I’ve had my hands on Privateer Press’s new deck building game based on the Iron Kingdoms property for a few weeks now and have squeezed out a handful of games. Is it worth your time?
Unlike games like Dominion where players have a shared market that they can purchase their cards from, each player gets their own market to purchase from that is determined not only by what faction they’re playing but what warcasters they choose to use in their game. After players have chosen their faction, they pick three Warcaster cards that they’ll be able to use during the game that also dictate the available detachments that will make up their market or “Reinforcement Deck”. Warcasters have two of six colors on their card, indicating which detachments they get to play with. Players pick one detachment of 12 cards for every warcaster and shuffle the lot together to become their Reinforcement Deck. The first four cards from the Reinforcement Deck are flipped over and are the cards that are available to be purchased or rushed, called Reserves. When one of these Reserves cards is purchased or rushed, it is replaced with the next card at the top of the Reinforcement Deck.
|An individual play area|
With the exception of Warcaster Cards, all cards have a Resource Icon indicating its ability to purchase using the either CMD or WAR stats. CMD is typically used to purchase or rush infantry-type cards while WAR is typically used for warjacks. To purchase a card from your Reserves, you merely need to discard enough cards so that their Resource totals equal or exceed the value of the card. Once purchased, the card goes to your Discard Pile where it will eventually be reshuffled into your Army Deck to be drawn into your hand.
The game ends when one of two things happens: the Day of Reckoning card is flipped from the Winds of War deck or when there are no locations remaining in the Location Deck. Players total up the total Victory Points they have accumulated both in their Army Deck and Occupying Forces pile and the the one with the highest total wins. Ties are broken first by whoever has captured the most location and second by the person earliest in the turn order, as going last does have a bit of an advantage in the late game.
Game mechanic explanation out of the way, I’m actually really liking the game quite a bit. I was shocked at how quickly I learned to play the game. The rulebook is explicit yet concise, and I found myself surprised when I read its entirety in about ten minutes. I’ve found one or two potent warcaster/detachment combinations for every faction, save Protectorate, which I’m still having some trouble wrapping my head around.
More on High Command soon.