Monday, 2 October 2017

Playing 'Sector 6'

 Quick boardgame review today. Gaming weekends have been scarce lately, so I was more that eager to try this one. My pal got into this KS and we've just given it a chance:

What's it about? Within the walls of the Obliti space prison, the lack of resources has become critical. Inmates are forced by the internal mobs to compete along the maze corridors of the prison, so they can get as much oxygen as possible. The competitors have to run fast, collect oxygen from the designated points... and avoid getting stuck! The maze is deadly, as the configuration of the corridors is never the same, and the inmates change it every step they take...

So the game itself is really simple. Each player will have a team of two inmates. They'll have to collect oxygen from the different stations, moving along the maze. When all the oxygen is collected, the one who got most wins. That easy.

First thing is building the maze. Both players get the tiles from a deck and alternately set their tiles, just as they please.

Corridors and cogs. It's all about that. You begin setting tiles...
...until you have something like that
Each tile will have a station in which the runners can collect oxygen. Red ones have one oxygen dose, yellow have two doses, green ones have three and blue ones have four doses. So you get the tiles randomly, but as you build the whole structure, you decide where to place them, and in which position. As you can see in the pic above, being our first game, we favoured the corridors (well, it looked 'natural'), but the interesting way to play it is blocking them. Just for future reference. You'll see at once.

Each turn you will move your runners alternatively. They can make just one move, and it must be straight. No matter how many tiles you move, as long as you don't make any turn.

The black mini above moved one tile, the yellow moved three
You don't have to reach the end of a corridor, you can move at will. The thing is that runners will interact with the tile they just left, and only that one. Not the tile they end the turn in and not any of the tiles they passed through.

The other two minis moved one tile each, both towards blue stations
The way you can interact with the tile you left is by collecting the oxygen in it OR by making the tile turn. The tile will make 1 turn (left or right, your choice) and will eventually interact with the tiles around, if the cogs fit. It can only affect one adjacent tile, the closest to the sense of the turn. Turning this tile won't affect any other tiles adjacent to it, even if there are cogs that fit.

During first turns, you will usually go collect oxygen
Runners block line of sight, and you cannot interact with them in any way. So the game is all about blocking routes to the rival and moving your runners in the most efficient way.

Black players cut the way for that yellow one
As we had lots of open corridors, our game was mostly about running from here to there before the rival, it wasn't very tactical.

The station is getting depleted of oxygen
In fact, at one point we had more or less agreed a de facto partition of the board...

This is like chess, thinking your next moves, but in a space prison. And running low of oxygen
Breathtaking! Ha, you see what I did there? :P
Once you have collected all the oxygen on the board, the game is over and you just count the doses.

Ouch! I lost! My pal got three out of four blue tokens, which were decisive in his victory
The difference wasn't really big, just three or four points. I think it was so because we focused on getting oxygen each turn instead of taking advantage of the maze and its possibilities. Being just two players may have helped to that too; the game is designed up to 4 players (I think there was a KS SG with an upgrade up to 6 players). I have the impression that the more players, the more tactical it may become and the differences in the scores must be more significant.

The game took us no more than 20 min, so we had another round!
So my thoughts on Sector 6: it's a fun, quick game. A perfect filler to be played anytime, ideal for non-usual gamers. It may require some space vision if you want to block the way to you opponents and it takes the puzzle games category to another level.
The only thing I think I'd like to try differently is turning the tiles and how it affects other tiles. I mean, when you turn Tile#1 it only affects Tile#2. I'd like to see how the game changes if Tile#2 interacts with Tiles#3 and #4 or whatever, so one single tile turn can change the whole board. It may be a little fuzz, but given that the regular game takes just 15-20 minutes, it may be worth a try.

Of course, you must have noticed we played with unpainted minis. Don't worry, I've taken proper action to avoid that will happen ever again in the future.

Roughly 20mm scale
I have to say we used Sector 6 as a warm-up for a gaming evening...
We also played Pandemic, but that will have to wait for another day...


  1. Replies
    1. It's fun and quick to play, cannot ask more for its purpose!

  2. Wait what?
    Did someone say my name?


    Looks fun

    1. Hahaha! I knew this would draw your attention! :D :D

  3. Looks like a cool game. I am sure when more players are added in and people get to grips with the game then more people will become that little bit more devious!

    1. I'm under that impression, the more the merrier (Ehm, I feel I shouldn't say that when we're talking about fighting over oxygen...).

  4. seguro que una vez montado y jugando se hace facil, pero solo de ver el tablero me estaba mareando! jajajja
    Eso si, parece muy entretenido :)

    1. ¡Jaja! Es muy fácil, en serio. Recrea una ambientación muy claustrofófica pero se juega de manera muy ágil, merece la pena darle un tiento para esos ratos muertos.

  5. Yep ... painted minis always make a game board looks so much more 'alive'! Nice work too.

    1. Well, the minis aren't precisely the state of the art, but once painted they do their part!