Quick Look: Tactical Tech
Designer: Jacob R Wible
Artists: Jacob R Wible & Ameilee Sullivan
Publisher: TEKTITE Games
Year Published: 2020
Sci-fi military themed, with 4 mineral cards (Iron, Silver, Gold, Uranium), modular board tiles for unlimited board layouts, futuristic game pieces such as: fighters, shooters, mechs, portals, turrets, barricades, miners, and upgrades. Has the look and feel of a fast paced sci-fi real-time-strategy video game.
The tug of war between my inner personalities have maintained this conflict for now well over FOUR decades. I am referring to my love for board games AND video games. If only there were 26 hrs in a day, I could devote another hour to each to itch the scratch of engaging the mind with board strategy and the physical finger dexterity of a controller.
When I first saw Tactical Tech, a game by Jacob R Wible it immediately “spawned” the imagination and brought the two worlds together of a first/third person shooter onto the tabletop. Tactical Tech takes a more 1000 foot view or rather a 4 foot game table view of a third person, squad based approach to the genre.
Game play is designed through winning matches, so multiple board sets and plays give you the spawn, die, spawn, die replay-ability you would expect to see in a shooter video game.
With the setting in a mining facility, your objective is to take down the other teams Command. This is achieved through area control and upgrade cards to your starting Faction. There is no starting faction unique abilities or advantage over the other colored factions unless you feel white provides a purity to your soul that enlightens your way to easier victory…… OK then…….!
You take control of key areas of the board that you create at random from the 20 tiles provided to you in the base set. Along with the Commander, Minors provide opportunities to draw from 1 to 4 much needed resource cards to upgrade your current playing characters and equipment or keep adding warriors to the board like the Zulu battles of old. “They just keep coming!” These characters consist of the Fighter – someone who came to a gun fight with a knife but knows how to use it, the Shooter – the other guy WITH a gun, and very cool Mech units – the uber soldiers that use advance tech to beat up the baddies-aka your opponent. Along with character placement throughout the contest to take out the command standee placed strategically behind heavy fortified lines, is the use of structures. These give you extra fire power with turrets, faster research for goodies per Miner unit in play, Shields to..well…shield you from damage adding an additional hit point to either a mech or structure, and barricades to create choke points that can back up your movements on the board like a bad case of constipation.
You can not get too sentimental over any one soldier on the board. Naming each one is a bad move since each only have one hit point and there is a constant exchange of my soldier for your soldier and destruction of the just produced barricade brought out the turn before. “There goes Bob, dang – I liked Bob!” This continues until you are able to get into proximity of your opponents command tile and take it out with the one shot. ( Note: I highly recommend you place your command standee as far to a corner as possible OR find a tile that offers unique coverage for little or no line of sight shot. Let’s discuss that: Movement and Line of sight does not hold to the square tile rule you see in many games DISallowing diagonal movement. In Tactical Tech it is not only allowed but encouraged since some of the tiles line up with only a diagonal movement available. Line of sight allows for a full 8 directional attack which makes it harder to cherry pick a corner to hide in one spot to long with any unit advantage. This is especially true with the addition of the “GLITCH” Cards found in the mineral resource deck that can turn any unoccupied tile in any direction of the attacking players choice to another side. This offers a fun – How-do-you-do moment when you think the miner is safe behind walls only to have it now exposed like a window dancer in the red light district of Amsterdam. Hello!
The few points of interest must be mentioned. The use of Mineral resource cards with iron, silver, gold, and Uranium give a simple yet developed buying system that does not bog down the game like some have done with multiple lines of credits or specialty cards that hold unit symbols that combo with other symbols – Yes I am talking about you Terraforming Mars. Great system but NOT simple. The addition of portals to allow for quicker movement on the board gives the two dimensional (2D) look of a playing board that much needed Z-axis to ensure it doesn’t always end up like Warhammer where all units gather in one part of the board battling it out and looking like a mosh pit from the 90’s grunge rock era. Special tokens and cards do allow you to open up special passages that make for tactical infiltration and siege of a neighboring tile as well. This solidifies the design and shows how well this was play tested and ensures a free-movement feel you would generally find in any open-world based video game.
Tactical Tech is a game that delivers on the transfer of physical video game mechanics of a 3rd person shooter onto the gaming table. You have to take note and see this as a multiple set up and match play game that will require resets often to get the full value and scope of the game. If you want a one and done, set and play game, with lasting playability over many game nights and a story that pulls you into Sci-Fi Fantasy then this is NOT for you. Again, though the intro story gives a very delicious setting that makes my Geek-O-Meter light up like the hammer slam at the county fair – it does not dive into the game play once started.
Sound FX – Siren, strobe lights flashing, and the view of individual soldiers reaching for the gun rack to pull their piece from its in-line slot, you are in step with your fellow gamers to execute Tactical Tech. If you love multiple game-piece manipulation and enjoy developing fast thinking strategies to deliver victory, add this one to your collection. It’s available now to RESEARCH who offers it for purchase and MINE a few bucks out of your gaming budget for Tactical Tech!