FTW Staff Picks - Quantum
For The Win Board Game Cafe's Staff Picks is a weekly series where we take a quick look at some of the staff's favourite games, old and new.
Genre: Area Control
Designer: Eric Zimmerman
Player Size: 2 to 4 Players
Game Length: 60 minutes
For fans of: Tash-Kalar, Hive, Kemet
A little bit of luck never hurt nobody. Tactical space games are aplenty among the tabletop world, but few have thought to do it in the way Quantum has done it. With huge, colourful, translucent dice - it's a real eye-catcher. I know many people are suckers for detailed miniatures of spaceships, but there's a real level of sophistication with the aesthetic design choices in Quantum. A big part of making a space game is getting the feel right. And Quantum sticks out among its counter-parts in all the right ways.
In Quantum, each player is a fleet commander attempting to conquer a sector of space. Players are given a set of dice which represents their spaceships. Each value on the dice represents a different type of ship, with different types of benefits and downfalls. The lower the number, the higher the damage it can deal - but the slower it can move. Players can attempt to re-roll their ships in order to best adapt to the situation. With a modular board setup, there are many different maps players can skirmish on. Players maneuver their ships and gain special abilities in order to claim dominance on the map. Once a player has reached the set amount of Quantum Cubes that player is declared the winner.
Typically games which rely on dice tend to lean quite heavily on the element of randomness. In Quantum, the game plays much more like an abstract strategy game. It's like playing a form of Chess, where you have the option to make risky plays like attempting to turn a Knight into a Bishop. In a 2-player game, every action taken is a big decision. Here it feels like a real head-to-head strategy game. In free-for-all games, there's definitely more chaos as there's more things to consider, but it still leans heavier on the strategic side. With such streamlined rules, the game is very easy to pickup - but planning out how to win will take some time.
Quantum lies in the world of games that is sparsely played among our Library, but will always have a spot on our shelves. It's the kind of game that will impress those that pick it up, but is unassuming in its own right. I don't think it's for everyone, but the ones who appreciate great game design will really love it. There's nothing quite like it out there.