Before I begin, I was sent a prototype of the game, and will receive a copy of the game upon fulfillment in exchange for an honest review. This is not a paid review. You can check out a video review below, and if you would like to get your own copy check it out here.
I, like many a geek before me and after, played Magic the Gathering. I played in Middle School quite a bit, and stopped playing just after the Fallen Empires card set was finishing up. So clearly the game has added a ton of stuff since then. One of these are the ability to create “tokens”.
These tokens are 1/1 creatures that many people create decks to exploit by making massive armies of them. The game comes with cards that you can use, but they take up tons of real estate, and most people just use dice or coins or whatever. Who cares you say? Good point.
The point is that that is the genesis of Token Terrors. They were created to allow you to have thematic tokens for your games of magic, and specifically they were create without appendages so they could be easily dropped into a dice bag and off you go.
Of course, you can’t stop there. You have these cool little miniature tokens that fit all kinds of themes. So why not let them become their own little armies and go to town on each other!
Token Terrors: Battleground is a lightning fast skirmish game. Each player selects between 2 and 4 factions (the more you take the harder it is) and faces off with 10 troops. As you might expect each faction has their own special abilities. You will each start out with 5 troops on the board, and at the end of each round you will reinforce your army back up to 5. The first player to lose all their tokens loses.
Game play is simple, you take turns activated a token, and performing three actions. These might be moving, activating a faction ability or attacking. Combat is very quick, do a quick calculation of power, if the attack is at range roll an evasion die, and move on. There are ways to adjust your attack by spending multiple actions to avoid a counter attack, but for the most part that is it.
Each round you will get to decide to rest a token, which will give you a bonus action you can use later, but will leave you vulnerable to ranged attacks.
So what do I think?
I really like the artistry of this game. It is highly cartoonish, which I like a lot, and the tokens themselves are pretty darn cool, I suspect those who know how to paint can make them REALLY pop. I also really appreciate the RIDICULOUSLY small size of the box, and board. This game takes up such a small amount of space on the table and the shelf.
I also think the factions are all quite distinct in their abilities, and while on the surface some seem like they might be more powerful (looking at you zombies), with time I have found that they are all pretty darn well balanced.
Finally, the game is pretty easy to pick up and learn the basics of, and games do play quickly. Heck my first game was on Table Top Simulator, which is pretty slow, and I was still done in under an hour. It was a glorious defeat.
The core mechanics of the game are simple to grasp, but I do find the game to be a little bit fiddly. The “threat” mechanic, to me, was a little bit wonky in my brain, and it took me longer than I would have liked to fully internalize.
This game also might be a deep dark hole for your wallet! There are plenty of factions in this coming KS, but I know they are already at work on “season 2” which will involve several more factions. I can absolutely see you feeling the need to dive deep down the Token Terror hole.
The game is not deep. It is a quick one on one skirmish game. Nothing wrong with that, but if you are looking for something with a lot of substance this is not it. You are not going to find yourself invested in your tokens…after all they are just tokens that you toss away like so much garbage during the game. Nor do I anticipate you spending game days playing this over and over. Though, I do suppose tournaments could be quite fun. Now all that said, I do not think the game is intended to be deep, but just something to note!
Edit: Since this article was written the designers have created a mode called “Terrible Tactics” which is a story based, light legacy mode as a stretch goal.
Bringing it all together
Token Terrors is a fun, quick, space conscious game, using blinged out Magic the Gathering components. There are several unique looking and feeling factions which keeps replay value high. There will certainly be a danger for those of you who are completionists, because there will be a whole bunch of different factions coming down the pipe. While fun, the game is not a “deep” experience and it might not be enough for you, if you are not also interested in using the tokens in your Magic games. Though if you are also a Magic player, this is probably a must own, even if you only get the tokens themselves.
Yup. It would take me longer to read that than to play a game
* Very cool artwork, and unique factions to choose from
* Simple to learn the rules, though some parts are little fiddly the first few games
* Game plays quick, is surprisingly strategic, and has a tiny footprint
* Not a “deep” game, it is just a quick slug fest
* An INCREDIBLE value if you are a Magic player