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Cute Animals Can Be Watchmen Too

04 Apr

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Watchmen of Destiny Preview
Watchmen of Destiny is currently on Kickstarter, you can check the KS page here. In case you are wondering what this is, it is a card game from Lukas Litvaj about cute animals as something called Watchmen supposedly to watch something. And to my surprise as I looked where was the publisher name, it’s self published. So good luck to him!

Let’s get down to it shall we?
The game components are mostly cards (hell it’s only cards), hence it’s a card game. Don’t stop reading please… cause I think this game is great. Small games, only cards but interesting to play. The background story is that players need to hire watchmen (cute animals with different races and classes take on the world of Ninjas, Assassins, Warriors, Mages and etc) in order to protect the so-called Tree of Destiny. The player who hires the best army to protect it will win the game. The game ends after one player managed to hire 7 watchmen (still finish the round), but that doesn’t mean that player wins the game, there’s a scoring to decide who has the highest point.

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Each round, players will take a turn to do four steps (or less). The first one is using an item from your disposal, this step is obligatory, so a player must play an item card. Item is very important, it determines the number of cards a player can draw this turn and how many action points they have aside from having a special effect. Each player will be dealt a number of item cards based on number of players at the start of the game, but the first player will have a necklace item already played in front of him as a marker to be the first player this turn.
The second step is purchase tent cards. Tent cards are used to accommodate your recruits. Each tent card can accommodate a single watchman. So basically a player need to purchase 7 tent cards in order to hire 7 watchmen. Each tent card cost 1 gold coins, which can be paid by spending a watchman card with at least one gold coin symbol. Players can buy more than one tent card at once, sum up the total cost and pay it with watchman card(s), but keep in mind, overpaid value is lost. Based on Rahdo review, He has a good idea to set up 7 face down tent cards in front of each player. So when a player buys a tent card, he just need to flip one of his face down card. This makes it easier to track each player progress from time to time. Good job Rahdo, you’re the best!
The third step is hire a watchman (which can only be done once per round). To recruit a watchman, a player must play it from his hand and pay the cost listed on the top left of that watchman card. Put the hired card on top of an available tent card in your display but show some space on the above to track activation available in this watchman (how many activation this card can be used is listed on the bottom center of the card).
The last step is to perform the actions available. As I already mentioned before, players will gain action points from using an item card and the available actions are listed from their watchmen based on their classes.
At the end of each round, the player with the necklace item will have the first pick to choose one of the items used by players (he cannot choose his own item card) in that round. If a player choose a necklace card, he will be the first player next round and this is the only way that a player may end up having the same item card he played in this round. If the necklace is not changed hands, the first player doesn’t change.

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The Scoring
When the last round is over (a round when one player or more hire the 7th watchman) it’s time to do the scoring. Each player sums up all the cost of their hired watchmen. And add modifier from Warrior card (+1 point for each warrior hired). Then subtract one point for each pair of watchmen who have the same race and class. And finally each player score points from majority of each race. The last scoring is unique since the amount of points from winning this majority is equal the total amount of cards of one race in play.

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My Thoughts on The Game
The first caught my interest is, of course the artworks. Super cute animals (I love animals, and my girlfriend loves them too) really done the job. Checked the price and shipping and it’s not really expensive, BAM! here I am, a backer. At first I thought it’s just a simple (mindless, empty and so ordinary take that) card game, but when I read the rules and watched Rahdo’s review, I was wrong. This one hides quite a powerful punch in the game play. Yes it uses hand management, but honestly the main appeal is not in the hand management, but how to efficiently put your cards to use. The mechanic of the tent cards and action point allowance is so good. It forces you to think your next move, your actions are limited based on the item card you choose to use at a given round, yes the item card is very interesting, players will be given the dilemma to choose which item to use because it provides them several benefits to be considered. How many cards they can draw, how many action points and also what effect the item has. This really affecting the outcome of the game. And the available actions from the watchmen are fewer from time to time, force players to consider the timing and plan their moves. I like the idea of having watchman cards that are limited and at some point will no longer can be activate. It’s like they’ve done their purpose and we shall hire another if we still want to use a specific action. I love the distribution rules on the item cards in each round, this way mitigates the luck of the draw from the item cards.
So I think this one is a pretty little card game that offers quite interesting game play. A bit of “take that” feel from the Ninja action but overall the game is about efficiently use your cards. I definitely think this is a good one to back if you like a  card game since the components are, of course, only cards. And not to mention the art is superbly amazing, cute animals! But of course it could be more interesting with name for each character, that would be more attractive, easy to mention the characters during the game if they have names.

So let’s take a look about the project and what’s in store in the upcoming days (13 days to go). Here’s the stretch reward goals.

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At this point there are already tons of stuff unlocked, a whole new race, more cards in each class, better card quality. And multi language rulebook (which I found to be pretty much useless). I guess me being Indonesian is used to use English as a main language when it comes to board games. But that’s how it is. The latest one being unlocked is an interesting one, a better box. Well, sleeved cards fit into the box is really something for me, since I will definitely sleeve this one. They also added some Kickstarter exclusive SGs but I don’t think it really important, unless if you’re being a completionist (I have that feeling). So I hope these locked SG’s will be unlocked in the next days. Hurrah for the project!

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