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GenCon 2011: Gears of War: The Board Game

Posted by: Russell at 8/4/2011 11:17 PM
The madness of GenCon has begun.  Normally, GenCon is centered mostly around RPGs, board games, and CCGs, but there has also been a bit of a video gaming presence in the past, and I’m hoping this year is no different.  The first thing that caught my eye wasn’t a video game, but a board game based on a video game: the Gears of War board game by Fantasy Flight games.
 I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the biggest Gears of War fan, but I’m always up for a new board game or card game, and Fantasy Flight Games did a good job with Gears of War.  Instead of the usual “everyone vs. everyone” style of board game, Gears of War is a co-operative game in which each player (up to four I believe) takes part in different missions.  Once you complete the first mission, you move right on to the next.  The only mission I did for the demo was having to seal up emergence holes using a grenade.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to clear the entire mission, but it gave me a good understanding of how the game works.

You start the game with six cards in hand, and these represent both your actions and your health.  If you start a turn with less than six cards, you are allowed to draw up to two cards, but you can’t exceed six cards in hand.  You can then either play a card in hand or discard a card to either move up to two squares or attack once.  Once everything is done, you draw an AI card and do what it says.  This is basically the enemies taking their turns.  The AI cards will usually have an enemy move towards you and occasionally attack, depending on where it ends its movement.  From there, the next player goes, and so on.  Once you complete all mission objectives, you move onto the next mission, which just connects to the first one.

For not being a huge Gears of War fan, I really enjoyed this game (of course, getting a few incredible dice rolls definitely helped).  You can buy it now at GenCon, or you can wait until it’s August 31st release date.  Either way, I was told that the game will retail for $69.95.  I’ll be honest, I was a little surprised at the price, but I’ve seen a few board games go for even higher, and it’s actually not much more than buying a brand new video game.  Either way, it’s a fun game, either solo or with friends.  Now then, it’s time to resume my foray into the madness.