MFG: Blue Orange
#of Players: 2 – 4
Age Range: 8+
Overall Construction: First off be careful if you travel with this game often. The sides and bottom are very strong, but I did manage to accidentally tear a hole on the top of the box near the wall. Also, I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t played the game a lot or not, but the board temds to be stiff and doesn’t want to lay flat. This is usually something that changes in time, as I have seen this with other board games. The board is also really small which I like because it doesn’t take up too much table space. It is roughly 6 inches deep and 8 inches long.
There are some fine wooden pieces in the game. They represent the gold & palisades (walls). There are also solid cardboard tokens that represent different armies for each of the players. There are also a few included for some of the expanded rules.
There are also 4 shields with the army type on them in the way of a generic image of the army type. They are a bit thin but serve their purpose.
The rule book explains the rules rather well. Has expanded rules, army breakdown based on the number of players, & detailed images of how gameplay should work.
Gameplay: The game is simple enough to play. I see it as part Stratego and part Catan with a dash of Lord of the Rings mixed in.
Each player picks one of the 4 armies (Elf, Goblin, Dwarf, & Orc). They take their shield and the appropriate armies based on the number of players. If just a two player game use all of the tokens for your army. Each army is worth a different point value (think Stratego).
The gold blocks are separated out based on the instructions in the book and placed randomly on the board covering the pictures of gold. The palisades (walls – think Catans roads) are put into a pile within easy reach of all of the players.
On each players turn they may do one of two things: place one army, number side down (again Stratego) or they may place up to 2 palisades (walls). If placing palisades they cannot leave a space that is more than 4 squares total. The basic idea is to isolate treasures into rooms that your armies will occupy.
Play continues until all players decide that they can’t do anything more. Once a player passes that cannot resume later if they see that they can do something. THERE WILL BE TIMES, YOU WILL NOT WANT TO PLACE ALL OF YOUR ARMIES and/or CANNOT PLACE ALL OF THE PALISADES. Once this happens, the armies are flipped over and the battle ensues. Whomever has the most “points” worth of armies in a region gets the gold. In case of ties, it is split evenly and the extras are discarded. Continue this until all gold has been distributed and a winner is declared.
Yes/No Recommend: This is a fun little game. I mean that in all respects. The board is small, but a little stiff. It vaguely reminds me of Stratego with some extra mechanics thrown in. I find it the most fun, when there are only 2 players. The only bonus to having more than 2 players is that you are less likely to end the game in a tie. The fact that you have to overpower your opponent on multiple fronts to beat them, makes this a better game in my opinion, than Stratego.
Where To Get It: I know this game is fairly new, but you can check the local game stores for a copy of it. I know I have not seen this game in any of the Big Box Stores as of yet. For more information on this and other Blue Orange games visit their website at http://www.blueorangegames.com/index.php/games/armadora