Quantum is an abstract space game that will test the tactician in you
Theme and What is it?
As part of one of the 4 human races spanning across the galaxy, you fight for supremacy over various sectors. Each race controls ships (dice) with various abilities that can be changed through several gameplay mechanics. You will be pushed to try to outsmart your opponent using these mechanics in an interstellar game of tug of war. You will move and fight for every inch of space.
To begin, the game board is set up using the supplied planet tiles. The rule book contains various options for specific systems depending on the player count, but you can also create your own layouts once you have become used to how the game works.
Players then start with a pool of ships (dice). Each player rolls the dice to get the first configuration of ship types. Each number on the dice corresponds to a type of ship on the player board. Each ship has a specific ability that will help in movement or combat.
The players also have a science dice and combat dice on their player boards, which should both be set to 1 at the beginning of the game. These dice can also be manipulated using actions before or after successful combat. Any spare dice will be held in the hanger and may be brought onto the board through card effects.
The action and ability cards are set next to board in a deck and some are placed face up. There are two kinds of cards, permanent abilities and one time use cards. They are differentiated by the colour of the cards. A player can have up to 3 permanent abilities and these can make a huge difference in play style.
Players then take it in turns to use actions to move ships, use abilities, increase the science stat or buy ability cards.
Each planet in the system has a numerical value and players must surround the planet with ships that exactly equal that value to be able to take control of it. Once a player has control of a pre-determined number of planets, they are the winner.
I am not always a massive fan of abstract themed board games, but Quantum really caught my attention. The art style on the box and the clean look of it really drew me in. I was excited to learn more about this one.
Game Build Quality
Quantum does not have a lot of components in comparison to a lot of games these days, but what it has are all top quality. The ships (dice) are especially nice quality. They have an almost translucent look to them, and the colour choices are really nice and bold. They also have a soft, satisfying feel to them… I’m starting to sound a bit weird about dice here, but they are a key feature of the game so it’s nice to know they pushed the boat out.
The art in Quantum is excellent in so many ways. Considering it’s such an abstract game, the designers have done a fantastic job of giving every part of this game a space feel. The art for each faction and the ships are all really well thought out and the ability cards all have an individual art that sets the scene extremely well.
For such a simple game it is surprisingly competitive. The variety of cards makes every game play out differently and even though I’ve played Quantum quite a few times now and I see at least one new card every game. The card pool doesn’t get washed through very quickly in any standard game so maximising what cards are presented is key.
Age Range & Weight
Getting to grips with the mechanics can be tricky in Quantum. The varying movement and combat abilities are reminiscent of a game like chess but then throw a dramatic space theme over the top of it and give your races additional action cards that increase the complexity even more. I think anyone under the age of 13 may struggle.
The game length for Quantum can vary dramatically based on player count and experience level. I would take the timing declared on the box with a pinch of salt.
Quantum is one of my favourite abstract games that came out of nowhere and blew my socks off. I have hours of fun playing this game and everyone I have played it with have enjoyed it just as much as me. You can be dominating one second and on the back foot the next. You can feel completely in control and then a player figures out a strategy that flips your plans on their head. It keeps you on your toes right up until the last move is made. Such a good game for anyone looking for an abstract tactical area majority game.
There’s a lot of reasons not to leave your house right now.......