The Uranopolis expansion brings big robot units, units that can freely move across the battlefield and yet more big robots. The caveat, unfortunately, is that to use these cool robots and machines you need to power them. And here is the puzzle and power of this faction, how do you power these machines and use them to decimate your enemies? The answer is that it is tricky.
Thematically, Uranopolis is excellent. The idea of having to power these hulking machines with people and resources makes perfect sense and it is a great way to ensure they aren’t overpowered. Your base can power all the units around it but with the usual issue that it will hit everything after each battle, too. This makes placement and planning far more important than a lot of other factions who can get by with turn by turn tactics. Instead, with Uranopolis you need to have a long term strategy to make the best use of your units.
This is made an even crunchier puzzle because Uranopolis have very few units. However, being a good puzzle also makes this an extremely difficult faction to play. The randomness of which tiles you’ll pull makes planning difficult. While it is still possible to pull off a long term plan, Neuroshima Hex is a chaotic game even with two players. If you add three or even four players, then this interesting puzzle Uranopolis becomes an almost impossible one.
If you lose even one or two of your big hitters early on due to a small mistake or a clever play by your opponent, then it will hurt you throughout the game. If you go from the base game factions with their easy to spot combos and fun turn by turn plays, into something else entirely. Uranopolis is one of the hardest factions to play in all of Neurshima Hex and going from the base game to this expansion, you are going to get whiplash – they could not be more different.
Thematically, Uranopolis is an interesting addition to the Neuroshima world. It is fun to see the mutant Moloch go up against the machine power of Uranopolis but the reality of the match is that unless you really, really like and understand how to use them, Uranopolis will lose. As interesting a puzzle as it is, compared to most other factions they are so hard to use they aren’t as fun to play.
That being said, while I don’t think they should be the first expansion you get, they are a fun addition. Just make sure you bring an extra set of batteries because you are definitely going to need some.
Also I hate the artwork on the box and the female engineer units. Totally unnecessary, tasteless and creditworthy. Unfortunately, this is one of the few noticeably female characters in the game and Portal Games need to do better.
Thanks for reading. If you’d like to read the review of the base game, of Neuroshima Hex then please head over here. Or perhaps you want some other board game-y-ness such as Frenemy Pastry Party or Raid on Takao.
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