As much as we love playing the video games, sometimes you need to clear the pizza boxes off your kitchen table have some friends over and do some board-gaming.
If there is one thing we love, it’s games we can’t afford (currently) so when a couple of $80 board games came our way via Wizards of the Coast to try out, we couldn’t say no.
First I have to ask you an important question. Do you like, or have played Risk? If Yes, these two games are already up your alley. If No, but you’ve always had those world domination plans/want to crush all of your friends with your strategically masterful mind then you’re in luck too.
Conquest of Nerath is D&D inspired to the core with Dungeons to raze, and dice to roll. You play as four different Realms Dark Empire of Karkoth (Karkoth), Vailin Alliance (Vailin), Iron Circle, and the Nerathan League (Nerath). Basically: Karkoth = Warlocks/Necromancers, Vailin = Elves + Humans, Iron Circle = Goblins/mercs/every bad buy for hire, Nerath = Humans + Dwarves.
There are three ways to play, short, medium, long. Each path to victory is different for the different sets, short and medium require victory points, long is total domination. What’s cool is that you can establish alliances before the game, and go for shared victories if you want. Hell, if you don’t have four players, it even lays out how to distribute the for two and three players. So every time we play as long as one other person sits across from us, you’ve got everything being used in the game.
When you take everything out it looks a little daunting at first, but setup is initially easy, since every country has a setup card of where your stuff has to go to start out.
Like anything D&D though, one player should really, really familiarize themselves with the manual. While it seems a little bit of time just trying to wrap your head around everything at first, once you start playing, the game is a freaking blast.
Ikusa, let me start by saying this. If you love strategy games, you’re in for a hell of a good time. If you’ve always dreamed of kicking ass in a war-torn Japan leading Samurai Warriors and Armies to conquer Providences then you’re in for a huge treat.
One of my favorite things about this game is the planning tray. If you’ve played Risk or anything else, you’re used to stacking your army units on the table where you sit. Unless you’re some slob who doesn’t appreciate all your units in nice rows. The planning tray is a spot where you put ALL your army peices, and then put up a little barrier so that the other plays can’t see what you’re planning on using for your next move. I love the surprise element this brings when other players can’t see you prepping which guys you are going to be throwing down.
There are 72 different providence to attack, hold and rage war against. This is the type of game you play if you like planning and having a big emphasis on strategy. Honestly, I’m just waiting to have a full game of 5 players to really duke it out with. Though you can play against one other person, these types of games are far more enjoyable in a group. Especially if you’re not playing against your 4 year old son who just wants to play with the soldiers.
Both of these games should be must haves if you’re a fan of strategy board-gaming. As someone who’s only played Risk and Risk 2210 being able to learn a whole new system, but have the basics was incredibly fun and would be well worth the investment if you have a good group of friends who’ll play with you.
Best of luck conquering your respective worlds!