Monday, October 5, 2020

It’s no 30 Rails

 I will be honest. I tried out Anty Establishment because I knew that it was going to super quick to make, teach myself and play. It’s from this year’s Roll and Write contest. The whole thing, rules and all, is one sheet of paper. Just add two dice and something to write with and your done.

The core of the game is easy to understand. You’re drawing lines on a grid that represents an anthill and you get points by making long paths, going over symbols that are on the grid and by making chambers where ant queen crowns are.

You determine what shape path with die rolls. You roll two dice and so you get two choices to pick from. You have some limited dice manipulation, including the option of rerolls or using both dice, but you also need to use the dice manipulation to create chambers, which can a the only way to score ant queen crowns.

Twenty turns and see how many points you get.

Anty Establishment is amusing but the big question it has to answer is ‘Would I recommend it over 30 Rails?’  And the answer to that is no.

30 Rails, which I view as a gem of both PnP and R&W, offers variable set ups, tighter game play and more painful choices. Anty Establishment is more forgiving and has a preset layout. It doesn’t have the depth or replay value.

I will give Anty Establishment credit for having the dice manipulation being even more of a resource management exercise. And you can pick up and get a game in with zero preparation, which is honestly a huge plus for me.

I had fun but I’d recommend 30 Rails or other games first.

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