Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Gameholecon - March of the Ants

I played March of the Ants at Gameholecon - one of the few I played without anyone else in our party.  I told Eryn and Klund, "I really liked it and had a great time, but I only ever need to play it once."  It has mechanics very much like any other worker placement game.  You have larva, you "harvest" them into your space, and then you play them as ants.  Ants have to be fed.  More ants.  More food. And there are options for collecting food, getting bonuses, expanding territory, etc.  I did like the additional ant evolution options to evolve your ant colony's heads, abdomen, and thorax multiple times - definitely gave it a bit of color.

Here we are, a few turns into exploration with the ants owning some breeding grounds, food production areas, and card generation areas (cards are good for evolution and bumping your attacks among other things).  That green giant is a centipede.  They eat your ants, so you need to maintain a strong enough population to kill them, but when you do you get a nice resource bonus.

Grabbing an exploration tile.

You can see my colony with evolved heads here.  Those were good for attacking and defending.  The two big ants are from an expansion (I think) and we barely got to play them because the game is very limited in turns.  The guy leading the game had a separate turn track he'd made himself in order to play slightly longer games.  It was a surprise how fast the end snuck up on us.  Those worker ants, master ants, whatever they are, give extra bonus options and reinforce your hex presence.

Finally, I simply thought this was funny.  He labeled which bag held which color cubes.  I am 100% certain that was not necessary.

My review.  Great worker placement game.  Didn't need the expansion.  Not too different from other worker placement games, but a great theme.  The evolution is a positive feature.  The constrained length is a positive feature.  The pressure on food versus population versus evolution seems balanced.  But I'd probably play Champions of Midgard (rated 96 overall) for a similar experience instead of buying the ants game unless I had a budding etymologist in my family.

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