Titans Tactics is a 2 player tactical skirmish game from Imbalanced Games. It boasts heavy strategy in a 30 min game, along with near-infinite replay value.
The core game comes with 30 different Champion characters, split into 5 different unique factions. At the start of the game each player selects a faction, and from that faction, they select only 3 Champions to use. It’s this selection process that gives the game such variety, as each faction has a different tactical focus, and each Champion has their own set of perks and powers. Once the Champions are selected, each player places a wall on the board, followed by their Champions. The players then alternately activate one Champion at a time, moving, attacking, using special powers, etc.
The scoring in Titans Tactics in interesting. Rather than trying to kill off the opposing Champions, or a straight player vs player point system, the game has a balance token. When you deal damage you move the balance token towards your goal, when your opponent deals damage they move it towards their goal, in a sort of combat tug-o-war. At the end of each round, the player that has the balance token closest to their goal gets a momentum point. The player that either does enough damage to move the balance token completely to their goal or who gains three momentum point, wins.
The game claims to play in about 30 minutes and while I’m sure this is realistic, I wouldn’t bank on it for your first few games. While the rules are simple, the uniqueness of each champion may result in a slightly higher than average learning curve for new players. The first few times I played took more like 45 minutes to an hour, but we were also chatting a bit. As I played more it did speed up.
The game’s website is chalked full of useful things. Including rules, alternate rule sets, a faq, tournament materials, and more. There are also a bunch of random fun things, like fiction and desktop wallpapers.
To add even more variety to things, you can also pick up the Champions expansion set. The expansion adds 3 more champions to each faction and includes some interesting expanded “Hardcore” rules.
If a different company had made this game, it probably would have ended up as just another high priced skirmish game, that would (hopefully) have some cool miniatures to paint. Instead of that, Imbalanced went with cardboard tokens, and that choice allows Titans Tactics to have a smaller box, a lower price point, and a more consistent look between the Champion character cards, and Champions actually on the board. It also allows the game to focus on play, not painting, and it truly stands out because of it. My only regret about Titans Tactics is that I don’t get to play it as often as I’d like.