On paper, the War of Wonderland should not work. Mixing Wargames with Alice in Wonderland? It doesn’t make sense. Equally troubling is the fact that board games based on these stories are not so common. Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland books are the mainstay of the fantasy, but they are strangely absent in the gaming canon. It seems reasonable to assume that this is because the central idea of their literal stupidity and terminology is not well translated into mathematical mechanics.
But it is very interesting to completely ignore the designers. So now we have a new competitor in Wonderland War’s Outsized Square Box, a crazy-eyed Cheshire cat on the lid. Is it right to go under the rabbit hole?
What is it and how does it work?
– Game type: Wargame
– Players: 2 – 5
– Difficulty: Medium
– Lasts: 45 min
– Age: 13+
– Price: 50 / £ 64.99
– Play if you enjoy: Original
Opening that box reveals the right color mix of components. There are sheets of cardboard chips to draw out, bags to hold the chips, plastic pieces, plastic forts, wooden squares, discs and mapples and stands representing strange and amazing Wonderland characters (players can choose from. , Jabberwalk or Cheshire Cat). All of the above are furnished in a relevant and well-executed semi-cartoon art style that is reminiscent of a board game for families, although the Battle of Wonderland does not fall into that category.
This game is a matching smogboard of pieces for the rules smorgasbord that made the game. After a long set-up time, the proceedings begin with Mad Hatter’s tea party. Each place-setting on the table contains a card that promises a variety of items: they can upgrade your character, add chips to your bag, search for you, or hire a Wonderlander for your cause. Many cards allow you to place one or more supporters in the board territory, which means you will be fighting for it in the next round.
You can then move around the table to pick up these cards. But beware; Every time you pass the starting point (or pick up a specific card, in that case), you get a crazy shock. At the end of the party the player with the most shards gets an extra madness chip. And as you can guess, this is bad news.
Why? Well, players must take one chip out of their bag at a time while fighting for each region. These provide special abilities (including bonuses that can improve your group) before increasing your total number of characters in that area. The highest strength wins the total territory and victory points. However, there would be a madness chip drawing To lose You are a piece of territory. This can lead to your “busting” and you have to get out of the fight completely. Thus, maneuvering needs to be balanced with how much madness chips you are racking.
Once these battles were settled, they were again at the second stage of the tea party, the second battle and then the third round of the two, after which the players added their winning points to find the new ruler of Wonderland.
Your first play in Wonderland War may fall flat for the same reason because it’s hard to find an entry point to review; Making good choices in each stage depends on appreciating the nuances of the second stage game. But the good news is, there are plenty of things to appreciate.
Move to a tea party. It’s fun to roam around the table wherever you like, making full use of the best cards snaffling. But doing so risks increasing the madness chips in your bag and they are a big responsibility in the war phase. Even if you slow down, each pass in the start space fills in the blanks with new cards, increasing the selection available to your opponents. So sometimes it is better to be together and accept bad cards and sometimes it is not. And yet, what does “best” mean? Does your bag need new chips? Does your character need an upgrade? Or do you want an ally?
Even before you get to the battlefield, you are still struggling to balance your resources. Supporters are tempted to push into seemingly easy-winning territories. But in doing so, you risk spreading yourself too thin. Your bag contains only a limited number of chips and you will need some to be effective in most fights. Your choices depend not only on the points you can win in each area, which varies from game to game, but also on the search cards held by you and others.
Removing the chips is the culmination of this growing conundrum. There is a strict rule in the rules that you are never allowed to peek into the bag and see what you have left. So it helps if you can keep track and remember. But still, every time you dip your hand there is a troubling question: Do you remember correctly? And even if you do, there are still crazy chips hidden deep inside to catch you – and the unexpected interplay between chip special powers – to catch you. Like many good board games for adults, it has a lot to offer.
This is a soup that stays delicious until the end of the game, salted with the knowledge that any of you can stop the draw at any time and save your resources.
Multi-way fights are especially fun, especially since it’s something that is difficult to handle mechanically in other games. It is a masterstroke for players who are not contesting the election to bet on the result, which involves everyone pulling every chit out of the bag.
Yet in both the Bag Draw and the Island, the Battle of Wonderland – according to those other whimsical war games, Root – can be frustratingly whimsical. It’s a game that takes a while to set up and tear down, and plays are repeated to compliment. This is a game that encourages you to plan, think and create combos in your bag. It’s a game that, in other words, requires some effort to enjoy. And when that effort grinds a double madness chip out of a full bag in a serious fight, you can’t help but feel like he’s cheated on you to some extent.
Overall – should you buy War of Wonderland?
The game is not easy to get into and the luck factor is that a certain type of strategy gamer is going to have their nose stuck in the air. For everyone else, however, if they find the time and energy to double over, there’s a lot to enjoy. There is nothing particularly novel about the mechanics’ mix-mash, but their combination Were The novel and the unfolding game move every time you feel like you’ve pinned it down. And after experiencing the tactical and visual confusion of the Battle of Wonderland, it’s hard to conclude, hey, this could be a confusing, traditional affair but … what should Wonderland be like?