Avertigos, a Steampunk Hallmark… With Airships!
The steampunk genre has always been defined by the rise of the airship. These graceful mega-structures are seen floating silently through the skies, some to bring trade, some to explore and others to bring war. Their ruddy halls and intricate sails are the hallmark of this popular genre. However, before Avertigos, they have not been fully represented in the gaming world.
That omission has ended with the advent of Avertigos: The South China Skies. Playware Games has a strong showing in this behemoth game. You see elements of competing dynasties, customizable airships and even the classic resource control of euro-games.
Alt History China: Fighting for Control
So let’s look at the story of Avertigos. In this game, you play a ship captain for one of two rival factions in Alt-history China. These dynasties are fighting for ownership of the skies using massive airships to control regions and islands. Wanting to avoid war because it is bad for trade, the dynasties allow their privateer fleets to battle in skirmishes without ever really facing each other in all out war.
With the discovery of new lands in the sea, the dynasties are engaging in more ruthless battles while fighting for the resources available on the islands. As a privateer captain, you are at the helm in this epic adventure. The story rocks with steampunk/sci-fi elements in an Asian setting. This earns Avertigos 8 out of 10 for story. This is one of the games you can see fan fiction arising from).
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Avertigos Game Review: The Novelty of it All
As always, our last category is novelty. There are very few games out there that deal with airships, and fewer still that incorporate the mobile 3D element into the game. Add to the criteria games that focus on strategy at the meso-economic level, and you have a novel game. Avertigos is unique enough that you are not playing the same old war game or Eurogame, but it has mechanics that are either simple or familiar enough that a person can pick it up quite quickly.
One slight knock in this area is that some of the familiar items in the rule book are hard to find (ship prices for skirmish) which can be frustrating. However, overall the concept, building and layout of the board works well within this truly unique game. For this Avertigos earns a 7 out of 10 for novelty.
Avertigos: In the Top 10
Avertigos is a great game, and it is not a little game. This game has the potential to draw in the hardcore “Warhammer” crowd while still not alienating the casual gamer. The website has additional pieces that players can pick up to add depth to their gaming. Avertigos comes into this ranking with a stellar raw score of 40.5 out of 50, placing it in the top 10 games that were reviewed this year.
The customizability of the game pieces adds a 2 point discretionary bump to the game, which brings its final score to 42.5. While this game is a little on the pricey side, for the number of meeples, custom minis and dice that you have in this game, it is well worth every penny. If you are looking for a “big box” game to play with your friends, this would be a good choice.