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Subject: Much to explore with this one rss

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Calvin Daniels
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There is something special in terms of board games when you find a fine two-player abstract strategy game that has high production values and something new in terms of mechanics.

That is exactly what you get with Coerceo.

To begin with the game comes in what looks like a wooden cigar box. Inside is a modular wooden board, and pieces that while plastic look and feel like they are stone pyramids. 

The rulebook is small, stapled, and well-illustrated.

In terms of production and aesthetics Coerceo is a perfect-10.

The game's actual designers are a bit of a mystery. In an email with the company the germ of Coerceo was designed by someone they just termed 'Mr. Zero'. His basic design was refined starting in 2009, and as is the case in most games I suppose, had a lot of people involved in the process; "to get the product at the stage where it is now we had help, during two and a half years, from different people (artwork designers, web-designers, rule/strategy-tactics developers (secret #3), play-testers, etc.) all working under supervision of me (and Mr-zero)," stated the company spokesperson.

Well the team did a nice job of refining Coerceo, which in Latin means "to enclose'.

The idea of enclosure is at the heart of the game.

"The objective of the game is to capture all of the opponent’s pieces. When a piece is captured, it is removed from the board. During the game the board becomes smaller by removing tiles from the board. This means that the opponent is never far away," details the rulebook.

Moving on a board of pyramid pieces, players try to surround an opponent's pieces on three sides to capture the piece.

In addition when a piece is the last to leave a modular section of the board attached by three or less sides, you capture that board segment.

Captured board segments can be used later to trade in exchange for an opponent's piece still on the board.

The dual aspect of capture gives the game a fresh mechanic and is the greatest element of interest with Coerceo.

The game company is also listening to early game enthusiasts (Coerceo was only released this year).

"Since Coerceo is very flexible, separate board segments and lots of playing pieces, we think it is possible to further enhance the game; game rules, game setup, game looks/material," stated the spokesperson. "We are proud to already see the -- even small -- community talk about 'options' that make the game even better. We are watching the community closely and will be improving the game wherever possible."

One example may be "a smaller initial board setup 'blitzkrieg' variation."

"We are going to publish variations that we think will work on our website, and when possible in booklet(s) of the next version of the game run."

The chance to be in on the fine tuning, variant options, and future of a new game is rather interesting for game players as well.

The fine production and interesting mechanics already make Coerceo a game well worth exploring.

Check this one out at http://www.coerceo.com/coerceocompany.html

-- This review originally appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper
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