Friday, 10 August 2018

Boardgame Corner: Kero

Witness me brothers! I found a cool little two player game that very much seems to be set in the post apocalyptic wastes of the Fury Road. And it's great fun to boot!

In Kero, you are part of a band of survivors, competing with a rival tribe for control of territory and resources and that ever precious Kerosene, or Kero. You go out on foraging parties searching for what you need, but you must be careful, you don't want to run out of Kero or your trip will be wasted.

This is a dice rolling assigning game that has a cool timed effect. Basically the dice give differing resources that can be used in combination to buy different things. However unused dice are wasted, so you want to roll exactly what you want... but you're also on the clock, so how much fuel will you waste rerolling that one useless dice hoping for the result you want? Basically, you can reroll your dice as often as you like as long as you have time left... but you need to spend resources to replenish time, so you need to be frugal with it.

The sand timers and dice... not gonna lie, the purchase of this game was HEAVILY influenced by these...
My opponent and I found the time factor to add great tension to the game. When refueling we'd go through the process and look at our meagre supply and think "is that it?" We actually both asked the question "does it flow out quicker than it flows in?" No, of course it doesn't, it's a sand timer not a complex system of valves. But man it feels like it.

The resources you seek...
I added a bit of psychological warfare to my game by referring to the "burn" symbol as a 1... could just as easily be a 6 or a 4, but I referred to it as 1, goading my opponent (who has long held me to be a dice jinx and won't use a die I have touched) by saying he could refuel for as long as it took for me to roll all 1's... his face dropped!

And the Burns to avoid...
It's a short game, only played for three rounds before scoring up. It has great replay value as you try to figure your way through the puzzle of what to spend on... more fuel, sending out your explorers, upgrading your cards, or recruiting help from nomadic wanderers. And you can't predict when it will end either, meaning scoring can vary greatly. My last two games I won 51-16 then 20-17. I don't know how I ran away with it so much in the first game, but in the second we were both frustrated, as you don't know exactly when the game will end (it's a card reveal in the deck) and I had a good supply of fuel and a few upgrades for my next turn... a next turn I never got to see.

There are better dice available (for a price) and they are more likely to get the symbols you need to buy the cards you want...


I also have to give credit when packing away... everything has it's place, and this pleases me.

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All in all, a great two player puzzle game with a good amount of tension. The none active player is still involved by watching the sand tick away and teasing their opponent - I've psyched one person into stopping their turn and then they've seen they had plenty of time left, i'd merely been teasing them about their engine spluttering and gasping for breath. It's technically nothing to do with me he should have been checking his own fuel state, not my fault he panicked...

Anyway, next time I play, I'm putting my Doof Wagon on the table, blasting out the soundtrack, to really ramp up the stakes!