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Torres» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Bring a calculator, abacus and scratch paper rss

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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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Torres is strategy game played on an 8X8 grid. The object is to build castles of varying height and place knights on them to score points. This game uses the Action Point system and is sometimes considered a relative of the Mask series games (Mexica, Java, and Tikal). The biggest difference between these games is that Torres uses small plastic castles and plays in a much more abstract style than the others. This is a classic case where the rules are fairly easy, but the strategy is hard to master.

Components

Torres has a beautiful board. The artwork and color scheme are top notch and really make the playing experience more enjoyable. The look of the board actually makes up for the bland pieces. The "knight" are nothing more than colored wooden blobs, reminiscent of Ju-Ju-Bes. They're completely unremarkable but appear to be painted thick enough to resist chipping. The castle pieces are simple plastic that when put into the box will make a sound reminding you of various cheap childrens games you played in your youth. As stated earlier, the gorgeous board makes up for the lackluster bits.

The Action Cards are made of a strong stock with good coating. The artwork on the back is of the same style as the board and is quite attractive. There are also Codex Cards which are given to each player to show the possible actions that can be taken on each turn. Additionally, there are Phase Cards that show how many castle bits each player should get based on number of players in a game.


Rules

The rulebook is one of the better ones I've ever read. The rules are clear and concise and have good illustrations to clarify some of the rules which would otherwise be confusing. The Action Point system is a great way to eliminate luck in a game. There is no dice rolling, just 5 Action Points per turn which can be spent in a number of ways outlined on the Codex cards. This system is simple and elegant and allows for a lot of flexibility without becoming confusing. The depth of strategy is no doubt a direct result of the Action Point system and the scoring rules.


Gameplay

Torres plays pretty quickly once you get rolling. The first few plays may be slightly slower as players attempt to figure out strategy and optimal positions, but will soon speed up and provide a quick moving yet deep play experience. The only thing that really drags this down is the scoring, which creates too much downtime. This game appears to have a lot of strategy and will appeal to abstract fans, but may lose others who are looking for a less pure strategy game.


Overall

Torres is a good abstract strategy game. Having only played it once, I can't say I fully understand the strategy, but I can see that it is deep and full of possibilities. I don't think this game will get played nearly as much as some of the others in my collection, but I fell it will get at least the occasional play.

The most important thing people should know about this game is the scoring. Scoring is an exercise in basic mathematics. I highly recommend you bring a calculator as 2-player scores can easily soar over 400 points. There is a lot of scoring to be calculated every turn and without proper equipment, it could get easily confused and miscalculated, resulting in poor scoring. This could be a strong deterent as it severely slows down the game. If there was a simplified scoring system, it could be done much faster. I strongly recommend at least one calculator, possibly 2 if playing with 3 or 4 players.

At this time, I give Torres a 6. I feel its something that will only get played if I'm in the right mood. I don't think the game is bad, I just don't feel its what my girlfriend and I look for in a game most of the time. If you're going to play a strategy game of this style, there are probably better choices.


******** EDIT *******

After posting this, I layed down in bed and re-read some of the rules. I found out I was making a terrible mistake regarding scoring. I thought scoring was done at the end of every turn, but it turns out scoring actually only happens three times in the game, at the end of each phase. This is important as it will increase the speed of the game drastically and reduce downtime required to score the board. With this revelation, I'm moving my rating up to 7. I'm sure I will find the game much more enjoyable next time as it will flow better and play faster.

I apologize for my oversight.
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Stephen Groves
New Zealand
Auckland
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I've only played this once in a 5 player game and am eager to play again. The game allows for building to maximise moves on a subsequent turn with the right cards but having several players makes the likelihood of that play being available uncertain. It is abstract, but has room for interaction.
 
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Mil Myman
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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Why is there no Word Games Forum or Subdomain?
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There should be a Word Games Subdomain, or at least a Word Games Forum!
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sevorges wrote:
I've only played this once in a 5 player game and am eager to play again.

Uh... but it's only a four player game. They only give you four colors of pieces. And there's no Phase cards for more than four players.

And regarding the math involved in the scoring - it never gets more complex than multiplying two numbers, both usually less than 10. If you've graduated from 3rd grade, you should be able to do a 10x10 times table.
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David Smidt
United States
Littleton
Colorado
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Thanks for the review, but I must withhold a thumbs-up due to the fact that your avatar creeps me out so much...gulp
 
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Norman Hedden
United States
Greenville
New York
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smitty1966 wrote:
Thanks for the review, but I must withhold a thumbs-up due to the fact that your avatar creeps me out so much...:gulp:



lol
 
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