Alliance The Card Game – Preview

"The Kickstarter starts on February 7th, we'll be backing so we can see the final product"

Theme and What is it?

You are a medieval leader, battling another medieval leader because you are good and he is not. I mean is there anything quite as important as the idea of good triumphing over evil, at any cost?

This is a classic tale of good versus evil, battling not over earth and water, like any respectable Spartan, but rather, just because you are good, and you hate evil… Welcome to Alliance.

Gameplay Mechanics

The game is a classic dice chucker in the classic sense of the word. You have an ever refreshing army (until your deck runs out) that will battle based on dice rolls. They will need to pre-determine who they will attack, and with whom, but the simplicity here is you either roll an attack, or you don’t. You may, attack anyone except the leader in the basic mode.

The attacks are all predetermined like a classic RPG based on the DM predetermined values. Once you have killed all the army, and eventually the leader, you win, or if you are killed entirely, you lose. This is a direct skirmish dice chucker battle arena.

Cole Kornell, the designer, also has some tricks up his sleeve for an advanced battle mode. This will allow players to decide how much depth they want to their strategy in the game. The advanced battle mode will allow players to move their army. Why would this be important you may ask, if anyone can attack anyone… Well, in this version, the ranged and melee battle modes come into effect.

Melee will only be able to attack the card in front of them, or diagonal, and ranged attacks can attack anyone. This adds some strategy to the game, that takes into account, your army hit points, and possibly using the dice that was a hit miss, as a movement. The final rules, I am sure will be adjusted, to give you the best experience possible.

Initial Impressions

Alliance is built to engage an audience in gaming that is often neglected. It made a simple premise into something pretty and engaging.

For that reason alone, it seems like it could have an audience that enjoys a direct battle mechanic based on the roll of the dice.

Game Build Quality

Most card games, do not include a board. This game will, to make sure it works well, and is geared towards the end user audience. The current cards are blue core, which means light does pass through them, but that may be upgraded as a stretch goal on KS.

Regardless, the game is very pretty, and nice to look at from a build quality point of view.

Artistic Direction

Alliance has incredible art geared towards classic good versus evil in the fantasy genre.

It is beautiful, and fits the game precisely. I very much like the leader of evil, Zaldar. He just seems invincible. Whether he is or not, is irrelevant, evil should feel invincible, and in this case it does.

Fun Factor

Fans of dice chuckers will rejoice, this game is that and in spades.

There are two parts of the game, that will be further invested upon in the stretch goals, these include the “Type” of warrior, and the range of the warrior. For now, any warrior can attack any warrior, except for the leader, who must be attacked last.

These stretch goals have the possibility of making a beautiful dice chucker into something else altogether, and I am very interested what sort of strategy elements could be added to make every throw of the dice meaningful. As stated in the mechanics, the standard/advanced mode allows for a bit of strategy.

The designed also is designing strategy cards, that will allow one time use actions, or some that are multi use actions, that will add depth of strategy to the game. Both of these extra mechanics, mini-expansions are likely to be stretch goals in the campaign.

Age Range & Weight

6+. Currently the game without stretch goals, is very well suited to even younger gamers, and will introduce them to flights of fancy.

I could play this with my daughter, and very much enjoy when she kills my army, one soldier at a time.

Conclusions

Whether Alliance becomes a monster slayer or not, is largely dependent on how much more strategy the designer can pack into it, and still remain true to his vision of a simple premise game that brings in new people to the hobby.

I do like the idea of a game that specifically is targeting new gamers, by making a mechanic of a card game more approachable. The Kickstarter will start on February 7, we’ll be backing so we can see the final product.