Wreck and Ruin: Vehicular Violence in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland Kickstarter Review
Wreck and Ruin: Vehicular Violence in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland by Dream Big Games
A Review by Bob Nolan
[Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the publisher nor have I received any compensation for this review]
Product Name: Wreck and Ruin: Vehicular Violence in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland
Publisher: Dream Big Games
Product Type: Boardgame, Competitive, Action Point
Cost: Kickstarter base pledge: $60
# of Players: 2-4
Time: 40-80 minutes
Do you have what it takes to outmaneuver and outgun your opponents in this post-apocalyptic vehicle combat boardgame?
Wreck and Ruin is a competitive game where players control one of four factions of wasteland warriors to claim objectives and gather salvage tokens to win, while gathering salvage cards to change your battlefield strategy. Each player has an allotted amount of action points to maneuver, shoot, ram, and wreck your way to victory. In Wreck and Ruin, the action is brisk, and if you lose one of your vehicles, they can be easily repaired or return to the game next round to continue the mayhem.
Wreck and Ruin is currently on Kickstarter with a goal of $13,252, and within their first day are over 67% funded and the Kickstarter will end on Thursday, June 28, 2018.
Components and Artwork
As a preview copy, the components in this copy are not final. However, the vehicles were detailed enough for a boardgame and the components (cards, tokens, map tiles, etc) did the job of allowing us to play the game. During play there was zero confusion about the components. Since the review covers a review copy, I can’t comment on the quality of the components in final production.
The artwork is well-done and fits the theme of the game- technology that’s been lost in the wastelands, weapons, wreckage, and more. The map tiles are detailed enough to easily see the spaces your vehicles belong in and provide varied terrain since they are double sided. Artwork in the rulebook is nice and helps bring you into the game. I’d like to see more artwork throughout the rulebook, but space is at a premium and adding artwork adds to your pages. I hope the final rulebook, when the game is produced, included more visuals.
One interesting concept with the miniatures is that each one has spots drilled into them for damage tokens, called flame pegs, that are inserted into the vehicles to represent damage. I found the components in this regard unique and prove a dynamic way to visually represent damage on each vehicle.
In Wreck and Ruin, players use five action points to move their models across the map tiles to reach objectives. Each faction has the same vehicles: A two wheeled scout, a buggy, a wrecker which has high armor and a ram, and the big rig. A little variety would be nice, but, for the base game having the same vehicles allows balanced play without adding complexity to the game.
The main goal of Wreck and Ruin is the raid objectives on the map tiles to gain salvage tokens. Gaining salvage tokens requires a vehicle to stay on top of an objective without taking damage- This, of course, is where the vehicular combat comes in to play. Having to sit on an objective means players are going to target your vehicle to prevent them from gaining salvage sites, and in turn, gaining additional salvage cards, which are special abilities that can be used on your turn.
Each vehicle has specific stats and skills, but, the stats are the same across each faction. Each vehicle has the following stats: size, move, attack, armour, damage points, and special skills.
To spend action points, you need to decide which vehicle to activate and what actions you will use. Each action point can be used to move, ram, or attack. Spending an action point to move
When moving, you can move, you gain all of the movement noted- moving each space reduces one movement and turning in a hex reduces one movement. The attack stat shows how many dice you roll. During an attack, you are looking to equal or roll higher the target’s armour value. A hit means your opponent places a flame peg onto the vehicle to represent damage. Of course, there are modifiers, such as an attack from the rear hex of a vehicle gains you additional bonuses. Movement and placement of your vehicles is very important and makes the tactics of the game play interesting. Ramming makes the game even more interesting. The bigger the vehicle, the harder it hits! When ramming an equal sized or smaller vehicle, not only do you get to damage it, but you get to push it too! Use this to clear enemies off sites and get you onto them. Ramming uses the armour stat as well as the vehicle’s size to determine the winner.
During a player’s turn salvage cards can be used. These cards are one-use buffs and attacks that help your faction or messes with an opponent’s faction vehicles. Players are expected to search for and draw a lot of these cards to make game-play even more unique and dynamic.
To aid in the replayability and to change up strategy, each round a new event card is drawn to change the environment, make attacks harder or easier, and generally mess with the vehicles on the board. Each event is resolved at the beginning of every player’s turn. So, a lightning storm will happen four times in a single round in a four-player game, then a new event is drawn for the following round. In addition to the event cards, each faction has a single faction card that is quite powerful. Choosing when to use it adds to the depth and strategy of the game.
Each vehicle has its own unique ability. A buggy can repair, a scout can take pot-shots, a wrecker can do the ram action more easily, and the big rig can repair itself as well as push smaller vehicles around.
During gameplay, expect your vehicles to take a lot of damage. They can be repaired and if destroyed, can return to the game by spending action points. The expectation when you first play is to save your vehicles so they last throughout the game, but, as you play, you understand the vehicles are meant to take damage, get repaired, or return to the game.
Beyond that, there are various rules for spinning out of control when wrecked, pushing your engine to the limits for additional movement, and terrain comes into play to make the game even more interesting. Furthermore, when an objective is scored, a new objective immediately and randomly pops onto the map- you’ll never know where the next objective is going to be.
Vehicles have arcs and you must attack something in the front arc of the vehicle, and if you are directly behind a target, you add +1 to the dice when rolling.
The game design is clever and gives a nod to the genre of post-apocalyptic vehicle combat in movies such as Mad Max or other games like Car Wars. Wreck and Ruin does NOT try to emulate car wars. The game moves from player to player in quick succession, and, in my three player game with all new players, our game lasted about 90 minutes looking up rules and becoming familiar with the game. There were certain aspects of the rulebook that we found frustrating, but I consider that normal for a first time playing a new game. We came to the game cold without doing any rules reading before the game.
I believe that rules are easy enough to grasp in that each faction has the same vehicles and you will learn the stats and special abilities of each vehicle rather quickly. The action point system means each player can do the same things as well as the same amount of things. You do become familiar with the game after watching your opponents turns and then going through your own turn.
The game catches the vehicle combat genre well, and the various tech upgrades and buffs from the salvage cards can create a fun narrative. The game length is varied based on the number of players- more players means more rounds. The winner is the player with the most salvage sites (objectives) collected at the end of the final round. If there is a tie, the winner is then decided by the player with the least damage points.
With a little bit of polish and watching players new to the game play, the rules can be clarified a little bit more to make coming to the game as a new player easier and allows the rules to be learned even quicker than they already do.
Wreck and Ruin provides non-stop action as you and your opponents move, ram, and fire at other vehicles while collecting salvage tokens to win. You’ll find yourself making vehicle noises as you push your vehicles around on the map- something your inner-child will find fun and entertaining.
If you find the genre of post-apocalyptic vehicular mayhem fun and interesting as well as enjoy the head to head competitive play of a light miniature game , then I suggest you back and help get this game funded. If you prefer more passive play and less competition, then Wreck and Ruin probably isn’t the right game for you.
One of my opponents, Matt, had this to say about the game:
“[Wreck and Ruin is] A spectacular game of smash and grab with vehicles, a quick easy rule set with visually appealing maps and models.
To find this game on Kickstarter, click the image below:
Or, click your way to the Wreck and Ruin homepage and / or Facebook page here:
Update: Keep in mind my preview copy is before the final production components. Rules and materials will be upgraded to production standards and game play / design / and rules will be updated as errors and any confusing word structure is found.