Quick Look – Bellum: Of Mutants and Men
Men is just that—a war game of 2 forces facing off against each other on the
field of battle.
being built. Some are of one race. In some places of the world, the races have
come together in defense of their homelands. You have a full barracks and are
preparing to lead your troops to conquest against your enemy’s keep.
played on a 5 by 5 grid map.
playing. Bellum comes with 2 prebuilt decks (1 for each race) and enough cards
to build several more. We chose to use the pre-made decks to play our game.
of how the game is played and how to read the cards. The cards are divided into
Units and Stratagem. The information on the cards is used when bringing Units
into play and affects how the game plays out. Cards also have synergistic
aspects that can come into play.
keep located in the middle square on opposite sides. This means there are 3
steps from doorstep to doorstep. This allows the ability to move in quickly and attack with some Units while others maneuvering into support positions.
complexity to the strategy without complicating the rules.
Each player has a deck of 30 cards, called a Barracks. There can only be two
cards of the same type in the Barracks. When preparing to play, this is the
longest portion; however, we thought of a couple of ideas that could be used
for this part of the game (more on our variants later). There are enough different
cards to create different strategies between games or create multiple decks at
and other activities during their turn. You start a round by drawing a card and
then increasing your Stockpile by the number of cards you have in your hand.
cards in play), then the middle turn of movement, combat, and some other
options, and completes with end of turn events (also listed on the cards). We
found these to be easy to follow and setting up combinations of beginning and
ending turn events is useful.
is the amount of damage they can take in a turn. Once they reach zero, the Unit
is removed from the game. If there wasn’t enough damage to remove the Unit in a
single turn, the Defense resets with the next turn. But the main goal is to
take out your opponent’s keep.
crossover between science fiction and fantasy.
done by comparing the cards; there are no dice used.
of the components and artwork are in black and white, playing up the dichotomy
of 2 sides. The artwork also makes the cards easy to read.
starting, or to speed up play between games if you want to play back-to-back
- After finishing a game, swap decks and
go at it again. This provides a quick set up into the next game and allows you
to see how well your opponent does with a deck you created.
- Create two decks before play and
randomly have your opponent choose one to play. This gives the experience of
building the Barracks and working on keeping them balanced.
- Draft the cards. There are over 100
additional cards with the game so this might take a longer while still learning
what the cards can do and how they interact. You can also draft more cards than
needed so you aren’t totally revealing what you will be using. There is also
the ability to draft to the end and create several decks from one drafting
event. Again, this would allow your opponent to know what all your cards are,
but not in which deck they are used.
- Only needs two players
- Easy to learn
- Enough cards to play—each player doesn’t need to have their own
copy of the game
- Only two players
talking about other options and strategies we could play as we progressed. I
know we will be bringing it out again to try out our thoughts.
- Two-player games
- Strategy games
- Deck management
Check out Bellum: Of Mutants and Men on
Daniel Yocom – Reviewer
Daniel Yocom does geeky things by night because his day job won’t let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He’s written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines along with stories, after extensive research. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join in the geeky fun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See Daniel’s reviews HERE.