All Hands On Deck!

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Ahoy matey!!! Arrrgh, it be a few weeks and I be stalling writing ye blog because I be having too much fun playing All Hands On Deck. Ok, not that great at talking like a pirate, but so far I have not had anyone that did not like playing All Hands On Deck. My copy is a playtest copy out for review. The final version of the game is not out yet. It will be coming to a kickstarter near you soon.

Setup


Set up could not be easier. Shuffle the cards and deal out 5 cards to everyone. Turn over the top card for the first auction. Each subsequent turn the dealer is rotated to the left and a new card is dealt to every player and a new auction is started.

Gameplay


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Gameplay is pretty simple. You are a pirate captain who has to collect a crew “cards” to go get a treasure. Each card in the deck is either a pirate, or an action. There are 3 different pirate crews, and each crew has a position from 1-10. The object of the game is to collect a crew of pirates in a run of 7 from the same crew, or to gather a run of 3 pirates from all three crews. Runs are basically sequential numbers. I.E. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. You can pick up your run anywhere in the line for each crew.

Every turn there is a new card put up for auction. And you can “bid” on the card by discarding the cards in your hand face down in front of you. Each pirate has a value of 1-10, and when bidding, each pirates face value is also how much you are bidding. The only exception is when you are bidding on a pirate of the same faction as the pirate you are discarding, the point value of the card gets doubled. Action cards are also played at this time. You place your actions and pirates face down when you bid and after everyone has bid, you reveal your bid. Actions take place first and then bids resolve. Actions resolve from the dealers left in turn order. Many actions can change the outcome of the bid or steal the auction all together. It sure is fun to be a pirate!

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Rating


All being said there are is a lot more to this game and it is a blast. I give it a 9.5 out of 10. (When I get a hold of the final version of the game, instead of just the playtest copy, I might have to give a perfect 10)

Kickstarter


All Hands On Deck will come to kickstarter on Sept. 9th. Save your money you won’t want to miss it

Salamander games


Salamander games is the company thy makes All Hands On Deck. I just wanted to mention them because they are a local small independent gaming company and I think they should be supported by the community. You can visit them at salamander games.

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Neuroshima Hex

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Neuroshima Hex.

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That is a funny name, is it not? Now, whether you can even pronounce the name or not, doesn’t mean that you won’t love this game. Neuroshima Hex is a great game, and it is all about strategy.

Set up

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I am going to use my imagination here, since I have only played the digital version, and say setting up should be relatively easy. Lay out the board and gather your army. Or play like me and let the digital ones and zeros do it.

The physical and digital version both offer 4 starting armies/faction with the core set. Each army consists of 35 tiles, 1 base, and 34 other support/unit/action tile. I have found that these starting 4 armies are all you need to have fun, but both versions have expansions armies that you can collect and add the your game.


Armies

The four starter armies are Hegemony, Moloch, Outpost, and Borgo.

Hegemony

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The Hegemony are a combination of melee and strength. The base piece gives a melee bonus to friendly units adjacent to it.

Moloch

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The Moloch are a combination of melee and ranged attackers with some defensive units. The base piece gives a ranged bonus to friendly adjacent units.

Outpost

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The Outpost are a combination of speed and ranged. The base piece gives an addition activation to friendly adjacent units.

Borgo

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The Borgo are a combination of speed and melee. The base piece gives you an earlier activation phase if your are adjacent to the base piece.


 Game Play

Play consists of initially placing your base somewhere on the 19 tile hex grid.  Your opponent will do the same. You and your opponent then take turns placing tiles and battling each other until one base has been dealt twenty damage and they lose. If all tiles have been placed and no one’s base has been dealt twenty damage, whichever base has been dealt the least amount of damage wins.

Hex orientation is crucial on this game. Each piece functions a little differently. I will go over a few details here, but for a game this complex I would suggest that you just start playing and learn as you go.

The best part of the digital game over the physical one is all the mathematical calculations are done for you already, you can focus on your strategy.

There is so much more to this game than I can describe in my blog post, but if you love strategy games and critical thinking, this game is for you. It is like Chess, Risk, and Stratego had a love child. Who wouldn’t want that. I would suggest that you pick it up in the App Store for a measly $5. You can also pick up the physical game on Amazon for $40, $10 off the $50 price tag.

Comment below if you have the game, We could do some multiplayer on the ios version.


 

What’s on tap next.

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I am super ultra excited to be reviewing All Hands On Deck!!!!!!! It is made by a company local to me, and the guys that make the game were super awesome at a local convention I went to. They are sending me a review copy before it comes out! *fanfare* best day ever *fanfare*. They should have a Kickstarter starting shortly. More on this game soon.