sularia condor

Battle for Sularia Review

In All, Kickstarter, Reviews, Sularia by Zach HillegasLeave a Comment

Battle for Sularia Review

It’s all out war between the Jotune and the Synthien, two enemy factions on the scarred world of Sularia. Once a paradise among men, this planet once rich in resources has been overtaken by endless battle between these two groups, each of them fighting for the lion’s share of precious Sularium, a powerful natural resource that has powered their civilizations for millennia. Gaining self awareness, the robotic Synthien have broken away from their Jotune overlords, the human-like race that has governed the world of Sularia until recent times. Both sides have their own heroes, motivations, and abilities, and only the best will see the light of victory. It’s up to you to decide who, in this new Battle Card Game by Punch-It Entertainment.

Battle for Sularia is a brand new competitive card game that pits players against each other, each one commanding one of the aforementioned factions. Although it brands itself as a “Battle Card System Game,” make no mistake, this is a Living Card Game. Fantasy Flight has (somewhat annoyingly) trademarked the term “Living Card Game,” so other games that follow suit must refer to themselves by a different title, but this is an LCG through and through. In Battle for Sularia, you will tactically construct your own deck, adapt to your opponent’s strategies, get more cards for your deck through transparent expansions (as in, no randomized distribution–you have full knowledge of the contents of every add-on), and then put those cards to use in what will become an evolving metagame.

sularia box

…Of course, you’ve heard all of that before, haven’t you? Replace “Jotune” and “Synthien” and “Sularia” with other words, and you might be able to think of ten other competitive card games that might as well be telling the same story. Delve deeper, and you might be asking yourself how different these games even are when it comes to gameplay. There are plenty of LCGs that are out right now, so do we need room for another? That’s the question I asked myself when I heard about Sularia–“Why should I care about a new LCG?” I’m sure many other people are asking themselves the same question, among others–“does this game do anything to stand out?”

After playing Sularia for a good long while, it is this reviewer’s opinion that Battle for Sularia is worth your time. I feel like the game has a lot of potential, but only if you, dear reader, are willing to give it a chance. Let’s talk about it.

Gameplay

How do you play the game? Is it a fun experience? How much interaction is there between the players? Is there very much luck involved? Will it take forever to to learn and teach?

sularia gameplay

Depth

How much strategy is involved? Is there a sense of variety and balance? Does the game play well no matter how many players there are? How long does it take to play?

sularia synthien row

Look and Feel

Is the game aesthetically pleasing? Are the components made out of quality material, or do they feel cheap? Is the rulebook well-designed and easy to read? How well is theme integrated into the game?

sularia condor

Value

Is it a game you can play over and over? Are there expansions available for the game, and if so, are they necessary? Does the amount of the content in the box justify the price?

sularia decks

Conclusion

sularia box

What I liked:

Battle for Sularia is a solid competitive card game that shows lots of promise. I liked how quick and easy it is to play, while still being deep enough to satisfy hardcore tastes. I enjoyed its dual-resource system, and the tactical importance of playing your sites in the right locations, and using your combatants in the right way. I really enjoyed its length–Sularia is shorter than your average CCG/LCG, yet still feels saturated with strategy.

The game trims down on needlessly complicated mechanics, delivering a less convoluted experience than what you might find with other games.  In battle, for example, the game takes an “all or nothing” approach where you either destroy your enemy completely, or not at all, preventing the need to track damage all over the place. Sularia is ripe with little touches that make the game feel streamlined. The lore, artwork, and overall visual presentation are top-notch, and in my opinion, give other competing card games a run for their money.  The theme is well-represented in the gameplay, and both of the factions feel asymmetrical enough as to both offer their own differing playstyles.

In terms of deckbuilding, Sularia implements the unique “60/90” system that ensures you have 60 cards, but the deck can’t exceed 90 “points” in value. This makes deckbuilding a creative challenge, and ensures that decks will be relatively balanced against each other, no matter the opponent. This forces the player to rely on in-game tactics just as much as good deckbuilding, and guarantees that just about every game will turn into a proper battle.

What I didn’t like:

Sularia, while not a difficult game to play, was needlessly complicated to learn due to the excessively simplified “basic” rulebook that’s included, and the disorganized, convoluted nature of its online-only comprehensive ruleset. I always left with more questions than answers when reading the rules, and wish I would have just had someone that could teach it straight to me.

While the game itself is well-balanced, it sometimes feels like it relies too much on your starting hand; a starting hand that doesn’t give you the right cards can result in you being steamrolled by your opponent without being able to put up much (if any) of a fight. Also, due to the nature of the resource generation mechanic, and the importance of said resources, this game can have “kick ’em while they’re down” moments where it’s very difficult for a player to come back if they’ve been significantly weakened.

While the production quality is indisputably high, you can definitely feel the repercussions of the game being packed in such a small box, presumably to save money. The rulebook, as I mentioned, is too small, and the game is lacking in chits or tokens that would be very handy, if not outright required. Finally, I worry about the sustainability of Sularia is an evolving card game if future updates and expansions are going to be pushed through Kickstarter over several month long periods.


Overall, I think Battle for Sularia is well worth anyone’s time who enjoys competitive card games. Furthermore, due to its streamlined nature, Sularia would actually be my top recommendation of choice for new players in the world of CCGs/LCGs. The game feels like a great starting point for people who want to explore the deckbuilding, but if you’re already in that world, the game has enough to offer to keep you hooked. I, for one, am interested in Battle for Sularia’s future.

Read more about Battle for Sularia

Verdict

YOU WILL LIKE THIS GAME IF…

  • You enjoy competitive card games in general
  • If you’re looking for a good starting point to get into competitive card games
  • You like deep strategic games that can be played quickly
  • You enjoy games that have rich artwork and lore
  • You like the feeling of becoming progressively stronger in a game
  • You like the idea of competitive card games, but feel like most of them are too complicated
  • If you want a unique twist on deckbuilding
  • You want a competitive card game that can be played with four players

YOU WON’T LIKE THIS GAME IF…

  • Competitive card games turn you off
  • You don’t like having boundaries when you build decks
  • You’re learning the game on your own and don’t like learning from videos
  • You’re not a fan of sci-fi
  • You don’t like keeping track of things with outside components
  • Fantasy Flight Living Card Games aren’t complex enough for you
About the Author

Zach Hillegas

Zach is an avid tabletop gamer, and he created Board Game Resource out of his love for the hobby, and his desire to see more people come into it. When he's not writing for or managing BGR, Zach might be hanging out with cats, hiking a mountain, or spending time with his lovely wife. Zach is currently studying for a degree in Business Management. Zach has also enjoys creating digital character art. You can check out his gallery here, or follow him on Instagram at @artworkbyzach!


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