Yesterday we squeezed in another game of Age of War which I won. So that's a 50% win rate at the game so far against Duncan.
Duncan and I also got to play Tiny Epic Kingdom which saw the Halflings of Brysue (me) go toe to toe with the Elves of Galson (Duncan).
Tiny Epic Kingdom is a 4x game. What does that mean? Well I had heard it explained recently in reviews for this very game. However I am old and my memory isn't as good as it used to be, so I found this explanation for you.
“4X is a genre of strategy-based video and board games in which players control an empire and “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate”.” (Source Wikipedia link)
The expansionist plans of both our kingdoms over spilled into the lost kingdom of Ahlfors. This is a slight rule change for two players, one of a couple specific for two players. The high and mighty Elves had decided to go off on a quest to far away lands and came across the lands of the lost kingdom of Ahlfors, where they found a strange race of humanoids stopping their expansionist plans to colonise this newly discovered kingdom.
The Elves taking inspiration from US history engaged in a war with the indigenous population to steal their stone producing land to use in their own resource hungry master plan. The indigenous people gave little resistance to the superior invading forces. The Elves had been victorious and now controlled the valuable resource producing land. But not for long. No sooner had the surviving rightful people of this region of Ahlfors fled their homes from the marauding Elven armies, than a fleet carrying the liberating armies of the halfling armies of Brysue arrived to free the people of Ahlfors from the tyrannical yoke of the elves. Naturally the liberators had to stay behind and make sure that the indigenous people were exploited for the right cause.
Or in none fancy words I let Duncan take one of the Lost Kingdoms lands, depleting his resources that could be used in combat, then stepped in and took the land off him using just enough resources to defeat him. A cunning tactic on my behalf ^_^
What is amazing thing about Tiny Epic Kingdoms is that for such a small box, there is an amazing amount of game play, and good quality components. They really have captured a game that would come in a much larger box with tonnes more components and take many hours to play into a tiny box that plays much quicker.
Even though there are only six actions to choose from, there is a lot of tactical decisions to be made. Play an action at the wrong time and it could screw up your opponent easily that round. At one point I had the decision of questing or patrolling. If I quested I could of invaded an area on the Elven kingdom and won (I had more resources for fighting) and cut off the mana source Duncan needed to do research. Basically be a complete git. Or I could patrol and make a move towards a capital to give me a victory point at the end.
There really are some nice mechanics in this game from the selecting actions, sharing actions, end conditions, to the combat.
Naturally the forces of good depicted by the Halflings defeated the forces of chaos depicted by the Elves. Or put another way I beat Duncan.
I know Roll For It, Age of War etc have been out for a while. But there does seem to be a much welcomed new wave of small games punching well above their weight, Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Star Realms, Harbour. Games that can easily be taken around in a bag and whipped out at a moments notice. I'm loath to call these filler games, although they certain can fill that role at a games night. I think calling them such deminishes the games from what they are. I hate to call them micro or pocket games. I think these games are like the transformers of the games world, more than meets the eye. Whatever the tag you want to put on these types of games they are at the end of the day great games, with lots of replayability, and lots of fun.