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Review: Zaberias

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

The Humans, Orcs, Undead and Guardians clash to see who will rule the entire realm of Zaberias. Zaberias is an action packed city building area control game designed by Brachya Glueck and Benny Goldstein. Players compete to build up their forces and control all the territory on the board.

I love how the game comes organized. Each of the four tribes has a thick board where 5 themed dice are held along with that factions part of the playing area and all of the buildings, units and coins to play that faction. The boards all fold up nice and keep everything organized in a fashion that makes sense to how the game is played.

Zaberias can be played with 2-4 players. Each player chooses a faction and then they place the map boards from the factions together to form the over all game board. The factions are themed 4 different ways but there are no differences between the maps or units (except the special abilities), just the themed artwork. The art work has a more comic look to it to appeal to the younger demographic that the game is targeted to. The game is targeted for the 6+ crowd. The back of the game focuses on skill building for counting, reading, strategic thinking, and social skills. A lot of games offer this but I think that the appeal for Zaberias is that its a very approachable strategy game.

In Zaberias player will move units throughout the board, spend coins to build more units or to upgrade and build towns. There are places on the board for players to gain more coins and buff their units. Each board has a spot for two cities to be built. There are three levels to cities and to the units. Each increases their effectiveness in battle and the special abilities of the units make them all the more powerful as players purchase the higher level units. The level of the cities will also determine the players income at the beginning of each of their turns.

I think that the appeal for Zaberias is that its a very approachable strategy game.

Units move throughout the boards grid in an orthogonal way (no diagonal movement) unless there is a road that allows it. When units meet on the battlefield players will find the resolution of the battle to be quick and easy to figure out. Each unit has a strength and an amount of dice to roll. Each player rolls dice and adds up the strength together and the highest number wins. The unit that lost is placed back on that players player board. Units may siege cities in the same manner. Some units have ranges on them and they can attack from afar and join other units in an attack.

The game looks like its for a younger crowd but it has some fun strategy for us older folk too.

Each board has a place for players to buff all of their units strength and a place to earn more coins. There is also a teleporter that can be used by units to get to another players board if the other side is unoccupied. The maps feature water terrain thats impassable by units unless they have a special ability. This makes the strategy a little more interesting than a plan grid board. I admit I was a bit skeptical when I saw this game but it really surprised me with the depth and challenge that was presented in an easy to understand way.

The game looks like its for a younger crowd but it has some fun strategy for us older folk too. If you have an up and coming strategy gamer in your house this would be a great addition to the collection to help develop the basic strategy skills. Since the boards store everything you need to play this make Zaberias super portable, so if you want to play a strategy game in the park while you enjoy a nice summer snack this is your game. Also do watch the video of Amitai Goldstien explaining the game I am sure it just missed being nominated for an academy award.

Players: 2-4

Year Published: 2016

Recommended Ages: 6+

Time to Play: 20-180 minutes

A copy of Zaberias was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for review purposes by Benny Goldstien.



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