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Siege! (a.k.a. Freedom Under Siege)

Siege! is an interesting and unique board game that plays like a more 'real-world' version of Checkers. Your objective in the game is to control the most territory on the board after a given number of turns.

The game revolves around placing four kinds of structures and use their 'spheres of influence' on tiles around them. The structures, from least to most requirements, are garrison, outpost, fort, and finally castle. At the beginning of the game, you can place only garrisons because they can be placed on any empty tiles on the board. Each garrison exerts one 'point of influence' on the tiles North, South, East and West of it. If no other player has influence there too, an outpost is automatically placed there, and that territory is under your control. If you select a territory that already has a garrison, the territory becomes a fort, and 2 points of influence are exerted over the surrounding territories. If you select a territory that already has a fort, the territory becomes a castle, and 3 points of influence are exerted over the surrounding territories. If your territory is next to the opponents territory, you may cause revolution and conquer his territory (i.e. destroy whatever structure your opponent placed on that tile) if the number of points you exert on his position is greater than the number he exerts.

The game is a lot of fun for the first few games, but it becomes repetitive after that because the limited board size (8x6 = 48 tiles total) and limited rules do not allow for a wide range of strategy. The computer players supposedly learn from their mistakes, but after losing 10 games to me in similar fashion I doubt that is the case. Fortunately, you can play against a friend via hot-seat, modem, or LAN. Overall, a unique board game that is long on innovative ideas, but short on longevity. Worth a look, though.

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Siege! (a.k.a. Freedom Under Siege) screenshot
Siege! (a.k.a. Freedom Under Siege) screenshot

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