- The Queen's Gambit - a big box full of plastic minis & a three-tier board system that takes most of a six foot table to set up... and, amazingly, a really good game is in there with all that stuff.
- Epic Duels - a card-based multi-player combat system that is loaded with Star Wars flavor... you can choose to mix Episodes & characters!
- Clash of the Lightsabers - a two player dueling card game with nifty pewter figs and interesting gameplay.
- Attacktix - miniatures combat with not-so-minature figures... with spring-loaded guns & lightsabers!
- moving a character 1-4 hexes (in the 'advanced' rules, you can split your move between pieces)
- drawing a card (most of which are power-ups... which add speed or strength to a character)
- recruit a character from the toy store (the toy store backdrop is where "killed" characters go)
- If you are adjacent to an enemy figure, you can fight. Both players roll a die, apply modifiers, and the highest number wins. Repeat this process until one player manages to land on the opposing flag.
There are some wrinkles:
- recruited characters MUST appear on a certain space - if that space is blocked by another piece (friendly or otherwise), you can't recruit
- one of the cards (well, there are two of them) is a Globotech Recall - I'm not sure where it fits thematically, but it means you get to throw one opposing figure into the toy store
- a number of cards in the deck allow you to use the catapult - which is a skateboard with a flyswatter that throws a golf ball with bolts in it... any figures which are knocked over are put in the toy store
- powerups are good only until the next battle you're in - once you fight (win or lose), the powerup goes on the discard pile
And that's pretty much it. The box says it's for 5 years & up, but Braeden has no problem handling the game, and he's only four. (Granted, Braeden has been playing games since he was 2, so your mileage may vary.)So why would I write about this game, instead of jumping on the "Gosh, isn't Caylus the coolest thing since sliced bread?" bandwagon?
- It's actually fun to play - it's not going to eclipse Memoir '44 as my favorite battle game any time soon, but I don't hate playing it (as opposed to Candyland or Adopt a Dog)
- there is some room for intelligent decisions - who do I give powerups to? should I rush foward or wait for the other player to come to me? how do I use what I've got to win?
- it's great training for other games - as far as I can remember, this is Braeden's first hex-based game. It's also doing a great job of teaching him die roll modifiers and tactical movement. (Since there aren't any ZOC's, we don't have to worry about that quite yet. Of course, since he's unlikely to ever play 70's/80's AH and SPI games, he may NEVER figure out that ZOC means Zone of Control.)
- I haven't played Caylus, which makes lavishing praise on it difficult