Imagine if you took the age old game of chess, and the modern trading card game, and decided to match up these two very different game concepts into one new re-imagined chess experience suited for everyone – even those with little or no knowledge (or interest) in the noble game of chess.
It is a huge undertaking the creators of this new game have undertaken, but they have managed to recreate, or perhaps reimagine is a better way to put it, the old tested board-game mechanics.
While Eternal Kings may owe some mechanics and/or game setup to chess, when it comes down to the game play Eternal Kings is as much a fantasy board game and deckbuilding as it is chess. In mixing these game mechanics, Roland Issa has created a new type of chess, one that anyone would have fun playing, regardless of whether people play or even like chess.
Just as in chess, you have 8 Pawns, 2 Towers, 2 Rooks, 2 Knights, a King and a Queen, however, in Eternal Kings, you don’t have chess pieces, instead each “piece” is a card with its own abilities, which vary depending on which of the 4 Factions (Agility, Strength, Wisdom or Intelligence) they belong to. Now before there is ANY misunderstanding this is not a collectible trading card game – you get all the cards (unit or ability) in the box when you order the game, so this is NOT an endless money pit – just endless fun.
The four factions have more than 40 unique pieces/cards to mix and match as you please, adding deckbuilding aspects to the board game and endless combinations and strategies, making it possible to change gameplay and flow from game to game endlessly.
For example, someone could mix all four factions taking units from each discipline to maximize deck efficiency or players could each choose a faction and test if Brains (Intelligence) can best Brawn (Strength) on the battlefield.
Adding to this Eternal Kings adds ability cards, which can be in the form of spells, traps etc. (I personally felt the humiliation of losing a game because of well-placed trap card, that turned out to be nothing but a decoy or “bluff trap” and not the firebomb I feared would engulf my King in flames). With the ability cards, a new strategic dimension is added to the game and it is transformative.
Eternal Kings Kickstarter page boasts that it is possible to learn the rules from a 3 minute. I decided to test this out by drafting 2 (very patient) board gamers significant others, neither had more than the most basic understanding of chess and/or card games and in little over 10 minutes they were not only having fun but very much enjoying the experience.
The game walks a fine line of adding new ideas and mechanics to an age old game without complicating matters better than any game I have played and anyone who isn’t immediately frightened away by words like deckbuilding and chess but sit down with an open mind will find it as much fun as any experienced board gamer.
The Cards and game board is beautifully crafted with vibrant fantasy artwork and all the cards are easily read and understood making it easy to quickly setup a game. In fact, the whole game is beautifully crafted and offers any player regardless of skill level, endless hours of enjoyment. I can wholeheartedly recommend not only buying this creative board game but also to go pledge to their kickstarter and help push them into stretchgoals and add even more exciting aspects to this game and maybe pick up a pledge reward or two.
Eternal Kings is still available for backing on Kickstarter for 36 hours (http://kck.st/2DMLkNs); they offer EU friendly shipping and stretch goals there. You either will also find the location of dealers etc. from that page or linked to it in the near future.