Tiny Epic Tactics Deluxe (Review by RJ Garrison)
Designer: Scott Almes
Artists: Nikoletta Vaszi, Naomi Robinson
Publisher: Gamelyn Games
Playing Time: 30-60 minutes
Wondering around the landscape searching for an adventure, or pub, or who knows what a Rouge, a Fighter, a Wizard, and a Beast might be looking for (some fast food?) KaBOOM! A fireball whizzes past exploding a nearby conifer into tiny bits of tinder. The group takes a defensive stance as arrows zip by, one sticking into the Fighter’s shield. Lightning rips from the Wizard’s fingertips into the direction the projectiles are coming from. The Beast roars. Enemies slowly emerge from the forest, encircling the group. The battle begins!
Tiny Epic Tactics offers 5 different modes of play including 2-4 Player Competitive, 2 vs 2 Team Play, 2-4 Player Battle Mode, 2 Player Cooperative, or 1 Player Solo Adventure. I will briefly describe in this review the 2-4 Player Competitive Game. All other modes use the same action selection/ play with some modifications. Grab a copy of the game to check them out!
How to play:
Players are given four units: Rouge, Fighter, Wizard, Beast each with special abilities. They are also dealt two Tactic Cards. They will select one and discard the other. More on Tactic Cards in a moment.
On a players turn, they perform these steps in order: *
1. Check if you hold a Majority Control in any Control Area that has been triggered, and, if so, advance its Flag Token on the Control Card.
2. Take up to 3 actions with your units.
3. After taking actions, remove Weakened Tokens from any units that didn’t take any actions during your turn.
4. Draw a Tactic Card, add it to your hand, and discard down to 2 cards if needed
*Taken from the Tiny Epic Tactics Rulebook
On the map, there are a variety of areas that are designated as Control Areas with flag symbols. Control Areas are triggered if a player starts their turn with a unit standing on a specific flag space in the Control Area. Once an area is triggered, any player starting their turn with majority control anywhere in the area moves the flag for that particular area up one space on the “Control Card.” However, the player that moves the flag doesn’t get any points for that movement. Only the player that has control of the Control Area when the flag moves to the Final Control Space gets points for capturing the flag, and each flag is worth 5 points!
A player can take 3 actions divided among their units. The actions consist of the following: Movement, Melee Attack, Missile Attack, or Casting a Spell
Each unit is allowed one free, no-holds-barred action. If a unit takes a second action, they become weakened and are unable to do any more actions until they get rid of the weakened token. This can happen in 2 different ways: 1. On a player’s next turn, the unit can lose 2 hit points to remove the weakened token. 2. If the unit does no action on the next turn, the weakened token is removed automatically at the end of the turn. No unit can do the same action twice.
Movement is exactly what it sounds like. Use an action to move a unit up to its movement allowance. Note that movement is affected by terrain, but I’ll cover that in a moment.
Melee Attack action is an attack that can happen if a unit is adjacent to an enemy unit. Typically, the Fighter and the Beast are stronger in Melee Attacks. The attacking unit does damage as noted on the Melee area of that unit’s card. When performing a Melee Attack, players have a choice of knocking back their target. Die are rolled and if “Knock Back” symbols are rolled, the target is knocked that far. If the unit hits anything like a wall, another unit, the edge of the map, etc. that knocked unit will take extra damage.
Missile Attacks can be performed by Fighters and Rogues, providing they have the necessary ammo and range. Line of sight is not as important as range is, as your unit can rain down arrows or what-have-you on your enemies from afar. For Missile attacks (and similarly, Spell Attacks, which are also ranged), the more elevated terrain you are at, the better chance you have of landing a hit. With Missile Attacks, the active player will roll for misses, but as long as the player has enough ammo, they can counter each miss by using extra ammo. If the player does not have enough ammo to cover the misses, then that player will…miss.
Spells can be attacks, but some spells can have other effects. As opposed to the spell missing like in a Missile Attack, a player will pay extra mana to roll dice to power up their spell. Each different Wizard Unit has a different spell with different effects, which helps keep the game fresh and interesting each time you play.
Once an attack has completed, the player that has taken damage may Counter attack the attacking unit, providing it is not weakened or captured during that turn. A counter works the same way as the attack with range, etc.
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