Lords of War:
Lords of War is an expandable (not to be confused with collectible) tactical card/board game from Black Box Games.The game comes in sets containing 2 Armies each allowing 2 players to instantly play out of just one set. Currently available sets are:
- Orcs vs Dwarves
- Elves vs Lizardmen
- Templars vs Undead
- Orcs vs Dwarves Magic and Monsters Expansion
- Elves vs Lizardmen Magic and Monsters Expansion
- The Magic and Monsters Expansion for Templars vs Undead should be coming to Kickstarter later this year.
Each turn you will play one of your cards (Units) onto the board which consists of a 7×6 grid.
After playing your card, all Attack Arrows are added up and any Unit that has Attack Arrows coming in greater than its Defense value is removed from the game and added to their opponents victory pile. The active player then draws a card from their deck and their turn is over. Instead of drawing a card at the end of their turn, a player also has the option to return a Unit from the board to their hand as long as that Unit did not participate in any unit eliminations this round, was not played this round and is unengaged by enemy units. The player who eliminates 20 opposing Units or 6 opposing Leader Units wins.
Making things more interesting are several different types of units that offer different abilities such as Beserkers, Archers, Calvary and Spearmen. There’s also the risk/reward decision regarding whether or not to deploy your leaders. They’re the most powerful units in the game, but you can only lose 6 of them before losing the game.
Why I Like It:
- You get to scratch your itch for tactical combat in a 45 minute game.
- Dynamic Gameplay. The board is constantly shifting as units are played, killed or recalled.
- The game play has a great deal of depth but the mechanics are simple enough to be taught very quickly, making the game easily accessible to new players.
- The 6 different factions all have differing play styles giving the game a great deal of replayability.
Andrew’s Tactical Tip: Know Your Enemy
Every faction has different strengths and weaknesses. Spend a little time looking over each faction’s units to determine how to best play that faction and how to best play against it. For instance, the Templars have really high Defense values and the Templar Lancer Calvary unit is very powerful but Templars don’t have many back-facing Attack Arrows. So to beat them you need to get behind them and save your Spearmen units to lock down their Calvary units.
About Black Box Games:
Black Box Games is a small company out of the UK. I first learned of them and Lords of War on Kickstarter back in 2013. Since backing that first project I’ve backed every other project they’ve launched. Their game design, art and component quality is excellent as is their customer service and interaction with their fan base. Going by my experience with them so far I’d purchase anything they produce.
To learn more about Lords of War or Black Box Games: