I think they met at the Forgotten University
A week or two back, a cousin drew my attention to Lords of War, which is a card game about fantasy races beating the living snot out of each other. My cousin says he plays this a load with his son, who is a couple of years older than Miss B, and he thought we might be interested in it.
The game comes as packs containing two decks of cards and a playmat, the first to be released being Orcs versus Dwarves. Knowing how much Miss B likes elves, I went and bought a copy of the Elves versus Lizardmen set.
The game basically involves taking it in turns to place cards, which represent the troops in your army, onto a gridded playmat in such a way (usually) that they are attacking an enemy card. Attacks are basically indicated by numbers and arrows pointing out of the edges of the cards so, for example, if your card had an arrow and the number 2 pointing out of the top right corner of a card, then that card will launch a strength 2 attack in that diagonal direction once it is in play. Each card also has a defence strength, and once attack points exceeding the defence are brought to bear on a card, that card is destroyed. Some cards have ranged attacks which complicate things a little, but it remains a simple slug-a-thon where the aim is to destroy a certain number of the enemy troops. We halved the number of kills required in order to have a quicker game.
Once in play, cards don’t move around; they just sit there, attacking anything that gets put in their way. However, it is possible to take a card back into your hand if it is not currently engaged in combat.
The game played pretty quickly for us, our first game taking a little over half an hour, which I thought was pretty impressive. Miss B got to grips with most of the game very quickly, helped by the fact that the attacks are easily visualised thanks to the arrows. Only the ranged attacks caused confusion and I’m still not sure Miss B has really got her head around it, but I’m sure she will.
Of course, a bonus for morale came from the fact that after I had an early lead, Miss B managed to catch up and even figured out quite a neat manoeuvre to beat me with by taking one of her stronger cards back into her hand in order to redeploy it for a killer blow.
The box, by the way, says that to find out why these armies are fighting you can go to the website. At Miss B’s request we did just that and found that there were background stories about the game world and pages with details about all the characters on the cards. Miss B was very much impressed by this and spent a little while happily finding out about her elves and telling me about them.
To wrap up, I’ll draw your attention to the Kickstarter for the new Templars versus Undead set, which is another stand-alone playset containing two decks that can combine with the existing sets. Maybe worth a look.
The verdict from Miss B (aged 6¾-and-a-bit): “I like the game lots and I’d give it 10 out of 10. At first I thought I was going to lose but then Daddy captured my Bow Maiden which was a big mistake because the turn before that I picked up one of my commanders which could shoot 4’s sideways and he didn’t notice that so once the Bow Maiden was cleared I put my commander right next to Daddy’s general and shot an 8.”
The game: Lords of War, Elves versus Lizardmen (Black Box Games), 2 players aged 12+.