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Mike B
United Kingdom
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Chainsaw Warrior – 1 PLAYER / AGES 10+ / TIME – 60mins – OOP

Travel back in time my friends to the 1980′s. The golden age of action horror movies, muscle bound hero’s with a knack for amusing bon mots and lots of bad hair. Released in 1987 by Games Workshop Chainsaw Warrior was an instant buy for my teenage coffers.

Essentially this is a John Carpenter movie in a box, minus Kurt Russel. If like me you've watched Escape From New York multiple times then you are going to lap this up.

The set up is simple it could be the plot of a straight to video classic. Its 2032 and an malevolent warp to the nightmare dimensions has opened in a New York apartment complex, as a retired special forces commando(obviously) you have 1 hour to storm the building with a blistering array of spiffy heavy weapons and save the world.

This is such a cool game and one of the few completely Solo efforts released at the time. The game comes with a comic book that helps to set up the pulp feel, and strangely for a Games Workshop title the rule book is relatively simple and straightforward. (anyone who has played Dark Future will understand the pain to which I allude)

Played out on a board that has a nail biting timer squatting ominously in its top right corner, this represents you state of the art digital watch as the world countdowns to doomsday.

After an initial set up which see’s you randomizing your hero with some simple stats which effect your health and weapon prowess you then get to do the board game equivalent of the equip your weapons montage prevalent in the 80′s.

The game is played by making your way through two decks of cards that represent the buildings corridors and rooms (sort of like a fighting fantasy book), each of these cards will have a hidden surprise beneath it (usually a monster) and you have to make your way through this deck (somehow) and reach Darkness the big bad buried in the second deck. Kill him and win the day. (yeah right)

Its as simple as that. But boy is this game tense, every turn that timer is ticking away and worse some encounters will cost you valuable seconds burning away into that slim 60 minute window. Its so easy to get caught up in whats happening and before you know it you are the board game equivalent of an action hero (you will have to provide your own one liners) The deck is unforgiving with little respite from a torrent of zombies and ghouls, with the occasional really nasty surprise.

This game is hard, did I say hard. Its virtually impossible! If your not running out of time, your bleeding out or irradiated and then you turn the next corner and are faced with a mutant or robotic zombie thresher machine and by that point your down to a sharp stick and harsh words (yeah your ammo runs out too).

Just brilliant stuff and even though this game will hand you your backside 9 times out of 10 its such a manic tense ride on the way you know you want to play it again straight after.

When I got this out to take the pics I didn't intend playing but the temptation was too great, maybe this time I’d beat the swine. No, not gonna happen 40mins into proceedings with my ammo running dry and suffering from radiation poisoning I turn the corner and was promptly torn to pieces by a pack of hungry rats, the indignity.

Love love this game. Gutted that the sequel that was hinted in the rule book never came out an Alpine Nazi occult stronghold assault.

So by now your thinking I want this game, but where can I get it. I've seen it on ebay and can sometimes be picked up for a reasonable £10 or so, I was lucky enough to procure a second copy this summer from a car boot for a couple of quid. I then felt safe to allow the kids to try their hand at it without the fear of jam stains or missing components.

This is crying out for a reprint by somebody but re-themed to play to the whole 80's vibe, it could be a classic.

But all is not lost, why this very month the game has been released as an app and on the steam store. I've not played it yet but it looks to be every bit as challenging as its board game counterpart, so for under a fiver you too can savor this classic.

Originally published on
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Michael Debije
The Netherlands
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Nice, and agreed. Tense and damn hard.
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