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Game review: Castle Panic, Engines of War: monsters, machines and mayhem
Players assign the Engineer a task and then spend Resource cards to turn raw materials into powerful weapons. - photo by Ryan Morgenegg
Fans of the board game Castle Panic rejoice. A third expansion is available to expand the game. Castle Panic: Engines of War provides new monsters, cards and siege equipment. Castle Panic is a tower defense board game for one to six players by Fireside Games.

In Castle Panic, players work together to protect a castle at the center of the board from all manner of hazards. Surrounding the castle is a forest from which all kinds of monsters enter play. These monsters rush forward to the castle in an attempt to destroy it. When the last tower of the castle falls, the players lose the game. However if players can fell the last monster (from a limited supply), they win.

For the expansion Engines of War, players can now draw cards representing components needed to build protective equipment. There is the deadly catapult that destroys anything in a single area and the ballista that can shoot through multiple monster for devastating effect. Mobile barricades, spikes and pit traps help slow or stop monsters headed toward their goal.

This new equipment is made possible by a crafty engineer. If given the correct card components, he immediately produces the appropriate equipment, but don't rush him. He can only work on one project at a time. The standard cards representing castle defenders such as the archer, swordsman or knight are still a part of the game, but players now get a choice of what strategy they will pursue for defense using people or equipment.

It wouldn't be fair for the monsters if the expansion stopped there. Oh no, the monsters have their own equipment. Three different powerful siege engines protect monsters until they are destroyed, allowing monsters to get closer to their target. The siege tower, war wagon and a battering ram are not only protection for monsters but can make rubble out of castle walls and towers.

But that's not all, the monsters also have newly trained recruits such as the breathtaker, shaman and the goblin saboteur. They can even place a forward encampment that allows monsters to advance more quickly toward the castle.

Players will enjoy having more options in the game, but tough decisions have to be made to make use of limited resources. To win, players must collaborate and make strategic decisions. It also helps to have a little luck. This expansion is definitely more difficult than the original game, which is good because it extends the life of the game for many more plays.

For owners of the original Castle Panic, purchasing Engines of War is without question the thing to do. For information about the Dark Titan expansion for the game, see the Deseret News review from May 2015. And for those who have never played Castle Panic, the game is highly recommended. It is excellent for families with children who like working together to achieve a goal. It's fun, challenging and entertaining. Visit Fireside Games for more information.
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