War Chest – AEG – Review

"I think to help teach a younger player advanced theory, this game is nearly perfect."

Theme and What is it?

You are a prince. Gifted, not a game, as this box may seem like, but rather, from a General who served your father, a means to train abstract ideas of strategy through war simulation. This gift was not to your father, but through your father, to you.

This is your War Chest. Time to train.

Gameplay Mechanics

War Chest is a game based on units that will work towards territory control spots on the board. Each unit type, does different things, but none are so overwhelmingly powerful that you just GOTTA have that type of unit.

During your turn you can do several type of action, place, move, bolster, attack, tactics, control, recruit, or claim initiative. Ultimately, the game moves quickly.

When I was introduced to War Chest, by Mara at AEG, she told me it was her favorite game because of how quick it moves. I hear this regularly from marketing types. Many times I dismiss it immediately and wait until I play to form an opinion. That is exactly what I did here. But, she was right, the tactical battle is one of the slickest setups I have seen.

Initial Impressions

This was a game that I was asked to have someone review. I had seen some reviews, and didn’t think much about it one way or the other. It was a game, in a box.

Frankly, it was pretty unfair of me. Most games, I know something about when I judge them unfairly and harshly. War Chest, I knew nothing about. I judged, but had not even seen the cover. It was easily a dummy moment for me.

Game Build Quality

I love poker chips in games that are made for the game. This is no exception. This game, due to the slugs inside the chips, just has a weight to it. It feels substantial.

It is substantial. The game has taken a simple idea, and made a quality product out of it. The quality of the board and chips, is great. There is no part of this package that doesn’t feel high quality.

Artistic Direction

The art, once you know the back story, is quite perfect. It is supposed to be a box, given from a general to a king for his son to learn military tactics. It is not supposed to draw attention to itself.

The art is so understated, that I unfairly judged the game by it. The artist created exactly what the game is thematically, a military box that helps to teach tactics. I was not ready for that, and you may not be either.

Fun Factor

Not all players enjoy abstracts, or for that matter skirmish style games. This game will not change their minds.

For the people that enjoy both abstract, and skirmish, this game is a delight. It forces you to think a few steps ahead, and never gets to lofty in its goals.

It is fun.

Age Range & Weight

14+. AEG thinks this is a heavier weight game. Generally I agree with one drastic departure… My 7 year old daughter likes it, she just isn’t yet good at it.

I think AEG missed the same thing I missed. This game is meant to TEACH tactics, not to only be enjoyable to a person that already knows tactics. I think to help teach a younger player advanced theory, this game is nearly perfect.

Conclusions

I was unfair with AEG on War Chest. Simply put, I was a dummy.

This game is fantastic, and Mara was correct, it immediately shot up to one of my favorite releases for 2018. I want to play this as often as my daughter will allow me, as it will help her start to learn to plan out a few steps ahead while gaming.

If War Chest has fallen under your radar (it did for me, and I made a foolish blunder), you owe this game a second chance, and a little shelf space.