Monday, 5 January 2015

Rivet Wars a humble gamers review

Welcome back long suffering bloggy type folks.
Been a long winter with very little update material.
Some projects got put on hold, some worked on. But amongst the chaos of unemployment a gem was found.

My long suffering fiancee sighed as i spied another new shiny on the shelves of a local wargame store. That shiny was Rivet Wars from Coolminiornot and Edge Entertainment.
First impressions of the box are that the art work is very cutesy but also a bit bizarre!!!! Monowheel bikes, biplanes, chicken walkers and trench warfare. If you want a real life sum up of the rivet wars at gencon. The diorama says it all.

Intrigued by something that looked so different from the usual grimdark, manga or full on historical, i thought  would give it a chance.
Bam Heavy box....Something i have begun to accept when coolmini put their name on something-see zombicide.

On getting home i did what all us gamers do. I turned into a shrink wrap rending version of Freddy Krueger.
The fresh wargame smell as the box opens is always a flashback to gentler times of childhood and trainsets.
But what waited within.
High quality cardstock templates - check.
Rulebook - check.
various cards and plastic tokens - check.
Chunky mud coloured dice...different - check.
Models...lots of models and something called plugs. Say what? Now i am not talking your UK 3 pin or weird foreign plug. I'm not even talking about the more discrete, rubber moulded apparatus used by more nefarious folk and a good chunk of the #warmongers community.
No these plugs were like...little character widgets for the vehicles. Hmmmm different. (Note i have it on good reference that the fit of these plugs is similar to that of the more rubberised variety).
Ok interest piqued. Carol roped in for a playtest...of the filthy minded cretins.
The rules seemed easy enough and we sallied forth into war.
A couple of games later and we realised a mistake. The rules for terrain/objective bunkers etc. We played like it was fairly normal terrain as we couldn't find any reference to it in the book. Packing up we discovered the rules...on the back page DOH!!!!!. A minor oversight on our part but also a questionable decision not to list them simply within the main rules section.

Due to real life about this point, gaming kinda ground to a halt.
Fast forward to today.

I managed to arrange a couple of games with a fellow riveter.
Now with a clearer understanding of the rules, the game made more sense and went much faster.
2 games in 2 hours. Mayhem, mortals dying, heroic grunts and pathetic pilots all featured to the staccato crash and thump of Pounders and monowheels.
Yes fun was had, blood was shed and laughter rang out.
But more of a feel for the game was gained.

Yes its got a cutesy chibby look to the figures.But it also has secret missions and a nice touch that you can never get tabled combined with the fact that the player who goes second always gets his last turn even when player 1 has achieved his victory point total.
An example of that would have been todays second game. I was player 1. The target number of vp's (completing secret missions/capturing strategic points) was 10.
Happily i hit the target and looked over at my opponent with a 10-5 lead. Thought to myself. That's not gonna be easy to overturn (even if you get to the 10 as player 1. Player 2 can try to tie the game up for an extra turn or even steal victory by beating the tally himself).
My opponent scratched his head, deployed his rivets and pondered his special action and secret mission cards. Smiled and murmured 'this might just be doable'. Dice clattered across the board, men died and infantry charged forward. Alas 1 dice betrayed him and from the jaws of the tie up, victory was mine (trust me i was sweating a tad, but laughing my butt off).

All in all though, what struck me most was that the game really could appeal to all. Kids will love the look of the game, It's got enough 'Board game' feel to make a simple beer and pretzels night in and it offers enough tactical challenge (especially the latter missions and adding in more variant characters etc) that the most seasoned gamer will have a few head scratch moments.

So if you can. Give the game a look. The core box is expensive at nigh on £80. But you won't regret it.