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Subject: The Card Gamer: Subtilla rss

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David Marie
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Subtilla is a two player ship battling game. You take command of a fleet of ships and one powerful sub. Your goal; destroy all enemy ships or take over their base.

In the box you get:



1 Game Board - Where the action takes place.



2 Subs - These are your big boys that can launch missiles.



10 Boats - You move these guys all over the map attacking and defending.



10 Torpedoes - You fire these guys, they also represent the power of your sub.



20 Stealth Markers - When you hide your sub (heh), you put these on the board to represent possible locations for surfacing.



2 Battle Dice - You roll these when you fight. There is one for each player color.



20 Hit Tokens - These mark the damage a boat has taken.



Game play:

Three steps make up a turn of Subtilla.



1. Move torpedoes - If you have any torpedoes on the board from a previous turn you move them first.


2. Boat actions - Each boat can take 2 actions (move, attack, ect.)


3. Sub actions - Each sub can take up to 3 actions (move, attack, ect.)

*boats and subs have multiple actions but you may only use the allowed number per turn.
* torpedoes that are fired move in a straight line and collide with anything in their path at the beginning of the turn after you fired them.


The game ends if:

You destroy all 5 of your opponents boats.
or
You occupy their base (and are still there after they have finished their turn).


Thoughts:

A game of Subtilla is not going to take very long and once the first attack happens it can get pretty hectic and very tactical. Constant pressure on your opponent by attacking and chipping at their boats is required. You must also remember to be defensive minded as well because if you abandon your base and rush the opposition with all of your units you could very well suffer a crushing tactical defeat.



You order Subtilla from The Game Crafter with generic bits and that may be a turn off for the board game aficionado. That is probably my only issue with the game. The black and yellow subs look a little out of place and the board is about as drab and static as a computer graph. Although I suspect the software used to design game art from The Game Crafter is probably more to blame than the designer. But don't get me wrong, the boats and subs are actually pretty cool and they really add to the fantasy of playing with a fleet of ships.



Learning how to move your ships gets easier as you play a few games. And your goal then becomes making sure your ships are pointing in the right direction and keeping enough distance from your opponent so that you can take the first shot. Attacking first is usually a good thing, unless the defender rolls a six. In Subtilla when a defender rolls a six, it is considered an attack reversal and the aggressor then takes damage to a ship/sub. I like when a dice rolling game gives the defending player something to shoot for like rolling a six. It makes the game much more interesting and throws a bit of chaos into the game play.



More that anything else, Subtilla is just plain fun and the ease of play is probably the most charming aspect of this ship battler. There aren't a ton of rules to get in the way of the dice rolling fun and that's just the way I like it. Subtilla kind of feels like a game of checkers with a few more options and cooler pieces. And like checkers the game is really easy to learn but when two skilled opponents face off, the tactics can get pretty deep.





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Tavis Parker
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Self-publish your own games through The Game Crafter's print on demand service!
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Hey David,

Thanks for providing a clear and concise review of Subtilla. Matt Worden has been able to create some amazing games using our service and we're really proud of what he's been able to accomplish.

I also wanted to reply to your comment about The Game Crafter software restricting the design quality of the game board artwork. That's actually not true since we provide blank templates that allow for any design/artwork to be uploaded. There are obviously guides in the template to let the designer know where the cut lines and safe zone are, but beyond that it's entirely up to the designer and their artistic ability.

Keep up the good work on the reviews!
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David Marie
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Thank you for your clarification.
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Matt Worden
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Minnetrista
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www.mwgames.com/JumpGate ... check it out! ;-D
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Just to back-up what Tavis is saying: I'm something of a hack "artist", but choose to do it myself instead of paying a real artist/designer to make things look better, mainly because I'm rather cheap. (A secondary reason is because I really do like to "do everything" in the process -- even the stuff I'm not that good at.)

It's okay if you don't like how things look ... but that's on me and not a limitation of TGC. For anything card/board/mat, it simply takes whatever artwork you provide and then cuts it to the right size & shape.

-Matt
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