Gen Con 2010 – Ex illis: A board game which integrates hardware and software

We encountered a company called Bastion which made a great game we thought we would write about. Our stay up till this point has been a joyride as we tried to get hands on experience on the highlights of the four day event. Something which captivated our attention was a game by the name of Ex illis. Briefly speaking it is a board game which uses both a hardware and software interface to create a two player military game.

Gone are the days when uncle David taught us how to play checkers and monopoly on a board. The rules for those classic games were basic and we didn’t get to see a lot of diversity in the ways we implemented our intelligence and analytical thinking. With a game such as Ex illis, we don’t have this limitation.

With an initial cost of $59.95 you get a starter’s kit for the game which includes miniature units as well as a map on which you can play the game. The software which is needed to play the game is totally free with patching and updates provided freely as necessary. You can buy newer units for about $20-$30 if you want but that is not vital. As the games progress, you level up and unlock abilities which means you won’t come to a dead end without buying newer units. Furthermore, if you want the same version of the game with modular plastic tiles instead of a laminated paper map, the kit would cost you $159.95.

Overall, the game play involves controlling an army of troops and annihilating your enemy on a map with the aid of a software interface. Therefore, it is necessary to have a screen in order to play this game. However, this is not a major issue. The Publishers offer the game’s software for an iPhone and an iPad as well – for free. A typical game can last from 1-2 hours depending on the players’ skill and strategy. Due to the versatile ability to use a software interface, the game play has a lot of factors included to enhance the experience. This could be in the form of terrain, morale, unit upgrades and promotions, factions, magic and different kinds of attacks.

The game is relatively new but the publishers release newer content every month in the form of units and software upgrades. We talked to a press correspondent on the spot and asked about their future plans. We were told that Bastion will be working on enhancing Ex illis’s economy, bringing newer units, incorporating more than two players, polishing what they all ready have and bringing in game play enhancement such as the effect of weather and time on the battlefield.

At a price tag of $59.97 for the starter’s kit along with the free software interface, it’s a fairly enjoyable game to play which can be further enhanced by buying more miniatures and acquiring software upgrades.

Learn more the author of this post:

Fahad Ahmad
Born in Nashville, TN but raised in Pakistan. Currently a Mechanical Engineering Student at Purdue University. Gadgets and Technology are my two gods.