On the wings of the wind, the path only runs between clouds and dragons. Up there, where only the birds could have been. It is time to ascend on the wings of unique and beautiful machines, that try to match the creations of Mother Nature.
All kinds of creatures will roam in our presence in the sky. Just unpack the board game Aerion, which Shadi Torbey has prepared for all players and lovers of the Oniverse world. The novelty has joined alongside the older games of Onirim and Castellion and has also been released under Z-Man Games. On the European continent, however, it started its pilgrimage in distribution of Esdevium Games.
We will peek between the clouds on the lid and we will not leave them even after lifting the lid. The bottom of the box is elegantly covered with folded clouds, that need to be opened. Only then, players interested in the construction of flying machines get to the rules, but mainly to all those cards, tokens and dice, that allow it all to happen. The vast majority of elements will not be needed in the first games, because they belong to different expansions, that are part of the box.
To begin with, players divide resource cards into six stacks by type, place them in a row, and reveal one card from each. There are also three fairies and a dice set needed. Both participants will receive three ship tokens.
The whole game is a joint effort of two players (or solo play), whose round starts with a roll of six dice. In this case, each source card has a printed combination at the top. Those are values of dice, which must be spent for its acquisition. These sets correspond to classic combinations known from poker, for example two pairs.
This must not necessarily happen at the first attempt. For a player to get chance to reroll a complete set of dice, he must first discard one of the six resource cards offered. After that moment, he rolls the dice again with a slightly lower probability of success, because he has one less card to choose from. When the player is satisfied with the result, he can buy a card for his dice. But only those, that he can afford with rolled combination. In this way, a player can get either a book, that is placed in a section known as a pulpit or an element card. That belongs to the workshop. Then, at the end of the turn, you only need to add cards from the packages to make the selection complete again.
Players can then combine these cards to build ships. Cards have different limitations, that clearly specify their combinability. Order is also important and especially the capacity of each workshop, where only one ship can be under construction. And the crew card can only come in the end, when ship is finished.
If players can complete last sixth ship and turn its token to the finished side, the team of boatmasters can celebrate. But victory is not for free. Players have to do this before their reserve of crew, drawings and materiál is gone. Once that happened, they lost.
Aerion is a very solid contribution to the family of small cooperative games. There is not really much of those simple games with interesting and clever possibilities in this genre. All the more value we see in this game, even though it is just a roll of dice and card collecting. Just as Aerion looks at first glance, when you play the basic version.
Fortunately, it is far from everything. When you think you can win repeatedly in the variant we have described, you will suddenly find, that you have not even tried half of the components this small box offers.
Gradually, cards with permanent effects, new conditions of victory or increased difficulty come into play. Another module adds a worker placement element. There are six modules in total, which can be used alone or combined with each other for an ultimate experience.
We really like the mechanism of shuffling the dice associated with throwing away cards. The player not only pays by discarding card, that he will never get. Above all, the price is time, because the team’s loss is approaching with each discarded resource. Therefore, participants need to consider very well, when it is worth to reroll dice and when not.
While in the basic version, you can fight to the end of the game even in twenty minutes, with the increasing rules you start to approach twice that number. But that is still a value, that is very acceptable.
We are talking about the game of two players all the time. But we must not neglect the chance to play Aerion solo. Just as the box is intended in the first place and the rules for two teammates are always given only in the additional paragraphs.
Victory is not self-evident. And even if the game seems simple to you, you’ll find a number of elements in the rules, that could make it harder. And given the length, there’s no problem trying to win again, if you can’t do it for the first time.
Of course, Aerion is random, because the dice are the main driver here. Due to the length and difficulty, however, it does not matter, because not only experienced players eager for clever rest, but also beginners will be interested in this game. They will appreciate excellent accessibility of the box. In addition, Aerion also excels in graphic design. This is unique creation and makes Aerion truly a treat.
Aerion is a unique game, that captivates loners and couples. Just for them is box about construction of air machines designed. It offers card dice shopping. This does not sound very interesting, but the mechanism of constantly passing time, which is paid for shifting dice, is an element guaranteeing tension. The game looks really beautiful and offers delicious entertainment, though at the expense of randomness. But Aerion is primarily a great design and fun game.