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Subject: Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game Review rss

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Jason Laske
United States
California
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Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game is a rare find in its theme and design. You play as various street fighting factions trying to retake a randomly generated city. You have to make tough decisions trying to balance bolstering your own forces whilst trying to cooperate just enough to beat the turn timer and win the game.

Each player picks a unique Faction which offers different upgrades and allows you to specialize in different actions. Utilizing these effectively can make or break your strategy so get familiar with what makes your faction special. Using your abilities, cards you loot, and teamwork you must come together to take down the cop controlled regions and take your city back!

Each turn you roll a number of six-sided dice based on the number of Bloc's you control and you spend those doing actions. Some actions are free and don't require any specific side while others require you to meet or beat the difficulty of the tile you want to attack/loot/build upon. Getting the most out of your dice is the key to maximizing your current and later turns as you only have 10 before the game hard finishes. Certain actions also cause Police Op's cards to be drawn which controls the enemy faction and makes things much harder for the players.

Typically you spend your turns building up your Bloc's, Looting for helpful cards, building Barricades at choke points, and trying to coordinate with everyone to Liberate locations on the map. The Liberation mechanic is one of the places Bloc by Bloc shines in it's selfless cooperation to turn squares to your teammates sides. To liberate you must match or exceed double the locations difficulty with any combination of player Bloc's which grant benefits to both the liberating faction but also anyone who participates increases the reward everyone gets on the Manifestation Card you receive since it scales based on participating players.

Since turns and resources are limited you really feel for you and other players Bloc's. Each turn when the Police fights back you might lose districts and Bloc's which quickly shifts the balance and keeps the game tense. A careful mix of aggression and defense is needed to circumvent and ultimately defeat the game and every action feels important.

The game is not easy and I feel that is one of the games strengths. The randomized boardstate makes you pay attention to where your factions are strongest and weakest, where the best locations to choke with Barricades and the fastest routes to Loot locations dynamically change your tactics. There are often times you alone can only accomplish so much and many actions and events require everyone playing to come together to take out a Cop Van or Liberate a strategic point in order to turn the tide. This game promotes teamwork better than most games of its class since you need to aid one another to do most things.

For those of you who enjoy more difficult co-op games such as Dead of Winter, there are included variant rules which gives each player an Agenda which lends to selfish and sometimes traitorous gameplay which adds another welcome layer of depth to an already deep game.

Lastly the layout and design of the game is very well done and very flavorful. The rules are nicely laid out and clear. The board and pieces look really great. This is a very well designed game that you owe it to yourself to check out.
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Silver Bowen
United States
Austin
Texas
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Woo! Gonna get some
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New user, first post, gushing praise, no negatives or criticism.
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Barry Kendall
United States
Lebanon
Pennsylvania
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Gosh, give the new guy a break. He played a pre-pub version and enjoyed it. It's not the most exhaustive review I ever read, but at least he has tried to post something positive.
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Marianne Waage
United States
Davis
California
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When having others playtest Paiko, we often asked people to post honest reviews and ratings to BoardGameGeek. And usually only the people who really truly enjoy a game would go to the effort.

I think it's a useful review to get a small feel for the game. Even if you think it's biased, it still gives you some insight: less complex than Dead of Winter, co-operative, 'not easy'.

Thanks Jason, for the review. The game was on my radar anyway, and the information was helpful.
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