Neuroshima Hex is far and away my favorite game to play with 2 players. In fact, it was recently number 7 on my Top 10 games ever! Portal Games continues to expand the world of Neuroshima Hex with additional armies, each with unique abilities and units.
Today we are taking a look at Neuroshima’s resident bikers—the Iron Gang. They are a heavily armored group of ruffians that will try to surround your units and hunt them down.
Iron Gang, like most of the Neuroshima Hex armies, add a few new mechanisms to the game. Many of the Iron Gang units, including its HQ, have a chain ability. Two Iron Gang units with a chain ability can use an action tile to damage an enemy between them. The Iron Gang does the vast majority of their damage through these chain attacks.
The battle tiles for the Iron Gang can also be used as action tiles to activate the chain ability. Other units have different abilities that can be activated with one of these action tiles as well. My favorite of which is the Ranged Net fighter. He can launch a net onto any enemy. Unlike other net abilities in Neuroshima Hex, the ranged net will stay on the enemy unit until the conclusion of the next battle, allowing the Iron Gang to disable troublesome enemies.
The remainder of the Iron Gang units have fairly standard abilities. They almost all have ranged attack-blocking armor on at least some sides, making them hard to deal with by armies that focus on ranged combat. Many of the biker gang have movement abilities, allowing them to move positions around the board to position themselves to take advantage of their chain abilities.
Game Experience with the Expansion:
Iron Gang has quickly become one of my favorite expansion armies for Neuroshima Hex. It feels different to play than most other armies. You have to position your units carefully and wisely take advantage of your actions tiles, knowing when to use them for an action and when to use them to initiate a battle.
Other Neuroshima Hex expansions have had a lot of rules overhead or made significant changes to how the game works—I’m looking at you Dancer. Iron Gang still manages to feel like a “normal” army and is easy to pick up and play. It serves as a great jumping off point when you feel like you are ready to move on from the armies that come in the base box.
There isn’t a ton of different units in the army, but they all serve a very important purpose. The biker unit’s ability to move around quickly makes it easy for them to stay out of the way of an opponent’s attack while setting up repeated attacks with their chain. They also have a fanatic unit which can explode, destroying itself and everything adjacent to help clear the way when things start to get crowded.
Being successful with the Iron Gang requires a lot of movement and controlling the number of units on the board throughout the battles. It can be tricky to play, but still feels pretty intuitive.
Ultimately, Iron Gang is everything I want in a Neuroshima Hex expansion. It’s accessible and easy to pick up and play if you know the rules for the base game. The theme really works, as your biker units are constantly moving and it feels like a biker gang. Neuroshima Hex’s ability to inject theme into what is mostly and abstract game is what makes it great and the Iron Gang is no exception. Iron Gang is one of the best expansion armies to come out for Neuroshima Hex and sets itself apart without completely changing the game experience.
• Biker gang theme works and makes the army interesting.
• Playing the army feels unique.
• Easy to play, not a huge departure from the base armies.
• Not a ton of different types of units