Ars Victor Limited Edition is a game by Stephen DeBaun, published by Trip West Games. It is for 2 players. In this game, players will command a furious fighting force of the future as they try to defeat their opponent. The player that is best able to control key parts of the board and destroy their opponents army will be declared the winner.
To begin the game, either the quick start rules or normal rules can be used. For this review, I will simply cover the quick start as most players will want to jump right into the game. First, choose a pre-generated mission from the rulebook. There are 4 included in the rules. Players will then choose between either the red team or the blue team and then draw their initial hand. Players then will take the units listed on the scenario. The map tiles are laid out as indicated by the mission. Players then place their 4 initial Vanguard units as shown on the mission. Play now begins.
On a player's turn, they will perform 4 steps; bleed glory, play card, order units and draw card. The first step is to bleed glory. In the quick start game, a player will reduce the enemy's Glory based on the Capture points and Headquarters situation.
The next step is to play a card. To do this the player will play a card from their hand and take the Command tokens equal to the card's number. The player then draws a new card.
The third step is to order units. This is where most of the action happens. In this step, the player will spend points to move units and to attack by placing Command tokens on the unit. Combat can be either close or ranged. Ranged combat requires a clear line of sight to the target. To attack, the player will roll the number and type of colored dice as shown on a unit's attack section. Any skulls rolled will cause a hit depending on the unit's defense and toughness and applying terrain effects. Player's must also take into consideration any special abilities of units as well. Once a player's Glory is reduced to 0, the game is over. The player that still has Glory is the winner. If both players run out of cards, then the player with the highest Glory is the winner.
There are lots of different pieces and parts to this game. There are lots of map tiles, capture point tiles and end caps to hold everything together. These are all thick cardboard and have a cartoonish look to them. The unit cards, banners, command cards and different markers are quite detailed and they also have the same style of artwork. I really like the way that the units are set up and how each one looks. There are lots of different unit types and each one is really neat. There are 3 different types of attack dice; red, white and blue. Each color represents a different strength with white being the weakest and blue the strongest. Everything is rather well designed and quite unique in look and feel. I really like it.
8 out of 10
The rule book is really well designed. From cover to cover, everything is explained really well. There are lots of pictures and examples throughout the book. Everything is explained in great detail with nothing left out. There is also a page of strategy tips for both beginners and advanced players. As I mentioned earlier, there are 4 different missions included in the rulebook. From there, it's up to you or you could just go to the website and download some new missions. There are plenty of links to help you keep involved with the Ars community. Also included is a quick reference guide to everything from terrain and attack dice to unit cards. Overall, I really like how well everything is put together. It's a really complete guide to the game.
9 out of 10
For a wargame, this game is really quite simple and easy to learn. The quick start rules will really get you setup and into the game within a few minutes. Most wargames take MUCH longer. I like the simplicity of how it plays, especially when it comes to combat. The dice are already mapped out for hits so there's very little guess work to be had. As stated on the box, the game plays in an hour. There's enough strategy to please even the most hardcore of wargamers but is simple enough that us newcomers can get on board as well. It's a game that my son was able to understand quite easily and rather enjoyed. All in all, it's designed rather well.
8 out of 10
Ars Victor is a medium weight wargame that is easy to play. It has a very quick set up time and most gaming sessions last no longer than an hour. There's plenty of strategy without being too much for new players to understand. The artwork is very light and cartoonish so there's no problem with it being too violent for younger players. The design is really nice and tight with lots of fun to be had. It will appeal to both new and old wargamers alike. I really enjoy the game and definitely recommend it for anyone looking to get into wargaming.
8 out of 10
For more information about this game, please check out the game at it's site.
Something that particularly impressed me about the rulebook was the innovative choice to print a plain typeface in black on a background of white! A daring departure from the usual script or runic typeface in darkish brown printed on a slightly less darkish brown textured background. An unexpected side-effect of this design decision is I found the text extremely easy to read even with my ageing eyes in dim light
There are nice colour pictures in sidebars and examples but these are only used when they help the rules, rather than to balance the graphical symmetry of the page.