I found this game going on special at my local games store, so I thought I'd give it a try. The box was a standard cardboard affair. The cards are printed on thick-stock and look great. However, the rules came black and white on one folded piece of paper.
This was a bad start. I have so many complaints about the rules that I probably can't list them all. To start, the rules have no descriptions of the cards. No nice pictures describing the different parts of a card. Considering the fact that each Frame (the robot you control) has Statistics littered all over the card, I found myself constant searching the card for something referred to in the rules.
The rules have no examples to help beginners, and were quite an ordeal to read over and over. Some statistics were mentioned only once in passing, so it was easy to miss, and halfway playing, I found myself wondering what a particular stat did.
The part that pissed me off the most was when the rules simply said "If target is in Range, you may attack". And I thought "Ok, thats pretty simple". I looked at the weapon card, and it had a range of 2345. I thought that meant 2345 meters. So I hunted through all the cards, and terrain to find the distance. After a long, frustrating search, I finally realized that it meant a range 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 squares. (Gahhh, they could at least have used comma's or something)
Sigh, anyway, the game itself is quite simple.
1) Determine initiative
Basically, every turn, you move the frame one square (unless you have a bonus), and then you select the systems you want to activate.
Then you attack a player, and he attacks you. The attacks are supplemented by Action cards, which give bonuses and penalties to the players. And you keep going until a frame is destroyed. Simple, but because of all the bonuses and penalties, it takes a while to figure out (especially because each terrain has modifiers as well).
Note: that this game requires a 10-sided die (not included). I was fortunate to have one, but most people buying the game may not.
Another complaint I have is that ALL the cards (except Frames) have the same red cover on the back. This makes it so difficult to separate the cards. I can think of no reason why they would want to do this. Action cards, Weapons cards, even Terrain cards all have the same logo on the back.
To sum all this up, I would NOT recommended this as a game to anyone. Poor gameplay and horrible rules make this game an absolute pain. However, most of the art is good, except for the Terrain cards (which looks like they were done in MS Paint), so if you like collecting pretty cards, then you may want to get this.
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This review saved me a purchase. IT is in the discount bin at my FLGS but I wanted to check here first. Glad I did.