5 tips for defeating your neighbours (in Block Mania)
17th February 2022
Block Mania is the classic 2000 AD board game of manic destruction in Mega-City One, with each player controlling the citizens of a Mega-City Block as they attempt to defeat the neighbouring Blocks.
Our limited-edition replica reprint brings the game back for the first time since 1987, letting players bring the chaos of a Block War to their tabletop once more.
Whether you are a new player looking to jump into the game or a veteran wanting to get the most out of your Blockers, here are five tips that should help you bring your opponent’s Block crashing to the ground!
Make the most of your Mania cards
You’ll be starting the game with 3 Mania cards, and drawing a new card in the End Phase of each of your turns. You can never hold more than 3 cards, so if you are at the limit and draw an extra card you’ll have to discard one.
These cards offer special abilities, from blowing up the Sky Rail to summoning powerful Kleggs to fight alongside your Blockers.
It can be tempting to hold onto a certain card waiting for that perfect time to play it, but sometimes it’s better to embrace the chaos of the Block War rather than see your cards head to the discard pile.
Use the right tool for the job
As the game progresses you are going to be getting your hands on new Armoury and Hardware counters, either from Blockers you deploy or from looting the Shopping Mall and Armoury squares. How you use them will change depending on your situation, but knowing what they are capable of will definitely help you make the most of them.
The Missile Launcher, for instance, is one of the few weapons that automatically targets both the square you choose and any counter occupying it, while the Flamer has the option of placing Fire markers after it’s used for an attack, which can then spread around and cause damage to the building.
You can find out all about the Weapons available in the game in the Blockers’ Manual.
Remember the Victory Conditions
It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of a Block War and forget about how you win a game of Block Mania. Fortunately, the victory conditions are pretty straight-forward and embrace the chaos of the game – you are trying to destroy your opponent’s Blockers and cause as much damage to their City Block as possible, while stopping them from doing the same to you.
To be slightly more specific, the aim in Block Mania is to finish the game with the least number of Defeat Points. When the game ends, you gain 1 Defeat Point for each of your defeated Blocker Counters, and then look at your Block and add the following Defeat Points:
- 6 per Collapse marker
- 1 per Structural Damage marker
- 1 per each square containing 1 or more Fire markers
- 4 per Looted Bank or Armoury Square
- 2 per looted Shopping Mall square
- 4 per Scrawl marker on a Window square
- 2 per Scrawl Marker on a Civic Square
- 200 if your Block has collapsed.
Fight Fire with… Blockers
As a general rule, both in Block Mania and in life, letting a fire get out of control is usually a bad idea. In the game, at the end of each turn you add an extra Fire marker to every square that already contains one, with the fire spreading to an adjacent square if this would take the total above 3 Fire markers.
You then roll a dice for each square with a Fire marker in it – on a 1 or 2 the sprinklers have kept it under control and you can remove 1 marker from the square, but any higher means it has the potential to do Structural Damage to the space it is in (spoiler – that is bad news)
Just relying on your sprinkler system to deal with these fires can be risky, and removes one Fire marker at most. Getting one of your Blockers to deal with it can be much more effective, as they roll a dice per Fire marker on an adjacent square that they target. Just be careful, as if the fire spreads to the Blocker’s space it has the chance of burning them to a crisp.
Set ‘em up and knock ‘em down!
Destroying your opponent’s Block is a sure-fire way to secure victory, and if the dice are in your favour you can set up some great chain reactions to deal huge amounts of damage!
Whenever a Block square is successfully hit with an attack, a Structural Damage marker is placed on it. You then roll for Collapse, adding the number of Structural Damage tokens to the roll. If the total is a 6 or more then the square has collapsed, which causes the spaces directly and diagonally above it to gain Structural Damage tokens and face that same test to see if they suffer the same fate.
This means that you can increase the chance of causing catastrophic chain-reactions by targeting squares where a Collapse will impact spaces that already have a Structural Damage marker, leaving your opponent wondering where half their Block has disappeared to!
Hopefully these tips will help you win your next game of Block Mania. If you are looking to pick up a copy of the game, you can find Block Mania and the Mega-Mania expansion here.