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Neuroshima HEX is a game of tactics, where armies wage continuous battles against each other. Neuroshima Hex 3.0 is the return of the series with new artwork and a new, FIFTH, faction included: Doomsday Machine. This edition also includes material that will allow for SOLO play!
The world of Neuroshima Hex is that of a post-apocalyptic world torn apart by a war between humans and machines. The remains of humanity took shelter in the ruins of cities and organized in small communities, gangs and armies. Conflicts between such groups are not uncommon and the reasons of such are numerous: territory, food or equipment. MOLOCH sent from the north constantly patrol the ruined cities. Great wastelands that surround what was left of the greatest cities are home to another enemy - BORGO - an army of gruesome mutants. One of humanity’s last hopes is the OUTPOST, a perfectly organized army that wages a guerrilla war against MOLOCH. Nevertheless, most human settlements, including the HEGEMONY, are not concerned with war until it comes banging at their door…
I love playing games, and enjoy the thousands of available games without needing to design any of my own. I did work on one design, a game in which players placed tiles down that attacked different adjacent tiles. Lo, and behold - most of the ideas that I had for the game are found in Neuroshima Hex (Portal, 2007 - Michal Oracz), so I guess I can go back to playing other people's games. Neuorshima Hex is based on a role-playing game based in a post-apocalyptic universe. Normally I'm not a huge fan of this Mad Max type of future (so depressing!), but the game was getting rave reviews, and I was fascinated upon my first opening of the box. Besides, it won "Best Polish Designer Game" in 2007! (to be fair, it's the only Polish game I've ever heard of).
Neueroshima Hex is a tremendous innovation in board games, it's a real breath of fresh air in an industry that often churns out imitation after imitation. It's a game of strategic placement with a combat theme - and the armies, while well balanced - are completely asymmetrical. Games are tight and bloody, and while it's possible that a game could possibly drag down into slow paralysis with overly analytical folks - the game really feels like it moves at a quick clip.
The board is made up of nineteen hexagons that form one larger hexagon. Each player chooses one of the four armies (the mechanical Moloch, the mutant Borgo, the guerilla Outpost, and the gangs of the Hegemony), and takes all the hexes of that army. Players take turns placing their headquarter on one of the hexes, placing their other thirty-four tiles in random face down piles. Players then begin to take turns in a clockwise manner.
On the first turn, a player turns one tile face up in front of them, and can either use it, save it, or discard it. The next player draws two tiles with the same options, and every turn after that - a player draws up to three tiles. At this point, a player MUST discard one tile every turn, and may place and/or save the other two.
Tiles are of three different types, soldiers, modules, and action tiles. Board tiles are different soldiers in the players armies, and have different stats indicated on them. First of all, the soldier has an initiative value from "0" to "3". Soldiers also may have melee and/or ranged attacks emanating from one or more of their six sides. Most attacks have a value of one, although some are stronger with a value of "2" or "3". Soldiers normally have one wound, while some have a toughness value of one or two, which adds to their hit points. A few soldiers have mobility, which allows them to move one space on the board, and others have nets - which allow them to disable adjacnent opponents. A few have armor on one or more of their different sides, allowing them to decrease attacks on that side by one. Soldiers are placed on the board in any empty spot that the player wants.
Module tiles can never move - but rather are placed on the board - affecting any soldier that is adjacent to one of their connection symbols. Modules can increase the strength of ranged or melee attacks, increase initiative, heal wounds (and then discarded), etc. A few modules even effect enemy units, decreasing their value.
Action tiles allow the player to take a specific action.
When a player plays a "Battle" tile, or if the board is completely filled up, a battle occurs. Each battle takes place using several phases. In the first phase, the highest level initiative soldiers on the board simultaneously take actions - damaging any soldiers next to them with melee and/or shooting others with ranged attacks. Killed soldiers are removed from the board, even if they haven't taken an action yet. The next phase then occurs, until the "0" initiative units have taken actions. If a soldier attacks the enemy HQ, the player marks the wounds on a hit track.
If one player draws their last tile, all players finish their turns, and one final battle begins. The player who has more toughness points left is the winner! However, if anyone's HQ is damaged beyond the 20 hit points it starts with, then that player loses the game instantly.
Some comments on the game...
But I think what I enjoy best about Neuroshima Hex is how the game seems to flow so well, yet plays differently every time. You can talk all you want how Chess is a game which simulates war - but all I see are giant wooden horses and castles. Here in Neuroshima Hex, we have a game that threatens to follow the same abstract lines, but manages to rise above that with a compelling theme and tremendous diversity. If anything, it's a game unlike anything I've played before, and manages to condense fierce warfare to a small area and time frame. Originality drew me to the game - fun keeps me playing it.
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