This week, that game is Battle for Sularia. Battle for Sularia has already met its funding goal, and is on its way to a January 22nd release. Although we have not yet had the chance to play Sularia, this one looks like something to get excited about. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll be posting our own thoughts about the game, so stay tuned. The following points are things that intrigue me about this game, but I encourage anybody who’s interested to check out the game’s official website, which explains everything in more detail. Alternatively, you can also take a look at Sularia’s Kickstarter page, which, despite being 100% funded and no longer active, provides plenty of juicy information.
Rich art and lore
While this was originally my last bullet-point, I decided to put this one first, due to how downright beautiful this game is. There’s no way around it–this game is eye-catching. The designers have put a lot of work into ensuring rich visual quality, and I’d be lying if I said that this wasn’t one of the aspects of the game that excited me the most. It’s not just the art, however. The game comes packed with rich lore that will help give context to the actions you’ll be performing in gameplay. An extremely abridged summation of the story is that Sularia, a planet once rich with monolithic civiliations, has fallen into ruin after being over-exploited by its inhabitants. In a setting that combines sci-fi and cyberpunk elements, various factions are now battling for the future of Sularia.
Unfortunately, my own paragraph hardly does the story justice, and you can read a whole lot more about it on the game’s page here. There is a detailed description of the game’s backstory, as well as individual bios for the game’s factions. I find Sularia to be very rich in both artwork and lore, and in my eyes, it’s one of the game’s biggest strengths.
Casual and Competitive Play Modes
I really love the idea of LCGs and CCGs, but it’s just hard for me to get into them because I don’t have people to play with. While I totally understand it’s easy to find a crowd at your local game store, I’ve always been more inclined to play with friends and family. Unfortunately, among my friends and family, no one is really willing to take the time to invest in an LCG (or anything similar to it). This is why I appreciate that Sularia offers multiple game modes for both casual and competitive play.
In one mode, you can fight with pre-arranged decks head to head against an opponent. This is nice, because it allows the game to be picked up and played, should you not want to worry about taking the time to arrange a deck. On the other hand, there’s a draft mode that supports a drafted deck, where two to four players can draft their own deck. This has obvious appeal to more competitive players who like to get their head in the game. Finally, there’s a mode called “2+ player casual constructed,” which implies a deck-construction mechanic that appeals to casual players. While there is not a whole lot of information about this mode yet, I’m eager to see how that plays out when I play the game myself.
60/90 Deck Construction System
Battle for Sularia utilizes a unique construction mechanism for deck building. I have to reiterate that I do not have heavy experience with competitive card games, so if this mechanic is nothing new in this genre, so be it. That being said, the game’s system mandates that you have a minimum of 60 cards that do not exceed 90 points in value. In other words, every card has an assigned value to it, some more powerful than others. You must have at least 60, but you can’t just grab all of the best cards.
This reminds me of Imperial Assault, which uses a similar system in its skirmish game, albeit to a lesser degree. In Imperial Assault, you must bring fifteen skirmish cards into battle, but you cannot exceed 15 points. This means you could either grab fifteen one-poiint cards, or five three-point cards/ten zero-point cards. While I can’t yet speak for Sularia, I felt that this system had a nice natural balance, and it’s intriguing to see how different it may or may not be in a larger scale card game.
According to the game’s website, the game features simultaneous combat, and the round isn’t over until both players have taken their turn. This means that you can’t fully rest assured of your victory until both players have taken their turns. This idea is something that strongly appeals to my tastes, especially having played with my own fair share of analysis-paralysis induced players. Simultaneous play is a mechanic that I’m starting to see pop-up more and more in the tabletop world, and I welcome it with open arms.
Battle for Sularia is a game that contains multiple factions, each with their own cards and abilities. While this should come as no surprise to gamers that are used to CCGs/LCGs that sometimes experiment with asymmetry (Android: Netrunner, and Star Wars: The Card Game, for example, put both players in different roles), it’s interesting to see that this game will offer three, rather than the usual two factions. The Jotune, Synthien, and Mercenary factions each appear to have their own unique quirks, and it will be interesting to see how they work with and against each other. Furthermore, it seems like more are on the way. Should the game find success, it would be interesting to see which factions enter in from the woodwork.
While we’re holding off on our final word until we get the game ourselves, so far, it seems like Battle for Sularia is something to be hyped for. If you want to read more about the game, read other websites’ reviews, or even pre-order, check out the game’s official website. Battle for Sularia will be available for retail on January 22nd, 2016.