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.
The final battle between humans and gods is at hand. Take up your sword against the gods of light or dark to rid humanity of their influence. Or become a devoted follower of light or dark, seeking to boost your god’s power through belief to wield retribution against the non-believers.
War of Heavens is a 2 to 4 player competitive minis game that takes under an hour to play.
War of Heavens takes place in two stages – the initial, three-act gear up and the final battle. In the first stage, players take turns moving around the board to gather materials for the final battle. Humans (heroes) visit blacksmiths and shops in order to collect equipment and potions. Followers pray to gather lord cards that will boost their god’s power. During movement, players might encounter brigands or even other opposing players which may begin a fight that will send the loser scrambling back to regroup.
At the end of three ages, the board will flip and the final battle will begin. Heroes will face off against the most powerful lord. Followers from the opposite side (the lord who does not rise) may choose to fight against the god alongside the humans. A dice battle influenced by the resources both sides gathered previously will determine whether the heroes or gods prevail.
War of Heavens is a sort of dungeon crawler with a collection bent – the object is to build up your side strong enough so that when you reach the final encounter you’ll prevail. Each team will need to coordinate someone to grab objects and bonuses – not every character can reach their potential with what might come from the decks, so there will need to be some discussion about who goes where for what. Collection is fun, particularly if you’re the type of player that likes attempting to maximize bonuses.
While the copy we received was a prototype, there are some very cool aesthetics. Cards are interesting (particularly the weapons) and the minis are really REALLY cool – prepainted and highly detailed. The variable sizes really contribute to the feel of the theme – followers and heroes are towered over by the gods.
Player engagement is high. Someone will generally have to roll ‘against’ the active player in encounters, whether it’s a direct fight between player characters or the active player’s fight against a random highwayman. Occasionally follower actions can feel somewhat repetitive with multiple actions spent praying.
The final battle will be an epic roll off. Depending on what each side has collected, this can result in huge dice pools and a LOT of dice rolling. Collecting wisely is definitely a great benefit. If each side is well matched, there will be a bit of a stalemate with gains and losses seeming somewhat slow.
The game is somewhat asymmetric depending on what side you choose, and different player counts will influence who might fight for what side (generally in a two player game it’s two heroes versus a god). In the three player game, a third player comes in as a follower, another will be a follower for the other side. Changes in the player count will definitely effect strategy from game to game. Leveling one’s character offers some variability as well. Heroes may choose to become warrior or mage types, while followers can even level up to become angelic or demonic versions of their starting character, all of which will influence the final battle.
Ultimately – choose wisely, level carefully, and gear well – the war for heaven and earth is in your hands. War of Heavens is coming soon to Kickstarter. We’ll update this preview with more information once the Kickstarter launches, but for the meantime, you can find out more information on their Facebook page.
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.