Crusaders Games

This War of Mine

thiswarboxA survival board game adaptation from a video game, you take control of a group of civilians sheltering in a ruined house in the middle of a war zone and your goal is largely to survive over a series of rounds and complete a scenario objective. It is advertised as a co-operative game, but in reality you take it in turns to control all civilians rather than owning one each, and as such it is effectively more a solo game.thiswarofmine

The game is broken down into a series of days, each with specific phases for undertaking actions within the house, scavenging outside, and at night guarding or sleeping. You need to ensure you have enough water and food each day to prevent hunger, and then collect resources such as wood and components to build items like a bed to reduce your fatigue or stoves to cook on, heaters to reduce the cold or cultivate a vegetable garden to improve your food supply. You will also need to find objects such as weapons to defend yourselves with or books a musical instruments to prevent misery becoming your downfall. There are a lot of options available and you will have to pick and choose, making tough decision of what to live without. Throughout your survival adventure you will read from a script book of encounters or background story which brings the war torn city to life, along with all of its horrors.

At night you will guard your home and send someone out to scavenge for new items. This is a sub card game in itself, consisting of revealing a set number of explore cards and trying to keep your noise down, although eventually you are likely to encounter bandits or raiders, and maybe seek out other residents, good and bad which come with consequences or an opportunity to trade. This is an involving story game, each time it will play a little differently by revealing different events and encounters, and it is tough to survive, as along the way you will lose civilians and gain new ones.

Why i chose not not keep it …

As a solo game it works well, although you need to bear in mind it is a dark and bleak theme.  It is a good attempt to generate a story game, and whilst the core box is not really a campaign, each game is long enough to warrant playing over multiple sessions rather than in one long sitting. In the end i found this to be its biggest downside, the daily rounds are quite repetitive in nature, even though the story created can be varied and involving. I personally found it hard to return to continue a started game as my enthusiasm seemed to wane once i left it, and even though it is a game i should really like a lot, given it is solo specific and has variable encounters, it was not one that i decided to keep long term after sampling its gameplay a few times.