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11:59 Kickstarter Preview


Quick Look: 11:59


Designer: Chris Rossetti
Artist: Chris Rossetti
Publisher: Rampage Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2
Ages: 13+
Playing Time: 3-5 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com

WARNING: This is a preview of 11:59. All components and rules are prototype and subject to change.



Review:

tl;dr: Super-fast simultaneous dice roller depicting the commit and launch phases of nuclear Armageddon. So yeah, stakes are high.

Getting to the Game: The game, called11:59, bills itself as a micro dice game, and that it is. Player pieces come in black and caution-yellow--give each player all their tokens, and then set up two VIP meeples next to 2 chevron bunkers and a single plastic nuke, on its side. Place the diplomacy gems in the middle, and give each player their dice. Shall we play a game?



The object here is roll your dice fast and well--trying to accumulate enough doubles to deploy your arsenal through their bunker to kill their VIPs. Easy peasy. 

Playing the Game: Playing 11:59, interestingly, won't take you nearly as long as the game's title implies. Both players are playing simultaneously, and the gameplay is fast. In our experience, players are calling out doubles, removing their opponent's bunkers, and getting right back to rolling dice. It's this fast-and-furious gameplay that lies right at the nuclear core of this game's appeal. 



If you start to lose your protection, though, don't fear, you can always use the 7s you're inevitably rolling (it's the most common result of rolling two dice, for those of you uneducated in the casino game of Craps) to earn diplomacy gems, which let you rebuild your bunker at any time. 



Where the game breaks down, interestingly, is where it decided to try and introduce another mechanic. The diplomacy gems are not only strangely named, since they can be used to build bunkers, but also accumulating 5 of them allows you to win the game via a diplomatic victory. This is so antithetical to the crazed kill or be killed gameplay, and statistically, it's far more likely to happen. In the half-dozen or so games we played of this for my review, every single one of them ended in diplomacy victory. It was anticlimactic to say the least.


Artwork and Components: There's no artwork in the game, boiling everything down to the components that fit inside the tin. Those components are just fine- little plastic missiles get the job done, and the dice feel nice in your hand and on the table. The diplomacy gems are opaque glass beads, and the wooden chevron bunkers are actually my favorite component.

The Good: Fast dice gameplay feels fun, components are decent.

The Bad: Gameplay is shallow, and leans heavily towards what appears to be a secondary win condition. Fun the first few times, but unlikely to be something you keep taking out.

Score: While 11:59 disappointed me, I have to admit there's charm inside the tin. Rossetti's got a core idea here that works well, and this might actually be a fun mechanic inside a larger, more balanced game. I'm giving 11:59 a score of Into the Bunker.


Check out 11:59 on:

              

On KICKSTARTER now. Campaign ends May 9, 2019.




Nicholas Leeman - Reviewer

Nicholas has been a board game evangelist for over 10 years now, converting friends and family alike to the hobby. He's also a trained actor and works summers as one of the PA announcers for the St. Paul Saints. He lives in Minneapolis, MN with his board gaming wife and son.

See Nicholas's reviews HERE.
11:59 Kickstarter Preview 11:59 Kickstarter Preview Reviewed by The Madjai on April 12, 2019 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. Based on your review it seems you weren't using the propaganda mechanic. If you failed to use it then the game's favoring diplomatic victory make sense. You aren't the first to ignore the mechanic (if you did). I do wonder how much depth you were expecting from a 3 minute, real-time game, though.

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