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The Joy of Unboxing: This War of Mine The Board Game

All these men here know they’re going to die. So, each night when they make it back, it’s a bonus.

Would you survive in the ruins of a war-torn city? This War of Mine by Awaken Realms explores that challenging question.

It can sometimes seem as if board games are stuck in a rut when it comes to their themes – there’s no denying that there are far too many generic fantasy, zombie, and Cthulhu Mythos games out there, for a start. Sadly, instead of exploring new themes and the experiences they could offer, the current trend is to slap an establishing popular IP on top of some old mechanics and call the result new.

Awaken Realms are bucking this trend with the release of This War of Mine, which recently hit my game shelves via a Kickstarter campaign. In this game, you are a group of normal people trying to survive in the ruins of a city decimated by the effects of war. With elements of resource gathering, crafting, survival and a huge amount of story telling, it looks like a challenging, if somewhat grim and depressing, gaming experience. Since this unboxing I’ve played it once and had our four survivors die in a matter of several days (the last committed suicide), so I can tell you it’s not unicorns and rainbows in this one!

Which is good to see – we need more interesting themes in games, and I’m certainly not adverse to learning while I’m gaming, or receiving an insight into different experiences or cultures.

With all that said, let’s unbox This War of Mine shall we?

6 Comments

  • The8thPagan says:

    Don’t know if you’re aware of it, but there’s an App available as free download on iTunes and Google.

    I contains the book of scripts so you don’t actually need the book in the box.

    It can also be used during Scavenge where it can function as Timer and Noise Detector.

    There’s also a Lockpick mini game, an alternative to rolling the dice (and the risk breaking the lock picks).

    Not had chance to play yet, but I have a week off soon and I hope to get chance to try a few games solo then, including this one.

    • Yes, I’ve since discovered that. A nice extra! I’m looking forward to playing this more; we’ve had just one short go at it but it was mostly learning the (badly written and all over the place) rules.

  • The8thPagan says:

    I was hoping the rules were going to be OK, with them supposedly being ‘read as you play’, so I haven’t read them yet, only skimmed through.

    Did seem that the ‘pass to next player’ bits were too frequent, but as I bought it primarily as a solo, thought that would be irrelevant.

    I’m guessing there will be a UH rules summary at some point?

    • Yes there will. The way they’ve done the rules is ridiculous. I can see they had the laudable aim of ‘learn as you play’, but scattering rules in the book of scripts was a silly decision and just makes the entire learning process confusing and difficult. Remember publishers: there is no substitute for a well-written rulebook.

  • The8thPagan says:

    And you’re 4ight about the Heart of the City statue. It will make a nice piece of city terrain for wargames table. Hadn’t thought of that.

  • Soulsorcerer Soulsorcerer says:

    Mine is still on its way. Just hope that the dark and grim theme will not be too much for my friends…really looking foreward to this game.

What do you think?