Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de



Fréderic Moyersoen


No. of Players:
2 - 4



Gamebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Over the last years there were quite a lot of games with different insects as actors. Especially ants were favourable animals in games, but as far as I remember, termites were kind of under-represented in this genre. Thanks to REBEL.pl this has now changed dramatically. In Termites each player takes control of a tribe of those industrious and eusocial insects. Beginning with only a single mound we expand the territory of our tribe by sending soldiers against our opponents and conquering their mounds. Depending on the number of players there are also 2-3 neutral mounds that also can be conquered.

All of this takes place on a board of hexagonal fields of different terrain types. Next to a clear terrain with no special rules, there is a water terrain (that only flying units can enter), a thick vegetation (that gives a bonus for fighting for some units) and stone (that cannot be entered by anyone, but gives a bonus for defense for those who stay there). One side of the board is already prepared for a two-player game, the different terrains already painted on the board. The other side can be set-up individually with the help of terrain tokens, but there are also suggestions for balanced games for three and four players in the rules.


However, the first mound of a player always can be placed as he wishes. This is part of the preparation, but also a first very important choice in the game. There are only small restrictions for this placement. So the mound must not be adjacent to another mound (no matter if neutral or not), may only be adjacent to one water hex and must not be placed on the edge of the gameboard. So even with the prepared side of the board for the two-player game, there are many varieties for starting the game and depending on your choice you will choose a more or less aggressive way to play.

Each tribe of termites consists of different fighting insects with individual movement abilities and strength. So a worker can move two hexes and has a strength of one whereas a spitter can move one hex, has a strength of 1-3 but can also support an attack if he is still two hexes away from the event. The different insects are completed by a soldier (a strong, but slow insect) and a flyer (of course this one can fly - fast, but weak). So you can already see that it is important to have the right insects at the right places in a given situation.


Now in every turn of a player we can place one of these insects onto the board. For this we choose one of the three insects we always have at hand, place it wherever we want (and where we are able to, considering the terrain restrictions and the condition that the field must be empty). Finally we draw a new random token from our stack to the hand. Each of the four tribes of the game has certain preferences and has more or less units of the different insect types. So one colony is based on the soldier caste and must be played very destructive to win the game. Another tribe has many of the spitters, so with its ranged attacks it is ideal for drawing enemies into traps. At first sight, these differences might not see too dramatically, but with progressing game experience, the different tribes can be played very differently.

What follows after we have drawn a new insect for the next round is the movement phase in which insects can be moved according to their movement restrictions. Terrains can influence the range and as said some terrains are even impossible to enter for some insect types. So you can tactically plan your and your opponent's moves. Basically you can move freely over the board, but once you enter a field with an enemy unit, this counts as an attack. In this case all adjacent units of the attacker contribute to the attack, while the defending unit always fights on its own. Life is a bitch, isn't it, at least if you are a defending insect. But in most cases the defender gets away with a black eye, because if there is a possibility of retreat to a free adjacent hex, he can do so, at least if no soldier unit is carrying out the attack, for this results in a automatically destruction. If however the attacking player cannot bring up a higher strength (including the help of the supporting units) than the defense of the defending unit, he may not enter. The same applies to the attack of a mound.


Now what's the goal of the game? It is most important to conquer neutral or enemy mounds, because the defense value of the conquered mound counts as victory points. Players have five mounds each, so they are able to come back by placing a new mound after loosing one, but it is not clever to loose too many mounds, because the only other victory points in the game are the defense values of their still active mounds on the board and the unplayed mounds in their reserve.

When all players know the rules and have some experience in tactical games, a typical game of Termites only takes 30-45 minutes. The game seems to be very easy at first sight, but there are many tactical decisions to make. What I had totally ignored in my first rounds were the advantages and disadvantages of the different terrains for the various units. In the end you will only be able to win the game if you use the virtues of your tribe best and if you are able to bring the right insects at the different terrains into action.


All in all Termites is one of the better games with insects I have played so far. Next to the tactically gameplay I also liked the nice illustrations of the insects and the graphical design of the game. Only the quality of the mounds, that must be built by yourself, could be better. For some mounds I had to use glue just before my first game. Although the game mechanics are not really ground-breaking new, I would say that it is a well done mid-weight tactical game. The rules are pretty much straightforward, so it is also a game for casual players who like tactical decisions.

[Gamebox Index]

Google Custom Search

Impressum / Contact Info / Disclaimer


Copyright © 2016 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany