Friday, January 23, 2015

Mars Attacks

In the campy near future there is only war. Mars Attacks: The miniatures game is made by the other miniatures company in Nottingham, Mantic Games. The second of two big Mars-themed minis game to get funded on Kickstarter (All Quiet on the Martian Front being the other) it promised a fun and fast playing skirmish game. So how does it do?
Short answer? Very well. The base game (which can be had for $61.00 on Amazon) comes with a bunch (40) of nice looking figures. The Martians have clear helmets that need to be put on them, but all the rest are one piece molds and are ready to play out of the box. Cardboard stand ups are provided for five civilians, a giant bug, and the flaming cattle. We'll get back to that last part in a bit.

You get a fair amount of nifty ruined brick building modular scenery and a smattering of urban accessories. Also included is a well illustrated 44 page rulebook, the game map, a deck of action cards, game counters, and a handful of eight sided dice.
Helmets not yet attached
The game is played on a 8x8 square grid depicting the center of small town, USA. Being grid-based it removes all the fiddly bits of using a ruler for movement and weapons range. The ten scenarios in the book follow the story of the Martians attack on Greenville and ramp up in scale and complexity. Not that this game ever gets very complex. Which is one of the reasons I really like it.

Gameplay. Oh yes, the real reason we are here. Theme and nice components are fine but can only carry a product so far, especially a licensed one. Play is smooth and fast. On a Player's turn she may
activate up to two individual models and/or play a action card. This alternates between players until all models have been activated. Then both players draw new actions cards and the next round begins. Victory conditions are generally achieved by reaching 8 Victory Points first. VPs can be gained in a number of ways depending on the mission, such as killing units, finding items, and holding positions.
Combat is resolved quickly via an opposed dice rolls for both ranged and close combat. The heroes are the meat of the missions and are varied and interesting, with some good skills and abilities.

The action cards add that something "extra" to the game. The cards may help an attack, be powerful off board attacks or a random event. The events are fun: civilians popping up and wandering around the battle zone, stray artillery strikes, a giant mutant bug, or a herd of flaming cattle running across the map.

I recommend this game. It is low-complexity, fun, and fast playing. Mantic has a number of expansions coming soon, so replay value looks to be high. Now I just have to find the time to paint up the minis...

We Come in Peace!
Ack, Ack, Ack! 

1 comment:

  1. This was a lot of fun. I liked using the grided map and 2 8sided dice to find where events were put on the board