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Icaion Review


Prepare yourself for a race for resources and power unlike any other with ICAION! ICAION is an Engine Territory Building, Resource Management Eurogame for 2 to 5 players that will have you racing against each other for reputation points and power. This exciting new game comes from designers Martino Chiacchiera and Marta Ciaccasassi, both of which have a wide range of games under their belts. And not forgetting Travis Anderson who bought the image of ICAION to life with their original illustrations for the game.

In this review, I’ll bring you an in-depth but spoiler free rundown of everything you need to know about this game and more. So without further ado, let’s get started!

What’s in store?

Opening the box of a large board game for the first time can be quite overwhelming at times, but I was pleasantly surprised. The game comes with a neat storage solution to ensure all components can be stored without risk of damage. And although there are quite a few components to this game, both the setup and clean up are smooth and take very little time at all.

Inside the box, you’ll find:

● 1 Game board

● 1 Event board

● 5 Division boards

● 5 Emergency power supply tiles

● 15 Apparatus tiles

● 1 Colossus miniature

● 16 Colossus primal shards

● 25 Parasite miniatures

● 7 Seeker miniatures

● 150 Qoam crystals

● 15 Harvester miniatures

● 15 Scavenger miniatures

● 15 Refiner miniatures

● 5 Coloured base rings

● 5 Reputation markers

● 7 Seeker Cards

● 10 Specialized gear cards

● 8 Event cards

● 50 Curio cards

● 5 Reference cards

Getting down to business

ICAION takes place over three ‘years’, each of which has three phases; beginning, during and the end. The year starts with players prepping the colossus and adding shards to its base and it’s not until the ‘during; phase where players can get stuck into the year.

In the second phase, players must plan their turns carefully to get the most out of each action they take. Each turn, after players have moved across the board, they can choose from a variety of actions to take:

● Deploy Machines, Harvesters, Scavengers in strategic places of the map before other players to establish control of areas and exploit the available resources.

● Go on quests to activate the special Apparatus in the far craters left by the islands of Mysthea.

● Investigate the giant Colossus located in one of the available craters on the board.

● Eradicate parasites from the surrounding areas for bonus reputation.

● Or use the Emergency Power Supply for a much needed boost to your turn.

All of these options allow players to generate additional reputation, either immediately or at the end of the ‘year’. From there, turns continue until all three years have played out and players reach the end game.

To determine a winner, the final reputation points are added up, and the pieces are moved around the edge of the board to show the final score. With all points tallied up, the player with the most points is declared the winner.

But wait, there’s more?

ICAION also comes with an exciting rules update called ‘Rays of Light’, which provides more strategic control, new rebalanced options and improved gameplay. For new players picking up the game, I’d recommend incorporating these additions in your first play to make learning the game smooth and enjoyable.

Another fantastic feature of this game is that it also includes a co-op version to play when combined with Mysthea; a hand building / management and area control Eurogame from the same creators of ICAION.

The Fall incorporates components from both board games to create a brand new experience that includes the best from both individual games. However, unlike ICAION, players must work together to claim all primal shards from the colossus before their defence they meet their end by means of the defeat conditions.

Final thoughts

Although it’s not the usual style of game I would find myself playing, I thoroughly enjoyed the engine building and territory placement elements to ICAION. There was far more strategy than I first expected, with where I placed my engines and how much time was spent examining the beautifully designed giant Colossus model on the board.

I also love that the designers not only developed a co-op game mode but also found a way of incorporating previous games in the universe into one experience. It serves as a great way of encouraging your player base to explore other games in the series and experience other styles of gameplay in the same world.

The only criticism I have for this game involves the rulebook. The layout and order of the contents could be easier to navigate as it can be difficult to quickly find information about a particular mechanic, especially when it’s a small sentence on the topic.

Other than that, ICAION was a thoroughly enjoyable game and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good Eurogame or Engine Builder.