For the first time since G1, a new Transformers board game is out; Transformers Armada Battle for Cybertron Game. And while it may be new, it isn't entirely a new concept in terms on board games either as it's based off of the Star Wars Epic Duels game released in 2002. This time, instead of a pair of characters, each player controls one Transformer. The object is simple: destroy your opponent. The game play though, that's the tricky, yet fun, part.
The game boards feature four locations indigenous to the Armada universe: Desert Arena, Rainforest Assault Arena, Autobot's Mountain Base, and Megatron's Throne Room. Each features a white-outlined grid atop graphics of those locations. Several areas on each are disconnected from the main areas to give the figures some cover during battle. And believe me, you'll need it eventually.
The character cards feature the various Armada characters included with the game and their box art, with the exception of Hot Shot who has all new artwork. These also have the robot's hit points with a start and finish point. This is where you keep track of your health with the hit counters.
The playing cards that form the eight decks are smaller than the standard trading card. Each card features artwork of that character of their Mini-Con and any number of attack and/or defense points along with special attacks and other abilities.
Now, the best looking part of the game is the character pieces. Ranging from two to three inches in height, these figurines faithfully translate the toys into smaller form. Though they are painted, not all the details are highlighted, leaving some bland areas. Cyclonus and Prime are my personal favorites for their pose and appearance.
While I won't go into all the various scenarios, I will go through the basics. After choosing sides, you don't have to be on opposing teams as both characters in play can be of the same faction so you can pretend your favorite Armada characters are in "Hardwired"… or maybe not, take your character card and deck. Shuffle the deck and decide on which board you will play. Place a marker on the blue spot on the character card, place your pawn on the board and deal yourselves the top four cards from the deck. The remaining cards should be within reach and face down. This will be your draw pile. Roll the die to decide who goes first and you're off.
On each turn, roll the die and move the number of spaces shown. If it says "All 3" and you are playing with more than one pawn on the board, you may move all your pawns that number of spaces. You do not need to move the entire number of spaces or at all if you so choose. Next, you get to choose two of the following two actions: drawing a card or playing a card. You can choose any combination of two such as drawing two cards or playing two cards or draw one and play one, etc.
Card play is where the fun begins. With three types of cards in each deck, you find yourself with a myriad of possibilities. There are three types of cards. First are the combat cards, which feature an attack and defense attribute. Next are the power combat cards, which either have an attack or a defense attribute plus a twist or two to them. Finally, there are the special cards, which allow for additional actions like movement, extra attack of defense power or many other nasty surprises.
The game is won when you destroy your opponent's Transformer. That happens when the hit counter takes more damage than he has hit points. So, once that marker gets to the red circle, your Transformer is toast.
There are additional scenarios for various 2 to 4 to 6-player games as well. It's also possible to have an 8-player game as well, following the rules of the 2-player game. The only reason I can see for them not including it in the instructions is that the table you're playing at would get crowded with that many people around it.
Well, this gets my wife's seal of approval, so it has to be a fun game. Being transformers-related helps a lot too, especially since we've had the Star Wars version of the game for over a year now and have yet to play it. I even let my wife beat me in two of the four games we played. Well, more like she stomped my butt really. Anyway, I highly recommend the Transformers Armada Battle for Cybertron Game. It's just good fun.
|Reviewer||Richard C. Mistron|
|Date||August 10th 2003|
|Score||(10 out of 10)|
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