I am a big fan of dexterity games, specifically flick based dexterity games, and I love to see something new being done with the flicking mechanic. That’s what we have here in Flick Wars. Flick Wars brings flicking and dexterity to wargaming.
Flick Wars is a wargame where players pick a faction to play, build an army, set up a map and battle it out. The difference here from most tabletop wargames is that the main mechanic in Flick Wars is flicking wooden discs.
Disclosure: Breaking Games provided me with a review copy of Flick Wars. No other compensation was provided. Some links in this post are affiliate links. Using these links doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps support this blog and podcast. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What do you get with the dexterity wargame Flick Wars?
The retail version of Flick Wars was designed by Shaun Austin and Andrew Tullsen and features art from Shaun Austin and Peter Wocken. It was successfully Kickstarted by Breaking Games in 2017 but due to production delays was not officially published until 2019. Flick Wars plays one to six players with most games wrapping up in under an hour.
The best way to see what you get in this rather large box is to check out our Flick Wars Unboxing Video on YouTube.
This isn’t your usual board game box. Due to being a dexterity game, the components aren’t what you normally get. For one, the box itself is a really odd size. A size I’ve got to admit I really hate as far as trying to fit this game onto my game shelves. The reason for the box size is that a big feature of this version of Flick Wars is a neoprene battle mat for fighting your battles over. This mat is 24” by 28” inches and the box is made so that you can roll up the mat and fit it inside without folding.
Along with the very nice playmat, you also get four cardboard range rulers, sixty green gems in two sizes, six wooden domes for scenery and twenty-four AI cards. Each copy of Flick Wars comes with the bits for playing up to six different factions. Each faction has eleven unit cards, a number of wooden discs (there are fifty-seven total, each faction having a different amount), stickers to put on those discs and a large cardboard base card.
The rulebook is fifteen pages long and features a ton of examples of play using actual game components. The basic rules only take eight pages. The rest of the book contains advanced rules and rules for playing cooperatively and solo.
How do you play Flick Wars the strategy dexterity game?
A game of Flick Wars starts by each picking a faction. There are six factions included in the game and each faction is unique with different numbers of units and unit types with unique abilities. For example, the purple faction has a ton of low-cost units that are quick to deploy but have very short attack ranges, whereas the red faction’s units are very expensive but can move quickly and have long range attacks.
Players will take their faction’s deck of cards and pick one card to represent each of their different unit types. These cards feature the cost of the unit, the range it can attack from and any special abilities. Most of the factions contain three types of units but a couple contain four. Two of each faction’s cards have the word basic on them. These cards are meant to be used when first learning or teaching the game and to get the game to the table quickly.
After building their armies, players decide the player order and set up their bases on the edges of the map. The exact layout for this is dependent on the number of players but it is set up so that all of the players are equidistant from their target and from the player targeting them. Once bases are placed, players will each place one of the wooden scenery domes either on or under the map. This continues around the table until all six are placed. By placing these under the map you end up creating a 3d battlefield filled with hills and valleys, something I’ve never seen in a flicking game before.
Note you can optionally use stuff other than these wooden half circles to create terrain. Take anything you have sitting around your game room and place it either on or under the play mat.
Once everything is set up players get thirty crystals and use some of those to purchase two units to start on the map. These must be placed within range two of the player’s base.
The goal of Flick Wars is to eliminate your target before you are eliminated yourself. Your target is the player to your left, which means you are the target of the player on your right. Every other player is friendly to you. While you can bump anyone’s pieces you can only attack your target and the units of the player targeting you. A player is eliminated if at the end of a round they have no units on the board.
Each round in Flick Wars has players picking between doing a Command Action or Activating one of their units.
During a command action, the player gets two actions. They either take a move flick with one of their units or deploy a new unit by paying its cost in crystals and placing it within range two of their base.
Moving in Flick Wars is of course done by flicking. You pick a unit and you flick it. If you happen to knock other things around while doing so, so be it. The only additional rule is that if you aren’t careful and flick one of your units into an enemy base you destroy that unit.
The other option that players have is to activate a unit. When you activate a unit you get one flick with that unit. This can be a move flick (as explained above) or an attack flick. To attack an enemy unit your unit must be in range of an enemy unit. This is calculated using the included range rulers that have three range bands on them. The range a unit can attack from is indicated on their card. Note that even the longest range band is pretty close, so you won’t be destroying enemy units from across the board.
To make things interesting, every unit in Flick Wars has special abilities that come into play when you activate them. Most of these involve giving the unit additional flicks. For example, a unit with Blitz can get an additional flick if it starts it’s turn out of range of any enemies, while a unit with Speed gets a number of additional flicks equal to its speed factor, and Charge lets you get an additional flick if you bump an enemy when moving. There are also non-flick based abilities such as Shield, which allows units to survive their first hit, and Defender, which protects nearby units.
After taking their one action during a round, the active player gets a chance to spend crystals to take additional command actions. These actions can only be spent on units that did not activate already that turn.
Play continues around the table until one player is eliminated with the player targeting that player winning the game. Note it is possible for a player to mess up and cause someone else to win, due to the unique targeting rules in this game.
In addition to these rules, Flick Wars also includes a full set of cooperative rules. The cooperative rules can also be used to play Flick Wars solo. The co-op rules have a team of players face off against a number of AI opponents. The opponent’s abilities differ based on what faction is chosen to fight against. The players will be flicking their units as usual, with enemy movement being driven by a card-based AI and units moving using the range rulers while instantly destroying anything they get close enough to attack.
The players win if they defeat all of the opponents and the AI wins if it gets a set number of hits against the player’s bases.
What did I think of Flick Wars a tactical dexterity game?
At its heart Flick Wars is a basic miniature skirmish-style wargame. You start off by building your armies, picking cards to represent your different troop types. Then you set up the battlefield, determine who your target is, figure out who is targeting you, deploy your first two units and go! The big difference here, of course, is that movement and attacking is done by flicking and not a measuring tape and dice.
I’ve enjoyed Flick Wars going back to when I first got to try the initial prototype when it launched on Kickstarter in 2014. Back then the bases were big round discs that could also be moved, the crystals were plastic poker chips, and I used things like wooden bows and a candle holder for scenery. It has been very interesting to see the game evolve and I was genuinely happy when it funded on Kickstarter the second time it was launched.
I’m also impressed by the end result. In this retail version of Flick Wars, the game has increased from four to six factions. Each of the six factions has a distinct feel and way that they play that is different from the others (and, as everyone knows, I love me some asymmetry). It’s interesting to see how this plays out with a game that’s mainly just flicking discs.
The wooden domes and the battle mat are great additions to the core game box. This now means that you don’t need to already own some kind of playmat to really enjoy the game. Though I do admit, I hate what it did to the box size. I would have preferred the mat in a separate tube or something but I realize that probably would have greatly increased the cost.
The box really is the worst part about this game. It’s huge and not all that well made, with cardboard dividers in it that don’t do a good job of separating the various components. After the first game, I just went and bagged each faction separately. Along with the box, I’m sorry to say that the overall production of this game just feels somewhat sub-par. This feels like an indie game that was funded on Kickstarter, which I guess is fair since that’s exactly what it is. Things like the card quality, the generic wooden domes for scenery, and the florist crystals, just feel like something put together in a basement. Flick Wars just doesn’t have the polish I’ve come to expect in modern board games.
Thankfully none of these production shortcomings does anything to affect the gameplay and gameplay is where Flick Wars really shines. This game is a very easy to teach and quick to pick up wargame with a very unique main mechanic of flicking. There are a very limited number of games doing something similar to this (Flick Fleets, Catacombs, and Flick Em Up being a few that come to mind). Were I think Flick Wars surpasses these other dexterity games is by adding in a 3D playing field.
Having things both under and over a neoprene mat brings this game to the next level. Everyone I have played Flick Wars with gets instantly hooked the first time they make an awesome bank shot going up the side of the hill sliding into the perfect position or taking out an enemy with a jump shot over a steep ridge in the map.
Overall I really dig Flick Wars, but I’m biased in the fact that I’m a huge fan of dexterity games, specifically flicking games. As a flicking game, Flick Wars is brilliant. The thing is if you don’t enjoy this style of dexterity game you probably aren’t going to enjoy Flick Wars. While this game does have a lot of strategic and tactical wargame elements for a dexterity game, you are still going to win or lose based on your ability to flick a wooden disc on a neoprene mat, and for that reason, this game won’t be for everyone.
Are you a dexterity game fan like me? What’s your personal favourite flicking game? Let us know in the comments!