Anachrony is a gloriously heavy Euro style worker placement game from Mindclash Games. Like all euros the box is awash with cardboard galore! The base game comes with cardboard tiles that act as exosuits for your little cardboard workers to pilot. However Mindclash also offer a separate set of incredible large plastic miniature Exosuits to replace the cardboard tokens.
What’s the deal with Anachrony Essential Edition?
I think it’s important to mention at this point that Mindclash have changed their product structure for Anachrony. The original Base Box and the Exosuit Commander pack will no longer be available at retail and are replaced with:
Anachrony Essential Edition. The base game
Classic Expansion Pack. The original 3 modular expansions previously split across the Base Box and Commander Pack.
Exosuit Miniatures Set. Containing 24 55mm miniatures for use in the base game (but no gameplay related content).
The original solo mode for Anachrony is not included in the Essential Edition or Classic Expansion Pack but will be included along with a new solo mode in the Fractures of Time expansion coming to retail soon. What follows is a review of Anachrony Exosuit Miniatures Set only.
Anachrony is set in a dystopian future where the majority of earth is unsuitable for human life. It has a two tiered worker system where to place your guys on the main board you’ll first need to kit them out in a powered Exosuit. These main board action locations make up the vast majority of your worker placement choices, so the Exosuits play a fairly major and regular role in the gameplay of Anachrony. As mentioned before these exosuits are simple cardboard tiles in the Essential Edition box. In the Exosuit Miniatures Set you get 24 large 55 millimetre plastic sculpts to replace the original cardboard tiles.
The 24 mini’s are split between the 4 different factions in the base game with 6 suits per faction. Each set of 6 figures are wildly different in design. You have Gargoyles, Octopods, Pilgrims and Seeders. Fantastically detailed and with coloured snap on bases for even easier recognition, each type of Exosuit is linked to one of the 4 ‘paths’ or factions of the game.
The coloured snap on bases do mean that you can chop and change which faction has which Exosuits though if desired. Every sculpt has a slot in its back to receive the cardboard worker pilots, holding them upright for better visibility on the table. The box contains a full depth moulded insert with lid to hold each model safely and the box top has a transparent panel for display purposes.
2D or not 2D?
So the question is are the miniatures worth buying? Now this is a much more personal question than “is the game good or not?” (It is by the way and if you haven’t played you should check out our review ASAP). Whether the Anachrony Exosuit Miniatures Set is for you will depend on the type of person and gamer you are. Remember this pack contains absolutely no gameplay related content whatsoever. It is in no way essential to gameplay, hence being sold separately to the other game content. If you’re a purist who isn’t interested in upgrades then the Exosuits may not be for you, after all the Miniatures Set retails for more than the Classic Expansion Pack which contains 3 gameplay modules.
If board game upgrades are your bag though, this set has as much to offer as any. Essential it may not be but gameplay enhancing it definitely is! These sculpts are beautiful and exquisitely detailed, when they’re on the board they give Anachrony incredible table presence. They make checking who is on what space at a glance much clearer as well as handling them a lot easier. They also make it easier to double check what class of worker you’ve used as they hold them up in the air.
As rare as it is for a euro game to offer plastic miniatures, these awesome sculpts really lift Anachrony off the table. They help immerse you in the experience, if that’s your thing. If the base game included the mini’s it would no doubt be an £80-£90 package so the option to jump into the world of Anachrony without that sort of outlay is appreciated.
Having said that playing the game without them in my opinion would be akin to playing Scythe without the mechs or character figures. Those miniatures are also in no way essential to gameplay, they could just as easily be cardboard tiles. I think though, for many if not most Scythe fans they’re integral to the immersion in the theme and enjoyment of the experience. In the same way most Anachrony fans would consider these beautifully detailed hefty additions a “near essential” upgrade to an otherwise 2 dimensional eurostyle board game.