|Designer(s)||Jason McAllister and David A. Trampier|
|Publisher(s)||Avalon Hill, Valley Games|
|Age range||12 and up|
|Playing time||2-6 hours|
|Random chance||Medium (dice rolling)|
Titan is a fantasy board game for two to six players, designed by Jason B. McAllister and David A. Trampier. It was first published in 1980 by Gorgonstar, a small company created by the designers. Soon afterward, the rights were licensed to Avalon Hill, which made several minor revisions and published the game for many years. Titan went out of print in 1998, when Avalon Hill was sold and ceased operations. A new edition of Titan, with artwork by Kurt Miller and Mike Doyle and produced by Canadian publisher Valley Games became available in late 2008. The Valley Games edition was adapted to the Apple iPad and released on December 21, 2011.
Each player controls an army of mythological creatures such as gargoyles, unicorns, and griffons, led by a single titan. The titan is analogous to the king in chess in that the death of a titan eliminates that player and his entire army from the game. The player controlling the last remaining titan wins the game.
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The main game board consists of 96 interlocking hexes, each with a specified terrain type.
Each player's army is organized into "legions" of one to seven creature tokens stacked face down. The legions move according to die roll, subject to restrictions marked on the board—Most board spaces can only be entered or exited from certain directions. No two legions may occupy the same hex on the game board.
If a legion moves into a hex which is occupied by an enemy legion, the two legions must fight to the death on a tactical map specific to that terrain. The terrain usually gives a battle advantage to creatures native there.
Each time a legion moves, it may recruit one additional creature if the territory to which it moves is native to at least one creature already in the legion. For example, centaurs may recruit in the plains and woods, ogres may recruit in the marsh and hills, etc.
Each creature may recruit its own kind, but multiple weak creatures may be eligible to recruit more powerful creatures. For example, one ogre in the marsh or hills may recruit only another ogre, but two ogres in the marsh may recruit a troll, while three ogres in the hills may recruit a minotaur.
The victor of each battle is awarded points based on strength of the creatures vanquished. For each hundred points a player earns, he is awarded an angel, a strong creature which can teleport from its own legion to aid an attacking legion in future battles. Also, for each one hundred points a player earns, his titan becomes stronger in battle. Finally, at four hundred points, a player's titan gains the ability to teleport on a roll of six, attacking any enemy legion regardless of position.
The Titan rules offer incentives for movement and attack. While players in a game like Risk may choose to wall themselves in as much as possible and build their forces, a player can only build their armies in Titan by moving to new terrain to recruit creatures. This can lead to situations where a player has to balance the risk of moving into a dangerous area versus the gain of a powerful addition to their army.
Designer McCallister writes of the critical importance of blocking: arranging one's legions in a defensive position to prevent another player from easy movement of recruiting. There are a variety of general strategies players use to traverse the map with their legions. One example of this is what McCallister calls "the caravan", which is keeping legions following each other on the outer ring of map spaces where they can protect and support each other. Given that the outer ring is not the most desirable place for recruiting, the Caravan is usually used as a short term strategy for protecting forces until a better recruiting area can be found.
Writer Gerald Lientz emphasizes that the main strategic rule of movement is to keep one's enemies in front of you at all times. Since the movement system often allows movement in one direction but not another, the worst situation a player can find oneself in is one in which an opponent can follow one's legions with no risk of retaliation.
Unlike many wargames, players are not allowed to examine opposing enemy forces (they are hidden under legion markers) until they engage them in battle. This secrecy allows opportunities for deception and bluffing.
Other key strategy decisions that occur in Titan include whether to:
- Split a legion into two legions for faster recruiting, or keep it unified for more effective fighting.
- Recruit creatures which are better at fighting, or creatures which have more potential for further recruiting.
- Risk losses in attacking in exchange for the potential benefits.
- Defend against an attack in hopes of inflicting maximum damage, or concede, thereby halving the points the attacker gains.
- Use the titan as a powerful attacker, or shield it against any possible danger.
- Hide a weak legion in favorable terrain, or keep moving it in order to keep recruiting.
- Move a legion to a hex where it may recruit, but will be forced by the movement restrictions to move in an unfavorable direction on the next turn.
- Grow a moderately weak legion, or sacrifice it to divert an enemy legion.
The game features moderately complex rules and a typical game length of two and a half hours for two players (more players makes the game take a lot longer).
Titan has a huge number of game pieces to play with, below is a complete list of everything that is originally included with the game:
- 1 Masterboard (22"L × 16"W × 3mmH)
- 1 Law Of Titan Rule Book
- 4 Playing Dice (Standard Die size for most board games)
- 6 Battlelands Sheets (11 areas and 1 rule sheet (8½" × 11"))
- 8 Character sheets (Each character sheet holds 49 pieces that are 1"L × 1"W × 2mmH)
- 1 Hit Counter Sheet
The updated Valley Games edition of the game includes hardback battleboards instead of battlelands sheets, 20 playing dice, and new artwork on the counters. Unfortunately, many owners of the Valley Games edition have found their copies to include black mold on the components, which some describe as smelling "wet".
- "750 Special". Valley Games. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- McCallister, Jason (1983). "The Giver of the Law - Titan Design Notes". The General. 20 (2). Retrieved 2008-08-11.
- Lientz, Gerald (1983). "A Game Player's Fantasy". The General. 20 (2). Retrieved 2008-08-11.