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Subject: Dark chockolate rss

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Ignacy Trzewiczek
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Dark chocolate
Michał Oracz

“Michał, could you please design a new army? A classic one, none of those quirk ones, we need a new army, but not new features. OK, there may be one. Two at the most, yet not as crazy as in Vegas or Neojungle. And of course, it has to be great and wonderfully playable.”

Ok, I can do it…

I lay nine already issued Neuroshima Hex armies on the carpet: classic Moloch, classic Outpost, classic Hegemony, almost classic Borgo, nutty Neojungle, almost classic New York, nutty Vegas, almost classic Smart, and – in addition – a little strange Doomsday Machine. Oh, it has to be classic, right?…

I open my bag with sketches. It’s full of more or less finished armies, catches that could fill a pretty long list, new units, new features.

I search for whatever could fit.

Unfortunately, the choice is HUGE. New types of ranged and melee attacks, absolutely new types of attacks, features totally altering basic Hex rules, extra gadgets in the form of beads, coins, cubes, new types of tokens, markers, units with shapes and orientation changed, multilayer tokens, duplex units, some peculiarities concerning initiative and toughness or the moment of operation, 10-tokens army, renewable army, army made of only the modules or only of the same immediate tokens, new movement rules, and I could go on for almost an hour – in the form of notes and bags with tokens’ test printouts.

And to add to that picture – armies so closely connected with theme that game mechanic is more like a slave for them – the flying army, one digging into the ground, motionless steel bunker, booby-trapped oil refinery, hospital, coal mine, non-combat traffickers, phew…

Yet this time, not all could be added.

Indeed, not even much – and that worries me. Oh, did I say worry? I wanted to say it pleases me. And why? Because it’s great that such an army starts a series of blisters, even if the whole pack of the most bizarre armies that will turn the game upside down still wait in the line. But first something classic, like from the basic game. button clicked.

I don’t know, maybe it’s a bad trait, but I prefer classic dark chocolate over stuffed milk ones, bitter brewed coffee over sweetened layers of cappuccino. I prefer normal movies over 3D versions, and overall I love the black and white films. A classic army is something that I would certainly like.

One has to bury himself deeper in the classical army to feel its power, playability and character. At the first glance, all these giants like Moloch, Hegemony or Outpost don’t particularly stand out . Shoot a little, melee fight a little, sometimes throw a net, heal, push or more. But when you play with them a little longer, it turns out that this game was worth publishing with those exact armies. That they are unique, that they have character, that playing each of them is quite different. That it’s necessary to develop special tactics for them, or even in the long run – your own strategy.

Creating yet another classic army is quite a challenge as it’s like creating another variety of dark chocolate. Lots of sketches landed in the trash, as well as test prints and cardboard cutouts.

And finally, there it is – dark chocolate in the color of purple. Steel Police – with only two new features (well, three if count the HQ): Judge that travels on the board reflecting the attacks, HQ that can throw a renewable Net of steel, Executor suddenly falling on the enemy’s back, the army with only one Movement token, with two Sergeants, with six types of fighting units, and with … enormous potential to create combos using already known Modules. Inconspicuous, but deadly.

What, why and how – why the Steel Police and not the Church of the Red Sun, Alluvach, Nails, Parker Lots, or Dark Visions, and finally how to play this classic quirk – all that I’ll describe in subsequent parts of the report.

Meanwhile – “Freeze! I will read your rights. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say… “.

[This material was originally published on Portal's website]
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