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Neuroshima Hex

Updated on March 30, 2014

The Game

Box for the Original Game
Box for the Original Game | Source

What is Neuroshima Hex?

Neuroshima Hex is a Polish Boardgame that has come to America and is gaining a significant following among American players. It is currently available as board game and as a mobile phone or tablet app. The game can be played by two to four players (or alone if you own the mobile app). The game consists of players laying hexagonal tiles in order to attack their opponent's base.

Being a Eurogame, Neuroshima Hex involves more skill and strategy than many similar American games. Through playing the game, I have devised a number of useful strategies which I will outline here. I will update this page as I come up with new strategies or receive new suggestions.

Before reading this guide, I recommend players familiarize themselves with the rules of the game.

Notes Before Reading

1) Neuroshima Hex is a game of both skill and luck. Sometimes, the tiles just may fall against you and no amount of strategy will remedy your situation. That said, following the tips I outline here will significantly improve your game.

2) The tips and suggestions I give here are not official and are not the property of Neuroshima Hex.

3) I would really appreciate any feedback (if a tip helps or if it doesn't) and comments about the game to help me improve this guide.

4) I use the terms hex, tile, and piece interchangeably. They all have the same meaning in this game. Low initiative = 0 or 1, Medium initiative = 2, High initiative = 3.

5) When I say he, I mean he or she.

6) Thanks for reading!

One Army to Rule Them All?

Which is your favorite Neuroshima Hex Army?

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General Tips

* Study all the army lists and know what hexes each army has and how many. Don't worry about memorizing every single piece of every army but have a general idea of the composition of each army. This will help you plan your game by taking into account your opponent's strengths and weaknesses.

* Keep an eye on your opponent's hand, what hexes he has played and what hexes he is discarding or holding. One of the unique features of Neuroshima Hex is that players must show what tiles they draw each turn. By observing this, you can predict what hexes your opponent has left in his pile and what hexes he will be likely to play. A good working knowledge of what tiles make up each army is essential here.

* Try to play two tiles every turn. Although Neuroshima Hex allows you to keep up to two tiles in your hand such that you could conceivably hang on to the same tile or tiles through the whole game, this is an unwise way to play. You have already had the bad luck of drawing a tile when it is not to your advantage to play it. Don't compound your bad luck by stubbornly hanging on to it turn after turn. Every turn you don't play two pieces gives your opponent a chance to dominate the board by steadily laying more pieces than you.

* Never hold a tile for more than 3 consecutive turns. If you do get a tile that is of no immediate use to you, you should only keep it if it will not force you to discard a tile that you could play and would advance your game. If you do keep a piece, try to only keep it in your hand for 2 or 3 turns so that your opponent will not have a chance to get too far ahead of you in terms of how many tiles he has on the board.

* Make attacking your opponent's base a priority. While eliminating your opponent's tiles and protecting your own can be a good thing, you should always keep your goal in mind: winning the game by damaging your opponent's base while defending your own. You should only attack enemy pieces or defend your own if you have reason to believe that doing so will better allow you to attack your opponent's base or defend your own.

* Don't rely too heavily on powerful units. While the "heavy-hitter" units in the game can be useful, it is often more practical to throw a large number of weaker units at your enemy. There are many ways your opponent can upset your plans so having a large number of different units attacking your opponent's base and tiles is the best way to beat him.

* Try to follow either a defensive or offensive style of play based on your army's strengths and weaknesses. A defensive strategy is one in which the player keeps his base in one spot (preferably one of the two "points" of the board where it is adjacent to only three other hexes) and defends it while launching attacks at his opponent, often at range. An offensive strategy is one in which the player plants his base close to his opponent's base (or in a central part of the board where he is sure to be close to his opponent's base) and aggressively attacks his opponent's base at close range.

Moloch

Moloch "Juggernaut"
Moloch "Juggernaut" | Source

Army Profile: Moloch

Overview: The Moloch is probably the most balanced army in the game and is one that I recommend for beginners. It has a healthy balance of melee fighters and shooters and a decent number of officer and instant action tiles. It also strikes a nice balance between high and low initiative units. Although this army is really quite versatile, I recommend playing defensively.

How to win with Moloch: Your base's special ability grants an extra point of damage to all shooter units. Therefore, you should fight defensively, attacking your enemy's base at range and using your melee units for support.

How to beat Moloch: Keep your pieces spread out and your base on the move, far from the Moloch base if it is convenient for your strategy. The Moloch's biggest weakness is that it is not very mobile and has a lot of shooter units that need to draw a bead on you to do any damage. Keep hexes between your base and any shooters and keep on the move. Also keep your own hexes interspersed with Moloch hexes. This will ensure that if the Moloch player uses his airstrike action-tile or activates the bomb feature of the clone, it will be just as damaging to him as to you.

The Outpost

The Outpost "Commando"
The Outpost "Commando" | Source

Army Profile: The Outpost

Overview: The Outopost is a shooter-oriented army with lots of movement tiles. It has very few melee units but does have a decent number of officer and instant action tiles. It's units have generally high initiatives. I recommend playing offensively.

How to win with the Outpost: Your base's special ability grants an action to all units. Use this to boost the firepower of your units. You also have more move-action hexes than any other unit in the original game. Use this to your advantage and keep your base on the move.You also have a lot of battle-action tiles. Use these to start a battle before your opponent can assemble a defense, hammer his base with your shooter units, then do it all again.

How to beat the Outpost: The Outpost relies on its mobility, high initiatives, and battle-action tiles to stay one step ahead of its enemies. Use your net unit(s) to hold its base down or trap it in a corner where it can't outmaneuver you. Keep your base far from its base and move when it has a few shooter tiles pointed at you.


The Hegemony

The Hegemony "Gladiator"
The Hegemony "Gladiator" | Source

Army Profile: The Hegemony

Overview: The Hegemony is a melee-oriented army with lots of strong hexes. It mostly melee fighters with a few melee-shooter combo units and a healthy number of officer and instant action tiles. It also strikes a nice balance between high and low initiative units. Because of the tiles that favor melee and the relatively large proportion of movement tiles, I recommend playing offensively.

How to win with the Hegemony: Your base's special ability grants an extra point of damage to all melee units. You also have more movement-action hexes than any other basic army besides the Outpost. Therefore, you should fight offensively, throwing all your power against your enemies base, using your shooter units and net fighters for support. Your net-master is probably the most versatile net unit in the game, use him wisely.

How to beat the Hegemony: Keep your base far from the Hegemony if possible. Don't let the Hegemony player use those melee bonuses on your base. Keep in a corner and surround yourself with your own units, this will make it very hard for the Hegemony player to hit you since he has so few shooter units.

Borgo

Borgo "Brawler"
Borgo "Brawler" | Source

Army Profile: Borgo

Overview: The Borgo is a melee-fighter oriented army . It has mostly melee fighters with only two shooters and a decent number of officer and instant action tiles. It has mostly medium to high initiative units. Because of the army's orientation towards melee units and its initiative bonuses, I recommend playing offensively.

How to win with Borgo: Your base's special ability grants an extra point of initiative to all adjacent units. Therefore, you should fight offensively, attacking your enemy's base at close range. Your retiari hexes are the nastiest net units in the game but their low initiative means you should support them with officer hexes and other units. Latch them onto your opponents base and defend them with everything you have. You only have two shooter units, don't waste them. They have high initiatives and are mobile, use that to your advantage. Keep them far back from the action where they have room to move or use them to beat your opponent to the punch.

How to beat Borgo: Keep far from the Borgo base if it is convenient for your strategy. The Borgo's biggest weakness is that it has very few shooter units and has to rely on officer units or its base to boost the initiative of its melee units (which are mostly medium initiative). Make eliminating officers and immobilizing the Borgo base a priority.

New York

New York "Shotgun"
New York "Shotgun" | Source

Army Profile: New York

Overview: One of my favorite armies, New York is a very well-balanced army . It has a healthy mix of melee fighters and shooters and a decent number of officer and instant action tiles. It has mostly medium initiative units. Because of the army's orientation towards medium initiative units and its special base ability, I recommend playing defensively.

How to win with New York: Your base's special ability grants an extra health point to all adjacent units. Also, most of your units have an initiative of 2. Therefore, you should fight defensively, keeping your base far from your enemy. The strongest position to play from is one of the two "corner" hexes where your base is only adjacent to three other hexes but if that hex is not available, any hex adjacent to a wall and far from your opponent(s) will do. From this position, you can easily block your base from attacks by other units, using their superior health to provide that extra buffer between you and enemy fire. The riot cop hex is your best defense since his push-back special ability means that every turn, you can push enemy units away from your base. Land mines are also useful for defending your base but remember, there may come a time when your opponent decides it is worth it to burn one tile to lay another adjacent to your base. Your shotgun hex is very useful for eliminating enemy hexes with shielding or extra health as well as for attacking the enemy base. Snipers are also useful for attacking the enemy base because they can shoot over units that block it. When using your missile launcher, be sure to put one of your own units in front of it. This will help defend it and ensure you won't be forced to shoot at an enemy just because it gets in the way.

How to beat New York: Keep close to the New York base if it is convenient for your strategy. New York's biggest weakness is that it has to rely on officer units or its base to boost the initiative of its units (which are mostly medium initiative). Make eliminating officers and immobilizing the New York base a priority.

Neojungle

Neojungle "Nightshade"
Neojungle "Nightshade" | Source

Army Profile: Neojungle

Overview: Another favorite of mine, Neojungle is a very challenging army to master . It has no shooter units at all but has a decent number of officer and instant action tiles. It has mostly medium to low initiative units. Because of the army's orientation towards medium and low initiative units and its special base ability, I recommend playing defensively.

How to win with Neojungle: Your base's special ability grants an extra health point to all adjacent units. Also, most of your units have an initiative of 2. Therefore, you should fight defensively, keeping your base far from your enemy. The strongest position to play from is one of the two "corner" hexes where your base is only adjacent to three other hexes but if that hex is not available, any hex adjacent to a wall and far from your opponent(s) will do. From this position, you can easily block your base from attacks by other units. You have low initiatives but if you take the time to build up your presence on the board, using officer hexes to boost your units, you will be near unstoppable. You will truly be amazed how powerful your individual units become. That said, you should be very careful to keep your units connected. Alone, they cannot stand up to the units of most other armies. Your many net units will also help you to beat high initiative units. Use your venom units to attack the enemy base. This way, it will lose health even on turns when you can't attack it directly.

How to beat Neojungle: Keep close to the Neojungle base if it is convenient for your strategy. Neojungle's biggest weakness is that it has to rely on officer units or its base to boost the initiative of its melee units (which are mostly medium initiative) and has to keep its units connected. Make eliminating officers and immobilizing the Neojungle base a priority.


Vegas

Vegas "Bodyguard"
Vegas "Bodyguard" | Source

Army Profile: Vegas

Overview: Probably my favorite army in the game, Vegas is also probably the most difficult army to master because it functions very differently from the other armies. It has very few units but makes up for this with a lot of powerful officer and instant action units. It strikes a nice balance of high, medium, and low initiative units. Because of the army's lack of units and its special base ability, I recommend playing defensively.

How to win with Vegas: Your base's special ability allows you to take control of one adjacent unit and rotate that unit, treating it as though it were your own.You also have 3 Agitator officer units which have the same ability as your base. Therefore, you should fight defensively, keeping your base far from your enemy. The strongest position to play from is one of the two "corner" hexes where your base is only adjacent to three other hexes but if that hex is not available, any hex adjacent to a wall and far from your opponent(s) will do. From this position, you can easily block your base from attacks by other units. Use your Agitator hexes to take over enemy units your base can't reach (and that are close to your enemy base) and play havoc with your opponent's army. Use your instant action hexes to make the fight easier, by turning your Agitators to take over new units or by pushing enemy units into Agitators' paths. Make use of your Mine hexes and shield units to channel enemy units into the places you want them. Use your own units as support. You don't have many so use them wisely, in positions where they will do maximum damage and won't be easily killed. Don't be concerned if you can't seem to inflict much damage on your enemy's base, just as long as you are doing more damage to him than he is to you. In my experience, games with Vegas tend to have fewer battles fought overall and, consequently, less damage inflicted to either side's base for the simple reason that both sides are reluctant to fight battles before the board is filled. The nature of the Vegas army means that both sides will keep trying to "one-up" the other on the board until they run out of room. This means you will probably fight an average of 3 or 4 battles per game as opposed to 6 or 7.

How to beat Vegas: Keep far from the Vegas base if it is convenient for your strategy. Vegas's biggest weakness is that it has to rely on officer units or its base to augment its army. Make eliminating officers and immobilizing the Vegas base a priority. Use shooter units to attack Agitators and the Vegas base to avoid getting your attacking units captured.


Smart

Smart "Bio Droid"
Smart "Bio Droid" | Source

Army Profile: Smart

Overview: Smart is a well-balanced army with great mobility. It is very similar to Moloch but has much greater mobility. It has a good balance of shooter and melee units and a decent number of officer and instant action tiles. It's units have medium to high initiatives. I recommend playing offensively.

How to win with Smart: Your base's special ability grants a move action to all adjacent units. This makes you more mobile and flexible than any other army. Use this to outmaneuver your opponent. You also have a great deal of move-action hexes and mobile Transporter units. Use this to your advantage and keep your base on the move. Place your base in a central location, preferably two hexes away from your opponent's base, where it can connect to lots of units and move around itself. Use your transporter units to hold key positions until you get the right hex to lay over them. You can also use them as mobile shields to defend your base from enemy fire.

How to beat Smart: Smart relies on its mobility to beat its enemies. Use your net unit(s) to hold its base down or trap it in a corner where it can't outmaneuver you. Keep your base far from its base and try to pin down its units.


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