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Subject: MvM – Gameplay review. rss

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oystein eker
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MvM – Gameplay review.

No need to review the components jewelry and eyecandy, unless you are living in a cave. The question is: is there a great game in the box? What if the game was published by FFG in a standard box, would it still be good?

General.
It is a coop game, programming your Mech to move around, there is no elimination. Damage is just messing up your program, and can be easily fixed. Please check video section for more details. Playing time on the box says 60 -90 minutes. Have not played all scenarios, but is seems more or less correct, or closer to 2 hours for longer scenarios.

Compare to other games.
MvM have two parts. First part is a coop strategy discussion. Who goes where? What task to perform? Next part is tactical solitaire. You are programming your Mech, and then perform your actions in sequence.

Many compare MvM to RoboRally. But the only similarity is programming slots in a robot. RoboRally is competitive with more restrictive programming cards. You must to turn right or left, while in MvM you chose the direction. RoboRally tends to be a long boring affair, due to bad planning of track. You usually end up with a too long track with a runaway leader.

In Bomb Squad you are programming a common robot to disarm bombs. Here is time a major part of the game. No time for strategic discussion. In MvM the timer function is just to restrict an alpha player to control the game during card selection. You can easily adjust this to suit your gaming group.

Space Cadets have the same two parts as MvM. A common strategy part, and then solitaire tactical part. But here is time stress a major factor in the game.

The same with XCOM. First a strategic discussion and then solitaire play. Again with more time stress than MvM.

Finally, MvM is based on the Weapons of Zombie Destruction game. I do not know much about this game.

I find MvM a better game than those mentioned above.

Footprint.
This game is big, with large components. You need a dinner table to play this. But still smaller than the more famous space eating games such as Railroad Tycoon. Digging down to lower layer to pick up the cards, means you are temporary spreading out the game on the floor and the table. But you have to accept this. Parking a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow takes more space than a bicycle.

Learning curve.
Thanks to the tutorial there is no learning curve at all. Downside is that you have un-learn some rules to play standard game.

Rules.
As an experienced wargamer, I do not have any problems with the rules. Basic learned by watching R.Smith, and rest by reading each scenario description. It should be easy for all players, even beginners, IMO.

MvM sessions experience.

Had a blast with my granddaughter (6yrs), and the rest of the family, playing the tutorial.
She wanted to play more, thanks to the high toy factor. I think I will make the tutorial more challenging, but no doubt the young kids enjoy the tutorial as it is.

Mission 1 is no doubt too much for a kid. Pushing and towing the bomb, takes some brain burning. Playing with experienced gamers last night, it was really a challenge. With the bomb adjacent to the goal we would push it to a win, but me as the last player would push the bomb far off target again. Just by some clever planning we were able to find the solution by towing my Mech away. In this situation, I doubt my family would find this solution, and game would probably last at least 5 more rounds. We, as experienced players, really enjoyed this challenge.

Mission 1 with younger kid, I will modify it to just push the bomb off board to win. Hope this challenge will be short and suited for my 6 yrs old granddaughter.

Mission 2 seems to be a better challenge for the family, again, maybe some modifications if my granddaughter wants to play. This mission will be too long for a kid.

What I like:
Theme. Just love it. The professor with more ambitions than brain and equipment, starting a school. The list of to do items makes me smile. The dialog around the bomb: “it is not a bomb..” It looks like a bomb….” Makes me LoL. Pure fun.

Artwork. (Have you noticed the underwear of the minion blowing up?). Cuteness mixed with happy violence.

Escalation during a mission. You start with a Mech that may just turn left and right. (All laugh). Then slowly starts to move around and killing more than 3 minions. Excellent mechanism by stacking cards to increase abilities. Very clever. Level up system by killing minions works also well. The escalation curve is good and running in the background without delaying the game play.

Suitable for all.
As you can read above, it is easy to modify to make it a game for younger kids. And it is fun and rewarding for ordinary gamers, if you like coop games.

Stop the alpha player from controlling the game, by using the timer during card selection.

The (semi) Legacy system. It does not add much to the gameplay, but I enjoy following the secret history.

Replayability. Some are afraid of replayability after all the missions are played. I do not get it. Do they misunderstand the Legacy label? After playing all missions I will no doubt jump back and play the most challenging and fun missions over and over again. My most played game this year: Wings for the Baron, have only one “scenario”. My most played game ever, Puerto Rico, plays exactly the same “scenario” over and over again, and I still play it today.

Dislike
It is very, very hard to come up with something. The deck is not pre-shuffled. Does it count?


Final what if conclusion:

If MvM was published by FFG in a standard size box, with a bag of minions. Unpainted mechs, and 10 missions to pick from – Would it still be a good game?

My verdict: Yes. One of the best games from FFG, and one of the top coop games ever.

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Chris Smith
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I guess the thing to do with mission 1 might be to get the kids go around decimating minions while you position yourself to 1-shot the bomb from platform to repair pad (Need to nudge it over first though).

The semi-legacy system adds a lot for me - Whenever I get a campaign game I fizzle out on caring, yet for some reason when you hide stuff away in an envelope and I don't get to see it till its' opened, everything feels just so much more exciting and 'must play!'. I would agree that it takes nothing away from replay-ability, though certainly some missions are more re-playable than others (Mission 1 for example is kinda less exciting when you follow the above strategy =P).

Great review btw, and yes you should definitely count the lack of preshuffled deck! (Kidding, but still ;P).
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Petteri Heino
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"RoboRally tends to be a long boring affair..."

Well, that's just an opinion.
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André Nordstrand
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El_Mutanto wrote:
"RoboRally tends to be a long boring affair..."

Well, that's just an opinion.


The entire review is an opinion
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oystein eker
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takras wrote:
El_Mutanto wrote:
"RoboRally tends to be a long boring affair..."

Well, that's just an opinion.


The entire review is an opinion


Not true.
All my reviews are based on empirical science and math models.

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Seth Pinter
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My 6-year old (well, 7 in a little over a month) plays the game fine with me 2-player. Mind you, I do the vast majority of the work, but he does well enough. He also played Robot Turtles and then Colt Express (doesn't handle being pushed well, but otherwise understands what he is doing) which are both programming games. I still don't think he quite gets MvM programming, but we have fun.

In mission 1 he mostly just runs ahead and kills minions while I tow the bomb (we've played it twice). In mission 2 he picked up the 1st and 3rd crystal with a little guidance from me, and we even won while taking no damage to the school. In mission 3 he got a few hits on the boss, but we lost (technically I think we could have won but I forgot about my schematic).
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Christian Gindlesperger
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El_Mutanto wrote:
"RoboRally tends to be a long boring affair..."

Well, that's just an opinion.


I think you meant:



cool
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Jonny Lawless
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eker wrote:

All my reviews are based on ... math models.



I don't see how that's going to help...


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oystein eker
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El_Mutanto wrote:
"RoboRally tends to be a long boring affair..."

Well, that's just an opinion.


If you quote - you should quote the whole sentence, not half of it.

 
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Bubba P
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eker wrote:
El_Mutanto wrote:
"RoboRally tends to be a long boring affair..."

Well, that's just an opinion.


If you quote - you should quote the whole sentence, not half of it.


That's just an opinion.
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oystein eker
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RHPDaddy wrote:
eker wrote:
El_Mutanto wrote:
"RoboRally tends to be a long boring affair..."

Well, that's just an opinion.


If you quote - you should quote the whole sentence, not half of it.


That's just an opinion.


Thank you all for derailing a review thread.
Yes I know this is a opinion too. No need to mention it.

 
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I've been on the lookout for a few more reviews to pop up. Was debating on whether or not I want my group to use the hourglass but your point about it preventing the alpha from taking over is a good one.
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Chris Smith
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phillipsjr2 wrote:
I've been on the lookout for a few more reviews to pop up. Was debating on whether or not I want my group to use the hourglass but your point about it preventing the alpha from taking over is a good one.


Its' great for that ^^. I think the plays I've had so far (8) we've not really paid huge attention to the hourglass, we just flip it because it gets us thinking fast and grabbing cards - I don't think we'd notice if we've gone over once or twice.
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