Vector Wars — Eli Mamane — Preview

2 weeks ago Jordan Macnab

Jordan Macnab

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The tactical element of Vector Wars is unbelievably deep. Considering the rules are only a few pages long and the game seems fairly simple once you start playing you see very quickly that you will have to make some very tough decisions.

Jordan Macnab


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Publisher: Self Published

Designer: Eli Mamane

Artist: Hal Laren

Game Type: Area Control/Area Influence

Initial Year of Release: 2019

Age Range: 13+

Expected Playtime: 45–60 Minutes

Number of Players: 2

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Vector Wars is set in the distant future when resources have become increasingly impossible to find meaning wars are waged to survive.

A new resource is discovered called Zetta Orbs which look to be the answer to the resource shortages. However, instead of giving the resource away freely the civilisations of the future must battle in virtual arenas to win the resources through none lethal battle in the hopes that there will no longer be a need for war.

Pretty cool premise for a 1v1 grid area control game, but how does it play?

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Each player chooses a faction from the 4 in the base game. Each faction has a starting deck of 9 characters each with their own flip ability and attack values on each side of the card. Some characters have powerful flip abilities but weak stats so placement on the grid can be crucial.

Each turn players can do one of several action including play characters on the grid, buy cards from the market, Fortification and Combat. (plus a couple of other small actions)

You can play a character in any grid but always pay attention to the stats on the cards as combat could happen at any time. Credits (money) is very hard to come by in this game so buying cards from the market can be tough but it can also turn the tide in a war so shop wisely.

Fortification allows you to roll a dice and place the resulting dice in a space between two grid locations. If it sits in front of your cards it will increase that side of the cards strength by the dice value. This can be done multiple times.

You can also use Augmentation which is similar to Fortification but you place the dice directly on the character and it is a permanent stat boost to all sides of the card. This can only be done through card effects.

When you commence combat be aware that you will fight all enemies adjacent to the character that activated the combat. Placing your strongest characters and fortifying them is crucial to success in combat.

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Just from folding the board out and seeing the 1980s cyberpunk style neon I knew I would like this game. The premise of the game with its super sci-fi feel made picking a faction interesting too.

It could have been easy to be disappointed with the quality of the game but this is very early preproduction copy. I’m positive the end product will be outstanding.

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This is a preproduction copy so I wont comment on the quality. I will say that it has great potential.

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The art style is everything I expected it to be. All of the factions are different enough to stand them out from each other and each character is looks unique in each faction. This probably wasn’t something that had to be done but I appreciate the effort.

Even the board is bold and bright and very eye catching and each of the market goods are very well illustrated based on their descriptions.

Every aspect of the designs gives that feel of a sci-fi virtual arena which is pretty impressive.

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We had some really fun games with the different factions but we did find that some of the flip abilities were very overpowered. I’m sure this will have been tested endlessly and I’m sure with more time and more games we could figure out how to overcome some of the more crazy skills but in initial playthroughs it did make for some frustrating moments.

However, overall I really enjoyed Vector Wars. It was very deep and fun tactical puzzle that was fun to try and figure out. Like a simple but also complicated game of chess… if that makes sense .

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13+ seems about right to me just on the amount of difficult decisions you have to make as the game progresses. No way I would try and teach this one to my 5yr old… it would blow her tiny mind.

45 minutes is pretty spot on too. The only longer game we had was the first game but for obvious reasons… the analysis paralysis was crippling.

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 8/10

I haven’t played a game like this in a long time and it was a very fun experience. It has some balance issues but it is the type of game that could be easily updated and expanded on with new factions etc.

The tactical element of Vector Wars is unbelievably deep. Considering the rules are only a few pages long and the game seems fairly simple once you start playing you see very quickly that you will have to make some very tough decisions.

If you are looking for a solid 2 player combat/area control game this is one to look out for, this will be going to Kickstarter at some point this year so keep an eye out.

Jordan Macnab

I wouldn’t like to say board gaming is life… But… Well, ya know! I love playing, reviewing and previewing board games of all types as often as physically possible.

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Tags: Area Control, Eli Mamane, grid movement, Hal Laren, Kickstarter, variable character powers, Vector Wars

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