A Glance at Quantum

Base Game Review

Player/s: 2-4

Play Time (Box): 60mins

Play Time (Goof): 20-45mins

Producer/s: Fun Forge

Designer/s: Eric Zimmerman

Every now and then you find a game which just clicks. It clicks with how you think, how you play.

For me, the game which clicks is Quantum.

Quantum is a science fiction strategy game about which I’ve heard the term ‘abstract’ thrown around. You take control of a faction trying to claim planets and place Quantum Cubes. In your endeavour to do this, you expand your fleet, grow your empire and battle your opponents to the death.

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The Good
Quantum has a really unique feel to it. I didn’t think I was going to enjoy using the dice as ships, or the fact lower numbers are actually stronger in combat. It looked a little too luck based to me on the box. The more I played it, I the more I fell in love. There’s luck, to be sure;. get a few bad ship rolls and you could spend too many actions trying to get a good reroll, but the luck mitigation is through the roof. There’s so many variable strategies and ability to influence how your ships interact it becomes this dynamic conflict as you wage epic conflicts over territory.

The variation in maps is actually a massive bonus. Each player count has a number of different maps you can try which provide a huge variety of play styles, strategies, and how conflict-driven you want to be. Personally I love the tight maps, the ones which let each side get in and do some damage. Big battles, big losses, big rewards. It’s like an intense lane push. But the bigger maps have their value too.
The ability to purchase permanent abilities which lets you impact how your fleet works appeals to me on so many levels. And the one time bonuses you can choose from instead feel impactful enough to warrant purchasing them (boosts such as purchasing another ship, or taking another turn but with less actions). By the end of the game you feel like this faction is a product of your decisions.

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The Bad
Quantum is incredibly unforgiving. When you and your opponent bring your best, you both feel like you’re struggling to get anything accomplished. And while it can be a fun rigorous fight, it can also mean playing the game with people less familiar with it, or who don’t usually get into hardcore strategy games can really be an unenjoyable experience as they just get smacked around for the twenty to thirty minutes it takes to play. As someone who’s been on both sides of it, it’s not fun to whoop someone or be whooped.
Each of the factions has a really unique look about them. And if you geek out on the game like I do then you can have a look in the rulebook and see a cool little section about the history of each faction.

SO WHY ARE THERE NO FACTION POWERS!?

I don’t understand the point of even making all the individual ships look unique in the pictures on the player mats, and creating this diverse universe if they’re all essentially cardboard cut outs of each other. Even if it was a variant, or in an expansion. It wouldn’t have detracted from purchasing the upgrades, and you can balance the abilities. I really don’t understand the decision there. To me it stands out like this big gaping hole in a game I really enjoy.

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Conclusion
Quantum is a game for those who like to analyse the hell out of games. Each move you make is calculated. Each move your opponent makes is taken into consideration. Each roll of the dice has to be mitigated. And yet even some of my Analysis Paralysis friends have played without hesitating too much on their actions. It’s unique and interesting and fun. I have so much more to say but if I keep going then this is going to be less of a Glance and more of a Stare. I’m very much looking forward to doing a full review down the track when my schedule permits.

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I didn’t realise it at first but I actually have the Revised Edition of Quantum. Apparently there’s a few changes, such as a card’s ability being altered and corrected maps.

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