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The war on terror. A review by the experts
The War on Terror game is an enjoyable board game about terrorists, governments, evil empires and people fighting for freedom.
It's a cross between Risk and Settlers of Catan. Risk is a game where the purpose is world conquest, and Settlers of Catan is a brilliant game where you use the resources of the land you are on, such as wool, wood, ore etc to build roads, towns, cities. Settlers is all about trading the resources you have access to with other players for ones that you don't have access to.
I have played War on Terror five times in the last two days and discovered that it doesn't really work as a game with two players, whoever turns terrorist first wins, you have to play it with more people for it to be satisfying.
An interesting and unusual feature is that you can modify the game, for example you can add new cards that you have made yourself. Unless you make alliances or use psychological warfare the game is slightly dull. It's random chance who gets to be the evil empire.
I liked the fact that it's got good jokes and is funny, there is also a balaclava saying “Evil” on the forehead, worn by the Evil Empire player, which adds to the comedy. However I found that if you have the same number of players for each gaming session the result will always be the same, so make sure you change the number of players.
The outcome of the game seems to depend on the personalities of the players. It didn't help me understand world politics. I don't really know about the politics of the world.
Here's what two of my fellow players said: “I thought the game was really good. It is simple, interesting and quite short. It takes less than an hour. In my experience of playing twice, the terrorist always wins. It was cool because you could pick your favourite places, I picked England, Afghanistan and Iraq.'' James (age 14).
“It is a well-produced game. It looks very good. As a satire it is in quite bad taste. One of the possibilities is world peace, but it is presented as a joke - as something that will never happen.” Patrick (age 43)
£29.95 from Housmans Bookshop or other good games shops or http://www.waronterrortheboardgame.com