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Board Game Review: Brothers

Two brothers are farming, trying to get the perfect conditions for their creatures to breed and provide produce. One brother is farming Wabbits, whilst the other is farming Gobbles. One brother believes in farming in an L shape, the other believes in farming in a straight line. Only one brother can claim enough of the land over the other in this game of 2 or 4 players – Read on to find out more about the latest game by Ankama Boardgames, Brothers!

Ankama Boardgames, known for being the creators of the Krosmaster board game series, along with their flagship Ankama Games who make video games like Wakfu and Dofus, recently got in touch with us. They told us about a new board game they were working on and admittedly, I just had to know more. They were generous enough to send us two copies of the game, which you can find out more about the second copy on our Facebook page, so go give us a like!

Overview

Developed by Ankama Boardgames
Release
2018
Genre Strategy, Tile

Review

Story

Two brothers have different animals that they farm – Gobbles and Wabbits. The brother who farms the Wabbits believes that an L shaped pen helps them breed, whereas the brother with the Gobbles believe a longer, straight pen is more likely to help stimulate growth of the Gobbles wool. The two brothers therefore have found a plot of land, where they are now looking to get as much space for their pens as possible.

Gameplay

The game is deceptively simple, despite the initial presentation of the ‘board’. The game starts off with all of the ‘board pieces’ scattered randomly across the table. Players then take it in turns to place those pieces of the board into a shape of their choosing. Naturally, this is where some of the strategy of the game comes into play, as players need to piece the land together in the best way they can, to benefit their pens.

During this phase, if it’s a 2 player game, the youngest player starts by placing the first piece. The second player then places a piece where a side of a square on the board is against the side of another square. This goes on until all pieces are used up – This is considered stage one, where the game is all about making the board as strategic to your shapes purposes as you possibly can. If this is a four player game, you and your partner may confer here about where you want the pieces to go.

Now the placement of pens begins. One by one, each team, starting with the youngest player, places a piece. If you are playing a 4 player game, you now are not allowed to confer where you want to put your pen pieces. This gives the game a sort of strange vibe, as you stare at your partner and hope they don’t mess up your plans for a well thought-out pen plan. In a two player game though, you just take it in turns to lay pens.

You place the pens on top of the board you’ve just created. You cannot place a pen over a hold. For instance, you could have a small gap of just one square between two squares, which you cannot “fill” with your pen. You must follow the rules of the board you have established,  which is partly where the L shape gets an advantage over the straight shape.

Interestingly, the two pens are scored differently – You keep placing until both sides are out of pens to place and you take penalties for any number of pens you have left over. The one with the most points after penalties wins. Once the results are in, you swap pieces with your opponent/s and play again. Both teams/players must play a game once as both pieces and then the winners overall are the ones who have the most points after both games.

Artwork

Brothers looks like a really nice game, it’d certainly sit well on your board game shelves. The artwork is simple, somewhat childlike but very professional. It’s no surprise either, as the style matches up to their artwork in Krosmaster, minus the incredibly gorgeous figures you’d get from Krosmaster. Nevertheless, the game is really well presented, with excellent and highly unique artwork which you’d expect of Ankama Games.

What’s more, the actual card stock provided is really good! It’s a very thick, extra durable kind of card. The art is printed nicely, although it’s fair to point out that the artwork is just printed on card and that’s all you get. The box therefore does feel a little big for the product, however that’s not such a bad thing, when the art is so nice.

Overall

Brothers is a very simple game, which for a big board game enthusiast may not be complex enough – However, if you’ve got children, or if you’re just looking for something really quick and simple to play, then Brothers may be a perfect board game for you. The stock is really nice quality, the game is very quick and easy to learn and play, with the instructions being just three pages or so.

Well worth picking a copy of this up, especially if you appreciate art. However, if you’re looking for something with lots and lots of pieces, or with figurines, then this isn’t for you. As a nice addition to a board game collection, Brothers goes down rather well. It’s simple, it’s easy and all in all, it’s a good way for you to get chatting to other people. But what do you think of Brothers? Is it too easy, or does it boast enough strategy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

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