The Core Game
Vindication is a thematic Euro game. Thematic Euro game? I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself. In Vindication you will be turning cubes into other cubes, spending cubes and pushing cubes from one area to another. Marc over at Orange Nebula found a way to thematically manipulate these cubes, that Euro board gamers love so much and also appeal to those thematic Ameritrash board gamers.
In Vindication you are a horrible human-being, so vile that you were pushed overboard by your fellow crew members. You wash up on the shores of a mysterious island and are greeted by a stranger that will be the first of many companions to help you on your journey to become vindicated. (Insert the Dashboard Confessional song) Along your journey you will fight monsters, gain companions, special traits and ancient relics. You will gain the courage, inspiration, wisdom, knowledge, vision and strength needed to become a better human being and change your evil ways (maybe).
Vindication features: resource management, area Control, action selection, modular board and variable powers. As you move around the board you will be discovering new random tiles that make up the map. These tiles will allow you to do many different things from going to the Gaping Maw and fighting a monster to upgrading your mount so you can travel farther each turn. These tiles are where you will do most everything. I have been able to get some great mini engines going just by hanging around 2-3 tiles that are close together and have synergy.
As the game progresses you add on more win conditions, some are hard to get, some are easy. Sometimes the game will be immediately over when a condition is drawn, because the conditions are currently met. This ensures nobody is extending the game to perfect their mini engines in place.
The core game uses 19 tiles during the game. There are many expansions included with the core game. In one expansion you can swap in the Pet Menagerie to acquire a pet to aid you on your adventure. One expansion will let you warp to other locations. The building site expansion will let you choose between a few tiles to place. Like take-that? Play with the treachery expansion. Like Co-op game-play and loot? Play with the Myths and Wonders expansion. Like plopping down pieces of plastic and MtG Commander-esque gameplay? Use the leaders and alliances expansion with Guilds and Monuments. Want to play solo? There are TWO options. One is the more traditional Vindication experience with some interesting added mechanics and a great buddy named Tik-Tik. Another is a very thematic experience where you will be lighting fires and summoning Ancient Ones to defeat the evil of the island.
Orange Nebula have quickly become one of my favorite companies in the industry. The amount of thought, heart and dedication that go into their products in unreal. Their podcast shows how much they care about our industry, how they want to change it for the better and what great story tellers they are. Their Instagram shows how hilarious they can be. Their board games show how much they value quality over quantity.
*Because there are so many expansions, I have not played any expansion more than two times. Because of this I felt uncomfortable giving a review or first impression. This is merely an overview. If you would like to know more about any aspect of any mechanic/expansion please let me know in the comments below or on Instagram. http://instagram.com/swordandboardgames