Card Armies: Battle for Wesnoth
From the sales page: “Card Armies: Battle For Wesnoth is a roleplaying/strategy game designed by David Bradshaw. You control an army in the fantasy world of Wesnoth, and must combine planning, tactics, and luck to emerge victorious over your rivals. The game can be played as one-on-one battles, multi-player mayhem, cooperative campaigns, and even solo.”
Battle for Wesnoth is a robust turn-based tactical strategy game based on the computer game of the same name (www.wesnoth.org) it has been developed with permission of the designers of the original game and plays a bit like a wargame where control of territory is more important than wiping out your opponent’s army. It’s a bit like Risk and Warcraft (the RTS, not the MMO) got together and had a kid. This game’s got a lot of potential.
Vastly improved…I received one of the earlier drafts when I received my test copy and it’s an entirely different animal now, the amount of refinement that went into the rules is very good and it makes the game a lot easier to understand now. Some more clarifications here and there are making for a really solid product that is alive and evolving as content is periodically added.
The first game will be difficult, I won’t lie. But really, how many games aren’t difficult the first go around? With the improved clarity of the rules, the biggest difficulty is pretty much needing to refer back to the rules often to find out “what does this icon mean?” because there are a lot of them. Many variables for unit abilities and location types, etc, but it really does add a lot to the strategy and I am rather fond of the way it was done. More reference cards to pass around might be helpful though.
Of everything in the game, the visuals were the only thing I was torn about. The choice of fonts could be improved, and the card backs could be more informative and distinct from one another. The unit portraits and location art is by and large very, very good however and leaves little to be desired. Just a little tightening up of the text…punctuation and certain card titles and descriptions just need some standardization across all cards would be all this game really needs to excel.
Note that in the overview section I used the word “Potential”. This game is a lot of fun as it is, but that 4th star (and possibly even an eventual 5th) is awarded for what this game can become. There are a lot of small tweaks that can make a lot of big improvement, and the rules have been evolving steadily since I was sent my playtest copy, ever improving and being streamlined. That isn’t to say that this game isn’t “done,” so-to-speak, but more and more polish will take this game a long way; much like the PC game from which this game is derived, it is a work in progress, to be improved upon and added to with expansions and revisions to come; and I like the sound of that. If you are concerned about buying this product because of these aspects, worry not. The game is more than playable as-is and quite an experience and the documents are free to reprint as needed anyway.
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[The Author has graciously donated a copy of his game, ‘Card Armies: Battle of Wesnoth’ for the purposes of this review. Thank you very much! We had a lot of fun, and I appreciate your patience during the review process! If anyone else would like to have his or her game reviewed and advertised for free on www.gamersuniversity.com, please feel free to send me a message on TGC or email me through the link in my profile!]