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Subject: Warring Kingdom Review (Beta Edition) rss

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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
United States
Berrien Springs
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Warring Kingdom is a card game for 2-4 players where players build up kingdoms and war with one another.

I am not going to cover in great detail the artwork and layout of the cards as the prototype I received was a beta version with some revisions and changes already made to the cards. I will however note that the artwork is top notch and that the overall quality of the cards is on the high end. If I had to single out the greatest detractor from the game in its current form, I would have to say it is the rulebook, but even this has been revised and is looking better and better with each revision.

At its core Warring Kingdom is a card game that features deck building for kingdom building and dice rolling combined with card layout for combat resolution. Unlike a lot of the existing deck builders on the market, Warring Kingdom greatly restricts the cards that players have to choose from when selecting which card they would like to add to their decks each turn. This restriction shapes and alters the options and strategies that are available to players and forces players to adapt and formulate their strategies according to what is available each turn. It is almost impossible to play Warring Kingdom with a preset strategy in mind, as there is the random element as to what card can be gained on a given turn.

Players start off with 15 cards in their personal decks. On their turn they can add to it, by purchasing cards from a common pool. The common pool consists of income cards, stock character cards (beggars, town guards, and warriors), and 4 different merchant stacks. Even though players are greatly restricted on which cards they can add on any given turn, they will have access to many different cards during the course of a game. There are 31 different types of merchant cards divided amongst the 4 merchants. These different cards are in addition to the stock character cards and income cards that players will have access to every turn. This translates to a lot of variety packed into every game with virtually no chance of two games playing out the same way.

In addition to the deck building/management aspect of the game, there is a spatial element to the game as card placement/location is important for combat resolution. Card locations determine which cards matchup against which cards. Card locations are important only during combat and can be reassigned when combat is started. This is important, as it does not interfere with the flow of the game during non-combat stages of play. Players need not suffer analysis paralysis every time they play a card in a particular location with the fear of not being able to move them again later on.

The combat step of Warring Kingdom is broken down such that each player gets to make adjustments to what the other is doing. After an attack has been declared, the defender goes first setting up their defense by rearranging cards, the attacker goes second rearranging cards and deploying extra cards. The defender then gets to deploy additional cards. This back and forth of setting up the upcoming battle ensures that both players get an opportunity to react in a sense.

Setting up the cards for combat, really helps to capture the sense of a siege of a castle.

I’m usually not a big fan of dice based combat. I usually don’t care for dice based combat because I feel that unless there is quite a bit of dice rolling, the law of averages doesn’t kick in and it is all to easy to become the victim of bad rolls. Warring Kingdom mitigates the randomness of the dice through the cards and makes it a strategic component that needs to be overcome.

Warring Kingdom has depth. I believe that a lot of deck builders tend to be on the lighter side strategically where I feel that I can pick it up and get an immediate sense of strategies and combos. Warring Kingdom is not like most deck builders. While there are cards that obviously work together, it is not as straightforward as other deck builders when it comes to implementing a winning strategy. I believe a major part of this is due to the fact that deck building is only a single aspect of the game. Playing the cards and maintaining them on the board through upkeep at the right time is also pivotal to winning the game, as well as knowing when to attack.

I recommend this game to anyone that is looking for a game with a good dose of deck building with a lot of player interaction, used in conjunction with tactical battles randomized through dice rolls. This game definitely is not a game that a person will master upon a single play. Even after a dozen plays, I feel that while I have a feeling for the game now, there is still a lot more to uncover.

For another review on Warring Kingdom:

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How The God
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Nicely done!
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