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Hyperwars - real time area control in under 15 mins?

Updated: Dec 17, 2022


Official Dice Coalition photograph of the game Hyper Wars with all components laid out

Summary

Players: 2-5

Ages: 14+

Game Time: 10-15 mins


Hyperwars by Dice Coalition Games (www.dicecoalition.games) is a real-time area control board game that really does grab you by the metaphorical balls and drop you into the game with a great big kerplunk! Designed by Fabricio Leotti game is fast and furious... and I am not kidding! If you like real time games that play in under 15 mins, then you should read on....


Gameplay

Players take on the role of large corporations set in the dystopian city of Urbana. You are completing for hegemony in the market of illicit products. Make sure you are careful, the Hyperwars wait for no one, and the quickest and smartest will come out tops. Players with the most victory points at the end of the game WINS! So, simple ... right? Nope!

To be good at this game you need to be quick off the bat and be able to think on your feet and adapt to what's happening in real time, as a moment's doubt and hesitation is a recipe for failure in the Hyperwars.

In order to control districts players must have more agents in a district than any other player, while also being able to fulfil its exact resource demands.

Before play starts, make sure you choose a rules level for the game (different levels add complexities and specific scoring conditions). I recommend that you play the default setting until you understand the game well enough!

In the game, you have a timed five-minute phase where there are no turns, and every player gets to do the following routines as many times as they can:


- Choose an action card from hand

- Play the action card face up, and perform the action described on the card

- Pass the action to the player on the right face down

- (optional) Draw an action card from the central deck

- Put all the cards passed to you by the player on your left in your hand

(Start all over again).


The actions on the cards are outlined below:


Deploy: Add a new agent from your reserve to one of the districts in play.

Move: Move one or more agents between two districts.

Produce: Add three resource cubes to your bag, shuffle the cubes in the bag and take three cubes from the bag. Then place them into any one district where you have agents already deployed.

Deliver: Move one or more resource cubes between two districts where you have agents in play.

Overhead shot of a district card from the game Hyperwars, a player drawstring bag with resource cubes and the 'Produce', 'Deploy & Move' and 'Deliver' cards from the game Hyperwars

When the frantic five mins is up, you then move onto scoring to determine the winner. Make sure all actions in front of players have been resolved.


Scoring works like this:


Each district is counted up, starting with the district with the lowest value objective card. Consult the scoring section of the book for the chosen rule level, then count the number of agents in each area of the district. Then, in order of numbers of agents in the district (highest to lowest) each player tries to fulfil the objective cards.


To fulfil an objective card, the players must have on the district area the exact amount and type of resources indicated on the card. If the player has less than the required amount/types that player fail's the objective. If a player has more than enough, they succeed BUT loose 1VP for every extra resource they have in the area from the reward for the area, be warned this can be a minus!


Be the first player to succeed and you will receive the VP indicated on the objective card. If a tie ever occurs, then all players attempt to fulfil the objective card simultaneously and each player who succeeds receive the higher VP indicated on the card.


Continue this for all districts and then each player loses 1VP for every two action cards they have remaining in their hand! Make sure you also apply your penalties from the chosen rule penalty and the player with the most points WINS! If there is a tie, the player that fulfilled more objective cards wins and then if still tied, share the victory!


This game also has a solo mode, which was not included in the prototype we got, but I feel the need to tell you as lots of designers are incorporating solo modes into games these days!


This game really suffers from "newbie will lose syndrome" and you can easily get overwhelmed because it is quick as lightning. However. it does get easier once you have got the hang of what it is you are doing, so well worth giving it multiple goes on a session.


Production

I must remind folks that we have a prototype version of the game, but in this instance, this is where the game is let down. I am unsure how much of the components are final, but they are not the best, especially when they are such a key component to the game play. You are constantly drawing them from the drawstring bags, the parts are a little small and fiddly which can cause an issue if you're not a dextrous person. The samples are clearly 3D printed so I hope the quality and size can be adjusted. Overall, the artwork is fantastic, it fits the cyberpunk theme really well. The artist Nicholas Hook has done a fantastic job.

A red drawstring bag with a variety of crate cubes on it

Conclusion

​So, let's break it down for you in our key areas:

Replayability

​Highly replayable (once you have grasped the basics). Players may need unofficial practice rounds before they play competitively.


Production Value

This is difficult since I have a production prototype, which I also think is homemade (3D printed parts etc) version. It's not terrible for a prototype, but I do think the crates could be a little bigger. The artwork is really great, and I hope they don't change it.


Theme

Who doesn't like cyberpunk themes?


Complexity

​Considering how quickly this plays, it's not overly difficult. It's just a quick-thinking game, so you really have to be on your toes. Once you get the rules it's all about speed and dexterity.


Rules

Not overly complex, it's just a steep / fast learning curve.


Uniqueness

​While I haven't seen anything like this that plays as quick. Worker placement is still at its core. Did I say it's fast paced???


Value

​The Kickstarter basic version is £35 so not bad at all TBH.


A D6 die face showing five pips

I like the game and love the premise behind it, anyone who can think fast will love this. The playtime and lack of turns (simultaneous play) will provide adrenalin and excitement not previously experienced when playing a boardgame. The only reason I can't score this top marks is because of the production, it's not a finished product.


When I first tried this at UK Games Expo, I was like:

"WOOAAHH what just happened?"

The Kickstarter is live NOW!! Go check it out here (www.kickstarter.com/projects/dicecoalitiongames/hyperwars-board-game).


Your friendly DOALG Founder

Mr Chris


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