While Flag Dash is still on Kickstarter, I was fortunate enough to acquire a copy and show it off at SaltCON this past weekend. I’ve been able to play the game quite a few times and have gotten a pretty good feel for it. It’s now my pleasure to share my thoughts on the game.
Flag Dash is a game recreating our favorite childhood (and college…) pastime: capture the flag. I love capture the flag! I used to play it all the dang time, which is probably one reason why I was so excited to try this game out.
In Flag Dash, each team has three characters, each a different color, and can all be controlled by one player, or split up between two players. The object of the game is to grab your opponent’s flag and bring it back over to your side of the board.
Sound easy? It’s a little trickier than just a grab-and-go approach. To make things more interesting, each character has two of their own little flags (according to their color), which can be stolen by the opposing team. If one player on the opposing team captures all three colored flags from the other team, that also counts as a win.
With two routes to victory, strategy is constantly changing – just like it does in a real game of capture the flag.
If you’ve ever played capture the flag before, you know there’s a lot of sneaking around (I’ve hid inside my fair share of shrubs to last a lifetime) . But somebody’s always left guarding the flag, too. So it is with Flag Dash. Each team has two runners and one defender. The runners try and snag the flag and make it back to their side, or collect the flags of their opponents. The defender is left behind to, well…defend.
Each round consists of two moves. Each player puts two cards face down in front of them, one in front of the other. Then they play priority tokens on each card, essentially as a way to play their card in a certain order. The lowest priority goes first, followed by the next highest, and so on and so forth.
The cards will either move you left, right, up, or down, or let you capture a flag, push someone (the older you get, the more violent your games become), or repeat an action. There are special ability cards, too, that coincide with certain characters. More on that later.
Each priority token also has a special ability attached to it, so even if you would like to move first by playing priority 1, it may be more beneficial to drop down a higher number but get to play an extra card. That’s one thing I like about this game: lots of options.
Once everyone has moved according to their priority, the second card’s priority tokens are revealed, and play continues as normal.
Aside from just moving and pushing and otherwise running rampant on a small board (which size is perfect for this game, might I add), there are walls and tunnels to hinder or help your progress. And, since you don’t really know exactly where you’ll be by the time it’s your turn to move (I’d like to thank my wife for pushing my guy in front of a wall right before I made a mad dash for it), things can get pretty hectic. Which is amazing.
Play continues in this manner until one team wins.
While the regular rules make this a fun game, what makes it even better are the advanced rules. This is where each character’s special ability comes into play.
Each character is unique and will either give you an extra card with their ability in your hand or extra priority tokens, likewise with special functions. This is where the real fun comes into play. My favorite (so far) is the Tech Nerd (green). His ability lets him lay traps for his unsuspecting victims…I mean friends. It’s a great way to force your opponent a different direction, but slowing them down if they get caught. Of course, having the ability to jump over walls and meeples (thanks, Athletic Businessman, for evading my traps…) makes for a great ability, too.
Other variations allow you to set up flag decoys, which I found to be very entertaining, watching the other players running around trying to find where my flag actually was, while trying to avoid my traps and flag grabs.
Without a doubt, it’s these advanced rules that make Flag Dash a joy to play.
Flag Dash really is a fun game. The gameplay is reminiscent of Colt Express…assuming every turn was taken while in a tunnel. Since every card is face down, it really becomes a game of outguessing your opponent, and hoping they don’t do something the mess you up on your turn. Which, let’s be honest, is half the fun.
I do prefer playing with the advanced rules; it adds a lot more variety to the game. The board looked a bit small at first, but once I started playing, I realized I wouldn’t want it any bigger. The concept is unique and the gameplay very enjoyable. It’s a great team game as well as very enjoyable 2-player game.
Whether you’re looking to relive your favorite childhood game or engage in trickery and misdirection, this game is for you. This is one game that will get a lot more table time in my home.
Since it’s still on Kickstarter, head on over there and check it out for yourself!
*As part of my board game reviews, I am also turning the games into short stories, exploring what it might be like to be playing the game in real life. To check out Flag Dash as a short story, click the link below: