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GRETCHINZ!

This is a WARHAMMER 40.000 game designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier.

With Games Workshop's 'Little Speed Freeks' game about to hit the stores in the very near future GRETCHINZ! is an early insight into the next era of Orkish fun about to be undertaken.

GRETCHINZ! is also one of the latest games to be licensed to companies not otherwise associated to Games Workshop. Until recently GW were generally in-house only when it came to new products but now they are apparently freeing up licenses for other companies to expand their portfolios as well as the GW universe, with more family oriented games. Games like GRETCHINZ! will introduce Mums and Dads, Nans & Grandads, to the fantasy world their children have been enjoying for years.

 

Before the first game: Punch out all the pieces, open the packs of cards, sort all the pieces into their separate sections and get ready for the action - there is even a visible Ork driver for each Buggy. The box has been designed to keep all assembled pieces safely without having to break them down after each game. 
Assemble the Speed Freeks Buggies by carefully slotting the five pieces into place. You have four Buggies to put together - each fitting the same way with the exception that you can have the swivel-gun on either the left or the right. We discovered this accidentally when I put two Buggies together and Grant put two Buggies together and we then noticed we had made them slightly differently. We did notice that on each of the 5 pieces there is a bevelled (shinier) side and a flat (matt) side and no matter how you put them together there will always be shiny and matt sides showing. This doesn't matter one iota to the majority of us, but for someone with a figure/miniature painter's eye (for the record that's not me) it stands out like the proverbial sore thumb.

GRETCHINZ! is a speedy game that is a fun drag race over a randomly built track. The combat actually looks like it has been added because the contestants are crazy Greenskins (Orks) and regular GW game players would not accept them to race without fighting each other. It is also added fun for younger players so they can pick on Mum, Dad or big Brother, just because they can.

 

The game is card based, each terrain card having two different sides, one showing terrain and possible effects the other showing one of three card types, Attack, Problems or Explosion. Players have a hand of cards which they hold with the terrain facing them - they are dealt with this side face-up and may never look at the other side, only the other players see what the card types are. This means that when players discard or use cards from their hand they do so without knowing what type of cards they are selecting. This is crazy but makes for a fun random game.

The track is made up by taking cards off the top of the deck and playing them into specific places depending on the position of the currently moved Buggy - if a Buggy doesn't move no new terrain cards are added. Each Terrain card has a specific name, Open Terrain, Squig Stampede, Hidden Scrap Materials, Junk Materials, Puddle and Warp Clouds. Each of these has a movement icon top front and centre. This can be a Straight Arrow, a Loss of card/s from your hand, Addition of cards to your hand (but you are never allowed to hold over the Hand Limit and immediate discards have to be made, card type still unseen), there is even a card that allows you to gain cards and look at their type. Because the track is laid as the game progresses it means the terrain is different every game.

 

Movement of the Buggies is by selecting at least one 'Swerve' die result, left or right, no 'Swerves' equals no Movement but you can still do other things according to the die face result.
Swerve to the Right or Left: Move diagonally right/left  like a Bishop in Chess but only one space - if the space is occupied then no movement is made. There is no way for players to move straight forward.
Draw Cards: Draw two cards from the deck - don't look at the non-terrain side.
The Eye of Mork or maybe Gork: Ask another player how many Attack cards you hold.
Dakka: Attack card
Klan Ability: Special faction ability (not used in the basic game).

Buggy positions have nothing to do with where you can fire your swivel-gun into - you can aim at any card in the track. If you aim at a terrain card you need to play one Attack card to hit it and turn it into a Crater (Crater cards are separate terrain cards) but to hit an opponent you need to select 2 Attack cards and that will hit a Buggy damaging it with a Fire/Flame Token. Three Flame Tokens and the Buggy owner loses a Turn and may also lose cards from their hand and probably dice rolls. Each player has three Dice which they roll at the beginning of each Turn.

 

This Dice rolling is fast and adds even more crazy. Rolling is continual, not sequential or orderly. Each player keeps rolling their dice until one of them hits the faces they want. They can take dice out after each roll and only roll the remainder or they can roll all three dice over and over, but once one player shouts "Waaagh!" all dice rolling has to stop and the other players have to use the dice results they are left with. When this occurs the players put the dice into the slot on their character/Klan card in whatever order they wish, but with the knowledge that they have to use all three dice if possible and that the dice are used from left to right 1, 2, 3. Each face of the die is different so first off you need to learn what their effect is, then when and how to use them to their best advantage. It is great that there are four rules booklets (4 different languages) but it would have been nice to have perhaps made the Player Panels (Klan/Neutral) twice as long (they would still fit into the box without having to expand it or fold them) with the extra section having the die faces and their descriptions; it would make playing with new players a lot easier as they wouldn't have to try to remember the faces.

 

One of the die sides is only used if you are playing the Klan game. The Player Panels have two sides, one Klan and one Neutral. First games should be played using the Neutral side, this is the Base game. There are seven Player Panels which can be chosen by the players but really should be randomly dealt as each of them belongs to a specific Klan and has the ability of that Klan. For Games Workshop regulars the Klans are: Goffs. Evil Sunz. Freebooterz. Deathskulls. Snakebites. Bad Moons and Blood Axes.

The game ends when one or more Buggies reaches the edge of the box - 7 card lengths away - play being in Rounds so each player has to have had a Turn in the current Round which means there could be the need for a tie-break situation (taken into account during the rules for ending the game). For a large game you can buy more copies of the game, they cost around £20.00 each, and expand it to fit the size of table and number of players you wish - games clubs might like to play with 2, 3 or 4 copies of the game, playing in teams and altering the endgame rules slightly so that it's the first Team to get all their Buggies home wins. Buggies already at the finishing line being removed so that the line is there to be crossed (ie they are not blocking the spaces). It's a superb game for making up your own rules once you know how to play the correct way.

GRETCHINZ! is a light-hearted game in the 'Mad Max', 'Thunder Road' genre with armed Buggies zig-zagging across the sun-baked, crusty-topped sands of the desert. It plays well with its Base game rules and adds a little more Ork flavour with the addition of the Klan versus Klan mechanic. It really isn't a game one would have expected to see under the Games Workshop banner which is why it is good to see GW licensing that banner to other board / card games companies. There are already a fair number of licensed Games Workshop electronic games for PCs, Consoles, Pads, Tablets and Phones and as is seen by those there still has to be a good quality product released that bears their world-famous name and logo - DEVIR have ensured that the quality of product, design and component has remained faithful to Games Workshop values.

 

 

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015