(Edit – 12/20/19: for those of you who found this page some other way, the review is live!)
While I have never read the actual H.G. Wells book, I am a big fan of the War of the Worlds concept. I watched the original movie a *long* time ago. The Tom Cruise movie was pretty cool, I’m probably one of the few fans of the 1988-90 TV series that starred Jared Martin (who?) and Lynda Mason Green (WHO?).
The other day I stumbled upon something on Twitter that made me sit up and take notice, though.
Grey Fox Games announced that War of the Worlds: the New Wave (designed by Denis Plastinin with artwork by Igor Savchenko) was on Kickstarter now.
It’s an asymmetrical deck-building 2-player game, which really made me perk up and go “huh????”
This game is based on the book, not the movie (or even the series, which I think is seriously underrated).
In the game, one player is the Alien player and one is the human (British) player (because of course aliens are going to always invade Britain first…look at Dr. Who!). The Alien player is trying to wipe out all 30 civilian British cubes (or meeples if the stretch goal is reached) while the Human player is trying to just do 30 points of damage to the Alien player.
(All pictures below are either from the Kickstarter or posted to BoardgameGeek by the designer)
The map consists of England and Scotland (and the expansion includes Ireland) divided into areas.
Then there are the miniatures (not gaudy or anything like many of the CMON games) that represent units for both the Alien and Human player military. These are pieces that you will deploy with your cards. (For those who don’t like miniatures, it’s still possible that the standees that will be in the retail edition will also come in the Kickstarter one).
The interesting thing is that each player will have their own deck to buy cards from, as the cards are unique to the player.
A market row is spread out using each player’s cards and they will buy from there with currency generated by the cards in the player’s hand.
The artwork on the cards looks very cool, and while it doesn’t seem like there are a lot of cards overall (each side has 35 cards, which also includes the starter cards), there are stretch goals for more promo cards which will help.
There are three basic levels for you to decide on.
$39 US gets you the base game and all stretch goals.
For only $5 more ($44 US), you can get the “Irish Sea” expansion added to it. This adds 18 new cards (9 per side) along with, well, Ireland. New land and sea zones to fight over, along with a few new buildings and influence tokens.
For $59 US, you get the $44 pledge, but the map is a neoprene mat instead of a board. The mat includes both the base game map and the expansion.
As soon as I saw this one, I had to jump on it. (Ok, I did hesitate because I’m seriously thinking about any new game purchases before making them, but this one was a pretty easy decision once I had thought about it).
A 2-player game that may be able to be played during lunch? A deck-builder with cool artwork and a board where you are have to attack the other player to accomplish your goals?
If you have any interests similar to mine, you might want to look at this one too.
Let me know what you think of this one in the comments.
I’ve just read the book for the first time less than two weeks ago! …with that in mind, the game does not seem to capture the spirit of the original very well (human player actually having agency and aiming for a somewhat-military victory). Could still be a good game, of course – just that it takes its alien invasion premises more out of newer takes.
Sidenote: Invasion fiction was quite a fad in the late 19th/early 20th century UK. More conventional authors than Wells wrote stories of Russian and later German landings on the beaches of England (reflecting the changing geopolitical climate).
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I think the game takes place about 20 years after the initial invasion, as World War I is approaching. The British used some of remnants left behind by the Martians during the first invasion to improve their military to some extent. Not enough to threaten the Martians or defeat them, but enough to do some damage.
I do like how you can never actually destroy a Martian unit. You’re just doing “damage” overall.
But yeah, I can see your point. 🙂
And once again, you don’t disappoint with the history lesson! I had no idea about the invasion fiction trend. 🙂
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