Monday, July 30, 2012

Earth Reborn

I made a few posts about Earth Reborn before but I never got around to saying anything about the game itself.

And that is an oversight on my part because the game is AWESOME.

It is a skirmish game that uses only a handful of miniatures as well as a game board. It is set in a post apocalyptic Earth where two factions have risen in the former USA to battle for dominance. The first faction is NORAD a sort of futuristic American military and the Salemites occultist necromancers. It doesn't take itself to seriously and its packed with awesome devices like radio jammers, jet packs and zombie serum.

My friend Damian and I played around twenty games of it when he came to visit and we had an absolute blast. It invariably creates crazy situations and cinematic show downs. We unfortunately made a few mistakes that might have made it play even better than it did. This was particularly true of combined actions which would have made it much easier to everything from hacking video surveillance to torturing people (all options in the rules). It also seemed to suffer a little from balance issues. In the training scenarios it seemed like NORAD was completely invincible. In the randomly generated scenarios it seems like the Salemites were unstoppable. This didn't tend to matter so much because even losing is ridiculous fun but it will be interesting to see how this can be improved when we play the rules we messed up correctly.

Here is a photo of the game in play.

Essentially you get a random selection of command tiles and a certain number of command tokens every turn. Each tile allows you to do different things to different levels. For example you might have a tile that will allow you fire twice close combat once and move three times. You can buy additional tiles in a variety of ways that will help you out. It is a good system that lets you take whatever actions you need to.

The game is great and seems to be endlessly repayable. It creates an air of excitement and tension from the very first turn. You never know when someone is going to blow a whole pile of command tiles and ninja bolt in and plant a bomb, or launch a missile or whatever other crazy objective you might have drawn. It's not a campaign game so people tend to get splattered fairly regularly. Casualties don't tend to matter tremendously compared to victory conditions although with such small forces even losing one man is a significant loss.

I'll definitely play this again and would suggest anyone who is keen for a fun tactical game that focuses more on cinematics than realism to check it out.

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