Our minds work in funny ways. When I first saw a picture of the miniatures from the deluxe edition of Queen Bee, I was immediately transported back to my youth and a semi-collectible toy line called Army Ants. The premise of Queen Bee, armies of bees battling for territorial supremacy, didn’t help rid me of my nostalgic notions.
Playing the game is surprisingly simple. Draw a card, take an action, discard down to five cards if needed. Battling another player’s bees is equally simple using a combination of playing cards and rolling dice. Worker Bees and Warrior Bees have different, and a stretch goal is a specific Queen Bee die. Although, it’s not clear whether that will just be a larger Warrior die or a more power die altogether.
A player loses when their Queen has been defeated, and that is when the most fascinating thing about the game comes up. When a player loses, that just means they didn’t win, not that they are eliminated. A battle takes a toll on the winner as well, and that could easily leave them vulnerable to attack themselves. But when a player loses, their remaining bees join forces with the victor, and that play continues to play under the rule of their newly victorious queen. It’s a great mechanic that rewards players for aggressive play, rather than destructive play. Widdling down your opponent until they are basically helpless is an actively bad strategy in most cases because it leaves the victor in a weakened state as well. It’s also a great mechanic for keeping players involved and engaged throughout the whole game, rather than be eliminated.
Pledge levels are pretty simple. It’s only $5 (USD) for the Print & Play version of the game. $29 gets you the Standard Edition, with cubes instead of miniatures. $49 bumps you up to the Deluxe Edition with the miniatures. It’s only a small jump up to $59 to add the 5-6 player miniatures expansion. The PnP files are included in every pledge, and Standard Edition obviously won’t include stretch goals relating to miniatures. If you want to share, $108 or $250 will get you two or five copies of the deluxe game, respectively.
The interwebs have been full of debate over the proliferation of minis in games. Some players love them and others think they a waste of time, money, and shelf space. Elixir Games has been smart by offering two editions of the game, and for people who want to split the difference, the PnP version will include files for 3D printing the minis as well. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see those files as a separate pledge, so cheers to Elixir for keeping things affordable.