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War on Terror» Forums » Sessions

Subject: First Try - Impressions rss

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Robert Martin
United States
Atlanta
Georgia
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I was sitting in my house eating dinner the other day when the FedEx truck showed up. We hadn't ordered anything so I figured it was going to the neighbor's. Nope, the delivery person brought a box to my door. I opened the thing up and there inside was a copy of War on Terror. Turns out a friend of mine had seen it on BoingBoing and ordered me a copy. Cool!

First thing I've got to say is the production quality is ridiculous for a self published game. Really nice looking, solidly constructed game.

We gave it a try last night with 5 players and I'm overall fairly impressed with the game. It's very light on rules, but the rules seem to work well. Everybody starts out as an empire and expands searching for oil. Ultimately to win you need to dominate continents and build cities. To achieve this you've got your usual empire-to-empire war, but you can also buy terrorists and use them to attack other players. This ends up being very handy because terrorists do not have to break through front lines - they can pop up anywhere. Trouble is, once terrorists are on the board, they belong to everyone, which means they can be used against you later.

If you're eliminated from the game, or if you just feel like it, you can turn into a full-time Terrorist Player. This sort of reverses the victory objectives - you want to eliminate all empires from continents.

There's also the concept of an Evil Empire, which is determined by a spinner. The Evil Empire is basically an Empire and a Terrorist at the same time - best of both worlds.

The most surprising thing to me is that there is an actual game here, and it works pretty well. Our game saw one empire almost immediately nuked out of existence (the USA no less), so we had terrorist #1. Then a second empire was bankrupted by the Kyoto Protocol - terrorist #2. Then towards the end of the game, the by all accounts leading empire decided to go terrorist because it would give the terrorist side the win (it actually gets easier for terrorists to win as more empires go terrorist). This last little bit is the one part I could see causing problems for the game. It's a similar issue to the "Dune alliance problem" - ie it's so much easier to win as a team, why try to win alone? But we'll see how it turns out over a couple more games.

My overall thinking at this point is that it's got great potential, but I'm not sure it's a home run. After a few more games I'll write up a more detailed review.
 
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Robert Martin
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Holy crap, look at the timestamp on my article. That was not intentional...

wow
 
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Jeff Jarvis
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Technically it was a Hijacked Plane that sent the other player to be a terrorist, but who remembers details like that.

I agree with the thoughts of the ending conditions. I was trying very hard to win it alone, but it was just way too easy for the leading player to flip to terrorist and win the game.

I really enjoyed the game though. I wasn't too sure when we first started playing but it is a fun, screw your neighbors, game.


Jeff
 
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