Today’s review comes to you from the Good people at Imbalanced Games LLC for their game Titans Tactics. Firstly I’d like to thank G. Kelly Toyama for their game and for sending it to us to review.
Front Cover of the box (Extremely impressed with the quality and graphics)
Foto’s don’t do the artwork justice at all this is a great starting point.
The cover and box are well put together and well thought out. It doesn’t feel like a low budget or low cost game and we would happily think it was worth £15 or $25. There are those who would like a high gloss or shiny cover, but I think this is well thought out.
The box itself though bigger than we expected, would happily sit on your game board shelf and not look out of place.
Opening the box
When you first open the box and feel the quality of the cards, tiles and the board it just goes to show the time and effort that went into each piece. Unlike some of the other games we have seen both commercial and Kickstarter, there wasn’t an inch of wasted space inside. Taking everything out of the box felt like an adventure and was a very tactile experience. Again we noticed the quality and it again ranked with commercial games of the same ilk.
There wasn’t really anything that felt misplaced or that didn’t seem like it wasn’t needed.
Everything arrives in a nice wrapping and is well presented. It looked pretty daunting right of the bat, just the sheer volume of what you’re getting. Once you break everything down though it’s pretty self explanatory. The rule book was written very nicely and doesn’t leave much confusion for new players.
Our main concern when it came to the tiles were their size in relation to the squares on the board (which you will see in a later picture). The problem we found was when moving the tiles around you constantly nudged something and had to move it back. Taking a few millimetres off the tiles would solve this problem. But, it isn’t a major issue. (Just a mild annoyance).
The cards are well laid out and graphically rich. Each team gets their own colour which follows through to the tiles as well as the cards.
We did love the quotes on the bottoms of the abilities cards, and enjoyed reading them. It added just a little something while playing the game.
We loved the rule book and everything was pretty self explanatory with helpful pictures and even help for newbies, for instance cards to pick and characters to choose.
What we didn’t really get to grips with and we thought needed work was the fact commanders are immortal for want of a better word. So when for example, they take 1 or 2 damage it doesn’t mean anything because there’s no set life force you’re attacking.
Also what wasn’t really explained was you can lock abilities from the cards as one of your turns. But what happens when for instance you lock all 3 abilities? Does that commander then get removed from play or left there.
The same goes for movement, each turn you can move 2 squares in theory. There is an ability that removes one of those per round. Hence if you did the same ability twice, it renders the character immovable.
The First Game
Setting up your hand: Right off the bat the initial picking of your side, choosing of your commanders and picking the skills cards were pretty standard with other games we had seen and follow the same ideas. What we liked was you didn’t draw randomly but could actually decide who to play and what skills you wanted to build your group.
Setting up the board: Setting up the board is extremely easy, you each place 1 of 2 walls somewhere on the grid. This can be either vertically or horizontally and is basically used for when your characters move around. Next is the matter of taking the tiles that represent your commanders (you choose 3 when setting your hand) and putting them in the home row of the board. Each commanders tile is a mini picture of the card with either an active or busy side.
Your turn: For your first turn, you must do 2 things: move, attack or pick a card. Again, all pretty straight forward. For instance moving 1 square to get close to someone for a mele attack and then attacking them or getting within range of someone for a ranged attack. There are 4 types: Use on self, within 1 square, within 3 or unlimited range.
What we liked is that there is no line of sight employed and you can fire through the pre-placed walls. One of the characters can teleport as one of her abilities, but it doesn’t state if that is through walls also.
Scoring: As we mentioned before, commanders either take 1 or 2 damage from an attack, but with no set life or health limit it doesn’t really mean that much. We found that the Balance token pretty much never moved too far from the green and led to some frustration. However, as you potentially develop tactics this might change. Either that or we were doing something wrong LOL.
How to win: You win the game by getting the Balance token to your win slot. (Red box).
The box stated the average play time was 30 minutes, and for more experienced players that is probably pretty accurate. We found it went quite a lot longer than that. But it was an issue with having to read the rules every so often, and not knowing a cards abilities.
- We loved the quality of the box, the cards and artwork
- We liked that it was quite easy to set up
- There was enough variety to keep you playing the game
If you are looking for a quick and easy game, with the ability to pick it up and go. Titan Tactics is that and loads more.
- We didn’t like the tile size and knocking the other cards when you moved
- We though each commander should have a life amount
If you are looking for something with lore, myth and back story there are other games that have more behind the scenes/beyond the box universes.
Something we thought was a necessity was adding backgrounds on the characters, the universe and maybe even the history of the conflict. This will add a new dimension to the game and could be done with mini titbits on the website or Facebook pages.
As newbies to this genre of games, we found it to be fun and challenging but there was nothing that left us bemused or put us off. We give Titans Tactics by Imbalanced Games LLC:
5/5 Value for money
The game is available now on Amazon and is well worth a buy.