Published on April 19th, 2014 | by Colin0
Cardcore Gamer: A Vigourous Display of Cardboard
Plaid Hat Games sent me a copy of Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia, so I’m going to whip its top off and wave its bits in your face!
I’m not entirely sure what the box is trying to tell me; Daisy Fitzroy is rather poodley and vacant, while Z. H. Comstock has clearly seen someone trying to steal his bike. Your gaze is pretty much drawn to the Handyman’s giant victory fist in the lower right, but his face makes him appear to be cheering on a greyhound he’s staked his entire pension on to win.
The game board is a map of Columbia, featuring all the locations from the game, but with fewer visible corpses. It looks a lot like a paint-by-photoshop theme park map, but is laid out in a pleasantly functional manner. The art style doesn’t really match the rest of the game, but works very well during play, being clear and not distracting. Well, almost…
Brown on brown! A splendid colour choice for some of the most important information in the game!
Next in our cardboardvalcade of wonders are the timeline cards. You get three of these for a differing experience each game. The “Wanted” poster on the back of each sheet is a pleasantly superfluous addition.
These faction-specific reference cards are very useful, well themed and laid out and bizarrely missing one important step of the game turn. As before, the back of the cards holds some lovely art…
This is very cool – the two alternate futures of the game, appropriately rendered for each player. Good job, guys.
These are my favourite bits of the game; the four faction decks – one each in two colours to enable the four player game. The card backs are beautiful little political cartoon style illustrations of the Founders and Vox Populi. The faux-griminess of the cards makes them look worn and used, as if they fell straight through a tear into our reality.
And the card fronts are nicely rendered as well, featuring some of the memorable inhabitants of Columbia and the Vigours, too. It’s always easy to see what you have, what they are worth and what effects they can bring to bear. The font is a little bible-small though.
The Event and Victory Point cards keep up the theme and I especially like the ‘newspaper headline’ look of the Events, however the Event card backs drop the ball a bit with a generic piece of Booker/Elizabeth art.
Continuing the card bits, you get a big ol’ dump of tokens. They are nice and thick and sturdy, with usefully distinct shapes, colours and artwork; no tokens can be mistaken for any other.
Oh I do like to see great big piles of cash in my games. These authentic Silver Eagles cannot be used in a vending machine, trust me. Your opponent might get annoyed if you flip these at them and shout “Booker, catch!” for the 50th time.
This has to be the single largest First Player marker I have ever seen. You could brain a spaniel with it.
Custom dice! Engraved and not at all cheap-feeling. I love the hefty clunk these things make; they are truly dice worth twatting someone with. The white represent your ‘grunts’, blue are for your special forces and red are for leaders. Booker rolls 3 red dice and kills you. The jaunty ‘thumbs up’ tells you that you didn’t fall to your doom from the sky lines.
But what about the toys?! Games like these have to have toys! Indeed it does and they are very, very small. Considering their minute stature, they are actually well detailed. From the left: Booker, Elizabeth, Meyer Herzog, Daisy Fitzroy, Z.H. Comstock and Saltonstall.
In addition to the leaders, you get two colours each of Handymen and ‘grunt’ units: Flackmen for the Founders (blue) and Shotgunners for the Vox (red). A Handyman figure was included in the £60 special edition of the video game, but it doesn’t have any special place in the board game, it’s just a spare part.
Finally, you get two big pieces – Songbird and the Airship. These are very cool and it’s great to see them moving about the board. Both have special cards, which give them more flavour than simply being fancy components.
Right then, that’s your lot. There’s no doubt, this game is a looker, but looks aren’t everything, so come back once you’ve rinsed your eyes and watch my video review of how the game plays! Up, up and AWAAAAAAYYYYYYY!