Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Inis» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Area control with a difference... rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Selwyn Ward
United Kingdom
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Inis was one of the games at last year’s Essen that everyone was talking about. I had an early look at the game at the press preview. Lots of others were fawning over the artwork. I was more ‘meh’. To me the artwork seemed a little fey. I was shown the mechanics of the game but it didn’t grab me. Essen had other attractions, and plenty of them, so I let Inis pass me by.
When eventually it trickled out to retailers in the UK, my friends were eager to snap the game up but I remained unexcited.

Problem is, that is now a cause for regret. Having been enticed into a number of plays of the game, I realise that the hype was entirely justified. Inis is a damn good game.

Some of my initial dislikes remain. Personally, I still don’t find the artwork all that appealing. I still think the crinkly fjord-cut of the tiles is an unnecessary affectation that could increase the chance of them becoming worn or damaged. The core game design itself tho’ is very clever.
Because it involves putting out occupying and building on tiles, Inis has the look of a ‘4X’ game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) but it really isn’t. Inis is an area control, card drafting and hand management game with surprisingly simple rules and multiple seemingly easily achieved victory conditions. For example, you can win simply by having one of your clan figures in six different territories; you don’t even have to control any of them (figures from rival clans may co-exist in the same territory). Players can feel they are tantalisingly close to victory only to have a rival snatch a win in a turn by securing one, or sometimes more than one, of the victory conditions.

Throughout the game, players need to make their own judgement calls over whether to participate in combat (removing clan figures) or whether to co-exist with a rival. The game is engrossing and it can involve some quite subtle tactics: you’ll find it has a closer affinity to chess than it has to Risk.

So, I find I am often playing Inis. I find when I’m with other groups that it’s a game I want to introduce others to. Sadly, however, I can’t because I missed the chance to pick up a copy and I still don’t have the game in my collection. ☹

To see a scrollable 360º photo of Inis being played, take a look at my Board's Eye View board game review page on Facebook. You can find it at www.facebook.com/boardseye
16 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Humpty Dumpty
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
Excellent points, well made.

Whilst I personally like art I can understand why a lot of people find it off putting. This does not help a game which, as your post suggests, takes a few games to really appreciate: why should someone persevere with a game they find superficially unappealing, both aesthetically and mechanically?

Inis is a game that rewards replay, however, and your comparison to chess is apposite, as Inis has remarkable depth of gameplay with relatively straightforward rules. Have you had an opportunity to play a two player game? The feel is quite distinct from three or four players, and is even more chess-like.

One thing you do not address in your post is whether you consider Inis to be a "game of skill". As you won the only game I have played against you, I can only assume that you do.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rouan de Villiers
msg tools
Nice review, it sure is a very good game. In fact it is hands down the best game of the past couple of years for me and just about everything I want from a board game.

I'm in the fortunate position that I absolutely adore the aesthetics of the game, the card designs along with the area tiles. The random tile laying is what makes this game infinitely repayable to me. I have a ton of games under the belt and it simply becomes better, tighter and more tactical the more I play, the more I learn all the cards and understand the benefits and combos. It's an incredibly deep and tense game.

I only have a very small group of people I play with, but we all started playing the game together when I first bought it and its a fantastic thing to see how people become more adept at playing as they their tactical knowledge exapand as they learn the cards and abilities of area tiles.

What is even better is that to me it absolutely shines as a two player game which is perfect for when my wife and I want to get into a quick game. The games are quick and brutal and we often manage 3-4 games in a session and it's always very tightly contested. I don't think there's every been a runaway winner or a time where one player would just stomp the other numerous games in a row. And that is excellent...the tension this game creates with only a few cards is staggering and something I have never experienced in any other game.

The clever card play/hand management and cat and mouse tactics, along with the beautiful art, randomly drawn areas and difficult and tense choices every round makes this a must-have. I also saw this first on SU&SD and it looked interesting - once I played it a few times it just about blew every other area control game out of the water. It will be some time before I play another game this good or one that I can continuously go back to. Just incredible and hats of to the designer...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christian
France
Lyon
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wow... blush

Just... Thank you very much, I'm deeply touched.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.