For hundreds of years, the elves have been searching for the legendary Farrun lands, hidden from the mortal’s eyes by a magic dome. But one day a star fell from the sky, destroying the ancient magic, and the conquerors poured into the fairy-tale land. Lead one of the great elven tribes, going to meet the unknown for the good of your people. Black, snow, high and forest elves will converge in a bloody battle for the lands of Farrun. Are you ready to feel their rage?
The board game “Rage of the Elves” is designed for two or four players and is a card game to capture territories. Each elven faction has a unique set of combat units represented by a deck of cards. And the end goal is determined by cards of personal tasks, which will be kept secret until they are completed. There are alternative scenarios, including one common goal at all and a war until the complete destruction of the opponents.
Before I start the review, I want to tell you about one story related to this game. The fact is that there are two versions of the rules of the game. Some are old, appeared at the time of the release, others are new, released a few weeks later. They differ only in the mechanics of combat, but this is a very essential part of the game, since battles take place every turn. It so happened that a new version appeared after part of the circulation was sold to the buyers. But the author did his best to solve the problem – at his own expense, he updated the updated rules, put them into the remaining boxes and even sent out the corrected rules for the shops. If your book of rules begins with the artistic history of the conflict and the description of the factions, and in section 4 – “Fight” there is an option for the placement of advanced players, then you have new, corrected rules. The current version of the rules can always be found on the website miniclip.
So what we have: an average box resembling pizza packaging, two thin but laminated playing fields, which in theory should not be scary of a drop of moisture, dirty hands, a whole pile of cards fastened with elastic bands, and a bag of tokens . Cards of a non-standard size and resemble pocket calendars, tokens are rather dense. Felling is not ideal, but at its price is acceptable. But the illustrations cause real delight! The artist Marina Kleiman worked in detail all the factions and their characters. They make the game lively and attractive.
One of the game fields represents a strategic map of the locality, at the edges of which locks are located, where the players begin their invasion. In the center is a neutral castle, guarded by the dragon Ebrung, the Guardian of the portal. If you capture it, the dragon will go under your control, and from the castle you can teleport to the fortress of enemies. But you still have to reach it, making your way through neutral lands and rare magical towers.
Magical towers are the source of the main resource game in the game – warrior cards. At the beginning of each turn you take in the hand as many cards as there are towers and locks, including the starting one, you control. The limit of cards on the hand is 5. All cards received over the limit are discarded. But not all fighters are equally useful, so it makes sense to get as much as possible to drop the weak. You can even scroll the deck, as in deck-building games like “Star Empire”. Because as soon as it ends, the dump is mixed and a new deck is formed.
The same role is played by the total number of captured lands. Many elven warriors have special abilities, for the activation of which it is necessary to control a certain number of territories. In this regard, the towers are beyond competition – and maps are allowed to access, and access to the properties of the heroes is given. For the seizure of empty lands, of course, an artifact is supposed, but all of them are disposable, and their properties can be both very strong and practically useless – there is as lucky.
Blood and fury
Let’s move on to the main thing in this game – the battles. Each turn, you will capture new lands, entering battles with either neighbors, or with neutral beings. Most of them will be exactly neutral, which, although controlled by another player, is not a direct conflict – the neutrals are usually weaker than the elves and are selected for battle by accident. Instead of one of the enemies, for example, there may be a treasure that not only does not resist, but also gets as a prize to the winning player. For fans of the same PvP-battles (player versus player), a separate game mode is provided.
Battles take place on a separate playing field, which actually serves as a reminder and not really necessary. But if we talk about the details, then the hints on the abilities of the fighters could be made from two sides – and it would be more convenient for the players, and the empty space would be used more rationally.
In the battle there are always two sides involved – the attacking and defending. Both players are sent into battle exactly three cards, which are laid out in front of a face down. Then two cards on each side in turn are laid out on the battlefield along the perimeter. The remaining cards on the table are opened and the one whose parameter of initiative is greater, with a less effective opponent defeats the critical blow – after the battle he will go to the dump. With equal initiative, the attacker always wins. The winner and the defeated are put in the center of the battlefield crosswise. At the request of the winner of this mini-duel, you can swap places with another participating in the battle fighter, improving your chances of success. And, finally, the main battle is taking place – in the order of initiative, the soldiers attack, damaging opponents.
Here, perhaps, it is worth talking about the parameters of the fighters and the types of attacks. In addition to the initiative indicated in the upper left corner of the map, the card has three attack icons – an attack to the right, to the left and vice versa. During the course of the warrior, he can conduct an attack on one of the three sides, taking away from the opponent points of life, indicated below. In total, the game has eight types of attacks, indicated by icons:
• Sword – a simple attack that takes 1 point of health;
• Two swords – an improved version of a simple attack, takes 2 points of health;
• Shield – fully protects from swords, allowing you to ignore damage;
• Ax – a punching blow that takes 1 point of health. Not blocked by a shield;
• Two axes – improved punching. Takes 2 lives, as it is not blocked by a shield;
• Crossed swords – counterattack. An analogue of the shield, which does not block attacks, but inflicts damage to the attacker, taking away 1 life;
• Fire shield – shield and counter-attack in one bottle – and protects from swords, and inflicts damage to the attacker;
• Arrow keys – move. A warrior with this ability can be moved in the direction of movement, swapping places with another card.
There are many icons, but the result of the battle is usually calculated instantly. In this direction it is useless to beat, here the fighter will perish even before the beginning of his turn, and the two bury each other with shields – that’s all. The winner is the player who has more surviving fighters (cards in the center are not counted). The dead soldiers go to the dump, and the living return to the hands of the hosts. A little to influence the results of the battle is possible with the help of artifacts and abilities of the cards remaining in the hand. And this can be done even by players not participating in the battle, that is, you can easily unite all against one, throwing nasty things, as in “Munchkin”. But one of the main factors is still good luck – here and random placement of fighters on the field, and the duel of two randomly remaining cards.
There is another negative side to this system – the winner constantly receives certain bonuses: artifacts and new lands. The loser only has time to fold the dead fighters into the dump. As a result, one player’s hand is full of powerful heroes, and the other plays what has come. This imbalance can be influenced only by summoning neighbors to help in combat. The secret goals of the players are also unequal – to capture four towers is easier and more profitable than seven lands, and even the capture of the enemy’s castle is almost impossible. But they can be balanced, for example, using one common goal for all.
I do not lose the feeling that the “Elven Rage” was to become the desktop “Heroes of the sword and magic”: there is a global map, and a tactical battlefield, seizures of “mines” -magical towers, artifacts and clashes with neutral troops. But for the sake of simplicity and accessibility for a wide audience, all the major strategic elements went under the knife. “Rage of the Elves” turned out to be more tactical than a strategic game, with very simple rules and captivating illustrations.
In my opinion, “Elven Rage” can be liked only by enthusiastic fantasy teenagers and novice board game lovers, not ready for complex calculations and tricky combinations.