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Subject: Brutal Bug Battles rss

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Dan Cordz
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Board Game Name: Hive
Publisher: Gen Four Two Games
Approximate Retail Price: $25.00

Brutal Bug Battles

Deep beneath the ground, a battle is fought between two tribes of bugs in the age old war of white vs. black. Few games capture the simplicity and elegance of Chess as well as Hive does. A game of Hive pits two insect armies against each other, each trying to capture the enemy’s queen bee. Players accomplish this by placing hexagon-shaped tiles representing ants, beetles, or other bugs onto a playing surface, and then moving those pieces in an attempt to pin and surround the queen bee or other key enemy insects.

One of Hive’s biggest advantages is the fact that it doesn’t require any board. As players place down their hexagons tiles, which must be placed adjacent to tiles already in play, players literally form the shifting “board” upon which the insect war is fought. This, along with the inclusion of a very nice zippered travel bag, makes Hive ideal for bringing anywhere you and a friend expect to have some down time since all you need to play is a flat, relatively large surface. On their turn a player may put into play a new insect, placing it adjacent to a friendly insect. Alternately, players may move insects already in play. As in chess, each piece moves differently. The queen bee moves slowly, like a king in chess, whereas ants can quickly reach nearly any space on the “board”. Grasshoppers can hop over any number of pieces in a straight line, and spiders move like ants but may never move any more or less than three spaces. Finally, beetles move slowly like the queen bee, however they may move on top of other pieces, preventing enemy pieces from moving.

This enjoyable game has many positive attributes. Its convenient carrying bag and short play time of around fifteen minutes make Hive perfect for travel. Also, the relatively simple rule set makes explaining the game to a friend extremely easy. Finally, while more elementary than chess, Hive still provides an interesting challenge as you attempt to outmaneuver your opponent’s pieces. These positive attributes will make hive appeal to both serious and casual board gamers alike, as it melds engaging gameplay with a quick play time and intuitive ruleset.

Hive is not without its flaws, however. Games of Hive tend to be much more similar to each other than games of chess, something which goes along with the shorter playing time. Furthermore, Hive is an abstract game, whereas games like Axis and Allies or Heroscape are much more influenced by their theme. While when playing Heroscape I feel like I’m actually in control of a fantasy army, games of Hive feel more like a puzzle than any sort of combat simulation. Nevertheless, Hive is still an excellent game, sure to be relished by anyone who enjoys similar games like Chess.

Game Components Quality: 8/10
Gameplay Mechanics: 7/10
Bargain Factor: 6/10
Overall Recommendation: 7/10
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Randall Ingersoll
United States
Port Orange
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Captain Stupendous wrote:

Hive is not without its flaws, however. Games of Hive tend to be much more similar to each other than games of chess, something which goes along with the shorter playing time.

I have played over 1,000 games on line at BoardSpace and would beg to differ with this comment. I am still amazed at how often a game is completely different than any one that I have ever played before.

Take a look at this thread:

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Christian Sperling

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+1 to Randy's comment above. Already after 8-10 moves I often thought: Cool...never had that constellation before. How did I end up this way?

(2500+ games played on www.boardspace.net, half of them registered as Eucalyx)
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