Friday, May 15, 2009

Warriors of the Promised Land: A Review

I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this game too much. I guess I was expecting something similar to Book of Mormon Battles, but I was pleasantly surprised!

The game starts by dealing each deck (the Warriors deck and the Armory deck) out to the players, like war. Then each player draws 3 cards from each of their decks. They choose 1 warrior and place it face down in front of them. Gameplay proceeds as each player takes turns placing other cards from their hand (and subsequently drawing, from either their Warrior deck or their Armory deck to fill back to 6 cards) face down next to their warrior card. This continues until one player decides to end the round. Everyone gets a final turn and then the player who ended the round chooses an opponent to challenge. This is done by revealing each card and counting up the points. The player with the highest total wins the opponents cards and gets to challenge another player, until all players have been challenged. Then play starts over again. The first player to collect all cards from everyone is the winner!!

Each card contains a number of small icons. These icons provide the way of "connecting" warriors and armor, thereby gaining points. As players place cards face down next to their initial warrior card, at least one icon must match an icon from the warrior. All kinds of combinations can be achieved (sidenote: righteous warriors cannot be played with wicked warriors and vice versa, even if the icons match), for example, your warrior might be Moroni, adding the Plates gives you 5 extra points. Or you might have Amalikiah, adding Dissentions gives you an additional 5 points. There are also cards that block points from other players, like the Fortress card. It will block any points your challenger has from swords, javelins, or arrows (among other weapons). One of the most powerful cards is the Righteous Women card. It will double all the points you have for that round!!!

One strategy that I locked onto was that of not putting those kinds of powerful cards out unless I was pretty sure I was going to win. So, if I started the round with 2 wicked warriors and a couple of wicked type weapons and the Righteous Women card, then I would probably play a wicked warrior and save the Righteous Women card for the next time it got into my hand (at the end of the round you put your hand cards into your discard pile, so you'll get back to them eventually).

It's funny how just a couple of slight changes to the game of war makes things quite interesting and fun! This was leaps and bounds above Book of Mormon Battles in terms of gameplay and fun. It was nice to have more choice in what went on.

The artwork is pretty awesome! It adds a lot to the gameplay and immersion factors.

Probably the only downside would be that if I had children old enough to play this I would hesitate to have them excited and happy that they could take Amalikiah and beat Captain Moroni. But that's about my only qualm, even though that's the nature of games and competition and good versus evil, etc., etc., etc.... (Just more reason why we need a great LDS/Mormon themed cooperative game where players join forces and fight against the Lamanites.) I'm not trying to take away from this game. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will play it in the future as well.

My rating: 4 out of 5

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