Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

The Manhattan Project» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review of The Manhattan Project. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Samuel Hinz
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Manhattan Project


Image courtesy of Brandon Tibbetts - New final box cover.

Up front : This an initial review/impressions is based on 3 plays. I won’t be going over all the rules, you can view the rulebook for that, but I will go over some concepts and my feelings towards this game.

Concept : In The Manhattan Project (hereafter TMP) players are controlling unnamed Nations/Entities to be the first to design and assemble several atomic bombs and launch one.

TMP is a worker placement game. Players start with 4 labourers and by using actions from the main board and building you’ve purchased you can gain up to 4 permanent scientists and 4 permanent engineers, in addition to a pool of 12 contractors from a shared pool that will be controlled by various players throughout the game.


Image courtesy of Brandon Tibbetts - Near final main board.

Players will use the workers at their disposal to do actions which must be completed in this order.

1. May play 1 worker in an available space on the main board & do the associated action.

2. May play as many available workers he has available to empty buildings on their person player board.

The other option is rather than place workers this turn, you may retrieve all your permanent workers from all boards, send contractors from the main board back to the supply, and any contractors on your player board also goes back to the supply. If you choose this option, that is your turn in its entirety.

The artwork on this game is very good and conveys a theme very different to a lot of other games. everything is clear and it just looks great.


Picture of my print and play version, players boards weren't mounted yet.

My Feelings : I really like this game, I enjoy the choices and challenges presented. Do i use a permanent worker or a contractor? Do I use the last 2 workers I have available, or do I pull them back this round to make the next turn more effective? Does pulling my troops back this turn open up options that will benefit my opponents, and could I negate that by waiting a extra turn?

Being a worker placement game you also have to weigh up whether you need to take an action now, or risk whether it will be there on your next turn. or do I buy a building now, or if I wait a turn or 2 could i get it cheaper?

The theme is integrated well into this, It’s still a Eurogame, but the theme fits well into the race to be the first nation to launch some bombs. Two other aspects of this game that I enjoy, I think adds somethings that I haven’t seen in alot of worker placement games and integrate into the theme. First is that while there is a bomb race, there is also a race to build fighters and bombers. I say it’s a race because i find the treat is tangible but not overpowered because unless two people want to ally themselves, the chances of a full out attack is low.

Some examples

1. First game I got attacked once, only a little bit of damage but then the treat level was high the rest of the game.

2. 3 player game, lots of attacking. everyone had damage of some kind for alot of the game.

3. No attacking until right at the end of the game when the other players thought I was going to win and all out damaged all my buildings.

The second thing you can do, and helps if you have all you buildings blown up (or you like blocking your opponents engine) is you can choose a main board action to spy. Spying allows you to send your workers into building on opponents player boards. The level of effectiveness increases each time you use it by increasing the number of oppositions buildings you can use. So first time you can enter one building, but by the 4th time you use it you can enter 4 building spread across any of your opponents player boards.

I find both of these actions to add to the tension of the game and I really enjoy it. What balances out the spy action is the limited availability and your timing of your workers. If you can see someone is going to pull back all their workers and free up that one spy action, you might might want to pull back first if you think you’ll get the action. so you have all your workers available, if if don’t think you’ll get if you might want to keep laying guys down, so that even if they choose it, they can’t enter your buildings.


Player board with buildings and workers on them. we used the 1 poker chip for building damage.

Some things to think about: The beginning of the game, you start with no buildings, and with only being able to play 1 worker to the main board, the turns go very quickly. Then at a quick pace you will be obtain more workers and buildings, and it is not unusual to be placing most if not all your workers on a single turn (maybe somewhere between 8 and 15 workers). This is fine because the game is fun but the turns typically get longer as the game goes on, especially towards the end when people are so close to winning.

The game is advertised as 2 hours, i’m happy to say on my third game (3 players, no AP) it came in at almost exactly 2 hours. As you'll read in a second though it can take alot longer depending on players. Also there is a chance for kingmaking, but also ways to mitigate this from happening to you if you plan right.

The Verdict: If you group suffers from AP, this game will slow down... Alot. My first game, 4 players, 2 with AP went for 4.5 hours. second game 3 players, 2 with AP went for 4 hours.
Now I want to say that even these long games were fun, but there was alot of downtime while I waited for my turn. If long games bother you and you have players with AP, this is not the game you want.

Otherwise if you want a good worker placement game, that allows a decent dose of player interaction, interesting choices, good theme integration and excellent artwork, then this is a game for you.
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jimmy Okolica
United States
Washington Township
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review, especially with the pictures. I realize its PnP but it gives a bit of a feel of the game.

Reading your review, the game Through the Ages popped into my head. I wouldn't think TMP is as deep as TtA but does it have a similar feel? military seems like something everyone needs to grow but using it is very dangerous because it leaves you exposed. Early turns are quick as you have only a couple of actions but later turns take a lot longer as you have a more extensive infrastructure. I realize TMP is a worker placement and TtA isn't but is the feel at all similar?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samuel Hinz
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sounds familiar, i've never played TtA though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
Butterfly0038 wrote:
I wouldn't think TMP is as deep as TtA but does it have a similar feel?


I have played a lot of both. I'll say that I find TMP to be much more elegant, interesting, fair, and exciting than TtA. And that's being kind to TtA. This is a much better game, far less clunky, far less random, much richer strategically. TtA often boils down to a military rush followed by who draws the war cards in my experience.
2 
 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.