01 October 2010

The Untouchables

Ever since it first came out, I wanted a copy of Steve Jackson Games' Strange Synergy. This strategy board game gives you a deck of 100 cards with super powers and "gadgets." You are dealt nine cards and have three warriors on which to distribute the powers/gadgets on the cards. And to make it even better, the character art is by Phil Foglio.

The game came out in 2003 and was unfortunately not a hit. It's gone out of print and now costs $100+ in new condition. I only recently found this out and immediately created an eBay search to see if I could snag one. The very first one it notified me of was a used copy with a starting bid of $6.00. No one else bid on it! A week later, the game (literally) arrived at my doorstep.

My first game was against my 12-year-old son. I figured I'd give him a better chance of winning I played the Mad Scientists. Each team has a unique ability and theirs is merely to carry unlimited gadgets. Turns out he didn't need any help. I was only dealt one gadget and little in the way of offensive powers.

He managed to get the abilities Inner Peace, Stunning Beauty, and Acrobatic Evasion. Inner Peace prevents any opponents from hitting the warrior until he attacks someone. Stunning Beauty makes the recipient so beautiful, opponents require a roll of the die just to attempt to attack him. Then you have to roll again to actually land a hit. Acrobatic Evasion lets the warrior automatically avoid one attack per turn. Naturally he gave each of his warriors one of these. By the way, except for Stunning Beauty, these abilities are secret until you attack the warrior with them.

Only because one of my warriors had Flameblast (an initially secret offensive power), Two Heads (gives two attacks per turn), and Trick Shot (allows attacks on diagonals and is secret until used) did I manage to even damage his warrior with Acrobatic Evasion. Unfortunately, that was the first warrior he killed, so after that things went downhill for me quickly. (The only other offensive weapon/power I had was a boomerang.) At least he had a good time and wants to play again.