Friday, July 4, 2014

Every 100 Games Series - Arctic Scavengers

Back in March, I made the best math trade of my math trade career and got several games I enjoy quite a bit. One of those games, which also happens to be my 5,100th game played, is Arctic Scavengers. A deck-building game, where players are placed in 2097 during the next ice age and where over 90% of the population has died off leaving everyone else to scavenge for survival!

Game Play
Arctic Scavengers is a deck-building game, where players spend food or meds to purchase from pre-set piles of items and tribe members. They then use these various items such as rifles, toolkits, spears, with their new tribe members like the thugs or scouts to fight over other important tribe members or items in the contested deck. Then when you play with the expansions that are included in the game, you can also build buildings to store cards, have a leader that gives you a special ability only, and several other tweaks to the game. The game ends when that last contested card is taken, which happens each round by comparing the fighting ability of the tribe members, and then players count up their population points which are on tribe members. The person with the most points gets the win.

This has the worst box insert ever. A game like this, with lots of cards, needs a good insert, but though there are spaces for all the cards, the box insert with the extra boards makes it so the box won't shut and sticks up maybe an inch. So I cut as much off the bottom of the insert as possible, however that still didn't work. Right now I have the cards in baggies. I'm going to make my own insert. As for the rest of the game, a few card board pieces, but mostly cards. The art is sort of dark, matching the theme, but I like it. Quality of the cards is nice as well.

Strategy & Tactics
There seems to be a lot of strategy this game. You can try and win by getting a lot of strength to fight for the contested cards at the end of the round, which can result in a lot of points, but are more random. You can just work on getting the big point scoring options on the board or try and win the three different majorities in buildings, tools, and meds if you are using the expansion. You always have the option of trashing cards, so that makes for a lot of great decisions as well.

I really like this game. I've yet to play it with 2 players, but with 3, 4, or 5 players I enjoy it a lot. Currently for 2014, it is my favorite new-to-me game. It fits a great spot in my collection and is the next step in deck--building for those not-so new players out there. The theme is really carried out I feel in the game, simply by having that contested deck that players fight over. When you do that, it really becomes important to read the starting player's bluff to know if you should fight over that card. Digging in the junkyard, which I haven't even mentioned above, is also very thematic as you can get junk literally and nothing else. This is a game that will continue to remain in my collection for a long time.

Dominion & Ascension Owners - Get this game if you can find it. It fits that different spot between the two. Dominion has all its cards out at the beginning, Ascension is random every round, this is right in-between with lots of player interaction for a card game.

Thematic Fans - I think you can pick this one up. It isn't the 3 hour slug fest you are used to getting in on, but it is still a 45 minute slug fest with some good theme.

New Gamers - I don't think this is for new gamers. You'll probably want to start with Dominion or Ascension in the deck-building category first. Then if you either don't like those or have played those out, then you can go to this one for more complicated game play or another twist to see if you like it.

*Every 100 Games Series - Back in March of 2006 I began tracking each session of the various board and card games I play. I soon got the idea to write a review on every 100th game I played, one because I like writing reviews, and two because it is interesting to see what game I review next. You can find a list of all of them here: Every 100 Games Series Reviews. All images are from BGG and if you follow their URL you can find them there.

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