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Dragons breathe fire, Unicorns trample, and Warlocks conjure bolts of lightning. Giant Serpents slither and crush, Gargoyles shriek down from the sky with claws bared, and the mighty Colossus hefts a dripping battleaxe. Into the midst of this carnage step two powerful Titans for the climactic struggle. Only one can survive. Only one can be the winner of Titan.
What to say...
Titan is a classic that has stood the test of time and still attracts in many players who were not even born when the game was introduced back in the 80's.
This game has many positives like good strategy possibilities, replay value and easy learning curve. It does have its downsides like long game-play time, but hey even Texas Hold Em Tournaments are longer than most Titan games.
The biggest downfall to this game is finding it. You can go on eBay and see people paying almost $400 for some copies of the game! As for someone who just wants to play the game and not just put it on a shelf, this is hard to swallow. There is a Java clone of Titan on the web and plays faithfully to the game but it is not the same as interacting with friends.
Maybe one day I will get my hands on a copy of the game instead of always waiting for my only friend who has the copy to play it. That day will be one of great celebration.
Of course, if you have a copy of the game and would like to get rid of it you can look me up on MySpace. I am not too hard to find.
All in all though, this game is definitely on my top list of board games and will be for a long time to come. If you like Fantasy-Warfare games then pick it up.
My wife and I got married 10 years ago and Titan was one of our first purchases as a married couple. None of our friends play board games but My wife and I love them. After 10 years of marriage and purchasing 50 plus games ($2,000 or more) this is still our favorite.
THIS IS THE MOST CREATIVE, FUN AND EASY GAME TO PLAY.
I don not know why a large company has not bought the rights to this game and put it into the market once again. I'm glad I bought the game for $30 10 years ago, now its $250 because of the popularity.
The rules are incredibly elegant. A wide variety of choices to be made in both strategic & tactical situations. The core mechanics are very simple, all based upon a 6-sided die.
This is _the_ most balanced war game you will find. By placing it in a fantasy setting instead of an actual battle you can focus on your ability to strategically & tactially control your troops. No other game can match it.
An "old school" game that takes longer than those made today. But the time is justified by the challenge. The attention to detail is so complete that every single piece in the game is unique (take any two "ogres" and they will be unique)
The combination of the strategy it requires to position your armies such that they grow effectively, protect your titan, and win the battles they fight as well as the tactical skill required to win the important battles with as few casualties as possible make this an endlessly entertaining game that I am sure my friends and I will still be playing 20 years from now.
The game length depends on how many people are playing. If we have only 2 people playing, it could take from 1 hour to 6 hours, although about 3 hours is the norm. With 3 or more people, the time increases dramatically because the number of battles increases. The number of battles really increases the duration of a game. So a game with 3 or more people could take from 5 to 12 hours. So, if you have 3 or more people, be prepared to stay a while or understand up front that when it is time to sleep, each person will have to write down where their armies are and their composition, as well as the total number of creatures in the graveyard.
Quite simply the best multi-player game of all time.
Note that this is not a euro-game: players can be eliminated, there is dice rolling, and the play time can be extremlely variable, all of which are traits that are pretty much verboten in euro-games.
However, the strategic and tactical choices that are given to a player are superb. The unique strategic movement system prevents players from easily ganging up on one another. And the point system encourages agressiveness, unlike so many multiplayer wargames where the correct strategy is to let the other players wear each other down.
I have played over 1,000 games of Titan, and it is still far and away the most interesting multi-player game I have encountered.
I played this at a friend's house and LOVED IT. The only problem is I can't seem to find it ANYWHERE. Since Avalon Hill came out with the horrible one and I honestly don't want to buy that piece of garbage....I wish they'd make a reprint of the original 1982 version
First played this game back in the 80s, and liked it so much I bought another copy and used clear contact paper to try to coat the board, battlelands, and pieces with plastic film It is the only game Ive ever played where I leaned over the table and slapped my opponent (a friend) when he chortled over winning a battle I should have won with almost no casualties. I apologized right afterwards, but I still cant believe I did that
Adding to previous reviews, I would say that its the best game Ive seen that combines strategy, tactics, and logistics. Tactics occur on the battlelands, where two opponents actually fight and one or both are eliminated. Strategy occurs on the main board, when you balance your lust for reinforcements which tends to spread out your stacks all over the board, with the knowledge that if you do that you will be defeated in detail as isolated stacks are destroyed. Logistics occur when you reinforce, as each stack is basically a factory, producing more fighters and more stacks.
Theres a lot of overlap between the strategy, logistics, and tactics. For example, how you conduct a battle (tactics) has a lot to do with logistics and strategy. Sometimes you attack even if you think you wont win (especially stacks with a Titan in them) in order to destroy units in that stack and hurt its ability to get reinforcements (logistics)). And sometimes you attack to weaken the stack enough so another stack can kill it next turn (when the enemy has spread out all over the board to maximize logistics at the cost of strategy). And sometimes you keep a stack stationary, even if you can get reinforcement by moving it, to act as a roadblock for enemy stacks that really dont want to attack it (especially if the territory is real bad for the attacking units and good for the defenders).
I used to say that in this game, you can still win if you do real bad in one category (strategy, tactics, or logistics), but youll lose if you do bad in two. If you roll like crap on the battlelands, you can still win if you outproduce the enemy and do well on the strategy (make sure that your stacks have support, making others reluctant to attack them). If you spread out all over the board to get massive reinforcements (poor strategy), you can still win if you have good tactics and roll well on the battlelands, and get enough reinforcements to cover your losses when isolated stacks are destroyed. If you cant seem to reinforce because you roll like crap on the main board (or because you are hindered by enemy stacks acting as roadblocks), you can still win if you roll well on the battlelands and you support your stacks well (making the enemy reluctant to attack a certain stack because even if they win that battle they will die soon afterwards when you counterattack).
This game has the best balance that Ive ever seen, between strategy tactics and logistics. Many games cover two out of three well, and many cover all three (but if you do real well in one area you can cover deficiencies in the other two). This is the best game I've seen for being able to shift two areas to cover one weakness and still win, and to keep a person who does real well in one area from winning if others exploit the other two areas of weakness.
titan is absorbing - totally and utterly - gameplay offers so much depth - the off board battles offer another dimension to show your skill and judgement. a true battle game where being ruthless pays yet behind this is the desire to keep your all important titan hidden - or even wade in with his strength if that is your strategy. i wanted to play again and again but it does take some serios time. but is it worth it? absolutely
I wont repeat what has already been said by all the other reviewers of this game, I will only say that I agree with all they have written and echo their sentiments regarding what fine, fine game this is. Its a game of such epic preportions that it makes chess (my first love) look like Ludo. I guess for me the favourite thing about this game is that an experienced player is never completely out of the game, no matter how bad things look. Indeed many of my favourite wins came after I was in seemingly impossible situations, (most of the time I would be slaughtered though!!).
I first played Titan in 94, at that time I was out of work for a year and a half and had the misfortune(good fortune?) to share a house with some hard core board gamers. It took me a long time before I won my first game of Titan, but long before that magnificent day I was hooked. We would play day and night for for extended periods of time, trying new tactics, discovering all the nooks and crannies of 'The Laws of Titan', and I would always be trying to talk people into a new game. So addicted I was that when I ran out of people to play against I designed an algorithm to move Legions around the board, recruiting and attacking as they saw fit...then I joined the real world and starting working.
I look back now with a sigh. This is for two reasons: One, because its very difficult now for me and my friends to put aside the amount of time you need in order to do the game justice. Secondly, I never owned a copy myself and cannot find one to buy!!! The old copies we used to play on (like all well loved games) have long since been depleted and most of the remaining pieces are now so badly worn that they are barely distinguishable at all.
My main reason for posting is this: if anyone knows where I can get a copy then please email me I beg you!
Other reviews have hit this on the head... it's a great game.
- setting the game up if you've bumped the box around (there are a lot of pieces)
- clean-up (if you like to have some semblance of order for the next time you play.
- Battles between large/powerful armies (stacks) can last a while, the rest of the players not involved might want have something else to keep them occupied.
Is there a computer version of this anywhere? I'd love to have a straight port of this to play - the logistics savings might speed the game up a little.
This is by far my favorite game. No other game has so successfully combined these 7 elements:
Strategy- of moving stacks on the masterboard, where the best move can be a gut-wrenching decision.
Tactics- played out on separate battle boards with 2 to 16 pieces on terrain that affects moving and strikes.
Luck- obviously exists when there are hundreds of dice rolls per game.
Skill- no doubt always plays a significant factor in determining the winner
Memory- skills are important, since opponents' stacks are kept secret until engaged in battle.
Bluffing- is worth a try sometimes and may even keep a wimpy stack alive.
FUN!- I really cannot think of a game that I enjoy more than Titan.
A Titan game can easily last 6 hours. But, you can also be knocked out in 15 minutes. Perversely, if you hope to stay until the end, you will most likely be knocked out quickly; and if you hope to make a quick but glorious exit, you will probably be around until you decide you really have to pull off.
Titan has a nice rule that at any time, you can pull off the board and leave. It almost has to have this rule, because so many Titan games go on too long. There is a finite, but large supply of game pieces (about 200) that takes a long time to be exhausted. In most games, most of this supply is exhausted.
Each player has a number of stacks of pieces that he moves around the board, recruiting pieces and doing battle with opponents' stacks. If you eliminate an opponent's Titan piece, that player is out of the game, and your own Titan piece gets stronger.
The board has two main tracks that go in opposite directions, plus doorways between the tracks. Each stack can recruit more pieces only when it is moved. With the limited movement, players can easily block eachothers' stacks up. When this happens, either battles occur, or recruits are taken less often.
If you hope to play a long game, then you probably will choose to wait for the jam to clear, instead of risking losing your Titan. Thus, you will fall quickly behind in recruiting. With your Titan stack too weak to easily eliminate other stacks, it will be unable to run away from stronger stacks. In very little time, you will be knocked out of the game.
If you hope to play a short game, then you don't care if your Titan falls. Thus, you will come across as rather agressive to other players. Not wanting to be knocked out early, they will give your stacks room to move. Your stacks will then recruit, and grow large, keeping you in the game for a long time.
If you choose to play Titan, have an alternate choice of entertainment too, because you will need it.
Titan has always been special for me. Even during the early days of getting the rules working correctly I always found time for this wonderful game.
How you move and breed,long term vs short term gains, various players ideas of how to be the best at this challenging game.
After a while playing with a group of friends certain patterns do evolve. Players swear that rangers and the quick kill are the way,while some go for the green lands and massive armies of green terain creatures.
Win a few,loose a few is what happens in the game, even a great player can be stopped by luck. I was slicing through player stacks with a crew of Hydra's one day and the next I was watching as my Rangers melted before a storm of Warlocks.
The main key to Titan is the knowledge that you must collect on the enemy stacks.You must know who to fight and where vs who to avoid and where.
A grand green army in the wrong terrain is loosing a lot of its effect.
There are a lot of comments on the 4/3 split and many say never do it.However I believe that if you have the room to do this and the need is there then do it.
I have played Titan plus as well as other variants that our games club have tried over years, my recommendation is if you can get a copy then play the game as it is one of the greats.
Titan, for all it's flaws, is incredibly fun! It is too long and causes players to drop out early, yet I still view it as one of the best games ever made. Perhaps it is my own bias...
You roll lots of dice! The Serpent lets you roll 18 dice at the same time! (Yet the game comes with 4 dice-what a joke).
It is a nice combination of strategy and luck!
A friend rolled the best roll I've ever seen in a Titan game (to take me out) 6-6's and 3-5's.
One of the only games I've ever played all night and wanted to start again in the morning...
Titan is similar to chess, but dice are involved and it is more complex than chess. I've heard many beginning and intermediate players complain that there is a lot of luck involved, but these players are usually at a loss when they encounter someone who can consistently beat them. Once you become a bona fide expert in the game, you realize that luck plays a rather small role in the game. An expert player knows how to manipulate the odds in his favor and will consistently beat an average player (although the game may take longer if the inferior player is exceptionally 'lucky').
The similarities to chess arise from the assortment of pieces (creatures) of varying strength used to attack and defend, but all of these creatures are meaningless in the end as the life of your Titan (and your opponents' Titans) is where winning and losing is decided. You can amass a huge army of creatures and lose if your Titan dies, and many a game has been won by the the most powerful player in the game roaming around with only his Titan to his credit.
Quite frequently, closed circles of Titan players will develop their own styles of play and strategy and think they have mastered the game's nuances until they encounter new strategies by other players. The most often encountered difference is the strategy of recruiting stronger creatures versus the strategy of amassing points (and, hence, additional strength for your Titan) by winning battles and taking casualties that often hurt your recruitment efforts.
With a unique blend of overall strategy and cambat tactics, this monster slugathon is by far the best strategic AND tactical boardgame ever made.
It's fun to play BUT requires stamina and time as it tends to be quite time-consuming. It's worth it, though!
Almost no other game has ever kept me playing for over 24 hours straight, and definitely no other games have made us say at the end of a 12-hours game, 'Let's do another one,'--which lasted for 'only' 9 hours!
This is one buy you'll never regret. It's a masterpiece of a game, among Avalon Hill's best!
I have played Titan on and off more or less for 15 years and cannot imagine ever getting tired of this game. It is easily my all-time favourite and I would definitely bring a copy if I had to go to a deserted island together with a friend.
Except for a few times at first, we only ever play 2-player games. In fact, there has been a yearly tournament organized here in Stockholm for no less than 10 years where usually 6-10 people battle it out (everyone playing against everyone else).
Some of the drawbacks that have been commented on here--like downtime--are readily avoided in 2-person games. I also believe the luck element is downplayed, and skill element on the strategic level is increased in 2-person games. The comparison between Titan and Chess is interesting. I find that many people who do enjoy (or have enjoyed) Chess also enjoy Titan, although I personally find Titan at least 10 times more rewarding than Chess!
What I find amazing about this game (beyond what has already been commented upon here) is the wide scope of strategy and tactics that the game allows. During the last decade, we have encountered pockets of isolated groups of players who have entertained quite different playing styles.
This game has one of the best game mechanics ever. I have been playing it since 1983, and I still never tire of it.
This game has one of those rare qualities in that, like chess, each game is unique and different and yet very enjoyable.
I am on my third set...
Titan is out of print, but since it is my all-time favorite game, I had to write a review for anyone out there who has never played and is considering scrounging up a copy. There is no way to adequately review Titan briefly, but if you have the time to play Titan, you have the time for a substantive review. In any case, I'll offer a digest here before I continue:
Good--excellent visuals, simple use of the fantasy theme, strategic challenge, interesting division between strategic and tactical play, intelligent combination of mechanics.
Not to everyone's taste--long games, complex rules, elimination of players, large role of luck.
Over the past seventeen years I have played hundreds of hours of Titan and I look forward to playing hundreds more. So what's so good about this game? First, it's visually stunning. The main board is very colorful. All the artwork on the board and the counters is by David Trampier, who did some illustrations for the original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons and did the comic strip 'Wormy' in Dragon magazine. His simple, bold style is perfect for working on a small scale. The colors are vibrant, both on the board and on the counters. The creatures on the counters were individually drawn, so that the members of some species are individualized. Each of the ten Colossi, for instance, has its own combination of armor, weaponry, and handedness. This is a nice touch.
Second, the game has a gratifyingly simple application of a fantasy theme. In this game, everyone's purpose is just to beat the hell out of each other. The diversity of creatures and the variety of terrain over which they fight make the combat interesting.
Third, the game is well-balanced and mechanically logical. It feels like it was playtested for many long hours (a peek at the designers' notes at the end of the rules suggests it has been). The geometric nature of the board presents an equal opportunity to all playing, without being perfectly symmetrical. Strategic movement is a challenging matter of managing probability and trying to project several turns into the future. The battles are, too. The creatures, different as they are, are well-balanced in terms of how hard they are to get, where they fit in the overall process of raising an army, and how many points you receive for killing them.
Fourth, the division of the game between strategic play, in which you move your legions and muster new creatures, and tactical play, in which your creatures fight each other, lends variety to the playing experience. Each one is important to the other, but each requires a different way of thinking.
The game will not appeal to everyone, though. It is an American-style wargame. There are lots of counters and lots of rules, and there's lots of dice rolling. A game can take a long time--usually a game will take at least several hours with three or more players (we have fun even when we don't finish, though). There can also be a fair amount of downtime between turns. Also, as other reviewers have noted, it's an elimination game--the last person left wins. This means that if someone is eliminated early, they may have little to do for a while (we deal with this by allowing an eliminated player to direct a few armies belonging to a successful player). Note, though, that because the game is an elimination game, two-player games can be quite short, sometimes less than an hour.
Another possible problem is that there are quite a lot of rules. It was a running joke with us for years that every re-reading of the rules indicated we'd been doing some small thing wrong. I've got them all down now, of course. I think. Anyway, it never affected our enjoyment of the game.
The luck factor may be a problem for some players, too. Dice rolls govern both the outcome of combat and the strategic movement of armies. While rolling the dice in battle involves all the dicey emotions of suspense, disappointment, and elation, a series of bad rolls to move your armies might lead to frustration. Some players, though, are willing to accept this as part of the game experience.
Titan is a game with a great deal of strategic depth mixed with luck. For those players who enjoy fantasy games and are willing to tackle a longer game, it offers a meaty, satisfying game experience.
Titan is a must have for any gamer's collection. It is described as a monster fantasy slugathon and this description is accurate. The basic idea of the game is that each is represented on the board by a Titan. The Titan circles the board starting with a set of the lowest ranking creatures in the game and builds up his forces by recruiting more powerful creatures with the goal of elimating his fellow titans. Simple concept right?
What makes the game truly a classic is a couple of things. One, the board and the movement on the board is very unique. Several paths intertwine in a very complex yet amazingly simple fashion. Also the individual battle boards - an enlarged map of the each or the terrain types lead to some very interesting tactical decisions and battles as each creature has home terrains that will serve it better or worse in battle. Finally, the recruiting structure and choices offer a wide range of strategy options that stirs much debate with gamers on which creatures and recruiting paths work best.
While this game well deserves 5 stars, it has its flaws. For one it can be a terribly long game. Make sure you have 4+ hours to finish and maybe significantly longer. Second, the down time in the game can be rough especially with 4+ people. The individual battles can take a long time to complete leaving players who aren't in the battle to twiddle their thumbs. Also, an early elimination from the game can mean an early end for someone's game nite if the rest continue on. Finally there is some luck involved - a lot of dice rolling. This can be a problem, but over time the sheer amount of dice thrown in the game balance out and good players can easily overcome the luck of the dice. The game really plays best for 2-4 people as 5 or 6 gets to be a bit much.
Again, this game deserves a spot on every gamer's shelf and will offer countless great games of fun and great stories to tell long after the dice have been put away.
Eschewing the more typical fantasy wargame setup of personalities and characters, Titan is refreshingly simple in concept: you cruise around the board, smashing the opposition to pieces!
Each player has a Titan piece, equivalent to a chess King: lose the Titan, and you're out. Last Titan standing wins.
A player's pieces move in legions around a board subdivided in an abstract manner into spaces of different terrain types. According to the terrain, and the monsters in the legion, it may be possible to recruit other monsters. In suitable terrain, groups of monsters can recruit better monsters, and so in this manner legions can get stronger, but they are limited to 7 monsters each, so every now and then they must be split, thus weakening them... The contents of a legion are hidden until they enter battle, so nobody can be sure just which stack the opposing Titans are in, so the game is a combination of cat and mouse, racing to build better legions and aggressively hunting down weaker stacks of opposition.
Whenever a legion lands on another, a fight to the death on a small tactical sub-board ensues. The winner scores points, and the more points he acquires the more powerful his Titan becomes, so this is a mechanism to encourage battle. Timid play may result in keeping your Titan safe for a while, but if another player does catch up it'll be squashed.
The game is fun and nicely produced. Aggressive play is rewarded, and adds to the flavour. The board and counter art is excellent: all the monster silhouettes are slightly different on the 1" sqaure counters, and legions are marked with different designs that add more flavour still.
On the downside, the game length is very unpredictable, and if one of a multi-player game, through no real fault of their own, has a Titan killed early they may have a very long spectating session ahead. I think it works best with about 4 (less time between turns, enough room to maneuver but not too easy to stay out of people's way), though 2-6 can play.
The rules are quite long, but the sort that are actually quite easy when you get down to playing.
There's lots of dice rolling too, which tends to cut down the skill required, but if you want to vent some frsutration and hit something, or indeed lots of things, a very good game.
Six hours after starting, and still no resolution in sight, I quit my first game of Titan, vowing to never play it again. In fact, I wanted to burn the game with kerosene. Even the two player game was fraught with downtime that would make a grown man weep. I cannot imagine a 6 player game.
Soon after this experience I was turned onto the Java version of the game, Colossus. The beauty of this game was revealed to me: formerly interminable games ended in a matter of 20 minutes to an hour; downtime eliminated completely; rolling of 18 dice automated. Only now can I appreciate the deep strategy of Titan, and the game really is a lot of fun. The boardgame is only for the hardest of the hardcore; stick to Colossus unless you like pain.