Cry Havoc is hot right now and for good reason. Co-designed by the super-team of Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, and Michał Walczak, and published by Portal games, Cry Havoc hit the ground running at Gen Con 2016 with a full head of steam after garnering enormously positive early impressions and reviews. The game has been hovering near the top of the Hotness list at BoardGameGeek, and after Gen Con attendees were able to take an up-close and personal look at the game, ourselves included—the hype and praise seem well warranted.
We were fortunate enough to spend some time speaking with Grant on the last day of the show about Cry Havoc, and Grant himself graciously led us through a short gameplay demo. In addition to showing us how the game plays, Grant also mentioned some of his influences and perspectives that led him to finalize the game in its current form.
Cry Havoc is a game of direct conflict that pits four unique factions against each other for control over a planet full of resources that each faction desperately seeks to gain control of. This isn’t a simple dudes-on-a-map game, though. From the asymmetry of the factions, the lack of choke-points on the map, the player-driven diceless combat, scoring ,and even game length, it’s obvious that Cry Havoc has been playtested and tweaked to an absolutely incredible level of polish. If you are a fan of directly competitive board games, you are going to want to give Cry Havoc a serious look. Especially intriguing is the way that forces are committed to various objectives during combat. While I do like to chuck dice at my enemies and let the fates decide who lives and dies in some games, systems that directly increase player agency and control, like Cry Havoc’s, are almost always more satisfying. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy so that I can play a full game.