A to Z 2015 : HORNET

I am going to go off the reservation some here. I've made it a point to only post about games that I've played. Whether I owned them or not doesn't matter, though it certainly helps for pictures.

This next entry is a game I planned to play this week before "H" hit, but circumstances didn't allow for that. So while I own it, I haven't played it. I am, however, trying to play it tonight with a gaming group, so I can update afterwards. I'm hoping the game packs a punch. Or a sting...

In Hornet players control a pair of, well... hornets... that are attempting to create as much honey in as many hives as they can. To do this you will have to utilize nectar — which acts as the game's currency — that you collect as you transverse the game board and attempt to optimize a series of actions available to you each turn.

The board itself is made up of hex shaped field tiles, most of them featuring hives. The overall quantity of tiles used to build the play area depends on how many players there are. There is the option to manipulate how the board is arranged for advanced players, but a suggested layout is recommended otherwise.

Players pick a color and then collect the pair of hornet markers, set of action cards (six numbered 1-6, each depicting different actions) and 4 honey pieces matching that color, along with 4 nectar pieces (yellow blocks). Once the board is set up, 3 nectar pieces are placed on each field tile. The starting player (the youngest) gets the Starting Player marker (that huge beast of a yellow thing) and places one of their honey pieces in any hive of their choice. This is followed by the next player clockwise doing the same. Players continue to place out one honey piece at a time until everyone has all four on the game board.

NOTE: You cannot place more than 1 honey piece on the same hive, but multiple players may place honey on the same hive!

Got My Hive On My Honey And My Honey On My Hive

There are two types of rounds in Hornet: Action and Scoring. This is kept track on the turnboard by a black turn marker. Flower icons indicate Action Rounds, while lettered hexes indicate Scoring Rounds.

During an Action Round, players select an action card from their hand and place it face down in front of them (this is very similar to Get Bit!). Once all players have selected a card, they reveal them simultaneously. You then go through the process of resolving the cards by their number, starting with the lowest. If two people have tied, the player with the Starting Player marker (or closest clockwise) resolved their card first.

Although going into what each action does would be too time consuming, it's important to point out that not only are there 3 different types of actions a player may make per turn (Nectar Collection, Honey Action, and Flying), but that there is both a passive and aggressive version of each (marked by an exclamation mark below the card's number. Also, avoid the fact I have the number five and six cards mixed up... thanks).

NOTE: Aggressive Actions may give you an advantage over your competitors, but if certain conditions are met can backfire!

Through these actions, players attempt to collect nectar and create honey in hives (and destroy the honey of others) before the Field Tiles are scored (the lettered hexes on the turnboard). Once all actions are resolved, players return the cards to their hands, 1 nectar is placed in each qualifying Field Tile, the Starting Player marker is passed clockwise, and the turn marker is moved up one space on the turnboard.

If the marker lands on a flower space, repeat the process above.

When the turn marker lands on a lettered hex on the turnboard it signals that the corresponding Field Tile with the same letter is going to be scored. Basically, you merely add up each player's honey pieces on that specific hive. The player with the most honey wins the hive. All honey markers are placed on the honey track of the turnboard by color. The winner collects all the remaining nectar pieces on that Field Tile and places a victory token over the hive.

If there is a tie, the tie token is used instead and the nectar is split among the tied players.

NOTE: When a hive is marked with a victory (or tie) marker, hornets can move through those Field Tiles, but they can no longer create honey. Nectar can no longer generate on the tile during Action Rounds either.

This continues until one player has scored his third Field File/Hive, in which case play ends immediately and that player is declared the winner! If no one scores three, then the player who scored two, and has the most honey markers on the turnboard, wins!

Okay, for not having played the game yet I think that went pretty well...

Full Review Forthcoming

Who Says Hornets Can't Make Honey?!

Have you ever played Hornet? If so, what were your thoughts? If not, does it look like something you would be interested in trying?