Galakta Games have come up with a different type of miniatures related boardgame which we thought you would be interested in taking at look at. In This War of Mine, players take on the role of civilians caught up in a conflict, using the resources they have to try and make the best out of the situation.
Upon opening the durable cardboard box, the first item you come across is The Book of Scripts. This is used during gameplay as the resource book for what happens as players have encounters or use the card deck. In some ways, it is akin to the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books of the past, but works with the action on the board to enhance the narrative.
The next ‘booklet’ is the Journal, wherein you can find the basics of the gameplay rules, a ‘get you started’ experience which simulates a full ‘day’ of survival. Rather than explaining every possible aspect of the interlocking rules here, the game designers expect you to go through the Journal one of more times, then move on to encounter the full game, which explains any additional rules in and of itself via the card, Script and tokens system. Just like life, you learn as you have experiences.
The pad of Save Sheets is used to record what happens to your characters during the game, including encounters, the physical state of each person in your group and any notes. It is reminiscent of the ‘Save Points’ found in computer games, where your progress is stored for later and as a means of assessing how well you have done during a gaming session. There are two plastic ziplock bags in the game, not for components but designed to be used as Save and Waste bags for the items you pick up and use.
A sample turn is explained on a double-sided card, taking you through the various stages from the first day of the War to the last. Next comes the double-sided game board, where your decisions have an effect on your attempts to survive and where cards are drawn and replaced to construct your individual survival narrative. Decks of cards are placed on the board and drawn from during turn. After that comes the punchboards full of the relevant tokens used in the game, covering everything from weapons to medication, canned goods to fresh vegetables, all essential for the survival of your group.
A plastic component tray contains all the cards, dice and miniatures for the game. The cards are divided into a host of different types, from the 12 base Character cards which outline all the stats and skills of the named characters, through 26 Exploration, 11 Findings, 10 Night Raid, 14 Resident, 18 Location and 12 Visitor cards. This covers all the possible interactions with the game environment, and are moderated using the Event, Narrative, Chapter and Chapter Objective cards. There are also Fate, Fitting and Shelter cards, plus 5 blank cards for use when expanding the game. All these cards serve to progress the game action and relate to passages in the Scripts book, which are looked up according to the actions taken and the results applied.
The dice used in the game are provided, with a D10 being the most used, and the others forming the basis of the game’s Combat system.
When characters encounter one another and fight over resources, the different coloured dice are used to signify if they are Unarmed (grey), in Melee (yellow) or using a Firearm (red).
The main battles take place over resources, and there are a number of Resource Markers which are used to record which player has what, such as Components, Water or Wood. In a way, these act as your ‘victory points’ – they are essential for survival, and the more of them you have, the longer you and your group can survive. Trading resources is also a feature of the game, as, in the case of Components, some players may have some of the parts they need for certain items but may need others from other players.
The game includeds 12 hard plastic miniatures, used to represent each of the characters on the card. There are also 4 base discs with which to assign a colour to each character. Players can pick any of the characters to play and assign a color, which corresponds to the Colors card deck for game turn and effects.
Based upon a computer game of the same name, this is a complex experience, dealing with a subject that many ignore in wargaming, the effect on civilians. Arguably, this is a game which could be used as part of a modern campaign system to simulate the effect upon the non-combatant populace. A high quality set of components and thought-provoking gameplay make this an unusual miniatures-related game from a company who aim to provide a high-end product.