Review: The Hamster That Ate the World

This is my first review, based in an original idea from Fantalonia, I think that is very interesting to review the wargames that I have because in one side, it forces my to play them, and in the other way, forces my to play something ;). Let's start:

The Hamster that Ate the World is a mini-game produced by Avalon Games. It is a two players kaiju wargame where a Enormous hamster in attacking and destroying the cities of the valley.

 Presentation: The mini games consist in a PDF file of 1,5 MB, where you can find five pages for the rules, two pages of counters, one page for the monster chart and two pages for the map.

 Background: The wargame is based on the idea about a gigantic hamster is attacking and destroying the cities and the army forces tries to destroy him. One side will bring the Hamster moving him destroying all the cities for win the game. The other side, the Army Forces, must produce troops to destroy the monster. The strategic problem is for one side that the number of troops available depends of the number of cities (hexagons) that still are not destroyed. And for the Hamster he must move as fast as possible arriving to the cities and destroying them, to avoid the construction of new units.

The army forces can produces soldiers, with very low speed and firepower, tanks faster and more powerful, but they can't cross woods or hills. Helicopters more expensive and faster, but with a medium firepower, and cannons with Indirect fire rule. And the powerful Nuclear Weapon, that I think that is too much powerful, because causes 1 hit in each localization of the hamsters, plus 1d6 hits in one of them.

Writing: The text is clear and easy to understand. Without images, or any explicative graphic, but the rules don't require them. All is really clear.

 Solo-friendliness: This wargame is not designed to by played as a solo wargame, although it is very adaptable to be played alone, because the Army force role is to create troops and attack the Hamster. And the Hamster moves always 4 hex and must go to the near city to destroy it. I consider that it is suitable for solo wargaming if the player plays in the Hamster side, and try to produce the more powerful unit in each city. In fact this night I have played alone, and it flowed very good.

Pros: Easy to learn, easy to play, suitable for be played alone, and with miniatures. Cheap and fast. Playable again, and from the computer.

Cons: The background image of the rulebook makes sometimes difficult to read the words.  The nuclear bomb is too much powerful, I think that its production must be reduced, to two or three during all the game. If you have a bad luck evening your hamster will not heal his wounds, and will not grow up, and it could be easy to day.
I think that a printerfriendly version, or the same taking the images layer away could be a very interesting idea.

Overall opinion: 6-7

Some photos of my battle today played with Gimp and OpenOffice:


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