With May1st fast approaching I though it would be good to take a look at a game about the labor movement. Living in and around Chicago my whole life I am well aware of labor movements. I play rugby for a team named for the Haymarket Riot and my office is 4 blocks from the place where it happened. The Haymarket Affair (Riot) was the 1886 confrontation between labor and police in the city of Chicago. This spurred a labor movement and inspired labor activists to this day. All of this brings us to the future where Happy Corp is looking to take over all services and run Mercury City. This would put an end to public services, minimum wage, and unions. This is the world of STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion a game created by TESA Collective and Jobs with Justice, a leading labor rights organization to inspire a new generation.
The object of the game is for the Strikers to get to 15 points before HappyCorp gets to 15 or deploys their 6th mega drone. During the game each player has 4 actions they can do plus play strike or allies cards. At the end of each players turn HappyCorp gets to take actions.
Each player has 10 striker meeples that they will be placing on the board and 4 actions cubes. The Action cubes will be placed on the players mat to track the 4 actions they take every turn. The first action Grow Ranks is how you get Strikers out on the board. The second action Mobilize is used to move the Strikers from place to place on the board. The disassemble action lets you remove drones from the board. The final action is Draw and if you use this one you may draw an Ally card or a Strike card. Each character that you can play has a different combination of the amount of each action they may preform. For example Eddie the pilot may preform the Grow Ranks action up to 3 times a turn but Valentina the factory worker may only do that once. This adds a lot of flavor to each character.
So how do you score points? Well its easy, play strike cards on the city locations. To play a strike card you need to have 3 of your Strikers on a city location that matches the card you want to play. Then it will cost you two actions, place your action cubes on the actions that match the card. I really like this mechanism as it places a higher value on scoring points and will have you making some interesting choices to do so. You may score each location up to 3 times but each time you score it will require more Strikers on the location. After you play the striker card you may choose any player to draw an ally card.
Ally cards work pretty similar to the strike cards except that they will only cost you one action. Ally cards are the only way to regain energy. What does energy do for you? Each character has 2 special powers. One power you may always use the other you may only use when you have 3 or more energy.
Commercial Breaks are how HappyCorp puts more drones on the map and removes Strikers.
The last aspect of the game are the Commercial Break cards. Commercial Breaks are how HappyCorp puts more drones on the map and removes Strikers. The Commercial Break cards will tell you how many times to roll the 12 sided die to place more drones on the map. When a drone is placed it removes one Striker from that space of every color. If this is the third drone added to the space then the three are removed and a Superdrone is added to the space. If HappyCorp gets 6 super drones on the board then the players lose. Dont forget to keep the drones under control as you are Growing your ranks. Last Id like to mention that there are ways of setting up the game to make if more difficult or more easy.
STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion is a great intro to labor organizing. The game presents a mechanics that really put the theme forward and give you the feeling of urgency that the labor movement has. I loved the difficulty levels that can be added to make the game harder for those who want to punch it up a notch. The game plays smoothly and has no obvious flaws in the mechanic. I would recommend this to everyone for great play and for great theme.
Year Published: 2020
Recommended Ages: 14+
Time to Play: 45-60m
A copy of STRIKE! The Game of Worker Rebellion was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games by the TESA Collective for review purposes.