For tabletop gamers who feel hamstrung by a rigid rule set, for Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts who want to see their imagination come to life, or for turn-based video gamers looking for a new challenge, we’ve got your next obsession.
Say hello to Mini Blitz, a tabletop game that finds itself at an intriguing crossroads gaming. Plus, it’s built on LEGO bricks, too, so the awesome is baked right in.
As designer Joshua Burrier explained to The Model American, the core purpose of Mini Blitz is to allow tabletop gamers the opportunity to wonder, “Wouldn’t it be cool if …” and then act on those compulsions with complete freedom.
At its core, Mini Blitz is a card-and-dice game. Burrier has constructed a rule set that transfers neatly to any one of the four deck styles on offer: Beyond Earth, Arcanum, Medieval, and 20th Century. The rules are so uniform that adventurous players can even mix up the decks for a cross-genre experience. “Let’s just say you’re a Star Wars fan and you like Jedi,” says Burrier. “They’re basically space wizards, right? So you can mix up the [futuristic] Beyond Earth and the [sword-and-sorcery-themed] Arcanum decks to craft a custom rule set that accommodates Jedi. Space and wizards.”
The game I observed used a 20th Century deck, a collection of modern weapons and materials that looks like an old-fashioned game of Army Men, only on steroids. The battlefield was a straightforward, one-room building constructed on a small 32-by-48-stud plate. According to Burrier, Mini Blitz doesn’t need to be played out on such an intimate stage, however. Arenas can get extremely complicated; it all depends on how much time and effort players want to put in.
After choosing their minifig soldiers, Burrier and a teenaged novice to the game took turns duking it out in a quest to capture their opponent’s flag. Aided by dice rolls, both players used their allotted cards to lob grenades, charge through doors, unload rounds, and burn down walls before everything was said and done.
Even in such a limited context, the flexibility of the game is obvious from the first move. Players have complete control over not just the means by which they engage their opponents, but over rules, in-game buffs, even the extent to which the environment can be manipulated.
The structure of Mini Blitz is so loose, in fact, it can still be enjoyed even if you don’t want to play against anyone. The next time you’re tasked as a Dungeon Master, for example, consider the fun that could be had by watching a party literally advance through the various traps and attacks you’ve concocted.
That all might sound a little in-depth, but Burrier shrugs off any concerns of the game’s difficulty level. “Literally, a three year old has played it … the hard part about this game is the personalization you put in the play.”
Watching the match play out in real time reinforces that notion. Burrier’s young opponent grasped the rules swiftly in just a few turns. By the end of the round, he was giving Burrier a run for his money (and having a damn good time doing it).
You can get your deck of Mini Blitz cards by contributing $10 to the game’s ongoing indieGoGo campaign. If you don’t make the indieGoGo cut off, you can visit the Mini Blitz site to grab a deck (or two) for just $14 each.