I’m not an anime guy, however when Attack on Titan came out I went nuts for it. I feel like it has a lot going for it that raises it above the typical anime fair. Its got a neat sci-fi angle, mystery, betrayal, and action with minimal heroes whining.
I knew there was an Attack on Titan “deck building” game, but generally card games don’t interest me a whole lot. There’s also an Attack on Titan Monopoly, but fuck Monopoly it sucks. When my eyes laid upon the Attack on Titan: The Last Stand my heart skipped a beat. This was a real game with dice and tokens and most importantly a large, gross looking Titan that the heroes actually zip around! And one player is a Titan and the rest are trying to kill the Titan! I was all in!
Now I’ve gotten the chance to play it, I can answer if it was worth the 40 dollar cost. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes, but there’s a few minor flaws with the game.
Okay so the short version of how to play: There’s a strategy deck that if the players complete the requirements something bad happens to the Titan, in fact it’s the only way to kill the Titan. The Titan player then lays out their action cards that the players may attempt to block (one of the action cards is secret).
The players then roll dice in attempt to either block the Titan or complete the objective on the tactic card (or both if they’re able). The game has an interesting mechanic where the human players are allowed to re-roll their rolls to get better results… but when they do that there’s a chance that they’ll get a Colossal Titan head result that the Titan can use. This element of gambling makes re-rolling decisions a little more tense.
The Titan player can then use the dice taken from the players to perform actions like healing or smashing. After spending these dice, the human players can reroll them in an attempt to have one final shot at getting what they need. Actions are resolved and then the game continues.
The Titan is this 15 inch cardboard standee that has little platforms on it to represent the maneuvering gear when the heroes are flying around it. There’s also a small fortress that players can land on. Cannons also sit on this thing. At the feet of the Titan are a dozen tokens represent the poor bastards that are the regular people who have to live in this nightmare world.
The Titan will win if he: Eats 1 of the heroes, all of the civilians, or destroys the cannons. The heroes will win if they kill the Titan.
The action is fast rather fast paced if the human players don’t spend all day strategizing. It should only take around 30 or 40 minutes to play. The first play went a little longer though, because we had to get the rules down. After we figured out what we were supposed to do the game hummed along nicely.
What’s great about Attack on Titan: The Last Stand is that you don’t really have to be familiar with the anime to enjoy the premise of the game: It’s a big weirdo nearly unstoppable giant that must be killed at all costs. It’s not like the game is dependent at all from having watched the anime and/or reading the manga. You certainly will be more attached to different heroes if you have previously enjoyed Attack on Titan media otherwise you’ll probably end up picking them by their special abilities.
The heroes all pretty much A-listers from the anime, including my all time favorite Mikasa. While there’s only one standee that represents only one type of oddball looking giant, the Titan has some cool differing types as seen in the anime. These types each have differing abilities that can really change the strategy for both the heroes and the Titan.
The biggest drawback to Attack on Titan: The Last Stand is playing as the Titan. While it’s fun being the monster you actually don’t do a whole lot while the players are rolling and planning strategy. And if they don’t roll any or many Colossal Titan heads, you can’t use your Titan’s special ability. For the last few rounds of one game I played with my pals I was unable to use my Titan’s abilities, because they kept rolling so well. I just basically sat back and waited for them to finish doing whatever they wanted to do.
Another thing I worry about is how long the cardboard components will withstand through future playthroughs. While they are rather sturdy, the thing that really makes me nervous are the pieces that go into the Titan. I can see an accident occurring on the hand in particular.
Other than those qualms the game is great fun. I really want to keep playing it with different Titans and heroes to see how much they affect the outcome.
As a side note these days it’s really common for a game to get expansions and I’m hoping that Attack on Titan: The Last Stand is not a one and done experience. Game makers Cryptozoic could easily release a set with a couple of other Titan designs and cards, more heroes, and more Tactics. I would definitely be into all that business.