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Svarog's Den - Board Games

Play Tricks to Win the First English Civil War, Build Your Deck for World Dominance, and Fight in the Jungles of Vietnam Solo

by Candice Harris

• In my PGC Con 2023 report, I mentioned The Barracks Emperors, which is a new hybrid area influence, trick-taking game from GMT Games set during the Roman Crisis of the Third Century. I love the idea of fusing trick-taking with historical games, so I’m excited to announce A Very Civil Whist, which is a 2-player trick-taking game set during the First English Civil War, from Red Flag Over Paris designer Fred Serval and UK-based publisher PHALANX. PHALANX launched a pre-order for A Very Civil Whist on August 31, 2023 with slightly reduced pricing for the first 302 orders.

Here’s a description from the publisher to give you a brief taste of this unique 2-player game that plays in 30-45 minutes:

England is in turmoil. The authority of the Crown is being challenged by Parliamentarians. Militias have been mustered. The King has declared war. Fighting has spread to every corner of the land. Will Charles I retain his former power, or will Parliament and its Scottish allies prevail? One thing is certain, nothing will ever be the same again.

A Very Civil Whist is a unique game that combines aspects of trick-taking and area control in the historical setting of the English Civil War.

Designed by Fred Serval (Red Flag Over Paris, A Gest of Robin Hood) with evocative artwork by Donal Hegarty (Mr President, Versailles 1919) this two-player game takes about 30 to 45 minutes to play.

Gameplay involves the Royalist and Parliament players engaging in a tug of war over different tracks linked to card suits. Win a trick in the connected suit, and make a territorial gain in the targeted region of England. You can use famous Generals and personalities from the English Civil War to boost your chance of winning a trick. Lose the trick though and the General may meet a grisly end. Random events at the start of the each round provide further flavour and variability.

Inspired by the mechanics of German Whist, each of the game’s four rounds is split into two core phases: Planning and Action. In the Planning phase you play tricks to build your Action hand. In the Action Phase you play tricks to make progress on the board. The key to success is to win the tricks in the first phase that give you the cards needed execute against your goals on the board.

• Considering I also love deck-building games, I am very intrigued by Imperial Fever, which is a deck-building game where 3-4 players compete for world dominance between 1881 and 1915, from designer Carlos Márquez Linares and GMT Games.

Here’s a brief summary of what you can expect from Imperial Fever, which is available on GMT’s P500 pre-order system:

Imperial Fever is a deck-building game for three to four players that recreates the period between 1881 and 1915. Players will vie for world dominance as they take on the roles of the United Kingdom, France, the Central Empires (Germany and Austria-Hungary) and the Emergent Powers (the USA and Japan). The game features a unique approach to this complex and important period of world history, including the following innovative aspects:

Prototype box cover

• A deck-building mechanism that will allow players to pursue different strategies.

• A variety of other mechanics, including area majority, push your luck, tug of war, technology tracks, and set collection.

• Competition between players in different areas: national prestige, military power, naval dominance, colonial expansion, and key strategic areas.

• International tensions that may culminate in the outbreak of the First World War.

• A wide range of political agendas that will allow players to choose among different paths to victory.

• A rich Event deck that poses additional challenges to players, ranging from international conflicts to political mishaps at home.

• The influence of non-player powers such as Russia, China, Holland, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal.

• The full game is playable in under four hours, once players are reasonably familiar with the rules.

If you’re interested in more details on Imperial Fever, check out its game page on GMT’s website and the designer’s Inside GMT article highlighting the deck-building in the game.

• For another historical game all about the cards, Dan Verssen‘s popular solitaire Warfighter series continues to grow with Warfighter Vietnam, a new standalone game depicting the squad-level battles which occurred throughout the country of Vietnam. Dan Verssen Games is crowdfunding Warfighter Vietnam on Kickstarter (KS link) through September 12, 2023.

Here’s the publisher’s game description from the Kickstarter page for this exciting addition to the Warfighter series:

Warfighter Vietnam recreates the skirmishes challenging for control of the terrain in the countryside and rural villages. Between the VC and NVA you have a tough fight to clear Hostiles and earn Body Count. You may face fierce resistance from opposing Hostile forces, but watch out – the terrain itself can be your worst enemy. The Core game will contain at least 240+ cards (Soldiers, Hostiles, Mission, Objectives, Locations, Action, Gear, and Events), with d6 and d10 dice, counter sheets as well as a tactical board and the latest version of the Warfighter Universal Rulebook.

Box cover image from Kickstarter

As part of this initial release, there are also a dozen Warfighter Expansions and Battlepacks which will allow you to expand the scope of gameplay to include various armed forces and battles which took place in the jungles of Vietnam.

These expansions include more American, Australian, and South Korean Soldiers, as well as extra NVA and VC Hostiles! The Tunnel Rats, Khe Sahn, Hue, La Drang, and Hamburger Hill Battle Packs will blend historical accuracy and Warfighter gameplay seamlessly.

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