Do you like pooping cubes onto planets to assert your dominance? WHO DOESN’T!! Quantum is a dice based, space themed “annoy your friends game”. You control a fleet of ships represented by dice with an aim to placing (pooping) all of your QUANTUM CUBES.
The key to Quantum is how your ships work. At the start of the game you roll three dice and they’ll be your initial fleet. Each number corresponds to a type of ship, with 1 being the slow powerful Battlestation and 6 being the fast but weak Scout. The number is also how many spaces the ship can move per turn as well at it’s combat rating. Combat is very simple, each player rolls a die and adds the result to their ship, the lowest result wins and the attacker wins ties.
Ships are also used to claim planets! Each planet has a number next to it. To claim a planet (poop a Quantum cube on it) you must place ships around the planet such that the sum of the dice is equal to the planet number. Simple.
OK so you move around and claim planets. That sounds OK but a bit bland. How about UPGRADES! This is where you get to make your faction your own. When you win lots of combat, do science really hard or poop a cube you get to take an upgrade card. There are two types of upgrades. The first type are one time bonuses that resolve at the end of your turn. The second are permanent changes to your faction. Generally these allow you to break the rules in some way, like doing research at a silly rate or being fantastic in combat. These allow you to change your faction to be more in line with your play style.
So what do I like to do? Well my role in games is to mess things up and to make stuff happen even if I lose. So I like to go down the aggressive combo avenue. I teleport my Battlestations around the map using the Warp Ship and interfere with my opponents machinations. I take upgrades that make me more mobile and more effective in combat. One particularly fun upgrade is called “Momentum”. It’s an instant ability which lets me take another but shorter turn after my current one. This lets me set up complicated combos like destroying a ship to let my ships form up around a planet and then in the bonus turn instantly poop a Quantum cube. Quantum cubes take two actions to place making Momentum the perfect companion.
Quantum is a great board game. It doesn’t hit you in the face with complexity but provides enough mechanics for you to chew on for a long while. The planet tiles, dice, player board and card art are all beautiful. The box insert is even well designed!! Imagine that! An insert that actually keeps everything organised.
I do have one tiny problem with the game. It’s got a very high variance. What ships you have is dependent on dice rolls. The upgrade cards available are dealt from a deck. Combat is resolved using dice and if it goes badly it feels like bullshit.
Sometimes your preferred play style may not be viable and you’ll have to change your plan mid game. You can’t always put the new plan into action straight away though. You might have to reconfigure your ships which takes time. An opponent may buy the upgrade card you dearly want or even sabotage a critical one you are using. Sometimes Quantum feels like Lady Luck is punching you in the throat.
Last night I lost a game very very early on. I started with two Scouts and a Warp Ship. Before it was my turn I’d already lost a ship. That forced me to scurry into the corner of the map to get fixed up. In that time an opponent pooped on loads of planets.
If you can put up with some random bullshit then you’ll love Quantum because the rest of the game is great.