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Token Terrors: Battlegrounds


Quick Look: Token Terrors: Battlegrounds

Designer: John de Campos & Phillip Doccolo
Artists: John de Campos
Publisher: Terrible Games
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 2
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 20 to 40 Minutes

Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com


Review:
Token Terrors: Battlegrounds is a fast and furious two-player, semi-abstract game in which players assume the roles of opposing warlords, leading their armies of unique factions into battle!

Setup:
Token Terrors: Battlegrounds is a game with a handful of cards and tokens; thus, setup is quick and easy! Players roll to determine turn order before selecting one of the available faction cards (i.e. 6 in the Season 1 collection) and collecting up to 6 of the faction's associated tokens. Within the rulebook, there are suggestions for new players concerning the number of factions and tokens best suited for learning the game. This draft continues until each player has a total of 10 tokens. Following the draft, players randomly draw 5 of their tokens from their bag, taking turns placing these tokens on spaces within the first 2 rows on their respective sides of the 7x7 board. Each player's remaining 5 tokens form their reserve pool which may be accessed later during gameplay. Once all tokens have been placed, the game is ready to begin.

Gameplay: 
Token Terrors: Battlegrounds utilizes an action point mechanism in which players take turns spending a base set of 3 action points (i.e. commands) with the option of using additional "surge" points that they may have acquired during previous turns to issue additional commands. These action points are used to move, "enrage" their tokens (i.e. increasing the threat level), activate talents unique to each faction, and/or battle their opponent's nearby tokens. Each token's threat level represents their attack and defense strength; this value is further bolstered by the presence of same-faction tokens Additionally, this game features asymmetric faction abilities (i.e. talents) that may be activated once per turn. As a player's tokens are eliminated from the board, they are permitted to retrieve one of the remaining tokens from their reserve pool and place it on any unoccupied space along the perimeter of the board at the end of their turn. Gameplay lasts over a variable number of rounds until one army of tokens has been completely eliminated (i.e. from the board and a player's reserve pool), leaving the last warlord standing as the winner!
Artwork and Components: 
Artwork - The artwork in this game is competent and fun while stylistically similar to Kyle Ferrin's work on games like Root and Vast. 

Miniatures - The sculpted miniatures are cute and do a great job of accurately portraying the factions they represent. According to the designers of Token Terrors: Battlegrounds, the miniatures included in this game were designed to represent "commonly used token creatures in Magic the Gathering" but can also be used as "dice-sized travel-ready minions for your favorite tabletop RPGs." While the core game comes with 36 miniatures (i.e. 6 factions of 6 tokens), additional miniatures will be available for purchase (i.e. $8 per 6-pack) during Token Terrors: Battlegrounds' crowdfunding campaign

Component Quality - Because a digital copy of this game was utilized for the purpose of this review, the quality of components could not be assessed directly. However, the designers have reportedly partnered with Gameland Games and that the quality of components is expected to meet industry standards.

Season 1 Factions: Zombies, Wyverns, Soldiers, Flying Machines, Elves, and Goblins

The Good:
Game Weight - This game is fairly easy to learn and teach. The player aids are concise and the faction cards contain minimal card text with which to be concerned.

Game Length - From the initial setup to the final turn, this game works at a great pace. The reported 20-40 minutes seems fairly accurate once you are familiar with the game.

Replay Value - When considering the number of possible faction combinations, both cooperating and opposing, this game promises a high level of replay value which would be further enhanced by the promise of future faction expansions!

Entertaining Theme - While not exceedingly original in its theme, this game creates unique opportunities for players to do things like building an army of flying machines and goblins or swarm elves with a horde of zombies! 

Critical Feedback:
Limited Faction Interaction - Although certain faction combinations can prove advantageous (e.g., ensuring you have a mix of tokens with ranged and melee attacks), there is little to no direct interaction between cooperating factions. For example, any talents used by one faction only apply to tokens of that specific faction. I think this limits the potential for more strategic interactions between cooperating factions. Who wouldn't want to see flying machines carrying zombies across the battlefield?

Final Thoughts:
Token Terrors: Battlegrounds is a game with a familiar theme and a simple set of mechanisms that will appeal to both new and seasoned board game hobbyists. The various factions featured in this game add a satisfying amount of depth and strategy to what would otherwise be a simple abstract game. The combining of these factions provides Token Terrors: Battlegrounds with a great deal of replay value! I'm looking forward to the campaign as well as future expansions!

Recommended for Players Who Enjoy: 
Semi-abstract, grid-based combat games like Onitama & Tash Kalar.
Faction-mashing games like Smash Up & Small World.


Check out Token Terrors: Battlegrounds on:

             














Shawn C. Hilliard, Ed.D.  - Reviewer

Shawn is a school psychologist, graphic designer, and board game enthusiast from Delaware. Shawn runs a board game design summer camp for kids and often shares his love for the hobby with family, friends, students, and fellow educators. In his free time, Shawn also creates custom laser-cut projects and blogs about various board games, movies, and comics he encounters each month.

See Shawn's articles and reviews and interviews HERE.
Token Terrors: Battlegrounds Token Terrors: Battlegrounds Reviewed by Shawn on May 20, 2020 Rating: 5

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