BORD surprised me, no it shocked me at how good it was, how much I wanted to just play one more game, again and again.
BORD is a two player, area control game that sees you go head to head with another player in a wargame like experience, which will see you battling for control all with the aim of victory points and glory!
BORD is not only stunning, but each one is lovingly hand crafted and that quality of components shines through, it oozes quality and sustainability, even the bag! You'll be aiming to take control of various objectives across four hex boards, and you'll need to carefully plan your troop movement to ensure you have the most armies next to an objective to ensure the points are yours. But each unit comes with an objective, meaning youll need to carefully balance placement to either outnumber your opponent on certain objectives or look to maximise the bonuses.
However, your armies aren't endless and losses can make or break your game. Each turn you'll draw two units and discard one (assuming you have less than 6 armies). You'll then need to choose between landing, moving and/or battling, with the option of settling for extra points. Now you may not even need to fight a battle, we played round after round where we landed and manoeuvred units, noting that an early battle could over commit, noting loses take up an important army space as the army is placed at sea and they count towards your army limit. Battles are resolved by a dice roll, which may about be the only thing I slightly dislike about this game, you can of course look to mitigate this by ensuring you maximise placement for maximum dice.
Overall, this game wowed me, I didn't know what to expect, but I was blown away. That head to head, is incredibly tense, and reminds me of Blitzkrieg, Undaunted and even lost cities. The gameplay that just hooks you and has you sink your teeth into it. It's not overly complex either, and those player aids are so well written, all the information is distilled into a perfect player aid, which I reckon you could learn the game from.
Having read comments on line the main detractor for a number of folks is the entry price, it is a complete game and I understand why the price is what it is, quality, individually handmade. But that £60 price tag, likely pushes BORD out of the affordability range for many, and I've seen some discussions online where the game is loved, the only thing preventing a purchase is the price tag. And I get it, board games are a luxury and board gamers want to maximise purchases, for me as someone who's number of times we sit and play two player games decreasing, I struggle to justify outlaying for what is a superb game.
As you know I rate games on: buy or play, wait for sale or play if you like game XYZ, Avoid! This is a play, a must play for me, I'm struggling to recommend it as a buy just due to its price point. Its simply stunning production values and silky smooth gameplay is so well designed and developed that this might just be my new favourite two player abstract strategy game, that sits below Santorini for me in terms of accessibility. Santorini just distills itself down even more in terms of ease of rules, that Santorini is a game I could get to the table with my non-boardgaming friends, where as I feel like BORD is one that some of my non-boardgaming friends would struggle with.