Got this printed and played recently with four players (supports up to 6). We only played once but I can give my thoughts (and the thoughts of my friends) on this.
For reference, my top 10 list at time of writing:
#1: Mage Knight Board Game (10/10)
#2: Mage Wars (9.5/10)
#3: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
#4: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) (9/10)
#5: Battlestar Galactica
#6: Space Alert
#7: Android: Netrunner (8.5/10)
#8: Cosmic Encounter
#10: Caverna: The Cave Farmers
The rules for the game are pretty short (~1.5 pages), but surprisingly I had a slightly more difficult time explaining it than I thought I would (probably just my own fault). In this game, there are two faction, the temple (good guys) and the thieves (bad guys). Both are at war essentially, and you play cards secretly to help determine who wins the fight. On the side however, you are also keeping cards that will eventually declare which side you truly belong to/think will ultimately win.
Every card in this game has 2 numerical values, a score for temple and a score for thieves. On a game turn, each player draws 3 cards, and MUST secretly play one into the temple pile and one into the thieves pile; keeping the last card in their hand. They then optionally can play cards in their hand as special actions if able. Repeat this until the deck is empty and check which side has a higher score, temple or thieves. If temple wins, everyone with more temple points in their hand and tableau wins. If thieves win, ONLY the thief with the highest thief points in their hand and tableau wins.
Here is a small session report: In our game, 2 players decided to help the temple (incl. me), and 2 players decided to side with the thieves. At the end of the game though, the other temple player managed to use a special action (infilitrate) to convert me into the thieves so that he could be the sole winner (and he needed to get rid of thief points in his hand to stay in temple). It was futile however because it turned out thieves (barely) managed to accumulate more points; both thief players even had an equal amount of points in their hands/tableau!
Upon first seeing the game, I really liked the idea of it. The artwork is simple but very clean and nice. The card design on my/newest versions are also really good because they can be flipped to help you with tallying numbers. The game played fairly quickly, about 30 mins (including me learning the rules and me teaching the rules with some trouble). Everyone enjoyed it, and I liked that the game was very close. My friend didn't really feel the theme but I think it is appropriate and I enjoyed it.
Nitpicking a bit here but my problem with the game is that I felt like you don't have quite that many options to do things. Each turn you get three cards, and your choices are mostly black and white. If you're good, you're going to put your worst thief card into the thief pile, then put your best temple cards into the other pile/hand. There are really only two choices to be made during the course of the game. Do you want to be good or bad, and each turn, do you keep a higher number in your hand or put it into the pile? There isnt much room for tricky play as you're really constrained, if you're good you have to help good win with 2 / 3 of your cards. The action cards are fairly straight forward, and don't feel that impactful (although ironically, in my game it did make a big impact on me end game). Your allegiance also doesn't seem to stay hidden for very long. You'll get infilitrated or revealed pretty quickly by your action cards (e.g. within 2 or 3 rounds).
I would say that the game is pretty simple, and a good "filler" game, with just enough choice to keep you interested. There is a little bit of bluffing, guess work and even some trash talking, surprise and betrayal. I would not play it more than once or twice in a short time span though, not many strategic options, and not quite enough depth for my liking. Probably a good family game, good for almost all ages. I'd rate this about 6.5/10
- Last edited Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:51 pm (Total Number of Edits: 5)
- Posted Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:13 pm
Re: Allegiance - Short Review/Session Report
At the end of the game though, the other temple player managed to use a special action (infilitrate) to convert me into the thieves so that he could be the sole winner (and he needed to get rid of thief points in his hand to stay in temple).
Wait...what? Haha, I think your friend missed the theme of the game.
I assume he did this in the last round so it wouldn't lower his chances of the Temple winning.
Thanks so much for taking the time to PnP the game and test it out. Please let me know if you have any additional thoughts after subsequent plays. For what it's worth, working together for a Temple win can be very rewarding, especially when there are an equal (or greater) number of players working for the Thieves' Guild.
Re: Allegiance - Short Review/Session Report
I added a small bit to the review about my (minor) issues on the game. The rating of
7.5/10 6.5/10 isn't so much against the design of the game as is my preference in game style and preference for something more grandiose.
In terms of the infilitrate in my session report. We played it so that if you use infilitrate, you can move one card in your hand to another player's tableau (and those will count towards their final allegiance). Since it was the last round, that had no impact on whether temple or thief would win the war, but it just changed me to the theoretical non-winning team. His main reason for doing it was to get rid of a high thief card in his hand so he could stay in temple.
- Last edited Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:52 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:19 am