If you’re a fan of Bioshock Infinite, you’ll have no doubt heard that there is a board game based on it. And if you have browsed around a bit or even read our feature, you will know that this is one intense beastie of a game. As intense and overwhelming as Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia can be, we still think it should be something you need to check out. So, if you have taken the plunge and bought the game, allow us to help you get to grips with it with our simple (and sometimes blatantly obvious) tips listed below.
1. Read the Manual and watch the video. Twice
Upon opening the box of Bioshock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia, you are confronted with a large rulebook and loads of bits that make up the game. On the front of the rulebook there is a little stop sign that points you to this video:
This, along with the rulebook is your new best friend. I found watching the video then reading through the rulebook whilst handling and going through all the components is a good way of familiarising yourself with the game.
2. Practice setting the Board up
Again, this is about getting familiar with all the pieces of the game and being comfortable where they belong on the board.
Once you are comfortable with the rules and have a good idea how to set the game up, you are ready for your first playthrough. The important thing is to try and get used to the flow of play as soon as possible. So, if like we did, you end up starting a round of combat only to find that half way through you forget a crucial step that should have been carried out at the beginning, don’t sweat it. Pretend that the conditions were met and move on, I’m sure the rest of the players won’t make the same mistake twice.
4. Create a third / fifth player
Even with the rulebook permanently at your side, trying to teach the game to three other people and play yourself can prove to be a pretty arduous task. One way around this is to create another player (preferably the person who is the most comfortable with the rules). This person will essentially act as the game master, making sure that all the various steps of play are played and even controlling Booker and Elizabeth. There is enough to keep the GM busy and at the same time getting everyone better acquainted with the game.
5. Pick your strategy and stick with it
BI: SoC has so much going on that it even has multiple ways to win the game. You can win by being the first faction to get ten victory points, defeating all the other factions units and structures or having the most victory points when Booker and Elizabeth escape. This means that various strategies can played depending on how you decide to try and win the game. Are you going to occupy as many territories as you can thus racking up victory points or are you going to simply amass an unstoppable army and smash your opponent to smithereens? Whichever you choose, it is best to not lose sight of your plan as more and more victory point cards are introduced. These may tempt you from your current course but choose wisely or you may find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place and your opponent making the most of your indecision.
6. Don’t be afraid to use your leaders
The 6 leader units in BI: SoC (Songbird, Airship, Comstock, Saltonstall, Daisy and Herzog) are handy because they get to use the larger of the combat dice whenever they fight. During our playthroughs of the game we would find a tendency to keep these characters safe and away from combat rather than using them as often as possible. There is no point in this strategy because should these units be destroyed, you can simply re-purchase them and bring them back into the game on your next turn. These should be your main attackers on each turns Remember, this is not chess you are playing.
7. Stay away from Booker and Elizabeth
BI: SoC lets us see the story of Booker and Elizabeth from the eyes of the various factions of Columbia. The best advice from the majority of the game is to avoid these two at all costs. Booker attacks with three red dice so unless you are attacking with at least two leader units and back up in the form of structures and cards you will be hard pushed to defeat him at the beginning of the game. So until you have a bit of cash and resources behind you, it is best to avoid the temptation of involving the stars of the videogame in your quest to sieze control of Columbia.
So there are your tips. If you already have the game, we hope this helps. If you’re thinking of picking it up, let us tell you a bit more about it here.