Attila is a two-player game where the board can be configured in a variety of ways. It was created by Bruno Faidutti with art by Cyril Bouquet. It works for two players ages 7 and up and plays in 10 to 15 minutes.
Published by Blue Orange Games, Attila retails for $15.99 and can be found online for a few dollars cheaper.
How it works:
Players each get three knights, either Romans or Huns, and seven scorched earth tiles. The board has three pieces that can be set up as a rectangle for a beginner game or in a wide variety of ways for more advanced players.
The players take turns placing their knights on the board, and then the starting player makes the first move.
Moves are like a Knight move in Chess — two forward and one sideways or two sideways and one forward on the grid. The player then places one scorched earth tile anywhere on the board. That square can no longer be occupied.
Play continues until one player cannot move. The other player wins.
Why you might like Attila:
If you want an introduction to Chess for a young player, Attila is a good place to start. The Knight is arguably the most difficult Chess piece to learn, and in Attila, it is the only piece, so young players will get familiar with its movement.
Despite the serious theme, the art and rulebook lend a light, silly feel to the game. It’s cute, with animals on the scorched earth tiles and a Disney atmosphere.
Because the board is in four pieces, the game never gets old. When the board is set up so that parts of it don’t align, players can cross over empty space, adding more tactics to the game.
This is a good game for people who like a spatial puzzle.
It’s really quick, so there’s always time for a second game or another game after.
There’s no luck in the game. It’s all about making the right move and reacting to your opponent.
It’s easy to learn and teach quickly.
Why you might not like Attila:
If you don’t do well with spatial puzzles, the field of green on the board may make it difficult for you to see your options.
The initial placement of your pieces affects the game a lot. The rulebook does offer some initial setups for beginners to keep things balanced.
With skilled players, it can feel a little like Tic Tac Toe, especially at the end of the game.
The art uses some cartoonish stereotypes of Asians for the Huns, including prominent buck teeth and yellow skin.
I am not good at spatial puzzles, and I had a hard time seeing the right moves even though I understood the game.
The game is best for young players, though, and it’s a great teaching game that still offers variety.
I like the art style a lot, but I wish the artist had backed off on the Asian stereotypes. I understand that he was creating caricatures, but I think it goes too far. For me, that makes it a pass.
Full disclosure: I received a review copy of Attila from Blue Orange Games. I was not required to write a positive reivew. These are my honest opinions.