Arena Assault = a more player friendly “Lunch Money”

Lunch Money is one of those games that the majority of gamers have played, or have at the very least heard of. It’s based upon a school yard fight and has lots of dark and creepy imagery. I loved the concept, but when I finally set down to learn how to play it with a friend, my head began to spin. Unlike a lot of games, what each of the cards did was not printed on the card. Instead you had to memorize how different combinations worked, which is not one of my strong suits. I like reference cards!

So when I was introduced to Arena Assault, and saw the similarities, my head started spinning in memory of that unpleasant learning experience of the past. Then I noticed that these cards all told you exactly what they did, and when! Now I could sit back and enjoy the game without constantly obsessing over remembering what everything did at all time.

Our first game through we played without equipment. There is a fair amount going on in this game. There are range attacks, area attacks, and attacks with “flow”. There are also defenses for each of those. This kept us plenty busy for the first game, but by the end of a couple hands like that, the game seemed dry. Time to add in equipment!

The equipment cards made a world of difference and added a whole new layer of strategy to the game. Each player started with a piece of equipment, and could receive additional equipment by taking large amounts of damage from a single source. This caused an attackers strategy to change pretty dramatically. You don’t want to hit your opponent for too much all at once, unless it’s going to finish them off. Otherwise they could draw some really nasty equipment, and you know what they say about pay back. This also helped to balance the game, giving the worse off players a leg up, and making the game harder for those who were doing well.

Another thing I like about this game is the flexibility on the game size. While this game isn’t exactly a “Collectible Card Game”, there are three different sets that a player can purchase. Each set comes with two complete themed decks and some equipment cards. Each themed deck is intended as a “character”, with all of that characters abilities.  So this game can very comfortably support six players.  Have a few more then that? The decks are so large that you could share a deck among two players. Sure you would be playing the same “character” but this doesn’t really effect the game play in a negative way.

Overall, I give Arena Assault a thumbs up. They improved very nicely upon the fighting game style loved by many in “Lunch Money”, with gear, area effects, and cards that actually tell you what to do.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Monday, July 25th, 2011 at 6:54 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, War Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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