The empire has fallen and the arcane crystals which once powered the great cities have shattered. Recovering these crystals is the only way to ensure you can rebuild the world how you see fit.
“The Hotness” on BoardGameGeek is a list of the currently most popular games, as based on views. This week brings us these winners:
|3. Scorpius Freighter|
|4. Spirit Island|
|6. Teotihuacan: City of Gods|
|8. The Edge: Dawnfall|
Cloudspire is still holding onto the top spot this week and with a good mix of old and new there are certainly a lot of good options to feature. Spirit Island still holding strong, riding the hype of the Jagged Earth expansion announcement. Root might finally fall off The Hotness list soon, after being top game for so many months. I had mentioned few weeks back how I’ve started to notice a lot of other cultural influences in games recently and the newcomer, Gùgōng, is additional proof of that. Designers are starting to branch out from the typical medieval Europe theme that was all too common for so long. It’s good to see.
Regardless, today we’ll be looking at Wildlands, where the arcane crystals which once powered the great cities have been shattered. With the crystals shattered, the empire fell and all that remains is lawless ruin. The battle for these crystal shards is fought by the four factions: The Mages’ Guild, Gnomads, Lawbringers and the Pit Fighters. Control of the crystals means control of the world.
In the Wildlands, opportunity awaits… if you fight for it.
Wildlands is a competitive tactical skirmish game featuring hand management mechanics. Each player takes the role of one faction and will, during their turn, use the cards in their hand to move their units around the board and perform a variety of attacks and defensive maneuvers. The goal of each player is to score 5 points or to fully eliminate another player. Points are scored by collecting your own crystals scattered around the board or by knocking out enemy units.
Each game of Wildlands begins with deployment. Players will secretly deal out 10 Map Cards to each player. These cards have each have a number on them corresponding to a space on the map. Players begin by placing 1 of these cards facedown on each of their 5 units. This signifies where this unit will be able to pop up when the game begins. Once each unit has been assigned, the remaining cards are passed to the left. Each player places 1 of their crystal tokens on each map space corresponding to the map cards they were just handed. This gives deployment a double-sided strategy, giving yourself the optimal deployment for your units while balancing that around knowing where your opponent’s will be deploying their crystals.
Miniatures do not come pre-painted
During each player’s turn they will be playing cards from their hands to move and to perform attacks. Each card has a multitude of symbols, each corresponding to a specific action. Players can play as many cards as they wish during their turn, but each card can only be used for 1 of the symbols listed on it. Each faction has a very different distribution of the types of symbols they have on the cards in their deck, making each faction play very differently.
The symbols on the far left within the grey sword tip show which unit the card can be used for. Playing a card using a unit icon allows that unit to move 1 space. Playing 3 of these symbols matching 1 unit allows that unit to pick up a crystal in their space. Some of the unit icons have flags attached. These icons show the various attacks and defensive moves within the game. Playing a card using one of these icons allows the unit to which that the flag is attached to use that attack. Or the Open Action flag at the bottom, which can be used with any unit.
Each type of attack performs differently and can be blocked by different symbols. The standard Melee deals 1 damage to a enemy unit in the same space, while a Heavy Melee attack deals 2 damage. Both of these attacks can be defended by the defending player immediately playing their own Melee symbol to stop the incoming damage. This works similarly for the other types of attack, Ranged and Area. There are many other rules regarding playing within the game map, such as taking cover, line of sight and using high ground to your advantage, but we won’t cover the details of those here.
As soon as a player has gained 5 points in any combination of collecting their own crystals or by knocking out enemy units, they immediately win the game! Wildlands does a fantastic job of keeping the game simple to understand and to play while keeping it very strategic, even from the game setup and deployment. The game already has an expansion out, which adds an undead faction which can be played similar to the others, or can be mixed into the core game. As units are knocked out, instead of being simply removed, they will be replaced by an undead unit. These units can be controlled by any player and while they can’t be used to gain points, they can be used to disrupt the plans of anyone near them.
From Osprey Publishing
Wildlands – $80 – Available Now
The great Darkness has fallen, and the Empire with it.
The arcane crystals which once powered entire cities were shattered, and the darkness was destroyed by the magics unleashed. All that remains are the lawless ruins known as the Wildlands, and the shards of the crystals that have been strewn across them. Now a few souls, the brave and the desperate, seek the shards to harness their power for their own ends.
Take control of one of four factions, from the spell-slinging Mages’ Guild or the nimble Gnomads to the versatile Lawbringers or the hard-hitting Pit Fighters. Each brings their own playstyle, with unique decks of action cards determining their abilities on the battlefield, so plan your tactics carefully. Dash through the ruins to grab the crystals you so desperately desire or focus your efforts on taking out the opposition – but take care, danger may be lurking in the darkness…
In the Wildlands, opportunity awaits… if you fight for it.
- 20 unique miniatures
- 20 Character Cards
- 120 Action Cards
- 4 Faction sheets
- 40 Battlefield Cards
- Double Sided Playing Board
- Counters & Tokens
- 2 – 4 Players
- 30 – 60 Minutes
- Ages 14+
~Thanks for reading!