It arrived yesterday!!!! It was a welcomed break from the busy-ness of reffing, coaching, working etc... I was looking forward to an afternoon of learning and unboxing (not in that order) 🤣
My first impression was that the box was about what I expected. Not huge, but not small. Reasonably thin however so that was nice. But when I picked it up... WHOA!!! That's got some weight to it. As I opened it up I realized why; SO MANY COMPONENTS.
Check out the amount puch-board fun that was ahead of me...
After a while of punching out components and learning what each of them were, here's the end result.
Now it was time to dive into the 23-24 page rulebook and learn how to play.
I quickly learned that (unfortunately) the Chronobot (Anachrony's solo mode) does NOT come with the base game. BOOOO!!!! Fortunately, it's free to download. And you can purchase the retail version of it with the Fractures of Time Expansion. It's another $50 CDN. Mind you there are two copies right now at my usual game store I purchase from online. I just have to sort out my reasoning to my beautiful wife... 🤔 In the meantime, I will absolutely do the PnP verison.
Yesterday afternoon however was spent playing two-handed to learn the ins-and-outs of this 26th century "New Earth" and of course, time travel!!! Here's the setup...
The game is rated a 4/5 complexity on BGG. In my opinion, it looks more initimidating than it actually is. It's a worker placement game at it's core. I also feel like a bit of engine building, although that's not listed on BGG. I really think the complexity is higher due to the amount of options and decisions you have each turn, but also due to the iconography. If you don't like a game full of iconography, don't get Anachrony. Thankfully, I don't mind it at all. 😀
As I was beginning to dive into the rulebook, I was thinking this was going to be a bit of learning curve. But to my surprise, things were written very clearly and simply and things just made sense! I was able to jump in fairly quickly to be honest. The rulebook is written in a way that I was able to follow along through the 6-phases of an era and get down to learning the game. After that, I used the handy 'Game Phase' card you can see at the bottom of my table to help remind me what to do in each phase. I was really impressed!
I really love this game! From the background story, to the beatiful artwork, the big beautiful player boards for your factions city, the capital city (main board)... it looks awesome on the table. Speaking of awesome; EXOSUITS! Whoa.
One bummer is, the base game does not come with the cool exosuit minis. You get to buy that seperately for another $40-$50 CDN 🙄 (which very well may happen from my end). For now with the base game, you place your worker on your punched out exosuit pieces (6-per faction), which do have nice illustrations of each factions unique exosuit design, but it's not as fancy as the minis where you actually slot your worker into their exosuits. However, the concept of the exosuits is very cool in my opinion.
A quick overview of the exosuits mechanic: In Phase 3, you need to power up your exosuits. You get 3-for free. These essentially are actions you'll be able to take on the main board / capital city. In New Earth in the 26th century, the environment is harsh, so moving from your individual factions city (your player board) to the capital city, requires the use of an exosuit so you can make it safely and perform the task you need/choose to do. Anything above charging up 3-exosuits will cost you an energy-core to charge them (so you need to make sure you have enough available). Love it! From there in the action phase (phase 5) you can play workers to your city to perform actions (which do not need an exosuit) OR you can suit up in an exosuit to travel to the capital city to perform an action there with your worker.
I know what you're asking (if you're still reading this...) "But, Derek - What about phase 4!"...
Here's the other part of the game I love! Time travel. I won't go into the entire backstory about time travel and the time rifts in this post, but in phase 4 you can warp through time!!! Yes!! In this phase, you can warp resources to your present-self from the future! This is very helpful and quite necessary throughout the game. Here's the catch - You don't want to cause a fracture in the timeline. So at some point, you need to ensure you travel back in time to the era you received your resource from your future self, to send it back (as if it never happened). AMAZING!!!!!
Oh! Let's not forget about the workers. You have scientists, engineers, administrators and genius (who can work as any worker) that you can hire or whom are already available to you. Here's the cool mechanic I like; workers get tired. Travelling in an exosuit is exhausting, doing work anywhere in your own city is tiring... Much of the time, at the end of an era, workers move to the "sleeping" column of your player board. There are ways to wake them up, which I won't go in depth with here for this post, but it's a very cool mechanic. In addition, water is a valuable resource because well, we need water to stay hydrated and do work ya know!?
I can't wait to dive more into this game. I haven't even discussed "THE IMPACT" yet (when the meteor made of neutronium strikes the Earth, things start to crumble and your faction needs to get #$%^ done and evacuate ASAP!!!)
This is fun!!!! I'm so excited to have this in my collection.