Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.
The morning mist clears from the little border town of Fairfield to reveal two armies ready to do battle. Both armies have claimed this town and resources as their own. Orders are given, banners are raised, and war cries are shouted from both sides as the armies advance and clash. Who will win and claim Fairfield as their own? Read on!
Today I’m going to look at Flank! launching on Kickstarter today. This abstract strategy dice chucker is for 2 players that plays in about 30-45 minutes.
The set-up for Flank! is quick and straightforward. Players choose their army and then set up according to the starting army spots on the game board. The War Cry and Honor tiles are shuffled. Each player is dealt 3 War Cry cards and the Honor tiles are stacked and 3 are placed face-up on starting spots on the game board.
Flank! is played in turns for each player and each consists of the 4 following phases:
1. Draw: draw 2 War Cry cards
2. Honor: take 1 face up Honor tile and attach to one of your warrior’s Banner
3. Move: move up to 3 warriors any number of empty spaces equal to their movement icons on their Banner
4. Fight: The active player chooses which of their warriors will attack and which of any adjacent enemies will be the defender. Both players will add up their Honor bonuses for attack, defense, and if they’re any flanking warriors for each side. Players then play any War Cry cards if able. Players then roll dice based on the total Honor and War Cry bonuses. Players may reroll dice or Rally by discarding War Cry cards. The player with the highest total wins and their opponent’s warrior is defeated and removed from the board. If the result is a tie both are removed.
End game: A player will win if they defeat an opponent’s Champion or a tie if both Champions are defeat at the same time.
I hope it shows in the overview but Flank! is easy to learn and should be quick to the table for gamers of all ages. I think the hardest thing for players to pick up is to recall the order and all the Fight rules. It usually takes 1 or 2 Fights to fully master and like most games, you’ll be referencing the rule book to be sure you did everything in the correct order. Aside from that the rules are solid and allow you to get Flank! to the table fast.
I think Flank! is a great game for all ages. The age range on the preview is 8+ so it comes across as a great gateway or family game for younger and newer gamers to learn. It’s also an excellent light filler for seasoned gamers as well. Flank! employs game elements like hand management, hexagonal movement, and press your luck that you generally don’t find in lighter, family-friendly games so new and younger gamers get some nice exposure to these mechanics.
Now, you might think that Flank! is ruled by luck of the draw and straight dice rolls but there are mechanics in the game that help mitigate bad luck. By giving players multiple Honors to choose from, different War Cry cards, and the option to Rally in Fights, all of these allow players to change and enhance attack and defense rolls giving both players a good sense of control and influence Fight outcome. Players at times will suffer through bad luck but overall it should not feel like it heavily influences the game.
One of the biggest positives for Flank! that any gamer should like the fact that there’s little downtime in the speed of play. The turns are fast and are even faster because this is a two-player game. You’re engaged throughout wondering what warriors your opponent might move, which of your warriors will they target, and what War Cry cards they might be holding onto. You’ll be constantly looking for them to make a mistake so you can get the edge toward victory.
Now, this is a preview version so it might not be the final, but I must say I loved the components and the look and feel of this game. I really hope that there’s not much change except in the final production quality of all game pieces. The warrior pieces have the feel of really nice clay poker chips, and the hexagonal board has excellent detail for set-up and easy reference for starting and added Honors to the warrior’s Banners. Plus, the overall artwork of the rule book, warriors, and War Cry really compliments the lighthearted nature of this abstract strategy game which again gives it a nice family or gateway game feel.
Flank! is a fun, fast, and straightforward 2-player abstract strategy game. This one should be fun for any gamer: new, young, or seasoned. Flank! has plenty of game mechanics that you usually don’t find in most family or gateway games like hand management, hexagonal movement, and press your luck. You might think that this game is ruled by luck of the draw or dice rolls but Flank! gives players great options to mitigate and change their luck as well.