Welcome to my first blog post for a playtest, in these sections I will be playtesting a none production copy of a game I have been sent by the publisher to provide feedback. In this section I will talk about the game and what I like, dislike, and anything else that comes to my mind! In this blog post I will be talking about the strategy game Empire Plateau by Frances Games that will be kickstarting in the near future.
Let us of course talk about the basics;
Players: 2 - 4
Time: 30 - 90 minutes
Launch date: 08/08/2021
Setting up the game
The game is really easy to set up and the rulebook provides a clear and precise diagram on how to set up the game. Plus with the video rules (not final) we were able to set this game up with easy and had no issues here.
How to play?
We did find the rulebook a little confusing at first but the video rules really helped clear up some of the issues we were facing, the rulebook is not final and is updated quite regularly with feedback they are provided with. The people behind the game were very helpful with any questions I did have about the game and were more than willing to help me understand the game. I liked this about them, it was nice to have them engage with my questions and clear up any issues that I did have. I would like to once again point out that this is a strategy game and reminds me of chess. I did feel as if I was playing a updated version of chess with a twist and I do love a good game of chess so this was right up my alley. In the game there are 4 armies that you can play, Greek empire, Roman empire, Babylonian empire, and Median empire, these are all separate colours. In each empire you have game pieces that build your army, there are;
1 x emblem army
2 x 6 army
4 x 4 army
12 x 2 army
These are the pieces that you will use to take other players pieces lets look a little more in detail on what this means;
Can move up to a maximum of 2 spaces Must always take other pieces and enemy bases in a L-shape motion Can never capture another army or enemy base by moving in a straight line in any direction. 4 army: Can move up to a maximum of 4 spaces Can take any army of base in a straight line Can jump an army (piece) on its first move but the army must be on a space (dot) next to the 4 (no space between them) and no other piece after the one they wish to jump, this counts as 2 space (1 for the space with the army, 1 for the space it lands in) and they can not change direction during the jump. 6 army:
Can move up to a maximum of 6 spaces Can take any army of base in a straight line
Can move up to a maximum of 12 spaces
Can take any army of base in a straight line
It can be moved before or after the small armies (if it does not move all 12 spaces)
If it is moved after the small armies no other small army piece can be moved, however if you have not moved 6 spaces minimum you will have to move the emblem piece to reach 6 moves.
On your turn you will move these pieces to defend and attack other players. The goal of the game is to be the last empire! The way to achieve this is to wipe out other players armies or capture their emblem space (NOT PIECE) on the board.
How did it play?
The first play test left us confused but we had read some of the rules wrong and were confused by some others, we were sent an updated rulebook and answers to our questions.
We went back to the game and the second play test went really well, we thought abut our moves, we played the correct rules and most of all we had fun playing the game. I found myself actually using all my possible brain power to try and work out the best route of attack but at the same time trying not to leave myself open for attack, this is a very fine balance to say the least. This game can be unforgiven if you make the wrong move at the wrong time but that is what I love about strategy games! Lets just do a quick likes and dislike list;
The strategy element How easy it is to play once you know the rules How unforgiving the game can be
The simple yet hard to master nature of the game The concept behind the game The simplicity of the game pieces (no over the top complex rules) Dislike; The rulebook
I would like to point out again that the rulebook is changing all the time and the team are really working on making the rulebook easier to understand. This game really can be won or lost in one move! There is a great video of this on their YouTube channel that had me in stitches! Nothing worse than thinking you are going to win the game and then BOOM it is all over!
That must hurt.......
Should you back the game?
Yes, if you love strategy games or want to help support a game then yes back this game, if you are not into strategy games then this is probably not the game for you.
At first we were not impressed with the game but that was due to the fact we were playing it wrong and struggling with the rules, once this was all cleared up we loved the game.
You really need to think about the moves you make because you can leave yourself vulnerable to attack or worse a defeat! The game is easy to play but to master this game I think you need to invest sometime into playing it and finding a method that works for you, just like chess never leave yourself open to attack, but maybe bait in the other player?
There is a lot to this game at the core of the game, you need to play it again and again before you really appreciate how simple and complex this game is.
I would like to point out I was not paid for this, they asked me to be honest and this is my genuine feedback!
8/10 - BACK IT!