Do you occasionally find yourself with a few minutes to kill and a desire to fill that time with something unique? Does your phone have a tendency to die quickly, leaving you without a way to pass the time? Are you looking for a game to keep with you to play with friends and family on the go? Consider downloading a copy of Pocket Tactics, a compact, simple, fun, and fast-paced game that you can print out yourself with a 3D printer. A game of Pocket Tactics will last anywhere from twenty to forty-five minutes.
One unfortunate aspect of Pocket Tactics is that you will need access to a 3D Printer to create the tiles and other game pieces. If you do not have access to a 3D Printer or a Micro 3D Printer, we recommend checking with nearby libraries, as well as, other public service facilities and ask a representative if they have 3D Printers you could access for free. If you can print the pieces needed to play Pocket Tactics, it’s an excellent way to pass the time by yourself or with some friends. Imagine how surprised they’ll be when your solution to their complaints of boredom is a small game you’ve been storing in your pocket!
What Is Pocket Tactics?
Pocket Tactics is a pocket-sized game based on tiles and miniatures printed using a 3D Printer. The game and its models were developed by Ill Gotten Games (a play on the common phrase “ill-gotten gains”). You may know the company Ill Gotten Games by their other titles, like Wayfarer: Things Beyond Wonder or Hands of Destiny.
Individuals who are keen on the world of three-dimensional printing and design may be familiar with their project called Z.O.D. (Z-Axis Optimized Dominion). The team at Ill Gotten Games has a strong focus on three-dimensional designs and easily printed works, making their projects easily accessed by individuals who have little to no extra cash.
You can download many of the works for free while others require a small fee. The projects which require paying a fee are also available without charge to individuals that support Ill Gotten Games on Patreon. You can download pocket Tactics from the Ill Gotten Games website, and the 3D models are available on the Thingiverse website, where you’ll find a plethora of different characters, units, and tiles.
You will need to combine the models you choose, download, and print with the four-page original, classic rulebook on the Ill Gotten Games website. If you want to introduce new factions and more complex strategies to your game, you must download the more complex rulebook, which has an extra sheet that expands upon the original rulebook. It adds sky titles and mega units to Pocket Tactics.
How To Play Pocket Tactics
Setting Up Pocket Tactics
The first step is for each player to choose which of the factions of Pocket Tactics they will be utilizing. There are many factions available, and more are constantly being added by Ill Gotten Games. Make sure you print out the factions you would like to use for your games ahead of time—3D Printing can take a considerable amount of time, so you won’t be able to do it on the fly. Players can only choose from factions you have printed for the game.
After each player has chosen a faction, players place terrain tiles. Each player pulls a single terrain tile from a bag and places the hexagonal piece against the side of their base tile. Players will continue this process, taking turns drawing and placing tiles. You must build your terrain toward the tiles of your opponent so that a full map gets built after a few turns.
Once all terrain tiles are in play, the second player will place his or her base tile, so it is touching the furthest tile from the first player’s base tile. If there are multiple tiles that match this description, the second player can choose one. Keep in mind that newly placed tiles can only touch the front three facets of other tiles when placed. The direction the base tile points toward the other player will determine front-facing tiles.
Once the playing field is set, it’s time to place your units. The first player chooses three units from his or her force and places those units on the three tiles closest to his or her base tile. The second player may then choose three units and will place those on the tiles closest to his or her base tile.
As you may have noticed, the second player has a few advantages that counters being unable to take the first turn. By being permitted to choose the location of his or her base tile, the second player is already at an advantage. The added benefit of knowing what your opponent has on his or her side of the field before you decide what you want to play on your own side is just another exceptional advantage.
Playing Pocket Tactics
During each turn, a player can move, assault, or summon once. To move, you will move a unit to an adjacent, unoccupied tile. You can also skip—or hop over, as the rule book states—a tile piece that is already being occupied by a friendly unit. You can also hop over your own base tile piece though this is rarely useful.
If you would like to assault, you will attack an enemy unit. You can either perform a close assault or a ranged assault. If your assault is close, you will declare the attack type and both player rolls and offense and defense dice based on corresponding offense and defense values present in the chosen attack or defense type.
For a ranged assault, choose an adjacent enemy and declare what ranged attack type you would like to use. If you succeed in a close assault, you will move into the defeated unit’s tile. However, if you succeed in a ranged assault, you will not move into that tile.
If you summon rather than opting to move against or assault your opponent, you can deploy a unit from your reserves and place it on an empty tile next to your base. This can be useful if your opponent has defeated at least one of your units or if you would like to overwhelm them.
Winning Pocket Tactics
Victory is simple in Pocket Tactics. A player wins the game upon capturing an opponent’s entire assault force or by capturing the opponent’s base. To capture the base, you must attack your opponent’s base with a unit and overwhelm its defenses. However, it takes a little luck too because bases in Pocket Tactics are always to defend with three defense dice, so overwhelming and capturing the base will require a high attack total.
Hazard tiles in Pocket Tactics are tiles that are dangerous or difficult for a player to traverse, and some of them even have interesting abilities. Cave tiles, for example, can cause units to become lost. This makes the cave tile risky, but there are benefits to it. Your opponent may be hesitant to enter a cave tile just to assault your unit. If you think it’s worth the risk, then you should run into a cave or other dangerous tile to deter your opponent from taking out one of your units. You then remove the hazard tile from the board and return it to reserves.
You’re able to return units to your base, which can open some additional tactical advantages and give you more options. To return a unit to your base in the game, move it into the base form either an adjacent tile or by hopping over an adjacent allied unit. This will move your unit back into your reserves.
Pocket Tactics has been extremely well-received by fans of the style that Ill Gotten Games promotes. The game was developed by a particularly small studio thanks to the support of its patrons on Patreon, and the company behind the development of Pocket Tactics receives over eight hundred dollars for every model or game it releases. The number of patrons it has—over one hundred and fifty—is a sure display of the amount of support behind this game and its excellent developers.
Pocket Tactics is a fast-paced game that’s small enough you can carry it around with you wherever you go, making it an excellent option for passing the time while you’re waiting alone or killing time with a friend. It’s quick to set up, easy to learn and finishes quickly.
A game or two could easily fill the time you’re spending waiting for something to start, whether you’re early to a movie or expecting more guests for a party. Best of all, it’s cheap or even free, depending on which models you’d like to use. If this is a game that seems interesting to you, head over to the Ill Gotten Games website and grab yourself a copy of Pocket Tactics.