Review: Assault of the Giants – giants in your hands
At first I heard the thunder. Earth shuddered, and somewhere in the distance I suspected a threat. But what happened then overcame all my worst fears. There was something moving in the clouds high above my head. I recognized fingers in the giant objects that were shifting there. I did not believe it for a while, but when a part of the nearby mountain collapsed under the weight of a gigantic foot, it was time to escape. There is only one chance – to bring information about this to the king and his army. God’s wrath was unleashed upon us.
And we are already welcoming a giant box that certainly does not do shame with its dimesions to its giant theme. Why do you need so much space inside? That’s what you wanted to hear – for a set of huge miniatures! These figures are eight centimeters in height and represent a breathtaking set of giants (god heroes) armed with various types of melee weapons.
At the beginning of the entire game, players will unfold a big board on the table. It shows a map of the world divided into several regions. After that, players will divide up the individual races, that will fight for domination in the name of their masters – deities. They still follow old arrangement of power in heavens. So in first rounds, players will alternate in fixed order according to this.
Each player will not only have their champion miniature (so called giant), but also leader cards, orders, and tokens of units and story. Each race also has its own battle dice. Part of units is placed directly on the map according to starting dispositions of all races. With fewer players, some areas will be occupied by armies, that does not belong to any player (NPCs).
Next to the map, players create offer of events from shuffled deck by revealing three cards and the same goes for package of raw materials. Each of the participants can choose one of them for himself. Near the board is placed also a pack of spells, order tokens and giantslayers (their miniatures and cards).
The players then go one at a time in doing their whole turn. The main purpose is to use command cards that give instructions to units. Player can always use one in his turn, but the cards remain in a line in front of the player and the next round commands are sequentially chained. The arrows shown on them point to the left or to the right and indicate whether players will benefit from any card lying to the left or right of the command being played.
Consequently, opponents can move their units across regions. They must never end their movement on position of the opponent’s army, but they can pass through hostile territory (at the cost of the raw material or one wound). And while an ordinary unit is turned to its wounded side with first his inflicted (and second hit eliminates it), giants have their given lives and it takes one giant blow to defeat them. In addition, players also should keep in mind, that there may be only a limited number of units in one territory, as the giants occupy a lot of space.
When two such armies almost collide (enemies being in a neighboring region), player may use an attack command. After chance to use some magic, both rivals add up their strengths, which result in number of dice they can roll. Each attack (result of a hit) gives the opponent an injury if it is not blocked. But the result may also be a failed swing, block (no use for attacker) or joker (arcane), which can be used differently. Additionally, cards can give players option of multiplying and rerolling a number of dice for a new result. Both attacker and defender mark their sum on attack scale and the difference is number of injuries. Defenders divides it among his units as he pleases and attacker may as a result of a successful battle occupy the region. Both opponents will get some new ordning points.
With other action cards, new units can be hired. For this, it is necessary to spend free points that are provided by command card itself and also its neighbors, which have potential to multiply that income. Upon payment, the new army will appear in the starting area of the map and enter the battle. During the game, players can also trade (with their opponents and with a resource pile), draw new magic cards, rest (and heal one point of injury) or giants can use their size. How? They will threaten surrounding residents, who prefer to submit their resources (at least two) in face of terror. Each giant race has one specific action card, that can differentiate them against the opponents.
But the board might be soon filled also with giantslayers, who have awaken with giants and players can use them whenever they take a rest action. This will bring them one action point for this mercenary soldier. And these small miniatures can not only move but also attack giants (what a surprise!). But they have to be in the same region.
At the start of each turn, however, players can claim one of the offered event cards. However, they need to fulfill its conditions. Not only the cards in the middle of the table are available to players, but also their own events arranged in a pile at start.
Players gain new point not only because of fights, but also through fulfillment of events (common or their own). Once the first stack of points is depleted, there is a second phase, in which giants can also attack opponent’s starting area. The game ends, when the second chip stack is emptied. Determining the winner is then only about adding points. The one, who has the highest sum, is the winner.
Assault of the Giants is a combat game, in which players control giants. They, with their slow movements, move around the world, deliver destruction and panic. The players have them under their control, but all the time, they are not fighting only for the position and area itself, but mostly have to go for wins in battles. Fight is the main source of recognition. But there is also alternative to battle in tasks (events), that everyone can accomplish. And rewards are also certainly not negligible.
But the basis for everything is tactical command card options. Its not just about the order in which you play them. Acton cards affect each other and their strength increases, the more neighbors they have. And here comes true planning in place of mindless playing. Suddenly, each card has its meaning not only at the time of its use but also later in future turns. Until the player picks them all up and continues with the full offer again. So players have to deal with a few pitfalls in figuring out what and how to do stuff with their units.
The game is pleasantly asymmetrical. Each race has its own set of cards that is a bit different. At the same time, it also means that game is not 100 % balanced and some races are stronger than others. That’s why the choice of race is different across number of players – there are not all giant races available in a smaller number of participants. But even with three players, games take up longer than an hour of your time, rather count with eighty minutes.
Therefore, in order to appreciate the full content (all races), there must be a maximum of six opponents. But it also brings even higher match length around two hours. The battles are usually slow because they offer the various options of playing cards and rolling dice, which is not good news.
Luck is inseparable from this game. Individual game elements are decided by dice, although players have the ability to influence all with spells and rerolls. But the events themselves (actually events) appear randomly and those usually relate to specific territories. Here, then, much depends on the current location on the map, where some race will usually gain an advantage.
The overall impression of processing is absolutely unmistakably influenced by miniatures. These are really great and have a stunning impression of the game. Unfortunately for most races both champions look the same. In addition, the other units are tokens, which is clearly a shame. The quality of both cards and tokens is average.
Assault of the Giants is an interesting conflict game that is full of fighting. Players are chasing a victory points with their giant figures and it all looks great. But the dynamics of the game itself is not ideal, which negatively influences the overall impression. Even so, Assault of the Giants is a very good choice for lovers of battles over domination.
Review: Assault of the Giants – giants in your hands
Assault of the Giants is a game, in which you give orders to giants. Maybe you are little people, but these monsters will still listen to you. You use commands that work in groups, and number of neighbors to left and right also increase their power. Players on the map are constantly struggling to gain points. Therefore, it is unpleasant that battles are too slow and disturb dynamics of the game. Matches are also longer as a whole. But that does not change their entertainment and that's also a good reason to recommend Assault of the Giants to you, despite minor shortcomings.
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commands for playing cards
hunters of giants
not all races are always available
NPC races in a lower number of players only defend and delay the course