Mechs Vs Minions is the first foray into table top gaming from the Riot Games studios. More famous for its exceptionally popular “league of legends” computer game title, Mechs vs Minions is a co-op game for two to four players. It has programmatic command lines from a shared draft and various ways for players to take out the minion hordes. The game’s story centers around four Yordles named Heimerdinger, Tristana, Corki, and Ziggs who go from trainees at a “soon-to-be-mega-prestigious” school to defenders of the realm when an army of minions threatens everything.
The campaign features ten missions, with each mission lasting anywhere from sixty to ninety minutes. Although the two titles share a setting in the magical world of “Runeterra” mechs vs minions is anything but “league of legends the board game counterpart!
What’s in the box?
- 5 – Mechs
- 100 – Minions
- 1 – Bomb Piece
- 4 – Crystal Shards
- 1 – Gear Tracker
- 2 – Gear Rings
- 4 – Rune Coins
- 96 – Command Cards
- 55 – Damage Cards
- 40 – Schematic Cards
- 5 – Map Tiles
- 1 – The School
The box is HUGE! I can’t stress how BIG this thing is, and it’s FULL of goodies. Inside you will find some of the most ingenious and gorgeous inserts I’ve ever seen in a game box, I kid you not, I can tell they spent a lot of time thinking about how the box would look, how thing will fit inside, every square centimeter is crammed with luxurious content. each one adorned with molded symbols and iconography from the game, adding to the aesthetic.
I really can’t talk how well this game Is put together, from the artwork, to the box to the inserts, you can tell that it was well thought from start to finish. The mechs minis are well done, great style and paint job, the game boards as well have colors that pop out at you, draws you into the battle as the rounds tick away. The sand timer is one of the best sand timers I have ever seen in a game box to date. The minions even though they are not painted, are well done and detailed as well, they are done in a wash type paint, that really makes them dark and shiny in the light, very well done. I guess if you were so inclined you could take the time and paint all 100 of them if you wish! And have the time on your hands that is.
How to Play
You will set up the game boards according to what the mission briefing dictates. Place your minion’s in the starting potion, then it’s time to start programing your mechs!
You will roll to see who is the first player, than that player will take the command deck and lay 5 cards down, these are the cards you can pick from to start to program your moves, one at a time you will each pick a card, then place it on your program card, when everyone has their cards laid, you will start play, the first player then performs his move according to what card he picks. It could be a Move, Rotate, Or Attack, it’s really up to you, program the cards in any order wish, The three type of cards that are in the deck are generally:
- Damaging cards that will kill minions.
- Movement cards that will allow you to move on the map.
- Turning cards that will allow you to turn your characters which will change what you can attack or where you can move.
Piling on cards of the same element improves that action, after each player moves then the minions will move one space and new ones will spawn. Players will then take Damage if they are a near a minion, although you can get damaged, the game does not involve player elimination. Instead damage is assigned from a random pile of damage cards, which can literally throw a wrench in your works. Some damage messes with your programing: say rearranging your programing, so if you had something planned out, sorry you will have to remove that damage before you can do what you wanted. Game play will continue on this path until the objective or failure trigger is meet.
Another thing to keep in mind is you can’t just sit there and stare at the cards deciding which to grab, there is a sand timer that is in play, you have until that timer is out to grab your card, so it will require fast thinking and fast talking around the table, to grab the best cards you need.
Stacking Your Programing Cards
You can level up your program. Stacking cards will make that slot better allowing more power in your program. Being able to stack cards means you aren’t forced to put a card in a slot you don’t want to as often. Can’t get the exact card you want for an empty slot? That is fine, grab one of a type you already have and level up that slot. The cards you stack must be of the same type but they don’t have to do the same thing. This means that you can continue to level up your program while changing what it does. All of this creates flexibility, interesting decisions and allows you to create your program more slowly which means more control.
The game comes with 10 different missions forming a campaign style game Each mission has its own dossier booklet explaining the set-up and objectives. Brilliantly each one comes sealed in an individual envelope which have code names printed on the front. On completion of a mission you are given the code name of the next envelope to open. Additionally, each envelope contains “schematic cards” which are character specific special power cards that you can choose to equip for your next mission. However, there are also powerful damage cards to add to the deck, giving an added sense of doom, on ever damage card you have to draw. This adds a semi-Legacy style elements. For those that are not familiar with the term, Legacy games refer to games such as Risk Legacy, Pandemic Legacy, and Seafall, which permanently evolve and change over time as you play. Mechs Vs. Minions has many sealed envelopes and one large sealed box that add mechanics, cards, and other things to the game, and help the game evolve and get more complex as you successfully complete missions. Keeping it spoiler free for this part, most of the sealed missions introduce new rules and mechanics, although they don’t permanently physically alter the game in the way that most other Legacy games do, and so players can easily sort things back out and re-seal things for future playthroughs, so I like to call it Legacy Lite.
Riot has also provided a wonderful “Soundtrack” that you can use in your game if you so wish, it’s a done in a style of a “Radio Play” that will explain a bit about what’s going on in each mission and provided some humor and back story, you can find that HERE on the Riot website for free.
I have to hand it to Riot games, for there first venture into the board game world, I think that they have knocked it out of the park.
Super fun, and challenging all at the same time, you will have a blast playing this one, this is one of those rare games, where I think you can get new board game players to the hobby. This would make a great starter game.
Even if you have never played League of Legends, there is so much here that you will find yourself at home in no time.
Mechs Vs Minions is only available from Riot Games. For $75 plus shipping, keep in mind that first wave of printing has SOLD OUT. The first wave was 30,000 units.
There will be another printing and wave that will ship July 2017, so it’s going to be awhile if you wish to pick up, but you my pre-order now over at Riot Games Webstore.
In case you missed it, you can check out our unboxing video, to see all of what’s in the box!
A BIG THANK YOU! To Riot Games, for providing us with our review copy!