Story of a man, who had around him nothing, but brave knight. He went by example and never backed up from any challenge. He had a lot of victories, but today, Roman general Flavius stands in his way. Barbarian warlord armies reached French fields and European troops are trying to stop them from entering Catalonia.
At the head of your troops will stand designer Bruno Faidutti, who created this board game called Attila. You will find also name of Cyril Bouquet, who is responsible for the looks. This pair suggests, that we should expect Jactalea company. But it was swallowed by Blue Orange, who stand behind release of this new product for year 2015, presented at Spiel 2015.
Complete fiery battlefield is hidden inside metal box. Its cover is embossed with colored figures of two generals. Front one is undoubtedly Attila. We were a bit surprised by a rabbit in the foreground, frantically fleeing with an oversized carrot in its arms. But who are we to teach history? Maybe it was really like that.
Hopefully, we will be able to ask Attila himself. Inside the box, however, it is all first and foremost about rules – thick booklet with several languages, where actual manual always occupies three pages for each country. In the bowels of the plush holes are then preserved four map tiles – two larger and two smaller rectangular square. They always contain several fields, on which you will fight. Below them are tokens of shattered land. It is dangerous and no knight can set foot on these spaces. Last component is the main: beautiful wooden figurines of knights on horseback. Exactly six of them, three Hutts and three Romans, who are easily identified by style of their dress.
At the beginning of the match, players have to place battlefield. Beginners are recommended to create a square, but later, rivals may connect tiles in any way they feel suitable. Both rivals agree, who will play which side and each takes his three knights. Then, one at a time, knights are placed on the map on any vacant space. Tokens of wrinkled land are set aside for now.
Since then, players will alternate in turns. Their activity always consists of two obligatory events. First of these is movement of a horse in player’s army. Each piece can only move along the route of letter L, just like in the classic game of chess. End movement can only be ended on a spot, that is empty – no horse or scarred land counter can lie there.
Now to pucker some parts of battlefield is second task of player’s turn. He can choose any free field. For this. Then he passes actions to his opponent, who has the exact same options. Well, in the event, that his knights still can move. Player, whose knights are first surrounded by fire and enemies (and thus are unable to move anymore), lost and his opponent can celebrate a military victory.
Attila game is a subtle abstract game, unleashing two adversaries against each other. Each leads his own army, trying to block opponent by placing tokens. But at the same time, they must not forget to maneuver their pieces, because only then can they remain in the game long enough.
Beginning of every game is just about building positions. Neither player has a chance to win until a plan has at least few signs of fire on it. Only then will real chasing and trying to catch the other begin, looking for each other’s mistake. The whole thing is intended only for two adversaries, so do not expect any major battles. Even number of pieces is always limited to just six.
Game does not offer any difficult decisions. Only two basic options. First is the limited jumping around the plan, which at the beginning players decide for themselves. Placing fire is even looser. Turns change quickly and game goes by without a hitch towards the end. This usually happens seamlessly during fifteen minutes, while last few turns may be longer, than those first ones.
As game board decreases, as well as the number of free boxes, tension rises. In the second part of the game, game is more enjoyable, than the first one, where too much does not happen. Decisions in the first part do not play any significant role and will only remotely influence the ultimate victory or defeat. But fortunately, game time significantly reduces importance of these disadvantages.
Game does well also, when it comes to looks. Actual metal box is just the beginning, because there are really nice and big wooden figurines of riders. Additionally illustrations on these stones are nice and pleasantly frivolous. So you can perfectly have fun, as you may see in the surrounding photographs.
Attila is not an exceptional abstract game. It offers a lightweight chess experience for all, who love games for two. Processing is managed to A+ and entertainment fortunately does not scratch. So, its success in the end? Yes, general Attila reached another meaningless victory.
Attila is not a game, that would amaze you with tactical possibilities or provide some logical mystery. Options are always clear and include movement of the horse in an L-shape, and then laying a fire tile. Game space is constantly shrinking and players are trying to maneuver their riders, that they are not the one, who lose freedom of movement completely. Games are similar and does not offer much choices, but are fast and fun. Attila is a game for two, which is a solid, though not exceptional.