Preview: Ether Wars: Sci-Fi strategic dice game
Custom-dice based game of strategic placement, resource management, area control and asymmetric science fiction ass-kicking control of the Ether.
It slices, it dices it… well, it does everything that the tag ling above suggests.
It has custom dice, check, and they look pretty good too. We like games that create some imaginary world, and then give us unique dice that don’t break us out of that bubble. I have dice I use for my fantasy RPG games that I don’t use for my sci-fi RPGs. I’m funny that way. (edit: not only that way) If you want me to suspend my disbelief, then don’t break me out of that by using generic dice. The dice are actually your army that defends your miner guys and area control.
Strategic placement, check, but it should read strategic WORKER placement. Your guys are mining the Ether, which apparently is not the gas we all know and love from the dentist office.
Resource management, check, moving your miners around and then protecting your space with your dice army. The two resources seem to be the army and the miners, you can hire mercenaries, they have the custom dice, to aid you in the wars. There are a number of supplies you need in the game, and one way to get more than you deserve is to attack another player’s silos. There are other resources to manage: Coltan, Plasma, and Proteins, and of course, (edit: duh), you can channel more Ether with Crystals.
Area Control, check, that’s what the army is for. If you can’t use the army to control an area, what is the army good for?
This game is pretty, and I can see how it attracts attention at game conventions, where it was apparently spotted by the publishing team and picked up for this Kickstarter. The game board is one of those boards that has a WOW factor even when you’re setting up to play. If you look at the contents picture, you can see a lot of thought has been put into the sci-fi theme. The part abut the ass-kicking, you’ll have to discover that one on your own. This will be a pretty game to play and make no mistake, that is a factor in all games.
From what we can see, this game will also make a great gateway game for new board game players. Lots of pretty bits and game description that is easy to explain.
There are stretch goals, but they do the ONE thing, (edit: there are many actually), that I dislike… they hide the top end of their stretch goals. We hate that around here because it deprives us of one of the tools we use to get our friends to back any game: “Look, if you and all of your cousins that you’re married to back this game, look at all the cool things that we can get!”, or something like that.
In the two stretch goals that are presented, not unlocked, they both have to do with components of the game. We really want to see the other stretch goals… all of them.
This game is really unique and would make a fine addition to any game library. It plays 2-4 but gut feeling is that 4 is the right number. If you play this at a convention or store, be sure to count the number of people who stop just to look at what you’re playing. It really is that cool looking.
Good art, solid game play, that’s why we backed it And you should… do as we have done and back this game!