This past weekend, I got to play a new game called Quicksilver: The Great Airship Race. My friends and I were lucky enough to sit down with someone who had played the game with the designer and she was able to offer us some fun insight into the game itself.
It’s safe to say if you get a kick out of Victorian manners then Quicksilver is going to be a great fit for you. With gorgeous art work, straightforward game play, and lots of (civilized) ways to screw your opponent, this can make for a raucous (but still well-mannered) evening of game play.
The basics: You are an airship captain. Your airship is (no surprise here) unwieldy but, fortunately, you have plenty of tricks up your sleeve (a hand of up to 5 cards). Game play is as follows:
- Velocity – you have a meter 0, 1, 2, 3 which indicates how many dice you can roll. You can adjust your velocity meter each turn one space up or down. Rolling 3 dice is putting your ship in the “Danger Zone” (we dubbed it Ludicrous Speed) and requires you to sacrifice 2 cards from your hand.
- Roll – Based on your velocity, you roll your dice. What you roll is your number of moves.
- Pivot – turning your ship (as needed) counts as 1 move. Due to the constraints of your airship, pivoting twice is possible but strains your ship and causes you to lose one armor (you have 4 at the start of the game). Once you pivot there is no re-pivoting during that move. You turn and go and better not run into anything.
- Move – continue moving in the pivoted direction the number of spaces. If you run into a barrier or other ship, you lose armor.
- Draw – draw 1 card. You can only have up to 5 in your hand at a time.
The strategy: Being nice will get you nowhere in this game. This is where your hand of cards comes in. Most cards can be played at any time. There are cards that let you attack which can weaken armor or force opponents to discard. You can get a “Gust of Wind” and try to force someone off the board or backwards or into a mine field but you can also use that same card to move yourself forward faster. Not only that, every card has a number in the corner. You can discard cards and use that corner number to add or subtract from your roll. This can save you from getting stuck in clouds (which halves your rolls until you get out of them) or from running into other ships or mountains or can give you a boost to the lead. There are cards that keep opponents from playing a card such as “Bad Form” (puts their card into your hand) and “Not Amused” (sends that card to discard pile). You can play as nice or as dirty as you want.
Why I lurve it: Falling behind and then ruthlessly going after your opponents can be surprisingly effective but it’s also the little things. Like the fact that Queen Victoria does not allow attacks for the first 2 rounds of play in the interest of good sportsmanship or that their are cards that say “Not Amused” on them. And the mechanics are smart. An airship is a cumbersome, yet fragile, thing so it makes sense that there are consequences for moving too quickly.
All in all, this is a fast-paced game and easy to pick up on. I look forward to playing it again.
Have you played Quicksilver? Did you like it? 🙂