Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Neuroshima Hex - A board game Review

One of my favorite board games is getting a new ios app update: Featuring the newest army Steel Police Neuroshima Hex number of armies rises to a grand total of 9!! 

If you haven't give it a try yet, now it´s a great time to start!!

The game

Neuroshima Hex is a polish tactical board-game for 2 to 4 players based in an obscure polish RPG called Neuroshima and has gotten a pretty successful adaptation for iOS and Android. The game sets us as the commander of a post-apocalyptic army during conflicts for supremacy on the barren wastelands of a devastated USA.

Neuroshima’s premise is simple: the good and old “kill’em all”. Translated to game mechanics:  you have to tear down your opponents headquarters, or be the one with more life points remaining when the dust sets.
The battlefield is set on a small board of hexes where players will have to set their troops and maneuver to overpower all the opposing armies into submission.

Each turn, the player will receive at random 3 hex “cards” from his stack of available resources. They will then choose one of them to be discarded and up to two to be used or placed on the board. Any hex not used or discarded will remain in your hand and since you draw until having 3 hexes in hand there is really not a solid reason to hold on to them, so you pretty much always play 2 hexes per turn.

3 tiles... yet so many options.
Battle hostilities will only start when a player plays a “Battle!” hex from hand, or when the board is full, so you are never quite sure when battle can begin unless you play the battle card yourself. This forces you to always be wary of every movement and placement on the board as to react accordingly and keeps the tension always high in a cold-war like style.


Every troop hex has one initiative stat, and may have a various number of attack powers in every facing of his hex, as well as some special abilities. This makes positioning and facing crucial as you may be a monster facing one certain direction and a harmless hex while facing  the wrong side. 
When battle starts, attacks will resolve in decreasing initiative order. Starting with the highest initiative, all hex will attack their targets and place damage, when all of them have attacked, damage will be calculated and casualties will be removed from the board before proceeding to the next initiative tier. This means controlling initiative is a crucial point of the tactics in play, as you can eliminate potential threads before they are able to attack and harm  your much powerful but slower units.

Each troop and army has a different flavour, fitting various play styles.
Some hexes have special abilities, giving extra healing capabilities, extra attacks or initiative boosts for the troops around them, while some play as instantaneous effects that allow you to snipe enemies, nuke them or even make them turn cloaks.


While the game plays the same for all armies, factions are asymmetric and their troops and special actions are usually focused to enhance one type of play. Thus, faction specializations vary from close combat, to ranged, to mobility… some even have the ability to turn enemies into their own troops!

This makes the game very dynamic, and due to the randomness factor of the hex drafting, you will rarely see a typical pattern that players stick too. This makes it more a tactical game that strategic, as you cannot plan in advance and are always reacting to the very specific conditions on the board. This also means that a significant amount of luck is involved though, which may annoy some players. 

The game features 4 different armies, but there are lots of expansions which further the choices.
The design of the board is one of my favorite points of the game due to its deviousness. By being hexagonal and tiny, players can’t easily position themselves symmetrically and can’t flee from the fight. In 4 player games, the board gets crowded very fast, and as many hexes have multiple attack sides, there is no way that you can maintain alliances or non-aggressions. Everyone is forced into a battle royale, and being like this for everyone people don’t get so upset when you target them.


A fun and fast game to play. It will keep you coming once and again until you try all different armies and manage to get a hold of their strategies, and even then you still be coming back just for the mindless fun of a 4 player game battle royale.

I definitely recommend this one for people used to tactical games, but i should not throw it at casual gamers as may probably scare them off. Also purist strategists may find it unappealing  due to the luck factor and the fact they can´t plan in a long term focus.

You will like it:

If you are into some fast thoughtful fun.
If people who hide in multiplayer games annoy you.
You like collecting expansions

You won’t like it:

If you can’t focus on more than one thing at a time.
If you like long term strategic planning and a luck based draft sound too casual.
Post-apocaliptic settings scare you.


Post a Comment