The Board Dame’s First Impression: Escape Plan

“After a successful bank heist, you and your fellow thieves are laying low and enjoying the good life. Most of the cash has been hidden away, and the rest has been invested in businesses throughout the city. Everything is going according to plan until the police get a breakthrough in their investigation. Accusations are made, fingers are pointed, and after a heated argument, you decide to go your separate ways.”

Box Game Length: 60-120 Minutes

First Game Length: 160 Minutes

Setup Time: 10 Minutes

Teaching Time: 40 Minutes

Player Count: 1-5 Players

First Game Player Count: 4 Players

Game Mechanics: Area Enclosure, Area Movement, Card Drafting, Modular Board, Tile Placement

Game Weight: 3.71/5.

First Impression: It’s no secret that Lacerda games are heavy. This one isn’t any different, it’s heavy, but with that said, it’s probably one of the lightest of his games. What does that mean for the casual gamer? Probably nothing. The sheer amount of rules in this game is enough to deter the casual gamer.

As for more experienced players, you’ll find that the game itself is pretty straight forward. I’m saying this with a bit of a bias because I love heavy games, and I love heavy Lacerda games so I can understand that “straight forward” won’t mean the same to everyone. The rules are quite dense and have specific triggers and actions for each location you visit. But really, you probably only need one person that knows the small nuances in and out when it comes to what triggers and in what order so that things aren’t forgotten during your first play.

If you are a mid-weight/experienced player, you likely won’t have much difficulty with understanding the game and how to play, however, much like our first game, you’ll want to keep the rules handy for the first few rounds and walk through the interactions of each location so that you don’t miss any small rules. A big one that seems to be easy to miss is how the infamy track works.

Over all, I loved the game, for a heavy euro, the theme was really present at every turn, the game is TIGHT and you have very limited actions to get done what you need done, 9 actions for everyone, and you can get up to 15 actions, though right now I can’t see how that would be possible. Also because of how limited your actions are, I felt that the mission was harder to get than was worth when you’re potentially spending a much needed action just to get it instead of getting income somewhere else. Usually by the time you got it, you’re on your last couple/few actions.

In the end, everyone else only did 8-9 actions and I had 10, I had to purchase an extra one to be able to exit but maybe I will see how getting additional actions will be easier in future games as having extra actions is HUGE, but that’s probably why they are hard to get hahha.

I ended up winning by focusing on contact cards so that I could reduce the randomness of lockers/exit tile draws, and obviously access better lockers. In the end, I got 220 points from those alone. I only had cubes on two locations as compared everyone else, with 5/6. I was 1000 dollars away from not being able to exit at the end, and only was able to because you don’t have to move off the exit on your next action.

I’m not sure how else the other strategies fair, I’d have to play a few more times, but lockers seemed to be a pretty good way to get points, especially because you want to load up on equipment to be able to avoid police. I also felt that the gangs were REALLY strong. Being able to spend one gang member to avoid all the police on a tile was crazy good and I took advantage of that many times throughout the game, taking almost no damage at the end of the game.

How did everyone else feel about it the first time? How do you feel about it now after a few more plays?

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