Battle Bears the Board Game Kickstarter Preview

Quick
Look: Battle Bears the Board Game


Designer: Brendan McCaskell, Jonathan Thwaites
Publisher: Oomm Board Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2–6
Ages: 13+
Playing Time: 10 minutes/player
Find
more info on BoardGameGeek.com
Review
For
those who have played Battle Bears online or on an app or who are just looking
for a reason to justify buying the board game…okay, you’ve got it.


If
you haven’t played a video game version of Battle Bears, then keep on reading.


After
crash landing in the Huggable Forest, you have to battle the other bears you
arrived with because there are only enough resources to get you–well, one of
you–out alive. That is, if one of you can survive the Huggable bears who
already live there.


The
designers have been able to keep this franchise going with another installment
of the outlandish bears who are fighting each other. It is a fast paced game
that gets everyone involved early and keeps them active until the end. Even if
your bear is taken out, you are still are in the running to win, depending on how
you play the Huggables.


Oliver, Riggs, Huggable, Wil, and Saberi
Setup
There
are 15 tiles. Each has 7 hexes and determines if there is Grassland, Lava,
Cliff, Forest, Ziggurat, and Gas Refills. These tiles are randomly placed in
a triangular pattern.


The
Gas Cards are shuffled and placed face down where they can be reached.


Players
choose a Bear for their character and place it on the board. On their Character
Mat they place their health at 10 and their weight at 0.
Front and back of Character Mat
Gameplay
On
your turn, you may take 2 of 4 possible actions. They can be taken in any
order and they can be repeated.


You
can move. The distance you can move is based on the weight you’re carrying—the more
you’re carrying (as determined by the Gas Cards on your Character Mat) the
shorter the distance you can travel.


You
can attack. This is done by stating you are doing this action. There might be a
requirement to roll the die if the other bear is in a situation where they are “hard
to hit.” After attacking, you tap out the weapon. Players can also reduce the
damage they take by utilizing armor they may be wearing by tapping it.


Use
a single use item. Play a Gas Card from you hand for this effect.


Flip
over cards and reorganize. This un-taps weapons and armor allowing them to be
used again. You can also change cards on your mat with cards in your hand.


When
you end an action on a Gas Refill marker, you draw 2 cards. You can place the
new cards on your Character Mat if that space is open. You can only use a Gas
Refill once during your turn. To gain 2 more cards, you have to move to another
Gas Refill. This means you can collect 4 cards per turn. The cards are
important and can change the game with a single play.


After
taking two actions, discard your hand down to your hand limit. This is usually
5 cards. There are Gas Cards that allow you to carry more.


The
final action on your turn is to place a Huggable. There are limitations on how
the Huggables can be placed on the board. They are played strategicly, as they
create threats and barriers (Bear-riers?).


When
a character is defeated, the player is not out of the game. They first start
out by playing a Huggable with a couple of extra features. If (more like when)
the huggable dies (usually by attacking another player), the player continues
to place Huggables on their turn.


The
last player left alive is the winner. However, if the players playing the
Huggable can meet one of the requirements set for them, they can snatch victory
away from the players still in the game.


Placing
the Huggables speeds up the game as the rounds advance. Depending on how they
are placed, they can deal damage to players and decrease the size of the playing
board.


Our
first game ended with only 3 tiles left in play. The last 2 players had to not
only fight each other, but had to fight back the ever expanding hoard o
f
Huggables.


The starting board
Theme
and Mechanics
Battle
Bears has been around for a few years as a video game. The theme is carried on in this
newest addition to the game line.


Each
character has unique abilities and a melee weapon listed on their Character Mat.
You have to collect Gas Cards to equip your character beyond that (you don’t
start with any cards) and position yourself to fight and defend. You have to
manage the cards you want to use because each card adds weight which can limit
your movement and most items have more than one option of how to use them.


The
variability of the tile placement and how the Huggables are placed by each
character makes Battle Bears enjoyable for back-to-back games.


Artwork
and Components
The
artwork follows the other Battle Bears games. There are cuddly, huggable bears
ready to battle with some outrageous weapons like Pie Bombs and Double
Bearzookas.
We
were playing a prototype and the quality was what you would want in a market
product.


The
Good
  • Re-playability.
  • Fast
    play.
  • Everyone
    plays until the end.
  • Filler
    game.
  • There
    are variant rules for other ways to play.

Gas Cards
Final
Thoughts
We
played a 5-person basic game of Battle Bears the Board Game. The symbols took a
little bit to understand all of the meanings, but they were all clearly
explained in the rulebook.


All
of the locations where you can place cards on your Character Mat are color and
symbol coordinated, which made it easy to recognize what went where.


Everyone
enjoyed Battle Bears. Even those of us who were defeated early and were
relegated to placing Huggables (we almost one).


This
is a game we will keep handy. The pace of play and the interaction of movement
with an ever-shrinking area with the increasing numbers of Huggables kept
everyone interested to the last action.


The final stand and Wil takes out Oliver and survived the group hug.
Players
Who Like
  • Existing
    Battle Bear games
  • All-out,
    gladiator-style, combat games
  • Crazy,
    dangerous teddy bears

Check out Battle Bears the Board Game on

              
On Kickstarter now. Campaign Ends Dec 13, 2019 

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 guildmastergaming@blogspot.com.


See Daniel’s reviews HERE.

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