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Neuroshima Hex Iron Gang Hexpuzzles

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Board Game Review by: :
Andrew Smith
Price:
$8

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On Aug 1, 2018
Last modified:Aug 1, 2018

Summary:

We review the new Iron Gang Hexpuzzles expansion pack for the tactical game Neuroshima Hex. These hexpuzzles give you the opportunity to play Neuroshima Hex solo with 50 puzzles that need to be solved.

Neuroshima Hex Iron Gang Hexpuzzles

Neuroshima Hex Iron Gang HexpuzzlesNeuroshima Hex is one of my favorite 2 player games. Although it has rules for 3 and 4 player battles, it really shines as a you-versus-me experience.

Today we are taking a look at the Neuroshima Hex Iron Gang Hexpuzzles. This expansion gives you solo puzzles to recreate the Neuroshima Hex magic even if there is no one else around to play with.

Expansion Overview:

To enjoy this Neuroshima Hex puzzle pack you will need the base Neuroshima Hex game as well as the Iron Gang expansion army. All the puzzles use Iron Gang and one of the base game armies, so you won’t need anything else to get the full experience.

Neuroshima Hex Iron Gang Hexpuzzles Cards
Each card is a new puzzle for you to solve.

The puzzle pack is essentially a deck of 50 cards. The front side of each card lays out the board state and current life totals. You are then given 5 tiles and told to play three of them, start a final battle, and if you have the most life left, you have successfully solved the puzzle. The flip side of each card includes the solution so you can check your work.

In the vast majority of the puzzles, you will be controlling the Iron Gang. However, there are four puzzles where you control the armies from the base game — one for each of them. They change up the pace a bit, but make up a very small portion of the overall expansion.

Finally there is also a new tile for the Iron Gang included. The new berserker tile you can include in a normal game of Neuroshima Hex, you just change them for one of the other tiles of your choice prior to setting up the game. The berserker can kind of self-destruct and take out multiple enemies with him.

Neuroshima Hex Iron Gang Hexpuzzles Game Experience
You set up the board as shown on the card and choose 3 of the 5 available tiles to play to solve the puzzle.

Game Experience with the Expansion:

The Hexpuzzle Pack basically boils a game of Neuroshima Hex down to the final turn. If you are familiar with Neuroshima Hex, you’ve likely had a situation where you know a final battle is going to take place and you just need to make sure to place your remaining tiles in a way that causes your HQ to finish with the most remaining hit points.

Personally, this is my least favorite part of Neuroshima Hex. It removes the tactics completely and is, as the name implied, just a puzzle to be solved. This is a very different experience than the full game, but gives you probably as close as you can possibly get in a solo experience.

Neuroshima Hex Iron Gang Hexpuzzles Components
The back side of each puzzle card shows a solution using three of the five available units.

You also have to be willing to find the right tiles and orient them correctly based on the puzzle card. The setup takes just as long, or longer, than actually solving it in some situations. You’ll want to make sure you have your armies well organized to minimize the downtime trying to really get into the game play.

Some of the puzzles have multiple solutions—this makes checking the solution on the back of the card somewhat awkward. If your solution doesn’t match the card you have to re-evaluate if you missed something or if you just reached a different, but similarly correct, solution. In my experience both of those things happened a lot. There is quite a bit to unpack when resolving a battle in Neuroshima Hex and it is very easy to miss something about the board state that you don’t realize until you’ve already checked your solution.

The difficulty ramps up throughout the deck and some of the final puzzles are incredibly complicated to unravel. There are 50 puzzles, so although there isn’t really anything to replay here it’s going to last you a good long while.

Final Thoughts:

If you are a big solo gamer and fan of Neuroshima Hex, the hexpuzzles are something you should check out. They are a fine way to pass some time and will certainly improve your Neuroshima Hex skills as it requires a lot of working through possibilities on complex situations.

It’s far from perfect. It’s unfortunately easy to think you’ve solved it only to realize you missed that a module is giving armor to some unit and you thought you killed it. At the point you figure that out you’ve often already looked at the solution and kind of ruined that particular puzzle. Short of an app-driven version, the Iron Gang Hexpuzzle pack is the best we will get for solo Neuroshima Hex though.

Optional – Solo gamers that want to hone their Neuroshima Hex skills should pick this up.

Expansion OptionalHits:
• 50 different puzzles
• Only need base game and Iron Gang army to play

Misses:
• Long setup time
• Takes the tactical part out of the game entirely
• Only one chance to check if your solution is correct.

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