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Tiny Epic Tactics: Maps Expansion Review


Quick Look: Tiny Epic Tactics: Maps Expansion


Designer
: Scott Almes
Artists: N/A
Publisher: Gamelyn Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 30-60 minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com




For those of you who haven’t played the wonderful Tiny Epic Tactics yet…this is not a review for the game itself. Instead, this is a review of the Maps Expansion, consisting of two new map flavors for you to adventure in. This review is for anyone who has or hasn’t played Tiny Epic Tactics and is interested in knowing just what, pray tell, this Maps Expansion is all about.

Let’s do this.

First, I am going to assume that you are already familiar with the gameplay of Tiny Epic Tactics. If not, please consider familiarizing yourself with the rules/gameplay/etc. and then come back here posthaste.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way we can get started. The box has two maps inside: The Winter Highlands and The Savage Wasteland. While neither map changes any rules to the gameplay, they do vary in where the control points are positioned, where the other boxes are placed and contain a different assortment of forests, water spaces, and villages. For example, the Savage Wasteland has few trees and not much water. The differences on each map will change the way you play the game. In other words, your tactics will change. The game itself will remain its beautiful self.

Each new map comes with a scroll for the base map, and box covers for all the landscape boxes used with the main game. These box covers simply go overtop the regular Forest scene. For the most part, these box covers fit tight and are wonderful. However, I did notice that a few of the smaller box covers—for both map sets—tend to bulge out and not hug the box like they should

Exhibit A
That said, this didn’t affect gameplay at all, and once we got going, we didn’t even really notice it. While I wish it were more snug in a few places, it still works well.

The Winter Highlands Map



First of all, I love snow (I think it’s pretty), so this map speaks to me (hey, I’m from Canada!). This map sort of reminds me of Banff National Park in Alberta (Google it; it’s gorgeous). Of course, I haven’t seen any warring factions in Banff before, so the snowy mountains is where the similarities end.

The main difference in this map is the spacing. The control areas are further apart, so you’ll need to really plan ahead on how you’ll stop your rivals from claiming flags while you try and claim them yourself. 

While this map was more spread out, I found I still enjoyed it a lot. The portals do make it easier to travel from A to Z, and there were plenty of forest and water areas. Lots of potential, but a good hike from one place to the next. If you like to keep your distance during a skirmish, then the Canadian Winter Highlands map might be to your liking.

The Savage Wastelands Map


The close-quarter combat on the Savage Wasteland can get tense!
Savage indeed! With little tree cover and only a few water spaces, this map doesn’t give you a lot of terrain options. And, with the control points a lot closer, things tend to get heated quickly. 

I found the new box/terrain setup to be a lot of fun, with portals popping up right where you don’t want them and enough villages spread around that it was only mildly inconvenient to visit them. Due to the close combat, I think the Savage Wasteland map is my favorite. I love getting right in the middle of things, and that’s exactly what this map encourages. 

Are the New Maps Worth It?



Personally, I like the variety these new maps bring. Of course, there is countless playtime with the original map alone, so you don’t need this Maps Expansion to keep things fresh. However, I do like the slight differences these maps bring to the game, and although the game itself doesn’t change, the way you play can.

And, who says you can’t make it a map with multiple climates? One side is your Savage Wasteland, then your green forest, and then up the hills with ye to the Winter Highlands! Perhaps not as effective in the competitive models (after all, the maps were all designed to be balanced within themselves, not mixed around), but the battle mode has some good opportunities for this type of exploration. 

The short answer of if the new maps are worth picking up boils down to this: follow your heart. You know what you like, and hopefully, you’re more educated about this lil’ expansion from this review. Personally, I love the options these new maps bring. Then again, I’m a completionist. Aside from simply having all the pieces, though, I do think I’ll use these new maps quite frequently. I’ve already played Tiny Epic Tactics many times, and I enjoy mixing things up. For me, they’re worth having. For you? Well, let me know what you think. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

Final Thoughts



I think I’ve discussed the Tiny Epic Tactics Maps Expansion enough for you to get a feel for them. As this expansion only adds maps, there’s not much else to say about it. What I will say, though, is that if you love Tiny Epic Tactics, you may want to look into this Maps Expansion.

The only thing that wasn’t up to standard with this expansion were those few box covers that didn’t hug the box like the others. The protruding landscape may be thematically appropriate, but it can make it more difficult to see the spaces next to it. Still, and as I mentioned above, it’s a minor thing and it didn’t impede our enjoyment whatsoever. 

Was this expansion necessary? Totally not. Is it appreciated? You bet it is! You know what you’re getting in this box, so if you’re into more maps, then great! If not, well, the basic map has loads of opportunities for you. And if you happen to change your mind down the road, the Maps Expansion will still be here for you.

The more I play, the more I enjoy this game and its maps. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.



Check out the Tiny Epic Tactics Maps Expansion and Gamelyn Games on:

                 



Benjamin Kocher - Editor and Reviewer

Benjamin hails from Canada but now lives in Kentucky with his wife and kids. He's a certified copyeditor through UC San Diego's Copyediting Extension program. He's a freelance writer and editor, and covers everything from board game rule books to novels. An avid writer of science fiction and fantasy, it comes as no surprise that his favorite board games are those with rich, engaging themes. When he’s not writing or playing games, Benjamin loves to play ultimate Frisbee, watch and play rugby, and read the most epic fantasy books available. Follow him on Twitter @BenjaminKocher and Instagram @Benjamin_Kocher, and read his board game-inspired fiction at BenjaminKocher.com.


See Benjamin's reviews HERE.

Tiny Epic Tactics: Maps Expansion Review Tiny Epic Tactics: Maps Expansion Review Reviewed by Benjamin Kocher on March 09, 2020 Rating: 5

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