Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Board Game: Chrononauts

Card game, really, of course. Let's go BACK IN TIME!

The Game: Chrononauts
The Publisher: Looney Labs
Time: Varies pretty wildly. As much as an hour.
Players: Me, Teagan, Cael

Behold the timestream.
Game Play: That picture up there is 32 cards, each depicting an event in history from the assassination of Lincoln in 1865 to the Columbine Massacre in 1999. Some of these cards (the purple ones) are Linchpins, which means they affect the ripple points (lighter blue).

Every player has an ID, which is a time traveler trying to get back to their own timeline. To do that, you need to invert certain linchpins, which then causes the associated ripple points to flip. Linchpins have alternate events already built in (Lincoln Assassinated becomes Lincoln Wounded, for instace), but the ripple points just say "PARADOX" on the back. That means in order to make the timeline work, you need a "patch" card. Columbine Massacre is patched by "Guns Banned," f'rex (and is a response to the 1981 linchpin "John Lennon Murdered" being inverted to "John Lennon Nearly Killed").

Every player also has a mission, which has some flavor text associated with it, but at the end of the day the missions mean you need to collect three particular artifacts and have them face up in front of you.

Teagan contemplates eternity.
The timeline cards are out on the table as shown, but everything else - the inverter cards used to flip linchpins, the patches used to fix paradoxes, the artifacts, and "timewarp" cards that let you do things like steal artifacts, rifle through the deck for a particular cards, pass everyone's hand, and so on - are in a draw deck. Every turn you draw one and play one, but you can also discard two cards and draw one more (which keeps your hand static).

Whenever you patch a paradox, you draw a card, increasing your hand size. This is important because if you get 10 cards in your hand, you win! You can also win by getting back to your own timeline or completing your mission.

Cael contemplates chaos.
Opinions: I always enjoy this game. It takes a bit for new players to catch on; like a lot of Looney games, there are a bunch of moving parts and though you can start the game trying to focus on one strategy, it's really good to keep your eye on all of them. I like this game better with more people (the game says it can take up to six), because then shit really gets crazy and you have to be careful patching paradoxes so that you don't inadvertently cause someone to win...or cause 13 paradoxes and end the universe (making everyone lose).

Keep? Yep.