Published on August 24th, 2015 | by Luke Turpeinen0
Titans Tactics Champions
Imbalanced Games is a Seattle-area based game company that so far has only produced the game Titans Tactics, a fairly light board-based tactics game. For a full review of the base game of Titans Tactics see my original review. Imbalanced Games is about to release brand new expansion for Titans Tactics (date pending) called Champions and was kind enough to send us a review copy.
When I first played Titans Tactics about a year ago I was blown away by how simple the mechanics were. In a game genre that usually errs on the side of more rules, it was refreshing to see a game that had a straight forward set of mechanics. A year later, Titans Tactics remains as fresh and fun as the first time I played it. This is especially true when you add in new expansion content.
Titans Tactics Champions is a small expansion, and adds only what it says on the box: new champions. Each of the five factions gets another three units to add to their lists, and each of those units comes with a corresponding unit token and a set of status effect tokens that they generate. That’s it!
While I understand that the box even says that it is only adding Champions, I have to say I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t at least one additional terrain feature included in the expansion. If there is any element of Titans Tactics that gets stale quickly, it’s the fairly uninteresting, brown terrain features and grey board. An added terrain element of any sort would have been a great bonus, though I guess I could just use some D&D dungeon tiles to mod my board…
The first game we played with the new Champions, we decided to play just with the new characters. Titans Tactics uses three characters selected from your faction, and this expansion gives you exactly that amount. Out of the new characters included in the expansion, the new Dreamers caught my eye the most, so I picked them while Nicole picked the Black Brigade.
The Geomancer was my favorite of the new characters- his ability to pick up unwanted melee opponents and toss them onto the far side of a wall of defensive, summoned minions was pretty brutal. The Chronomancer was a neat idea- a rogue-like character who gets bonus damage if she attacks someone who hasn’t yet acted that turn, who also can let friendly units attack on her turn. I like it when games let traditionally damage based characters get added support abilities instead of always giving them control effects.
Nicole’s squad of undead robots proved too much for me though, and the Black Brigade won the first game. Admittedly this was mostly because what seemed to be an overpowered combo between two of her abilities: Barrage and Quickdraw.
Barrage’s setback is that you have to spend a lot of cards, but quickdraw lets you recoup those costs for little effort. With Nicole going second, she had the last say in any round and would Quickdraw then double Barrage if needed to get her Momentum token. I guess the lesson is to draft your Champions and plan for that character being enormously useful, though I think only the Herald of Death would have stood a chance against him.
We tried some more games, this time using the new Hardcore game set up added in the expansion. This included bidding life points for getting to choose turn order, drafting rules for choosing characters and info on how to play in a series of games.
I honestly felt that bidding for turn order didn’t add much to the game as many players weren’t keen to give a handicap to their opponent. That said, going second does seem to be a distinct advantage (unless you have a champion like the Chronomancer) so this could vary depending on the Champions you’re using.
The drafting and series rules didn’t define anything I couldn’t have just done on my own, and really seem to be there for people who might never have thought that you could play a “best two of three” set with the game, or who don’t know what drafting is. This is good considering Titans Tactics’ place as a good intro tactics game, but it wasn’t something that I, as an experienced gamer, found particularly useful.
Titans Tactics Champions is a great little expansion for an already fun game. It doesn’t break any molds or push the game into new territory, but it does fill out the rosters for each faction nicely. As an added bonus, all of the cards, rules and tokens fit into the base Titans Tactics box without any fuss! Watch for Champions to launch by following them on Twitter and keeping an eye on the #TTChampions hashtag.