Today at GenCon 50, Rule & Make debuted their latest offering, T2029, a board game set in the post apocalyptic hellscape seen in the opening of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The game that was showed off on the floor was a polished prototype, but it looks great. Allen Chang, one member of the creative duo at Rule & Make, walked us through the gameplay.
The game itself is cooperative, setting each player against the automated Skynet, who’s actions in a turn are dictated by how many actions the human players accomplished in their turn. The more active the players, the stronger Skynet retaliates. Without going into all the details, the human players have one win condition: defeat Skynet. But there are a number of loss conditions and multiple ways for Skynet to crush the human resistance. Allen Chang let us know that during the playtesting that they’ve won two out of fifty games. He placed the difficulty just a little lower than Ghost Stories, but that it was thematically fitting. After all, the Terminator franchise is about fighting the seeming unstoppable. It makes sense that the game would be so hard. He did say, however, is that they are working on balancing the game to make it not quite so difficult.
One of the most interesting aspects of the game is that it uses a dice drafting mechanic that involves slotting dice into certain places that allow you to perform actions and perks, but there’s only a limited amount of dice. If a player slots a dice in a perk, each player gets the bonus, but that dice is not usable again until its taken off the perk. Essentially, by placing the dice on a perk it eliminates overall actions that the players can take. This forces the players to tactically choose how to use each dice, and as Mr. Chang said, rewards players for setting up other players to perform powerful rounds.
The game looks fun, and highly detailed. He said Studio Canal (the current Terminator Series rights holders) gave over a ton of video and artwork for them to use, however they decided to go for all new original artwork, and the extra care shows. Even each Skynet card has it’s own individual watermark showing scenes from Skynet’s point of view.
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At Gencon, only about eighty percent of the game was shown. The Hunter-Killer Tanks the terminators use wasn’t shown, nor were the player boards. That being said, when this thing hits Kickstarter in six weeks, it’ll be worth taking a look. Most of the Kickstarter rewards are currently classified, but he did let us know that exclusive Kickstarter sculpts for some of the player pieces would be a perk. He said the Kickstarter success will change the timetable some, but the game would for sure be coming out early to mid 2018, and would be distributed by Passport Games. We currently have no word on pricing.