Latest posts by Seth Ryals-Fernandes (see all)
- A Heavy Discussion on Weight - June 18, 2018
- Fantastic Factories Is An Engine Building Game For Hardcore and Casual Players Alike - June 14, 2018
- Posthuman Saga, What I Wish The Fallout Board Game Was - June 11, 2018
- $59 for Base Game ($89 for Base Game and Kickstarter Expansion)
- 1-4 Players
- No Playtime Listed (Probably fairly long though)
- Post-Apocalyptic Theme
Posthuman Saga, Another Venture Into The Wasteland
Posthuman Saga is a post-apocalyptic survival game that takes place in the Posthuman universe. The first Posthuman game can be found here. But even if you have played the first one, which in all fairness I have not, the developers have stated that this game is not another edition or a redesign of the original Posthuman game.
Even at first glance, Posthuman Saga reminded me a lot of the Fallout board game. Its post-apocalyptic, and an RPG game. It also has the same mechanic of a randomized map, where the players lay down the map tiles at the beginning of every game randomly. I’ll try not to spend the entire article comparing it to the Fallout board game, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the vast similarities between them. My comparisons also serve as a purpose to show where I think this game went right in ways that Fallout went wrong.
Basic Overview of Posthuman Saga
Whew. Where to Begin. This game is very dense, at least at first glance. After reading the rules, which are around 17 pages long (which you can find here), I understand the game enough to give you a brief overview. As you might expect, each player selects a character to play as. Each character has different stats, starting equipment, etc. But the long and short of the game is that all of the players are competing for points, called Reps. Reps can be gained in a variety of ways.
The first way that a player can gain Reps is through Mission Objectives. At the beginning of the game each player is dealt two different Mission Objectives. The first one being the level 1 Mission Objective, which is easier to complete. The second one being the level 2 Mission Objective, which is harder to complete. These objectives are completed when a player completes encounters in each of the terrain tile types listed on their specific objective. The catch here is that the sooner you finish the objective, the more points you receive. So ideally you would like to be the first player to complete each objective.
The second way that players gain Reps is by killing Mutant Bosses. Once a player has completed both of their Mission Objectives, they can choose to fight a Mutant Boss. If they beat the Mutant Boss, the player receives 3 Reps and the game ends.
The final way that players gain Reps is through Recon Objectives. Players complete these Recon Objectives by placing Scavenger Tokens on the corresponding Terrain Types shown on the Recon Objectives card. At the beginning of the game a Recon Objectives card is drawn and this shows which symbols must be adjacent to score points.
The game has a fairly complex combat system that takes into account the durability of your weapon, as well as introducing some randomness with combat cards. It separates the combat into a shooting and a melee phase, which I have never seen before personally. I think it reflects really well the way that combat works in video games that resemble this game.
Following the sort of Fallout-ish nature of the game, if you are damaged by an enemy it also forces the player that takes damage to take a Mutation card. There are two different kinds of Mutation cards, stable and unstable. Unstable mutation cards are worse than their stable counterparts. If a player receives enough Mutations, they will start to lose Reps.
My Overall Thoughts on Posthuman Saga
I think that Posthuman Saga avoided the pitfall that the Fallout board game fell into. In my first play through of Fallout, I felt overwhelmed by the number of missions and objectives I had. I felt like I had no direction and no idea where to start. While I’ve heard it argued that this was intentional, because the Fallout video games definitely can instill this feeling in a player, for me personally it was very off putting.
Posthuman saga goes in the right direction in this way. In the interest of full disclosure, I have not played the game. But from reading the rules and getting more familiar with the mechanics of the game, it feels like it allows the player to score points in a more gameified way, instead of a hard to understand abstract way. The scoring system is fairly straight-forward, and the mechanics by which players score points make logical sense.
If you are looking for a weighty RPG game, and you like the theme, I would say that Posthuman Saga is definitely a game worth checking out. Especially with the added benefit of getting all of the achieved stretch goals when you back the game on Kickstarter.
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