Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.
Earlier this year, Tabula Games produced a beautiful area control game, Mysthea, full of amazing artwork and miniatures. Today we are looking at their newest upcoming game, Volfyirion, a 2 player deck building and combat game set in the same universe.
Let’s take a look how Volfyirion works and what you can expect from the upcoming Kickstarter game.
In Volfyirion, players take the role of leaders of rival houses aiming to destroy each other. In addition to their own military strength, they also can use their knowledge to try to influence the dangerous dragon of the land, Volfyirion.
The gameplay will be instantly familiar to you if you’ve played any deck building game. You start off with a deck of 10 cards and draw 5 each turn. Many of your cards will produce command points which can be used to acquire new, more powerful, cards from a central row.
There are two other resources in Volfyirion—knowledge and battle points. Battle points can be used to attack other player’s cities, acquire wonders from Volfyirion’s liar, or even defeat Volfyirion himself. Knowledge points, however, will allow you to seal your opponent’s wonders, remove their seals from your own wonders, and influence the dragon to attack your opponent.
Each player controls three cities, each with a different strengths and room for a troop and building card to be played to it. Troop cards increase the city’s defense while buildings add to the resources you gather each turn. If you destroy all of your opponent’s cities, you win.
Volfyirion takes your average deck building game and throws on additional layers of strategy and interactivity. To begin with, having three unique currencies in the game really gives it a different feeling. Each lends itself to a different strategy.
If you focus on the red cards, which often generate a lot of battle points, you can quickly destroy your opponent’s cities and go for a fast victory. However, this can be defended by troop cards, adding to the defense value of your cities, making them harder to deal with. You can also spend battle points on acquiring wonders from the dragon’s lair, making your deck more powerful and giving you cards that will remain in play generating resources.
Focusing on knowledge-producing cards can allow you to move the dragon around, using Volfyirion to destroy your opponent for you. It is possible for Volfyirion to be outright destroyed, which will obviously set you back if you go deep into a knowledge strategy and only have a dead dragon carcass to show for it.
The interplay of all of these strategies is really what makes this game stand out. Often deck building games come down to just buying the best/most expensive card in the line up with whatever currency you have. The fact that not only are there colors and abilities to consider—you also need to keep in mind the usefulness of building and troops that provide persistent effects. Even after a number of games it’s not clear which cards are the most powerful as many of them are incredibly useful in the right situations.
Many cards also have additional abilities that trigger either based on the color of cards you have in play or are one time effects that trigger by choosing to remove the card from the game. While removing a card may be a high price to pay, it can make the difference between having enough knowledge to convince Volfyirion to return to his lair or watching him set your city in flames.
There is a ton of replay value and interest to dig into in Volfyirion. While I’m not super familiar with the Mysthea universe, the artwork certainly looks great. Volfyirion is a great deck building game that adds layers of strategy onto the normal deck building shell. Using your resources to buy the most expensive cards isn’t a guaranteed plan for success and you’ll often have to make tactical decisions about when to discard your cards for their secondary abilities based on what you opponent is doing.
Best yet, it does all this without adding a lot in terms of rules overhead. If you know how to play Star Realms, you’ll be able to pick this one up and understand what is going on in just a matter of minutes.
If Volfyirion interest you, look for it coming to Kickstarter next week!
As always, we don’t post ratings for preview copies as the components and rules may change from the final game. Check back with us after the game is produced for a full review. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.