then draw up to their hand size. This is every round of combat, NOT only after the planet has been awarded. There is no way to run out of tactic cards. Having a 4th tactic card gives a player more options, but does not in any way assure victory. You will also find that being able to discard another tactic card means that a bad hand of tactics can be replaced easily. Luck of the draw is not as important then as it is with the way you were playing.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jayson Myers
United States
Clermont
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SeerMagic wrote:
No mention of what this game is, and that's a negotiation game. Sorry it didn't work for you, but I've played it with many different groups now and it's been a hit everytime. Also worth mentioning you should always play the advance mode, but that's pretty much every board game.


Yeah, we made some deals. It didn't seem like a huge part of the game to us. Maybe we played it wrong.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jayson Myers
United States
Clermont
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1. Didn't see that in the rules. I must have missed it.

2. Ahhhh....but to me that still brings randomness in. What if you didn't have any battle cards and then get the perfect card. I think it does help a lot though!

Beewiz wrote:
william4192 wrote:
1. What happens if nobody wins the battle (i.e nobody has any cards they can use)?


Hi William,

The Planet goes back on the bottom of the pile and you start a new turn.

And you can use a Tactic card that activates none of your Unit (bluff, or to stay in the fight).

william4192 wrote:
2. What happens if 1 player has 4 cards and another player has 3? Does the player with 4 win every time if both survive (the rules state the person wins if he plays a card and the opponent does not)? Seems odd you would lose with ships sitting there but your opponent has an extra card that commands no ships.


This is a misunderstanding of the rules, which makes the game so chaotic. You have to draw up to your hand limit at the end of each Offensive, not at the end of the fight. Please try the game again with this rule, so you'll see that the game is way less random than you think.

If you need a FAQ, you can go here.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jayson Myers
United States
Clermont
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I did miss this rule. I will go back and play it again correctly. I'll update the review when I do.


Horatio252 wrote:
william4192 wrote:


A few questions we had:

1. What happens if nobody wins the battle (i.e nobody has any cards they can use)?

2. What happens if 1 player has 4 cards and another player has 3? Does the player with 4 win every time if both survive (the rules state the person wins if he plays a card and the opponent does not)? Seems odd you would lose with ships sitting there but your opponent has an extra card that commands no ships.

...


The combat is very simple. Last ship standing wins the planet. Then, draw up to your hand limit.



As mentioned, I think you misunderstood the rules about tactic cards. Once each player has revealed and resolved their tactic card, then players can discard another tactic card from their hand for free, pay to discard additional cards, and then draw up to their hand size. This is every round of combat, NOT only after the planet has been awarded. There is no way to run out of tactic cards. Having a 4th tactic card gives a player more options, but does not in any way assure victory. You will also find that being able to discard another tactic card means that a bad hand of tactics can be replaced easily. Luck of the draw is not as important then as it is with the way you were playing.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bobby Picker
United States
Edwardsville
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ditto.

When the tactics card mechanisms are played correctly as stated in the previous comments, it is a very fun and fast game. The "free-for-all" purchasing rules in the book don't make sense so we simply go around the table purchasing our fleets or upgrades until we have no money left or pass. Once someone passes they can't purchase until next round.

I also replaced the money with poker chips which makes it so much easier! The paper money sucks! My vote for Worst Game Component of 2013!

In summary, TW has been a hit with everyone that has played it. I do wish there were more planets to wage war over. Hopefully, the expansion(s) will expand and enhance the game play.

Edit - typo
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
william4192 wrote:
2. Ahhhh....but to me that still brings randomness in. What if you didn't have any battle cards and then get the perfect card. I think it does help a lot though!


I think you'll find the randomness factor is very low in this game, as everyone is cycling through cards fast. You still need have a little variation in your fleet though, which is probably the whole point.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Asen Aleksandrov
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Very harsh review, but I understand how frustrating your experience might have been. In my opinion, the game is not random at all- it's a risk evaluation game that feels a lot of like poker in some respects, and just like in poker you need to make decisions based on probability; that's not chance.
You are also given the option to discard additional cards and to improve the size of your hand with Command Centers, not to mention many of the leaders' abilities pertain to hand management.

As to the perceived disadvantage of failing to grab the first planet, I disagree wholeheartedly. I have won multiple games by not even engaging for the first 2 turns and giving planets away. If you lose your entire fleet, you can always make a comeback by simply stepping back and allowing your opponents to pick each other apart for a turn or two, while you mass a fleet. This will be made even more viable in the expansion, thanks to the Orbital Platforms.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian Gill
United Kingdom
Mansfield
Nottinghamshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jayson, to be fair to the designer I think you should put a comment at the start of the review clearly stating that your following opinions are based upon misunderstanding the rules. Perhaps temporarily amend the title.

Anyone reading just your review without following on to the comments might get a totally wrong view of the game. If other gamers have valued your opinions in the past they may not look further. I've only just read the rules and I honestly can't see many making the same mistake as the rules are very clear on this point.

I do agree about the money being really poor (poker chips at the ready), and I have already emailed to get some replacement cards because they were stuck together, but the rules do seem very clear to me so far. The FAQ has already answered my one slight doubt.

Now, after replaying the game, you may still feel the same but your review can then detail your remaining issues with the game.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jayson Myers
United States
Clermont
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You are right. Thanks for the great idea. I played the game a couple more times correctly and the game is better.



Posco wrote:
Jayson, to be fair to the designer I think you should put a comment at the start of the review clearly stating that your following opinions are based upon misunderstanding the rules. Perhaps temporarily amend the title.

Anyone reading just your review without following on to the comments might get a totally wrong view of the game. If other gamers have valued your opinions in the past they may not look further. I've only just read the rules and I honestly can't see many making the same mistake as the rules are very clear on this point.

I do agree about the money being really poor (poker chips at the ready), and I have already emailed to get some replacement cards because they were stuck together, but the rules do seem very clear to me so far. The FAQ has already answered my one slight doubt.

Now, after replaying the game, you may still feel the same but your review can then detail your remaining issues with the game.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frédéric GUERARD
France
Lille
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
william4192 wrote:
You are right. Thanks for the great idea. I played the game a couple more times correctly and the game is better.


Thank you for having tried the game again Jayson.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.