Note: This is a review of the prototype, so the rules might have changed slightly since.
Back in my younger days, me and my brother would fix lego bricks together to form the shape of a fighter ships from the Star Wars series. Then, we would imagine these fighter ships circling around in space, each trying to outgun each other.
“Pew pew pew”. The concept of putting things together and having them fight was so simple. Why hasn’t anyone done this?
Forward to the present day, what used to be a dream is now a reality. Here it is everyone, Avertigos.
Avertigos (try pronouncing it) is a 2-5 players game from Playware Studios, based in Singapore. There are multiple ways to play Avertigos, but the main game modes would be Skirmish and Domination mode.
Skirmish mode would be equivalent to an epic Star Wars X-Wing battle, where ships fly around to dodge bullets and gun down your opponents. You may play this mode as a free for all or team based mode.
In Domination mode, boy oh boy, it is a different mode altogether. Sure, there’s still the fighting between airships but under this layer of fighting, there is still the tactical aspect of conquering islands, gaining resources from these islands and using said resources for upgrades. Players win either by monopoly (conquering a chain of 5 islands that share the same icon) or by simply pulverizing everyone else.
Now that we got that covered, let’s have a review of Avertigos.
The Modules are Fun
Avertigos follows the simple concept of putting modules onto your airship and by doing so, your airships would get upgrades, such as shield, machine guns or rocket launchers.
But you know what makes it all so fun? The snapping on of modules and seeing your airship change its looks. This is so satisfying that I can just sit for an hour doing nothing but just placing module after module on my airship to see what looks best.
One thing to note though that these modules are not only for aesthetic purposes only, you actually need to make sure the guns or rocket launchers attached are facing the direction that you intend to shoot, which makes so much sense and I definitely approve of this.
Also, as we got a few games going, I got to see the different modules that everyone around the table use and yes, there are definitely a few favorites, such as the rocket launcher. Who is to blame though, everyone loves big guns ?
But the good thing is that the modules feel balanced. With a big gun, your airship would move slower and more vulnerable to get outflanked. With a lighter load, your airship can out maneuver another airship and I have seen some very good pilots at this. Trust me.
The Height Widget
With a height widget, the implication is that an airship can raise or lower its height to evade potential enemy fire and to increase or decrease its speed.
This is f***ing genius, enough said.
Domination Mode is Crazy
If you ever played Game of Thrones: The Board Game and you enjoyed it, then you would enjoy Domination Mode. This game mode is insane with the amount of strategic planning that you can do, the number of ways you can win this mode, the backstabbing element and so much more.. And I love it.
I typically love strategy games as it does give me of an adrenaline rush so I understand if you are not on the same boat as me, but I would strongly encourage you to try this mode at least once. Here’s why.
During my turn, I had to consider:
- Am I going trying to go for many small islands or only specific islands with the same icon?
- If I do take that island, how much coins do I gain next turn?
- Am I able to buy an airship with my coins then?
- Or should I use these coins to purchase more troopers?
- Or more weird ass looking cannons a.k.a claws?
- I have a spare spy. Which island shall I place the spy on to gain the most benefit?
- This guy is occupying an island with the icon that I want. Should I form an alliance with him?
- What benefit should I give him from our alliance?
- Now this guy is useless to me. How shall I break our alliance?
And so, 10 minutes pass while these thoughts pass through my head. To the rest of the table though, I was just staring blankly at the game area.
(PS. The game mat looks gorgeous. Give that guy a raise!)
Conquering and Movement
The movement aspect in Avertigos is unique as players have to use the cards in their hands to form a movement line. Some of these movement cards provide benefit, like regaining health, while some does nothing at all.
The conquering part is pretty straight forward. As long as you have more troopers than the troopers based on the island, you conquered the island successfully.
If you are here for the miniatures, then Avertigos is the game to get. The miniatures look absolutely stunning. The artwork in the game mat and the cards matches the oriental theme so well too.
If you are a fan of big airships with even bigger guns fighting for supremacy, get it.
If you like a game that requires you to think and plan 3 steps ahead, get it.
Avertigos is practically a 2-in-1 board game. All in all, Avertigos is very refreshing. It incorporates many new elements, like the lego-like modules and height widget while retaining all the proven elements that is bound to work in board games, such as the alliances and good old dueling.
With all that being said, I’m not being biased towards local companies but I truly think that Avertigos might just be the breakout game of 2018, just like Scythe in 2016 and Gloomhaven in 2017. Now back to my Lego building.
Link to Avertigos KS page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sidjain/avertigos-a-3d-boardgame-with-flying-sail-ship-min