Guns & Steel card game Review

On receiving “Guns & Steel” for review I immediately assumed it was some sort of war / military title, unsurprising given the choice of box art and that stern militarized font. On opening the game and checking out the rules, it swiftly became apparent this was actually more of a civilization building / expansion title, than anything to do with actual battle. Sure there’s conflict in it, as with say “7 Wonders”, you have choices as to which road to take (army building, civilization building), but I thought it worth noting that I found the box art most misleading.

Guns & Steel card game review by Gameapalooza Australian tabletop news and reviewsGuns & Steel, sadly not utilising that beautiful card art on that misleading box.

Setup & Gameplay
Essentially a hand management game, “Guns & Steel” is an odd mix of deck builder (but not really) and resource management (but not really), it’s quite an interesting style of gameplay. The overall goal is to accrue the most points as you build up your power through the ages.

Setup involves splitting up the deck into the various ages, then setting up a pyramid of the ages on the table with 7 cards on the base row, then 6, 5 and so on. Wonders of the world are also part of the pyramid, placed off to the side. Everyone has the same hand of 5 cards dealt out, you play a card face down as a resource, or face up as a development. Resources are spent to accrue more power, whilst developments consist of various types, including Tactics, Resource Production, Attacking and Responding. Everything is clearly marked on the card with obvious iconography and the artwork is really lovely (shame they failed to include some on the actual box front).

I’m not going to cover all the rules, except to say it all works well and is actually an interesting gameplay method of four distinct phases. In a nutshell you have to play a resource, play a development, you can buy a card and the end of turn phase. The higher up the pyramid you rise, the better the card strength is (because the tech level has gone up, thus making things more powerful overall). Begin at the bottom and work your way up to the Space Age, that’s the overall gist of “Guns & Steel”.

Guns & Steel card game review by Gameapalooza Australian tabletop game news and reviewsThe beautiful cards in Guns & Steel. The name and box doesn’t do it justice sadly.

Game Build Quality
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again, Grail Games make nice quality games and “Guns & Steel” is no different, slick cards, great box and aesthetically speaking, lovely artwork (actually changed from its initial release to a more realistic artwork style). Overall, nice quality stuff, if you’re playing it often, you’ll probably want to sleeve things.

Gameapalooza House Rules
Great the way it is!

Players 2-4
Ages: 12+
Setup Time: A few minutes
Play Time: 40-70 minutes

Not that they’re exactly the same by any means, but as these sorts of games go, we’d opt for “7 Wonders Duel” over this one if were were strapped for cash and wondering which one to buy. That’s not to say “Guns & Steel” is a bad game, it’s a really good game with some interesting mechanics and dare I mention it again, lovely artwork.

Overall
I really enjoyed my time with “Guns & Steel”, as did many of the people I introduced to it. It’s not really swift to play, but it does flow well and can be a lot of fun. If you’re looking for a good, small civilisation building game, don’t be put off by that oddly militaristic box art and check out “Guns & Steel”, you might just be surprised enough to buy it.

[author] [authorimage timthumb=’off’]/content/images/2016/02/gameapalooza-micro-review-icon-sm.gif[/authorimage] [authorinfo]Micro Review – Guns & Steel is a nice little civ building game with interesting game mechanics and good gameplay. As with other Grail Games titles it’s great quality. Just a shame the box art doesn’t scream what’s actually within. One to try.
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