Monday, 12 March 2012

Some like it (Lego) Hoth!

So it is a time of Rebellion yady yady yah, Its Lego dude!  

To review a Lego game may not seem like its really work and you would be right. Let’s face it there’s two kinds of people in the world, the Chosen who love Lego and then some other people.  So really, if you like Lego, nay LOVE Lego, you're probably gonna like this no matter what your told. Add into that mix a Love of the Star Wars universe and you are on cloud nine. We (mad gamers) have all I’m sure at least seen the photos from dedicated fans who have put together the Battle of Hoth in Full size Lego, but let’s be honest that’s well outside the price band for many gamers, regardless of their level of love for the bricks or the Force. 

Enter Lego Games and the Battle of Hoth. 

A Lego game sized Battle of Hoth offering you the chance to battle on the icy wastes of Hoth with Imperial and Rebel forces in suitably mini scale. 

As with all games in the range, we once again have a sturdy card box intended for the storage and use of the game. It certainly seems sturdy and fingers crossed my Lego Heroica Game box still doesn’t look the worse for wear. Inside we find our several bags of Lego, the construction manual. As well as the how to build your board and components the last few pages offer several more ‘board’ set ups - though really once you see how the movement works adapting the board shouldn’t be too much effort. - Its worth a note that you really shouldn’t bin this, if any of the minis fall apart or meet over enthusiastic players its handy to see how things go back together. Next up is the multi lingual ‘Rule Book’ despite its size we are only looking at 4 pages of English rules and even then its Lego, its not Rules heavy. There are several characters and components not used in the…em, basic game! But the book suggests alternative or additional rules that would employ them thus altering how the game works. The Bags of Lego, don’t need explanation, so lets jump to what you get to build! 

Game parts 
The Board, this is made up of two end zones - rebel base and Imperial base, Tiles with the forces icons denote the base, while the base areas themselves are grey tiles. The battle area is made up of white, grey and blue tiles, disks and planks. A few blue clear single bricks add some ‘ice’ for effect. 

Imperial forces 
Two AT-AT’s each with two mini snow troopers. (Yes you can pose the legs and head and guns!) One Imperial AT-ST with an mini imperial commander riding shotgun. This is more Walker flavour than the AT-AT’s, but looks okay. One Imperial Gun Emplacement, with Two mini Snowtroopers operators‘. There is then a ‘Unit’ of 4 mini Snowtroopers and, or should I say AND a Two man unit lead by Mini VADER.  As options to the manpower there is an additional Imperial Commander and ………. BOBA FETT! Weeeeeeeeeee! 

Rebel Forces 
Two Snow Speeders, which are as dinky as the AT-AT’s, again crew of two (one faces backwards) rebel pilots, grapple gun represented. One Tauntaun and rider, personally I feel it looks more effective than the AT-ST, but what the hey. There is also a Rebel Gun Emplacement crewed by two rebel ground troopers. There is a Unit of Rebel Ground Troops and……….LUKE in X-Wing uniform leading two more Rebel Ground Troops. The additional Rebel manpower coming in the shape of Han in Hoth Gear and Chewie. SWEET. It is also worth noting that a nice suggestion in the paper work, is the breaking of the game board in two at a certain point, allowing it to fit, still built into the box for storage. So What’s the Game Like and About? As with nearly all such Lego Games, Roll the special Lego Dice, Move and do something, in this case Blow each other up with Blasters and stuff - And USE THE FORCE! 

The Dice has 3 possible faces.
RED - is a hit, each hit removes a figure - a vehicle once devoid of crew isn’t destroyed! No only when its hit again is it removed. 
RED with Imperial/Rebel symbols - The Force, its an ordinary hit, but if you rolled for Luke or Vader then the Unit is destroyed. 
White - Miss, easy. It’s good that you can play with the hit/miss rules as much as you want, the force might push units back, maybe you don’t like the idea of Luke killing, or Vader being too powerful. 

Winning in the basics is 1- move a unit into your enemies base zone, or 2 - kill everyone

Again as you play its quite simple to start to see how you could mix that up. 

Every UNIT type has an attack zone and range, so Troopers are good up close, but useless beyond a square away, the diagonal firing units may be more of a challenge, and certainly take the unwary by surprise.  

Units can only move along paths to empty disk spaces. They cannot jump gaps or cut corners, thus the maze style board and different fire zones for units comes into play well. So is it any good really? Like I said, if you like SW/LEGO then you really know what to expect, and your happy button will already be pressed. If you’re a die hard gamer, obviously you know that this isn’t Memoir 44 or ASL. It is a fun little game, which you will get between 15-30 mins of play out of for each game, unless you start going mad with house rules. 

Therein lies the secret I think with Lego games, planned by them or not any gamer with a degree of wit is going to quickly and simply enhance and adapt rules to make the game more demanding, yet still fun. Your options as they say are limited only by your imagination. I’ve already looked at pressing into service some of the mini models that came with the Lego Advent Calendar. 

Keeping it in balance is all that matters really. To Score a Lego game like this is an odd fish. I think you have to accept the simplicity with which such games will come and either stick with that and be happy or adapt the game with your own house rules. 

So that in mind I have to give SW BOH 9/10. 

The quality can’t be faulted, Lego is Lego at the end of the day. The Flavour is SW, and they capture in mini the figures and ships well. Just be happy that this is a spare time game for you and your mates or family. The loss of 1 point for me is that even as a ‘kids’ game I think it’s a little too easy and the game board could be bigger, even a few extra tiles to allow you to expand it. Personally a 2nd box is in the offing to give that larger play area. I hope that this gives you a better idea of what’s packed in the box and what it does. 

Keep playing 

Wee Andrew.

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