Preview: Brace for Impact!

A frantic, head-to-head, real-time submarine dice battler that plays in 5 minutes!

Subject:   U.S.S. Game Rustlers – Report of 1st patrol. 

December 23rd:  We rolled dice while out on patrol.  No enemy sighted, just a bunch of long metal tubes which appear to have a crew of meeples, just one torpedo and a bunch of tic-taks with a gland problem that they call “intelligence”. We’re not sure what those things are called, but the sea seems to be littered with them. So much so that we’ve not seen a single whale.

December 27th:  We rolled dice. no big tub sightings

(edit: deleted 32 days of rolling dice, it’s a dice game for gosh sakes)

April 3rd:  We rolled dice and put the hammer down. Actually, there’s no hammer, it’s more like we loaded a tube with a torpedo. It seems those big tubs are actually other submarines and we’re supposed to be fighting them. We’ll throw a few of our meeples at them and just to keep the sea clean, we’ll roll for a few gigantic tic-taks.

Brace for Impact is, brace yourselves, a game about building wood structures that can handle a lot of punishment. (edit: no, try again)

Brace for Impact is a game about dentists and how straightening teeth is a combat sport. (edit: one more time)

Brace for Impact is a game about submarine combat (edit: ding, ding, ding) Which doesn’t involve actually moving the subs around at all.  All that steering is left to the sailors who know how to turn the wheel, which leaves all of the fun stuff, decision making on weapons and strategy up to you. There are two ways to win the game, three if you could throwing a tantrum and tossing the table, you can destroy the ship by eliminating the crew through torpedo strikes, or by gathering all the tic-taks of intelligence. (edit: be serious) Or by gathering all the gum drops (edit: no), or by gathering the generic white things that were on sale when they designed the prototype. (edit: yeah ok, go with that) Really, I don’t blame them at all… I mean, which chit goes with “intelligence” anyway. If you have to pick something, go with a big white thing. It’s easy to see…

I’d call this a beer & pretzels game but by the time you poured a beer and opened the bag, the first game could be over.  This is s dice game which having luck with dice is HUGE. It does have a couple of wrinkles of strategy, you do have a couple of decisions to make when certain dice rolls come up.  And that can lead to some interesting trade offs.  This is game you play on a magazine, sitting between two people as you wait for the bus, or at a doctors office. (edit: who brings a friend to the doctor’s office)  Or as you’re sitting in one office, while the editor interviewee is in the other room. (edit: cheap shot)

Brace for Impact is a great little game that crams a lot of game play into a tin, that fits in your pocket. Give the size, the expectations aren’t for another Settler of Catan, but Brace for Impact delivers on exactly what it promises. And frankly, there’s a large percentage of games out there that can’t say that. We expect a small fun game that doesn’t try to accurately simulate sub to sub combat. The fast pace comes from no turns, yep, another game with no turns.  You roll dice as fast as you can because that’s exactly what your opponent is doing. Say goodbye to dice towers, they take to long. Brace for Impact simulates a realtime strategy game, but even then, doesn’t go to far with that concept. Keeping the game light and face means, you have a limited number of choices, but you also need to have fast decisions. Really, you could lose this game faster than read this Preview. (edit: twice since I cut so much “content”)

Art?  OK, there isn’t any…. well, none that would make or break the game.

Stretch goals? OK, well, there are two… but rack your brains, what is there to improve in the game for the components? Fancy dice? Any kind of boat tracking and suddenly the pace slows down and you’re a miniatures game.  One crazy idea, have a long mat made with one inch squares, and simulate one sub chasing another. When you get to the end of the mat, move to the other end and start again, like a combat race through Thor’s Twins (edit: movie reference – Hunt for Red October). I just think that submarines are so cool that there’s got to be a bigger game from the roots of Brace of Impact. It’s a fine game, but I would love an option to take it to the next level.

We joke a lot here at the ranch, but we have to say that this game has all of the elements we like and it seems the designers though it out and just deleted the things that would slow down the game. I’m sure there are purists out there that will bemoan (edit: fill in the blank, bunch of whiners), and that just says they didn’t get this game.

We get it.

And you should to, by backing it right now!