Tiny Epic Tactics

RRP: £28.99
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RRP £28.99
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Tiny Epic Tactics utilizes a simple combat system with variable player powers and 3D terrain to achieve endless layers of strategy and fun. Tiny Epic Tactics offers competitive play, cooperative play and solo play! Conquer your opponents in tactical combat where every calculated move matters… or journey across the land and through the caves in a grand cooperative/solo adventur…
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Value For Money


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • The variety of play and characters available
  • The in freedom of play style
  • The quality of components and nostalgic feel

Might Not Like

  • The daunting feel of freedom
  • The constant competition and fear of targeting the current leader
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Tiny Epic Tactics utilizes a simple combat system with variable player powers and 3D terrain to achieve endless layers of strategy and fun.

Tiny Epic Tactics offers competitive play, cooperative play and solo play!

Conquer your opponents in tactical combat where every calculated move matters... or journey across the land and through the caves in a grand cooperative/solo adventure!

Nesting inside the game box are 5 smaller boxes and a map/scroll. Players will set up the game by placing these 5 boxes, plus the box bottom, onto the scroll in designated areas. This creates the environment that players will explore and battle across.

In Tiny Epic Tactics, players will have a team of 4 unique heroes: a Fighter, a Wizard, a Rogue and a Beast. Each hero type, and each character within that type, offers unique advantages to movement, attacks, and/or support. Finding the synergy in your team is key to victory.

In competitive play, players will pit their teams against one another in effort to score the most victory points by the end of the game. Each turn, players will have 3 actions to assign across their team. They can move and/or attack with their heroes. Victory points are rewarded for area control, enemy heroes captured, and keeping your own heroes alive. Gaining complete control of one, or multiple, specific areas offers the most victory points in competitive play. Gaining control of said areas requires your heroes maintaining majority presence in these areas over the course of a few turns. This requires a careful balance of offense and defense. The control of these areas can easily shift from one player to another based on which player has the majority heroes present in the designated spaces. Once a set number of areas are captured, or one of the players has lost all of their heroes, the end game is triggered.

Tiny Epic Tactics offers a distinctly different experience for solo and cooperative play. In these modes, players will adventure across the map, fighting spawning enemies and exploring caves (printed on the interior of each of the boxes). The goal is to acquire treasures, that belongs to the enemy, from these caves while keeping your heroes alive. Once the end of the game is triggered, victory points are tallied based on how many treasures you took from the enemy and how many of your heroes you kept alive.

Tiny Epic Tactics Feature

Area control games can be tricky to execute in interesting ways. Slapping cards onto another location, or stacking powerful numbers are often the way it’s done. I can’t deny that it’s a tried and tested execution… It works, but it’s safe. When I think of my preferred area control styling , I’m thrown back to video games and the concept of sheer numbers to dominate an area. It’s more tactical, as it doesn’t result in a particular unit being valued more than others.

Tiny Epic Tactics, designed by Scott Almes and published by Gamelyn Games, threw me straight back into nostalgia with its competitive and area control play style. It’s for 1-4 players and can take 30 minutes up to two hours to play (dependent on the variant of play chosen). This game was sent to us by Gamelyn Games to review, and it filled a gap in our shelves perfectly for how it plays and it’s diverse scope for play modes. Here’s what we thought…

Tiny Epic Tactics Body 2

Overview of How To Play

Tiny Epic Tactics has five game modes for you to get your teeth sunk into. The game takes place on a map and involves the use of the six boxes in the forms of hills. Height advantage, being in water or atop peaks, and being in cover all have effects on characters too, so the terrain has a big impact on play. Traversing the terrain is also important, but can be sped up using portals attached to the boxes to quickly manoeuvre to more advantageous positions.

General Notes

Character cards show a character’s stats and associated counts. Rogues and warriors can both use bows and melee attacks, however they work better with one than the other. Wizards use mana to cast spells or can use melee attacks, and beasts have access to melee only. All attacks other than melee require a reduction in a count (mana or ammo respective of the attack), and all attacks include dice rolls. Melee attacks roll to check for knock back, ammo based attacks check for arrows spent, and magic attacks check for power of the attack.

Each class has a clear role in battle, however all characters have unique abilities which may make them more advantageous in different contexts. Players get three actions per turn, and can use the actions with any character. They may move, melee, ranged attack or magic attack. Characters can conduct these, respective of their class, but may not use them twice in a turn.

Tiny Epic Tactics Body 1

Playing Aggressively

In competitive play, there are three different control points indicated by flag symbols. These are the targets for individual players and gain them points, however you can take out opponents. Players also have access to tactics cards which give them conditions that enable buffs. These work on an IF, THEN premise. Players may hold two at any time and may pick one up at the end of a round.

In either competitive mode, you need to control the areas on the map to gain points, or to eliminate the competition. Doing either gains you points, and points win you the game. As soon as a control point is activated, each round anyone controls it it increases its corresponding flag. Whoever controls it when it reaches the final part of the control card gains that flag.

Playing Cooperatively

Solo and cooperative modes work very similarly, with solo having you take on one set of enemies, and coop having two. The set up for players is identical for competitive play, with characters being placed in specific map locations. Enemies are then placed on control zones by drawing them randomly and placing them in the respective locations. Enemy character activations alternate between player turns, and only one enemy will activate. This is determined by an enemy deck (solo mode only), and also indicated what buff they will gain. They then check for attacks, and if there is none available, they move and check again.

The objective for players is to venture into dungeons and control crystals. This is done through using the portals associated to the block hills. If entered, with no characters on said hill, the hill is flipped to show the dungeon. Now the character must traverse it to acquire the crystal – collecting all six wins you the game.

The obstacles in this game mode are the enemy characters, and time. Every turn, you’re one tick closer to game over. You either win the game in seven turns (11 for coop), or gain more time. This is done through capturing enemy units and is essential for any chance of winning. However, enemies do not stay captured. The enemy sets work from character cards much like the players, but they work from the solo card side. This generally buffs them and removes their mana/ammo count, so they don’t need to restock or check for wasted ammo.

Tiny Epic Tactics Body 3

How It Feels to Play

Tiny Epic Tactics is reminiscent of tactical video games. Classes, grid movement, skills… it tugs on the nostalgia, hard. We were video gamers before we hit the board, and we know our way around turn based strategy quite well. So is this close enough to hit the nail on the head? Definitely. The game feels thorough enough to make the tactics worth while, but streamlined enough to not need the many intricacies a video game does automatically.

Duration and Variation

The game never sits on the table longer than it needs to, and gameplay doesn’t stagnate. Play in competitive is fast paced and you’ll be making decisions based on others’ decisions. Who you target, take out, or avoid will be dependent on the circumstances at the time. We have been in situations where the best move was to abandon a control point and focus on capturing units instead.

Play in solo/coop is longer and more drawn out, but is necessary and game length reflects engagement. This mode gave us far more option in terms of style, however the objectives are more streamlined and directive. You still have the freedom to approach these as you choose, but it requires more adapting to situations.

Freedom to choose how you’ll play is there and entirely viable. I preferred taking a single control point by sheer numbers and creating a phalanx. My partner sent one unit in and covered them as best they could. Both worked, and how we adapted within our styles determined our strength during the situation.

I’m Going On An Adventure!

Playing the adventure mode alone is a challenge, but is entirely manageable. You can’t split up to take on different dungeons each as well as in cooperative, but can definitely plan an attack accordingly. There’s only one set of enemies to contend with so you can manage the areas easier. Whether you rush dungeons or abuse the automata to manipulate their locations, it’ll take planning. You’ll have to engage the enemies sooner or later, but it’s what you do to prepare that’ll make the difference. I don’t usually do solo games, it’s a rare occurrence, but Tiny Epic Tactics sat well with me. I really enjoyed the need to manipulate areas for the best advantages, but also the straight forward routine of play – even with all its intricacies!

Cooperative play is a whole different story for us. We worried about “coaching” and one person driving the team… we found little to no scope for that. Both players are equal in decisions as they know their characters best. Divide and conquer was a natural choice and we spent time tactically deciding who would go where and how they’d tackle the obstacles.

The cooperative adventure gave me a different reaction to the solo mode. Sure, I enjoyed the solo, but I adored the cooperative adventure! It felt like a miniature RPG adventure and was delightfully fun. We blinked and we had been playing for over 90 minutes when it was done. That sort of engagement rarely hits us, we often fall in and out of focus no matter how great the game is. Tiny Epic Tactics’ coop adventure really struck a cord with us and we both immediately wanted to play again, despite the time commitment!

Tiny Epic Tactics Body 4

The Quality of it All

There’s a clear theme in this game. Old school RPG. You have your tropes as far as characters go. The quaint countryside visuals, littered with mountains and towns, feel like you’re truly in the middle of a mythical place. A dragon could appear at any time! It doesn’t, but it runs its theme well and wears it on its sleeve. You’re never left questioning why you’re playing, and are clearly controlling the areas for your kingdom. It’s one I was very fond of…

As for the component quality, Gamelyn are renown for producing above and beyond (regardless of theme). So without my rose tinted goggle on, disregarding the theme I love… I’d honestly say they smashed it! The meeple are uniquely identifiable from their counterparts and sturdy. All the tokens for the character tracks make sense and are thematically linked to them too. The cards are robust and easy to follow, with instructions clear and explained well. And those hills! My goodness we were expecting a decent quality as other components were required to stand on them… But these are robust and tremendously sturdy!

As a final thought, my biggest qualms with any game is that the components need to fit back in the box. Tiny Epic games are the biggest culprits for not fitting back in… Until now! Tiny Epic Tactics fits, and fits well. The production value of the game is tremendous and the art is beautiful. Visually, the games a winner without arguments!

Final Thoughts

Tiny Epic Tactics is a game I thought I’d enjoy, not a game I thought I’d love. It’s also a game I thought my partner would tolerate, as the theme is far from her favourite, however she too really enjoyed it. There’s no denying the game’s rules will scare a few players initially, but that’s not the case when playing. It runs a sequence and it makes sense. A reference guide would be handy, but the common sense sequence of things forgives this.

Of the Tiny Epics we’ve played, this one is top dog as far as it goes for engagement. We set it up, we play without interruption, we undoubtedly play again. The combat is balanced by dice rolls, and the terrain is varied to account for the different elements. If you’re after a proper adventure feel without 500 components, or a lighter competitive area control game, this is it. Quality fun!

Zatu Score


  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • The variety of play and characters available
  • The in freedom of play style
  • The quality of components and nostalgic feel

Might not like

  • The daunting feel of freedom
  • The constant competition and fear of targeting the current leader