First thoughts: Fantasy Frontier

Posted by Jørgen S. Kjølsen on Thursday, June 26. 2014 in Boardgames

A few days ago I went to pick up a game that I have supported, and now looking forward to play it with my group on Tuesday June 8th.

The game is Gantasy Frontier - an exploration game where you use your factions air ship to fly to a distant land to explore - and settle it!

The game uses many mechanics, including worker placement, tile drawing and pattern recognition. Each player is equipped with five workers (or crew members), three fortresses, one airship a player card, which shows the airships deck and is where you do your worker placement and your storage of resources, and two white counter cubes.

Each of the factions have different abilities; The blue player gets to build a fortress for six random resources, the red player gets +1 Defence, The green player can hold one extra map card and the yellow player can move one extra tile. Their airships are all different designed, both when it comes to the player board and also the token as well:

The game board is your entire table and you can build out the map as you want - you do not need to cluster the map but can build it with branches. How to build the map is by drawing tiles and placing them on the map by using the action for this. Placing tiles on the map is a free action that does not need to be taken care of by a worker but by the captain (you) itself. To draw the tiles from the bag to you "bank" require workers, to navigate (fly) require a worker/pilot. You can also assign three workers to build a fortress using your resources. A fortress is used to automatically try to gather resources.
Else you send your workers down on the tile you are to try to pick up resources; these are Turkey, Fish, Stone, Wood and Gold:

When you send your crew down to gather, you roll the die corresponding to the terrain type which shows what you get - if you get anything. On plains (yellow terrain) there is no rolling - here you just get turkey, but on the three other types of terrains, you can get wood or turkey in the forest (green terrain/die), stone or gold in the mountains (brown tile/die) and fish or gold in the water (blue).
There is also a black combat die which is used to attack an opponents airship or defend your own when attacked. To attack, it requires to man the guns with your workers, and damage is shown by placing a red cube. If you have too many red cubes you need to use you workers to repair your airship.

The white cube is used to count your Victory Points (VP) which you get in different ways, including battles, colonization and recognizing tile patters from your map-cards gotten from research. To score this recognition you fly to the area where it is and flip over your Research Card showing your recognized map. This scores you VPs which variate from the size of the pattern (up to seven).

The player who first gets 40 VP is the winner.

My first thoughts
I like the idea of this game; it will never be the same, since each time you can build a new map.
Ofcourse it resembles Settlers of Catan in many ways - but it is not as locked, because of the variating size and pattern of the map and players don't lock each other in as the roads in Settlers of Catan can do. The game may sound quite heavy with many actions and a lot of mechanics mixed together, but I also thought that about Edo by Queen Games which showed up to be a nice Medium game. This I expect is a Medium-Light game which can also be used to present players to the Euro-Game style.

So far I have not had time to play the game - also of my own wish; I am going to play it on July 8th together with my game group "Twosday Night is Games Night". After playing it with them I will write a proper review of the game, where I share my thoughts with you and also give it a score using the BGG scale of 1-10.
The components are made of wood. The player boards, tiles and the box is made of thick card board with a beautiful linen finish, so I have no doubt in the quality of this game, and I imagine it will also be a fun and interesting game.

The game is designed by Michael Coe with the art work by Naomi Robinson (Illustrator) and Darrell Louder (Graphic Design) and is published by Gamelyn Games owned by Michael Coe and his wife Brittany (who also is the Editior and one of the developers).
All rights to the material belongs to them and is copyrighted by Gamelyn Games, LLC 2013 with all rights reserved. No part of the product may be reproduced without specific permission.
The photos in this blog post belongs to me with all rights reserved. They may only be used elsewhere with the name and link of source.

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