Home > Games > I think they met at the Forgotten University

I think they met at the Forgotten University

November 18, 2013

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 commander of the Elves surveys the battlefield in order to decide where to deploy her War Tiger (which looks uncannily like Battle Cat).

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+.

  1. Barnetto
    November 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    This looks an interesting game – sort of a rather simpler version of Summoner Wars (which I’ve only played on ipad) maybe? Very tempted by the Kickstarter – not least since it is from the UK, which seems to be a rarity – but I’m trying to stop myself buying every game that looks interesting as a matter of course! The loft is getting full of boxes in cellophane! Though it wouldn’t arrive til next year…

    From that point of view, your blog is a terrible temptress to me….

  2. November 28, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Sorry to cause you problems. 🙂

    I’m not sure about Summoner Wars, but I’d say LoW is actually a lot like Neuroshima Hex in feel — though I’ve only played the digital version of that game.

    Something that I’ve spotted since writing this post is that the sets seem to increase in complexity in terms of how to make the most of the decks. So the Templars vs Undead set is the trickiest and the Orcs vs Dwarves is the easiest. None are exactly going to be Advanced Squad Leader, but it may be something to think about, initially at least, if planning to play with a young’un.

  3. November 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Sigh – more money….

  4. November 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Hey, I’ve got nothing to do with your need to spend money! 🙂

    • Barnetto
      April 24, 2014 at 10:07 am

      My set arrived yesterday – a bit battered from being loosely packed in a jiffy bag, I have to say – but will be trying it out soon.

      • Rob
        April 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

        Mine arrived a few days back in good nick. We haven’t tried it out yet, but it looks good, with the added movement options and stuff, though this makes it a tad more complicated than the older set we have.

        Incidentally, I really don’t like this style of packaging; it’s great for point-of-sale displays, but as a way to store your games, it sucks. Still, I might invest in a few small deck boxes or something, which would make things very manageable.

        • Barnetto
          April 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm

          Completely agree regarding the packaging. Indeed, I received some sleeves for the cards and there’s no way that the cards will fit in the original boxes sleeved either. Will have to scout out a suitable and empty expansion box from some other game to keep them in… though that shouldn’t be too difficult given how many I’ve acquired!

          PS I saw that you tried out the PNP for Eight Minute Empire. Did that work for you and yours and did you investin the end in the game?

          • Rob
            April 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm

            Yes, Eight Minute Empire went down well and I backed the project, so have the full game with some bonus boards. 🙂 It’s a very good little game indeed and I’d say worthy of a place in most game collections.

            I also have the follow-up, 8ME:Legends, which looks even better but, to my shame, I haven’t yet played. Must do so soon.

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