500 years after the devastation of the Earth, two factions arise from their underground cities.
I must admit it took me a little time to get my head around the quite original activation and combat systems, but once I understood what was going on it all clicked smoothly into place. The basis of the game are Order tiles and Command Point counters. Basically, whenever you activate a character you draw an Order tile from the bag, add it to the selection of tiles and Command Points you have hidden behind your little player screen, then choose a tile to assign to your character. You then assign Command Point tokens to actions on the tile. Each tile has four order types on it—either close combat, move, interact, search, or shoot actions, with a number on each type shown.
In short, if you love an extremely thematic game with a lot of tactical possibilities, detail, and endless opportunity for expansion, you’ll love Earth Reborn.
You assign CP counters to the orders you want your character to take, as he takes them. For example, you may want to assign 2 CP to a move action, so if your character has a movement value of 5, he could move 10 squares. Then you could assign 1 CP to a close combat action, allowing your character to attack an adjacent enemy. Then you could assign another 1 CP to another move action so he could run off another 5 squares afterward!
You can easily see that this ingenious system gives you an incredible amount of flexibility during your turn—it’s not just ‘move then shoot’. However the selection of tiles and the amount of CP counters you have also give you built-in limits which can be incredibly frustrating and really get you thinking tactically. You may have plenty of options for running around at high speed, but very few for delivering accurate fire or strong attacks, for example. You have to manage your options carefully for the optimal result. This makes every game interesting and different.
I won’t go into all the specifics of the combat system—not to mention all the other possibilities for manipulating equipment, spying, searching for items or even capturing your opponents and torturing them for information!—but suffice it to say they all flow very smoothly and once you get the hang of the Iconographic Phrasing System (I.P.S.—these designers love their acronyms!) you can see at a glance how each special ability works.
In short, if you love an extremely thematic game with a lot of tactical possibilities, detail, and endless opportunity for expansion, you’ll love Earth Reborn. It’s definitely a game for ‘game hobbyists’.
The latest version of this summary includes my larger, clearer, redesigned versions of the character cards.