Game Title : Time War
Publisher : Yaquinto
Game Designer : J. Stephen Peek
Game Thema : War by time-machine technology
1 game map, 1 counter sheet, card set, rulebook
Number of players: 3 to 4
Playing time: 2 to 4 hours
Difficulty: easy for wargamers
I had searched this title for a long time on e-Bay, and finally got it about 10 years ago. Even in those days, this game was a very old game, since it was published in 1979.
In late 1970s, Yaquinto published many titles. For this type of large flat box, they have “Shooting star”, “Star fall”, “Beast lord”, “Marine 2002” and etc.
In those titles, I was really interested in this title, since this title definitely means it is a kind of time-travelling game.
I think there are two types of box art for this title.
The game map has several rings in center. They are the time. The outmost ring is current time. And it shows older time, as you go to inside.
Each player’s time-machine is located on each corner. He can send his operation members into the past time. On each ring, there is an orbit. And each orbit has arrow. This arrow shows the current “real” history in that time.
Players can send operation members to the time and rotate that ring to change history and/or dominate that time. Dominated arrow is shown its player’s color.
Interesting game mechanics is that if someone change a time by rotating one ring, all of outer rings are rotated together. So, if someone changes the very inner ring, in other words the very old history, all of the history after that time was changed together.
Victory points are calculated how close each arrow on the rings locates to his favorite direction. This means that current “real” history is favorable for that player.
The difficulty of changing history is varied due to the time. Generally speaking, the outer rings are harder to change, since the technology of the time is higher. On the other hand, it is much easier to change the very old time. But, the problem is the result of the change is harder to predict in case of older time.
For example, it is not hard for future people to kill enough amounts of dinosaurs to change the Mesozoic time, since dinosaurs are not intelligent enough to resist the future people’s attack. But, it is very hard to imagine how this killing can affect the current “real” history. Definitely, there should be some great impact.
In case of recent rings, it is much easier to understand how it will affect the current “real” history. But, as above all of the recent rings are affected by the change in older time. So, there might be many unplanned changes in “real” history often in this game.
This game mechanics is really interesting and has very good atmosphere of being time-travelling game.
In basic game, each player starts the game with high performance time-machine that can go to the innermost ring. I played basic game and it was really enjoyable.
But, in advanced rule, each player starts with poor performance time-machine that can go only to very recent time. So, first struggle might happen only in recent rings. Then, losing player decided to innovate his time-machine and go back to further past time. I think this is more story-telling and entertaining. But, so far I’ve never tried this rule.
Also, in advanced rule, there is a training rule for operation members.
Since this game is excellent for time-travelling game, there was no other title on this topic until Timjim/Prism finally published the next big thing, “Time Agent.