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Dart Wars is a game of world conquest played with darts. The goal is to conquer your opponents' home countries by eliminating all the troops there. The difference here is you attack and defend while launching darts at a map of the world!
The game darts are especially designed to prevent injury, since they are not pointed but magnetized (the game board, which is hung on the wall, is also magnetized).
- 1 magnetic dartboard
- 75 color magnets
- 6 magnetic darts
- 5 stickers
- 1 game rules
Average Rating: 3.5 in 1 review
My father installed a dartboard in our basement when I was a child and was always dragging me down there to learn different dart games. And I quickly discovered that while I liked throwing pointy objects at the wall, I was tremendously horrible at it. Still, my enjoyment of the sport remained high, and I’ve incorporated stupid dart games into youth group and my classes. When I heard about Dart Wars (Squale Games, 2006 – Pascal Reymond), a game that mixed darts and a light wargame, I was immediately fascinated and sought out a copy quickly. As soon as the game arrived, I eagerly opened it up, still chuckling over the hilarious idea for the game.
Well, Dart Wars is simply a darts variant, but it’s a fun one; and it’s much more satisfying for me to attempt takeovers of the world using darts rather than dice. The whole setup is high quality (although a bit pricey); and while it’s in the end just a silly dart game, it’s fun enough to act as a constant diversion in my game room.
A map is hung on the wall that shows the world, broken up into about forty land regions and several connecting water areas. There is also a bull’s eye printed on the bottom of the board near Antarctica. Each player takes a group of fifteen troop magnets of their color, and then takes turns throwing a dart at the board. Players place three of their troops in their homeland (the first land area they hit). One player is chosen to go first, and the game begins.
On a player’s turn, they throw three darts at the map. Each dart thrown may allow the player to move and/or attack. If the dart falls on an adjacent country, water space, or country that is close (many areas are connected by light blue stretches of water and are considered adjacent), the player may move one of their tokens to that area. If they are the first player to visit a land territory in that game, they may place an additional magnet on the new land. Players do not have to move, and may move more than once; but if they attack or gain a new troop, they may no longer move that army.
If a player’s darts hit an adjacent land that has an enemy troop in it, they MUST attack, unless their moving army is the only one they have left. When two players are involved in an attack, they both throw one dart at the target bull’s eye on the map. The player who is closer to the center is the winner and turns the enemy’s troop into their own color. Combat occurs with one troop fighting one at a time.
If a player’s homeland is captured, they then become the “slave” of their conqueror and may continue to play in that player’s service. As soon as one player captures all the other players, they win the game!
Some comments on the game…
- Components: The game came in a tube that seemed a bit worthless
once I pulled the game out. The board curled a bit; but once I hung
it on the wall, it has since flattened out (it’s fairly heavy). I
don’t know how well the game stores, however – I put all the magnets
and darts in a small box, and left the board up on the wall – storing
it in the tube seemed way too annoying. The darts and magnets are
very nice; they are extremely powerful and easily stick to the board.
Six darts are included, and the small magnetic tokens are fairly
little but easy enough to maneuver around the board. A sheet of small
stickers is included for pieces that are in the homeland, but they
didn’t fit on as well as I would like. I’ve had kids manhandle the
darts and board and haven’t had any accidents or breakages yet, so I’m
fairly happy with the high quality. I just wish it came in a nice box
- Rules: The rules are in a small four-page book and are very
nicely laid out. The game is so simple to teach that I don’t even
bother to explain the rules before we start playing. I just have
players start throwing darts and explain as we go.
- Map: I really enjoy how the game board is laid out. The
territories are mostly larger than those in most conquest games (North
America is only four sections), but there are small islands that can
become important strategic launching areas. The light blue shaded
areas also ease movement to smaller islands and keep the game from
getting too clogged up. I also get a kick out of having Greenland as
my capital, or fighting desperately over New Zealand for the victory.
- Darts: As neat as the map is, it’s still painfully obvious that
the game is all about dart throwing. When I play against someone who
is better than me, I simply watch in horror as they place dart after
dart, marching their forces to taking over the entire world.
Fortunately, most people that I play are just as bad or worse than I
am, so most of our games are marathons of badly thrown missiles. You
can obviously try the same strategies that are in many games, putting
forces around the boards; but you’d still lose to an experienced dart
- Variants: An entire page of variants are included, which are
basically different ways to throw darts at the board. However, they
really are interesting – especially one in which players are
attempting to send out missionaries. Others have the players race
around the world. Really, the scenarios are fairly simple, but the
fact is that they are different – keeping the replayability high.
- Fun Factor: Dart skill problems certainly doesn’t mean that the
game isn’t fun – you’ve just got to play with people who aren’t
experienced dart players. At the same time, it may be a way to work
on your dart skills in a new and unusual way. For me, the game is
simply an extremely humorous idea; and when I introduce it to folks,
they have the same reaction – amusement and a willingness to try the
novelty game. Teenagers and adults alike are often suckered in for a
quick game of throwing darts. Who said board games aren’t physical?
All right, let’s face it – Dart Wars is a novelty game idea. It wasn’t as if I was glad to FINALLY fill this hole in my collection – I like the game, but it’s not one that I stay awake thinking about strategies. It’s simple, however, and the combat system is fast and enjoyable. I like throwing darts, and I hate most conquer the world games. But this one combines them in an enjoyable way. Throw out the dartboard, throw out Risk – this one combines both in an experience that you’ll not likely have elsewhere. Is it for you? If the name makes you smile, perhaps so.
“Real men play board games”