Tabletop Warfare in 3D: A Preview of Flick Wars

Flick Wars

Flick Wars is a dexterity game set on an alien world with 3D terrain, gorgeous artwork, and great gameplay — now on Kickstarter

Gameplay

To play the game, the battlefield mat is spread out on the table and players take eight obstacles — these can be the wooden pieces that come with the game or objects from around the house. These obstacles are then placed beneath and on top of the mat in whatever patterns the players want. The result is a 3D terrain.

Each player next chooses one of six factions to play and places that faction’s base card along the edge of the map. Each faction comes with its own unique set of troops. Troops are represented by small round discs which you will be flicking around the mat.

You start the game with 30 units of unium, which is the resource you use to buy troops. To start, you consult the unit cards and choose two to begin the game with, paying their cost and then placing the corresponding discs on the map near your base.

Every faction has certain cards marked ‘basic’ which are best for people playing for the first time. But there are more advanced units that you can choose from once you are familiar with the mechanics. Several of the cards share a unit picture and for these you must choose which one you wish to use in your army. During the course of the game, you can switch out the matching units during a command turn.

Each turn you must choose whether to take a command turn or an action turn. On a command turn you may take up to two command actions. These actions are either moving a unit with a flick or buying a new unit and placing it near your base. If you are playing with the advanced cards, you may also choose to switch out types of units. You may also spend unium to take another command action.

On an action turn, you specifically choose one of your units to activate. Some units have special abilities but they only activate on action turns. Each unit has a number of flicks and a range. The game comes with a ruler to measure range between units, and your unit may only attack and attempt to kill another unit when it is within the range marked on your unit’s card. For each flick your unit has, you must announce whether you are moving (in which case it will not kill any enemy units, not even if it hits one) or attacking (if it is within range) and which unit it is attacking. When a unit is killed, its disc is flipped over so that you cannot see its picture and it becomes debris in the battlefield.

In a two player game, you win if your opponent has no more units on the table. If you have more than two players, you can choose team play, in which case you must wipe out all the units of the opposing team, or Free For All, in which case your goal is to defeat one specific player while avoiding being killed by another.

Flick Wars

Review

Placing the obstacles around the board and creating 3D terrain is a great draw. With one large, wooden disc under the map, we had a hill right in the middle of the battlefield that changed the outcome of flicks, helped troops flee in terror, and in general added a lot to the game, not to mention the various other pieces of terrain we had scattered about.

It’s neat that the rulebook encourages you to use different things from around the house as terrain. It really opens up the options and allows you to get creative. It would be nice if the game came with a couple of pieces of landscape that blended in with the map that you could place on top — the artwork on the maps is so lovely that placing wooden pieces on top reduces the aesthetic value. But you don’t have to put anything on top if you don’t like, and we enjoyed playing around with various terrain options and seeing what we could do with the mat. (Update: the publisher has hinted that the stretch goals will include larger discs with artwork to be placed on top of the mat.)

The mat’s material is great for flicking, as the pieces slide across it quite nicely. The troop discs are also quite light, making for easy flicking, which in turn makes the game accessible for players who might not be the most dexterous.

Each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses, and choosing how to spend your limited resources adds an interesting level of strategy. There are a lot of layers to the gameplay, from selecting cards to the special abilities of the units, but a fast playtime keeps the game casual and quick.

This is one of the best experiences I’ve had with a dexterity game. It looks wonderful, plays great, and definitely leaves you wanting a rematch. Check it out on Kickstarter and see for yourself.

Pros: The 3D terrain is fantastic, the artwork on the mat is lovely, it plays quick, and there is variation in the factions

Cons: Non-wooden terrain pieces to be placed on top of the mat would improve the aesthetics

Disclosure: this preview is based on our evaluation of an unpublished prototype of the game, which is subject to change prior to publication. While a modest payment was received to expedite the review process, our thoughts and opinions expressed here are honest and accurate.