$10.00
Recommend
26 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

The Manhattan Project» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Review and Impressions From GENCON rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Eric Johnson
United States
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I had the opportunity to play a pre-production copy of The Manhattan Project during GENCON. Brandon, the game's designer, was offering demos in the board game room. I played two full games and finished out the last 2 or 3 turns of another when a player needed to leave for an event.

General Overview:


The Manhattan Project is a worker placement game with the end goal of building bombs that have different point values/resource costs. The general layout of the game is a common area that provides space for the worker placement with a description/representation of the action that the placement will trigger. The common area also contains trackers for some of the resources a player is managing in the game and an area for the "market" of buildings that will be available for use in the game. The common area is then extended by a player boards that contain a location for buildings acquired by that player and tracks for some additional resources a player would be managing. Each player also has a pool for their workers and any additional resources that acquired and tracked. The randomness factor in this game comes from the order at which buildings (after the starting 6) and bomb designs come up for the players.

Player interaction for this game appears in a couple different ways. There is the ability to airstrike an opponent which can force an opponent to loose some or all of their air force and possibly damage player owned buildings. There is also the ability to perform an espionage action and use one or more opposing player buildings as if they are their own. In addition, most of the spaces in the game cannot be used if another worker is already in the space.

The playtime is going to run about 20-25 minutes per player with another 15-20 minutes for rules explanation if you are playing with new players. Early in the game, downtime is minimal as individual players just don't have as many options for using their workers. Later in the game, it may take a bit of time for some folks to get through their turn as there are the potential of a lot of steps. Any AP factor could potentially come on any of the more complex turns where a given player has all of their workers plus multiple contractors to use in the most effective and efficient fashion.

One of the shinning features of the game is the mechanism around using and recalling your workers. Many worker placement games have all of the players play out their workers and then have all of the players retrieve their workers at a later point in the turn or game round. This is not the case with The Manhattan Project. Each player turn you are either placing workers to or retrieving workers from the play areas. When you take a retrieve action, you must retrieve all of your workers that have been placed in any play area, any worker that is on your player board regardless of whose worker it is, and all contract workers in the common area and in your worker pool. A placement action allows you to place one worker on an open space in the common area, take the action that the space provides, and then allows you to use any workers on buildings that you can legally place to activate the building and perform that buildings action.

Many of the decision points in this game surround when recalls and placements take place. The timing of when you place/recall will affect what actions other players and what you can do on the current and future turns. I found the decision of should I take my big turn now, wait, or recall to be quite a bit of fun and satisfying throughout the game.

The game does have a large number of currencies/resources you are managing beyond the workers you can earn or already have earned to place on in the various play areas. You are tracking spies, fighters, bombers, cash, "cake" (generic raw material for fissionable resources), Plutonium, and Uranium. Spies, fighters, and bombers are used predominately in the player interactions giving you the ability to use, damage, or affect other players' buildings and/or aircraft. The other resources (plus bombers) are used primarily in scoring points - whether that is building a bomb, loading a bomb, or transforming your resources into needed resources.

The majority of the point scoring in the game takes place in the final phases of the game after players have built up their infrastructure and resource pool. Points are scored in a bomb action which can be taken at any point in your turn provided you are not recalling workers. A bomb action is any combination of building a bomb, loading a bomb, and testing plutonium bombs. These combinations of actions are how you score points. First to 50 points will win the game. In most games, this will require a player to build at least 3 bombs to get to this score - though it is possible to win with only two bombs built if they are larger.

Impression:

I was quite impressed with this game. The decisions felt meaningful and the game felt to flow smoothly throughout. There is a lot of planning you can do as a player and it did feel that other players could disrupt your planning which would force some quick thinking on a player's part with how to still accomplish their goals as efficiently as possible. You are constantly in need of scanning your position relative to other players as you determine whether disruptive actions to other players (airstrikes/espionage) or trying to advance your position effectively and efficiently is the correct course of action.

I felt very satisfied after I played this game. After the game I was left thinking about spots where I might have been more efficient with my own actions or where it might have been prudent to be more disruptive to another player. That left me with a desire to play again which I feel is a good thing. The randomness of the cards should present a different experience with each game.

I did end up preordering/backing the game through kickstarter in order to get a copy of the game when it does get published in the coming months. I look forward to teaching and playing the final production copy of The Manhattan Project.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Andersen
United States
Ada
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Kolman
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
Nice review. Thanks a bunch!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.