After pouring my heart and soul into these instructional Trickerion videos, i approached Mindclash Games about dipping my toes in the unfathomably deep waters of Anachrony, their futuristic time travel board game series. They obliged, and sent along this trio of boxes containing the Essential Edition, the Classic Expansion Pack, and the entirely unnecessary (or is it?) Exosuit Miniatures Set, all of which have been reconfigured for their second printing. Here’s how it all shook down:
Hi! it’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table and holy cow! How exciting is this? Answer: very exciting! Mindclash Games has sent along not one, not two, but THREE big beautiful board game boxes, and if you’re like me, you’ll agree: happiness is opening a brand new board game. Can i get an “amen”? This is a game called Anachrony, which until a few weeks ago i knew very very little about. i knew it was in Mindclash’s library. i knew that the first game, Trickerion, was also in their library, and i very much like Trickerion. And i remember back when i first started this channel, i was doing videos for games that were generally easy to explain. i was doing Century: Spice Road, and stuff like Splendor – you know – that kind of thing, and i thought “What if one day, i eventually get to the point where i have the guts to make a how to play video for something as complicated as Trickerion? But if you’ve been following this channel a little bit, you know that i actually did that! i made that video, and some of you said “Wow! i like your Trickerion video. You should do Anachrony!” i didn’t own it, but because you asked, that helped me approach Mindclash Games and say “Hey! Check out my How to Play Trickerion video. i’d be interested in – you know – learning more about Anachrony,” and they sent this along, because they liked what i did. That’s very, very kind. So! If you want me to do stuff, harass me, and that gives me the power to go to them and… and ask the publishers if they could send copies along. Cuz you want to hear it. Doesn’t matter if i want to hear about it – you want to hear about it. That’s what counts. This game… what do i know about it? It’s designed by Hungarian designer David Turczi who also did Cerebria, which i have not yet played, and he designed the expansion – the first big expansion – to Trickerion, called Dahlgaard’s Academy (and i have a video of that too!) Those videos took a very long time to produce, and i’m suspecting that this will be a similar time commitment. i like what these guys do, the way they structure their games when they sell them on Kickstarter. So, like, a lot of publishers, they’ll say “In order to get this game made, help us out on Kickstarter. You can buy this, that, bells, whistles, da da da….” A lot of people, what they do on Kickstarter is they say “Oh, we’ve got these Kickstarter exclusives,” and unless you somehow magically hear about our Kickstarter, or are monitoring Kickstarter… like i actually do now, kind of professionally now, i monitor Kickstarter… so unless you’re in the loop, you can’t get these things, and once the thing’s out, maybe it goes to retail, you’ll never see these cards, or these minis, or these pieces ever again. i don’t like that so much. i’d really prefer it if the publisher said “Okay, well, you know, you maybe get it for a lower price, but everything that we’re offering in the Kickstarter will be available. Just – you might have to pay a few more bucks for it.” And that’s what these guys do, and i like that. So everything that you can get with Anachrony in the base Kickstarter, they split out into separate products. What you’re seeing here is a little bit confusing, and i hope that i have the right information for you. This is Anachrony the Essential Edition, AKA the 2nd edition. What they’ve done with this is they took the base game product that used to be available, and they took a couple of things out of it. And they did that, i believe, in order to keep the price down on this, and they figured – i think – like, if you’re new to the game, you might want to pay less money for the base game, and then go hog-wild spending your money on the expansions and extensions if you like it. But why have a really high barrier to entry with an expensive base game box? So that’s what this is: a couple of things removed to make it a little bit more affordable for people who are just getting their toes wet in Anachrony, which is what i’m doing. And then, they have the Anachrony Classic Expansion Pack that they sent along, and what this is is the things that they removed from here, and the things that they were moved frommmm… this thing! So… can you see me back there? Okay. The game is kind of a worker placement game, i understand, and you have little chits that represent your people that you’re moving all around the board. And they went nuts designing these big exosuits that you could slip the chits in so it’s now… now i’m not like a little wimpy cardboard chit. Now i’m this really crazy, big, wild-looking H.R. Giger-y kind of mech. Those – you know – plastic miniatures are gonna make the game cost more, so what they did was for people who aren’t that interested in miniatures, they split that out into its own box. So there’s a box just for the miniatures, if you think that that will add pleasure and excitement to your Anachrony experience. i’m gonna put this down so you can actually see my face. So there’s a whole box just separately for the mechs. When they originally released the box with just the mechs in it, they also had a couple of little gameplay modules in there. But again, i think to keep the price down on this and to make it, they just made it mechs-only, so now this new 2nd edition is just mechs, and they took the module, or modules, out of that, and they took the – you know – a couple of things out of this to lower the price of this, and they stuck that in this box, so that’s what that expansion is. Did you get that? i hope i got that all right. And now, they’ve just finished running a second Kickstarter campaign for Anachrony where they have a new expansion, and just like they did with Trickerion, they have a gigantic thing they’re calling the Infinity Box which is just a – you know – big box with cool sexy trays, where you can stick everything in one housing unit, so that you don’t have to go crazy fishing through multiple boxes. Cool! Well… let’s open a couple and see what’s inside. Now then: what i do know about Anachrony is that it is a time travel game, and the method of time travel, or the mode – the theory of time travel, i believe, mimics Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, if you’ve seen that. If you haven’t, please do! The third movie, i think is just being shot, and it’s coming out in a bit. So the theory of time travel in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is kind of humorous – it’s a comedy movie – where they say… they have a time travel… a time machine… and they say “Well, we need something to materialize here, so we’ll just remind ourselves to take the time machine into the future later… into the past later, and leave it for ourselves, so that means it should be there right now! Aha! Here it is!” So Anachrony does that, where you… if you need something, i think, you just… like a resource, or money or something, you just take it, and then leave a memo to yourself to send it back to yourself at a different point in time. Here we go. Very cool. They put the BGG top-50 label on there. This HAS enjoyed a place in the Sun on the BoardGameGeek top 100… top 50, looks like – oh, honors, all kinds of awards and accolades… that’s what you can do with a special edition. The rulebook: thick, as i would expect it, clocking in at a page count that shall be… 26…? 26, 27 pages. Some credits in the back. And there are the mechs that i mentioned, where you’re putting the little cardboard shits in the back of the plastic mechs. It’s complete… it’s complete extravagance. i don’t think the exosuits are necessary aT ALL, which is awesome. i remember when i was playing Lords of Waterdeep, and i saw that somebody out in BC he had made these cool little… he called them “DnDeeples,” where he’d laser-cut little wood characters that looked like rogues, and looked like wizards, instead of just looking like cubes, and i bought those thinking “Oh my gosh, what – you know – this is the most extravagant purchase i’ve ever made, and they do nothing for the game.” They actually do do something for the game! They do a lot for the game! They just make it, weirdly, way more fun to play! So it’s interesting that little upgrades like that can just make a game, in my opinion, so much more enjoyable. All right! Yes! It looks like it’s in the same font, and laid out by the same people who did the Trickerion manual, which was pretty decent to get through, and very very thorough, and it looks like there’s a lot going on in this game. You get a score pad. Blap. You get – oh, interesting. These are kind of plasticky resony-looking cubes, but they’re translucent. Beautiful! Purple. i love it when there’s purple in a game. Black… i’ve seen those in a few other things. i think CGE uses the black ones in some of their games. Green, and yellow. And look at these pretty tear drop-y… goes in my hand… tear drop-y plastic bits. Nice. They look cool. (singing) i don’t know what they are… Pack of cards. We’ll open in just a second. Lots of bags. i don’t understand when… you ever get board games where they don’t give you enough bags to fit the things? i never understood that. They know exactly what’s going into these boxes. They’ve got it budgeted out to the individual item, and they can’t… really strange… they’ll give you, like, a little bag like this, and you have this amount of wood that you have to cram, aaaand… it doesn’t make any sense to me. These are little standees. Four of them. Presumably one per player, because it’s a four player game. Yep. And some special custom dice. Some blank faces. Some faces that say… what did they… what IS that? That’s what they put on the back of the the Amish buggy when you’re driving behind it, so that you don’t run them over on country roads. i think that’s what that does in this game: it means “don’t run over the Amish.” i haven’t checked the rulebook, but i’m gonna go out on a limb and say definitively that’s what that is. There’s a pack of cards. It’s about… 50,000? It’s nicely done because it has a rip strip. i love a rip strip. Anachrony logo on one side, and on the other side… this is going to be a game that has a lot of symbology that you have to learn. i’m hoping in the rulebook, there’s a legend that will identify what all these symbols do. i hold out great hope that yes, there is. More bags, and then another pack of cards. Once again, about the same amount of cards, i would say, as in the first deck we just looked at: probably 50,000. It’s the standard, i think, is 50,000 cards. And these are… not quite tabloid size. They’re a little bit shorter than tabloid. But these look like character cards for the different people and factions that you can play, and i recognize… it looks like that is the same artist who did artwork for Trickerion. i wouldn’t be surprised to find out that that’s the same person, because i recognize that style. On the artwork: this game looks… CRAZY. Can i just say? i really appreciate it when artists go out on a limb and they… creative people try to… come up with something that nobody has ever seen before, and this looks like… wildly different from a lot of stuff, and i really appreciate that… the effort that they’ve gone through to make this just look… bananas. It reminds me a little bit of… if you’ve seen Zardoz? Zardoz has the big statue-y head that floats around on rockets, or something? And James Bond is in a thong…? i can’t remember what happens in Zardoz, but it’s wackadoo nutso, and this kind of reminds me of that, where they’ve got… some stuff is statuary. i mentioned H.R. Giger before, but look at that: the triple head weirdness. It’s weird. It’s weird! It’s Spacey, yet traditional…? Just nutso. Here’s the board. Let me show you. If you haven’t seen what this thing looks like, and i’ve only ever seen pictures. There’s the common board. Yeah, look at that triple… triple head thing, and big floating… crash… creepy bug-alien monster castle… dwaaaAAHGGH! It’s nuts! It’s NUTS. i like nuts. i’ll go for nuts. i…. hmm. Maybe i’ll edit that out later? Quoth Ryan: “i like nuts.” Here we go. These are… are these gonna be player boards? Possibly. Looks like it. Different colors? Yes. There’s four of them. i’m assuming these are player boards. Look: they’ve got big, hexagonal bases, i think where you put your huge mechs, if you purchase them. If you’re not into mechs, then don’t. No problem. Nobody’s making fun of you. A bunch of cardboard to punch out. Really interesting triangular stuff. There’s interesting angled pieces here. Not everything’s a square. You know – these are little triangles, and all your little chits for your workers have chamfered corners. My friend Michael was just chamfering something in his house. i had to remind myself what chamfering is. More stuff! There’s sheet after sheet after sheet after sheet of workers, and chits, and tiles, and tokens to punch out. That’s gonna be a fun gig. One more. Aaand uno mas. One more. And that is the extent of what comes in the Essential Edition base game box. Let’s check out what’s in the expansion pack. Which ,as i mentioned, is stuff they took out of the bass game. What do you say in the back here? It includes the Doomsday Module, which used to be in the base game. i believe Pioneers of New Earth and Guardians of the Council were the ones that were in the big mech pack. i might be wrong. Urrg! (indiscriminate humming) i wasn’t listening to the Box Fart-O-Meter in the first box. i assume that if they’re built of the same materials, it’ll be Box Fart-O-Meter: zero for both boxes. Surprisingly thick rulebook for the expansion, but if i know Mindclash, the expansion to Trickerion weren’t nothin’. It was a beefy… beefy, meaty kind of thing. So you’ve got another – whoo! – let’s say 15 page rulebook to go through to learn the expansion. More stuff to punch out. Individual things patterned after each faction’s difference exosuit, which we’ll see in just a second. i’m gonna keep the stuff… wuhhh! i can’t mix this up. Not every game, you notice, comes with a manifest that tells you what’s in the box, so… i’m not sure if this one does, but just to be safe, i’m gonna put the base game stuff over here, and the expansion stuff over here. More tiles to punch out. More separate, long boards to go here. These look like more common boards to do more stuff, with lots of cryptic iconography… to learn. i like that. i like icons. i like learning what pictures mean. i think i was a linguist in another life. Deck of approximately… we’ll call it 50,000 cards? Much more substantial deck in this. Again, having no idea what they mean: more icons. Cool spacey artwork. Sand worms. Oh my gosh. Oh my g- crazy, crazy artwork. Oh my gosh! This is surprising, too! i did not realize that this box contained specific exosuits. i wonder if this is, like a… is it a fifth player thing? No – i don’t think so, because we didn’t get a fifth player board. i’ll open this up in… Oh – there’s tape. (fake airlock noise that Ryan obviously makes with his mouth) Oh – did you hear that airlock sound when that opened? That wasn’t real. i did that with my mouth. Mm-hmm! They got creepy little faces that kind of look like Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Woo! And all of the exosuits should have that slot in the top where you stick your little worker chit. They’re creepy and weird and cool and freaky and unlike anything else i own or have seen. Oh! Look at this tiny little… tiny little pack of extra cards, or maybe these are reprints? My estimation skills are not needed here. This is a few enough cards that i should be able to count these: one, two, that’s about 50,000 little cards. Possibly reprints? i’m not sure. Few extra dice that do extra things. Plastic baggies to put everything in… but, like i say, if you’re on that second Kickstarter, or if you pick it up – i don’t know if you can pick it up later at retail, but if you buy that Infinity Box, you can chuck all the things in there. And box number three: the Exosuit Miniature Set. (pleasant humming) And they put it right along here just so that they’re not confusing people: “This add-on pack includes no gameplay related content,” it says, so this is just complete… this is like buying hats in Team Fortress 2. Completely aesthetic. It’s all for the looks. The four different mech types are: gargoyles… they’re kind of scary, actually… octopods, pilgrims, and seeders. Like i say, it shows… depicts the character chits going down into that slot. So i think what you see with this windowed product is what you get. Yep. Right there. There’s a (humming). Knowing the first pack, there’s probably some sneaky tape – ah, there is. Sneaky tape. Here we are. Whoo! Fresh from the factory smell! They are big. They are beefy. They are alien-looking, and they’re pretty good… they are immensely paintable! If you like painting miniatures, i could see this being a dream for you. They got that hexagonal base… we saw the spots where those sit down on. Uh… i don’t… i don’t paint. Do you p… i’ve asked you if you’ve painted before. If you saw my video, that was me, sort of… my first foray into painting miniatures, and you know what? i haven’t painted a miniature since i made that video, only because i’ve been making other videos. But it doesn’t mean that i’m no longer interested in it. i got a whole lot of tips from people, like “Oh, you gotta get this kind of paint, or that kind of wash,” and like “Whoooa… rabbit hole!” So i haven’t touched it yet. The removable bases…? i’m not too sure. Maybe that’s just so that they could make them… into the different player colours? These little hexagonal bases. Those are the four. So this guy is very… he looks like a big slug with the drill. i shall call him “slug drill.” This one… this one has that tapered waist that all the ladies strive for. i don’t know what to say about them. And this one… oh yeah, this is the scary one. It’s kind of cool. It’s got big wings. It looks like a… a little bit like a sphinx, or a manticore kind of thing? It’s very freaky-looking. Very, sort of, winged lion sort of thing. Whoa! (shudders) Gimme the time travel chills. If this is what the future looks like, count me out! Wha-heh! No – it looks neat! Whoa! Box Screech-O-Meter: 4. You still watching? Uhhhh… yeah! That’s all stuff. i have my work cut out for me with this game. It’s gonna be a lot of rules go through. It’s probably going to be a long game to play, if Trickerion is any indication. But i WILL play it. i’ll get it to the table, and then i’ll play the expansion, and then i’ll do a how to play video, and then i’ll do a how to play video for the expansion, and maybe by that time, they’ll have sent along the expansion that comes after this, Fractures in Time, and that massive Infinity Box? Maybe i’ll do a reboxing of that for you? You’ll see how it all goes in together, and won’t that be a fantastic time? Have you played this? Please let me know if you’ve played this, if you like it, if you don’t like it. i know a few of you have requested it. Tell me what you think, and tell me what to watch out for in my first couple plays. Thanks so much for watching this one! Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! To 100% this video, click the badge to subscribe, then click the bell to get notifications when i’ve got new stuff! [Music – Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]
Get Your Own Copy of Anachrony
If you’d like to pick up your own copy of Anachrony, use the Amazon link below and i’ll receive a small commission. Just make sure that you’re getting the edition you want, as there are differences between the first and second printings!