Hyperborea is something new to me and maybe you too. It’s a “bag em up” conquest game with a bit of worker placement thrown in for good measure.
The game sees you and up to five chums squaring off on a smallish random hex map trying to get the highest score by a number of routes.
You start on your home city with three dudes and three cubes of six possible colors drawn from your opaque bag.
Now it’s up to you to shape your destiny by allocating the cubes to a variety of actions each costing particular colors. The actions range from movement to attacking, building temporary defenses, point scoring , increasing your supply of cubes or teching up to open up more actions for your cubes to power.
It takes a little bit to get your head around and you’ll see mechanics similar to Lords of Waterdeep, Dominion and a number of other games in there which help you along. A few turns in it will all make sense. Even the icons which are plentiful are all very logical.
The game is map based but it’s not really an area control game. Not in the usual sense. There are a limited amount of ruins which yield one shot resource tokens and cities which offer free operations like move a unit or advance a tech. The further inland you venture the better the options but the more exposed your dudes are to attack. It’s a bit king of the hill right in the centre with the best operations available to your brave minions.
This is a very interesting game. You’ll spend your first few games (I reckon) figuring out optimum moves with the other players constantly drizzling on your parade. They don’t rain accept with deliberate malice (game two onwards).
There’s also a stack of ways to earn points in the game all valid. Taking victory tokens, killing neutrals (ghosts), killing enemies, researching Technologies and so on.
A cool feature which I applaud is the ability to set a short, medium or long game. There are three conditions that end the game (getting 6 tech cards, getting all your men on the board, exhausting the point token pool). A short game is when any one of these is met. Medium you have to complete two and Long sees you reaching for all three end game goals.
Just like Eclipse players can be Johnny generic or pick a specific race with some special traits. Haven’t tried this yet. I will.
Presentation wise its shiny. Good solid pieces. Lovely artwork. Nice platicky pieces, each a different shape and colour per player. I picked it up second hand but unplayed for a great price and i’m glad I did. This is a neat game. It needs more replays and with different numbers of people but I’m eager for more. Always a good sign