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In the post-apocalyptic world of Wreckage, the landscape is a twisted wasteland. Road warriors rule the highways in souped-up vehicles decked out with guns, armor, and turbo-charged engines. The best of these gasoline gladiators have come together to compete in the arena of death. The winner is awarded fuel for a year, water for a month, and the glory of the kill. The losers are wreckage.
In Wreckage, each player controls one of eight different vehicles and equips it with weapons, armor, and other equipment of his choice. By playing cards from their vehicles' steering decks, the players drive their vehicles around the play area, collecting gas and blowing each other's cars to scrap metal.
Wreckage is a fast-paced game of turbo-charged mayhem for 2-4 players ages 10 and up, and can be played in 20-60 minutes.
- equipment cards
- speedometers & needles
- steering cards
- damage cards
- obstacle counters
- gas can counters
- spin-out counter
- hit counters
- initiative counters
Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews
Wreckage is a fast paced, simple road warrior game. I bought this game because it is one of my favorite genres and Im always looking for a game with the mechanics to realistically portray auto-duels, yet keep the game flowing quickly; Wreckage doesnt disappoint. The game itself is very simple and goes rather quickly, too quickly if you ask me. I think if the layout was expanded, or if you use your playing surface as the arena, and then just randomly laid out all the pieces (except for the gas tanks which should be done with more care); the game would be more playable.
The game is similar to Robo-Rally, with cards dictating what your pieces does next. However, the turn speed is a little faster, and the vehicles dont last too long once struck with weapons. It could be fun for a filler game, but I just don't see it coming off the shelf all to often on it's own. All in all, this is a very basic version of another great game called Car Wars.
Fantasy Flight Silver Line Games are amongst my favorites. They are usually short, rich on theme, and quite a bit of fun to play. Whenever a new one is released, Im eager to get it, regardless of designer, theme, mechanics, etc. because Im sure Ill like it. So I happily picked up Wreckage (Fantasy Flight Games, 2003 - Barry Stockinger), looking forward to more fun from the Silver Line.
So is Wreckage one of these fun games? The answer is that if you like miniature games at all, then Wreckage is your cup of tea. Wreckage is basically a miniature car game, disguised as a small board game. The rules are simpler than your basic miniature game, and I think are fun, simple, and easy. The same rage that erupts in miniature games can rear its ugly head here (you moved that 1/8 cm too far!, I did not!, etc.), but overall, Wreckage is a fun-filled, quick blast, and one where a victory is quite satisfying.
The goal in Wreckage is similar to the Mad Max movies, with each player trying (for some reason) to destroy the vehicles of the other players. Each player in Wreckage takes one of four vehicle counters provided in the box (each vehicle counter is double-sided, and shows two different vehicles with two different sets of statistics.) The vehicles have three numbers on them, denoting acceleration, handling, and structure points for that vehicle. Each player will then, in turn order, sort through a deck of upgrade cards, choosing three to modify their vehicle. These upgrade cards include a variety of weapons, as well as other equipment, such as armor plates or nitro. Each player then takes a speedometer, and chooses secretly a speed from 0 to 4. Players take a deck of steering cards, customized for their vehicle, and then the board is set up. The cars, obstacles, gas cans, and other terrain are placed on the board according to a pre-determined setup shown in the rulebook. (Of course, after players become comfortable with the game, any setup can be used, as long as all players agree.) A deck of damage cards is shuffled and placed near the board. Play of the game begins, happening in several rounds. Each round is made up of two steps.
In the first step, the Planning step, players look through their steering cards and choose two that they are going to use in that round. They then place them face down in front of themselves in the order that they are going to play them. After this, the Steering step occurs. Players determine which player goes first by checking the respective speeds of each car with the fastest car going first, etc. If two or more cars are going the same speed, then the car with the fastest acceleration goes first. The first player to go flips over their top steering card, and follows the instructions on it. These cards allow a variety of things:
- Turn left, up to 45 degrees. A clever tile piece allows this to be done with some accuracy.
- Turn right, up to 45 degrees.
- Accelerate, increasing your vehicles speed as many levels as the cars acceleration stat, or fewer.
- Decelerate, using the same rules.
Each car also has two unique steering cards, which allow a variety of things, from jumping, to swerving, to crushing, etc. After following the action on the card, the player moves their car forward an amount of car lengths equal to the cars speed (a ruler is provided). If the car hits an obstacle or another car, collision damage is taken. This is resolved by the player drawing cards from the damage deck equal to their speed.
The damage deck is filled with cards that denote one, two, or three hits on them. Some of them also cause the players car to spinout, take a critical hit, etc. The player takes damage chips equal to the amount of hits they receive and place them on their speedometer. If the amount of hits equals or exceeds their structure stat, the car is dead, and the player is eliminated. After a player moves, if they do not hit anything they may fire one of their weapons. Each weapon has either short or long range, and an amount of damage cards that are turned over by the player whose car is hit. Most weapons can only fire forward, but some can shoot in all directions. If another car is in range, the player can fire their weapon, and the other player must take damage equal to the hits shown on the cards turned over. However, they first subtract their handling stat from the hits they received which can often cause them to receive no damage.
After all players have gone, another steering step occurs, using the second card. The steering card: Duplicate, can be used this round duplicating the steering card used the first round. If, when moving in either round, a players car comes in contact with a gas can, they remove it from the board and place it in front of them. If a players car is destroyed, they place the gas cans they have collected on the board where they died, and remove their car. The first player to collect five gas cans, and/or destroy all the other cars, is the winner!
(There are other rules regarding reverse, special weapons, hairpin turns, etc. all minor details)
Some comments on the game
1) Components: Fantastic artwork is all over this game, from the box to the tokens, to the cards. All components in the game are language- independent, and contain symbols that are usually easy to figure out, but at first need to be looked up by new players. (This is very similar to Drakon, Cave Troll, etc.) Everything is very clearly denoted, however, and the markers for moving the car, turning the car, and shooting are really nice. Having predetermined ranges for everything is nice, rather than having to use tape measure to figure out if something is in range, etc. All the tokens of the game, including the cars, are of high quality, and everything is double-sided, often having a different feature on the back, making boards more varied. All the components fit nicely in the Silver Lines typically small, colorful, sturdy box.
2) Rules: The rules are the longest Ive seen for any of the Silver Line (which means they were five pages long. Most of the rules were explaining the special symbols on weapons and other cards. I wish, like in Drakon, that FFG would provide a reference card for things such as this. But the game was really easy to learn and play. After playing miniature games such as Warhammer 40K with its huge rulebooks, this was a simplistic snap to learn how to play. Everyone I taught the game to picked it up quickly, and youth were probably a little quicker to catch on than the adults.
3) Cheating and Arguing: As with all miniature games, cheating is easy to do and its something Ive always despised about these games. Its easy to turn the car 46 degrees, or move it just a little farther when nobodys looking. And then the arguments! You cant do that!, I didnt hit the wall!, etc. Fortunately, both cheating and arguing are massively less pronounced in this game than in most miniature games, thus making this game palpable.
4) Theme and Fun Factor: This games theme, which is moving around and blowing other cars up, is perfect. The mechanics capture it perfectly, and because of everybodys love of destruction the game is a rollicking good time to play. Unless, of course, its your car that gets ganged up on by the others, then the game can be rather frustrating. The damage deck is a really nice addition, and while its not really much different than using dice and a chart, it adds a lot of fun to the game.
5) Custom courses: Maybe we are all bad drivers, but collisions were happening all the time in the games I played. And the extra obstacles included with the game cause even more damage! But hey, if you are a masochist, than add all these obstacles, and have fun!
6) Strategy and Tactics: Knowing when to play what card is important, of course. But I think customizing your car to take advantage of its stats is important, also. (Theres the slow tank-like car, the speedy biker, etc.) There is, to my knowledge, no unbeatable combo of cards this is good but there are combos that are probably better than others depending on which car you get. I really enjoy this aspect of the game, and the fact that the cars are different each game makes the game that much more fun.
I really enjoyed the game, and Ill pull it out anytime. If you are looking for a quiet, strategic Eurogame, than this one isnt for you. If, however, you like miniature games at all, and dont mind a quick (about thirty minutes), fun, shoot-em-up game this one is right up your alley. Yells, laughs, muffled groans, and other noises emanate from the players during this game it certainly isnt your quiet abstract strategy game. But we didnt expect it, and didnt want it. When I have four players together (or even three) who just want to kill, kill, kill but with an ounce of tactics and strategy, this is a fantastic choice to pull off the shelf.