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Speed Freeks

Very, very short review of this Games Workshop game would be: It’s everything GorkaMorka should have been, but wasn’t. And it’s as much fun as Gretchiniz promised to be, but wasn’t.

Of course, if you don’t know what either of those are, or what an Ork is, you’ll be a bit lost. Let me unpack it – an Ork is a sci-fi version of an Orc, the rampaging monsters from fantasy tropes. They’re gadget obssessed brutes who can’t spell. GorkaMorka and Gretchinz are both racing games (via Games Workshop), which combine dangerous and crude technological themes with rally style racing.

Warhammer 40,000’s Orks are perhaps one of the most fun things about the franchise. A perfect storm of parodies, not only of British 80’s subcultures but fantasy tropes, creating a brutish, sinister and ridiculous band of villains that you never the less root for. They tend to be at their most interesting when the story is about them. SpeedFreeks is Games Workshops latest box that’s just about the Orks. Namely, it’s a miniatures racing game about these horrible monsters trying to prove who’s the better driver whilst making horrendous amounts of noise.

The box comes with enough for two players. Six warbikes and two larger vehicles unique to the set. The warbikes are nothing special; Ork fans will have seen them before. The other two items are something else, however. The Kustom Boosta-Blasta is a nightmare beach buggy with massive wheels and a huge gun. The Shokkjump Dragsta is a race car from doom, imagine the sort of Formula One vehicle that the devil would invent. These two pieces are your main counters for the game and they fight each other. The models come unpainted, but the two mobs are in different colours (mustard yellow and bright red), for ease of distinction. You have to glue the models together yourself, and this will take most of us a couple of hours to do.

We also get some solid looking scenery which can be used in other games, and component quality is thick and solid.

Game play wise, it’s a cunning and brutal game. Stats are split into Kunnin’, Speedin’ and Shootin’, and you allocate dice appropriately. Movement is by template (or gubbinz as the game calls them) and the idea is that these vehicles don’t move in a straight line. Instead they skid, drift and spin across the board, mostly in a controlled fashion but not always.

This adds a push your luck element to the strategy, making the game a faster, chunkier and more satisfying vehicle combat game than X-Wing. What it lacks in depth it makes up for in explosions. The game comes with four reversible boards and yes, these can be used in games of Kill Team if you must. We have four scenarios, which all use the boards in a different way, including a Mad Max style chase mode that will have you repositioning the boards as you zoom across a desert landscape.

SpeedFreeks is a smoother, quicker game than we expected. As fans of the 90’s Ork racing game GorkaMorka, we were expecting something deeper and where pleasantly surprised. GorkaMorka was a gang war game with vehicle rules; SpeedFreeks is a racing game and not much else. That’s a good thing. A must have for Ork fans, and a welcome addition to anyone who likes racing board games.

Best iteration of this idea so far, a must for fans of Orks or Mad Max movies.

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Categories: Games, Old Reviews
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