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Clash of Arms: Castle Lords – Review

July 9, 2011

Publisher Clash of Arms
Genre Family Card Game
Number of Players 2 to 5 players
Play Time 1 hour
Initial Review Date 7/8/11
Last Updated 7/8/11
FAQ
Files/Tools
Click here to Play

This game takes place during the time when King Richard was engaged in the crusades. This is the same time period that the Robin Hood stories take place. However, rather than playing as robin or his merry men you play as one of the feudal lords. Because so many soldiers are away on the crusades none of the prominent castles in the area are sufficiently defended. So you have decided to do what any sensible lord would do…try to seize the crown!

Of course you’re not the only lord with this idea and so you must compete with the others. Whoever can secure the castles and bring justice to the land will surly gain favor with the king when he returns.

Game Play

So, the way this game works is you have five castles in the middle of the table that start off undefended. Each player then takes a turn drawing cards which represents recruitment of your armed forces.

This consists of drawing 2 cards one of which you must offer up for trade. If no one will willing to trade then the card is discarded. In this way you can build up your hand of cards quicker by offering up units that other players want and are willing to trade for.

Each card has 2 basic characteristics that are important. One is a shield in the corner representing what faction that unit belongs to. The other is the type of unit.

In order to attack a castle all of the units that you use must match on one of these two characteristics. So either they must all come from the same faction or they must all be the same type of unit.

Attacking is pretty straight forward, you must attack with more units than is currently defending the castle. Once the castle is taken whatever you used to take the castle are now the defenders. Additionally, when you take a castle you place one of your 5 tokens on the castle you took in the crown position marked on the board.

Each castle is different and allows for a certain number of tokens to occupy it. Once that number is exceeded then the least recent player to own that castle loses their token.

Play proceeds until every card has been drawn. At that point players can only do one of two things on their turn. They can play cards to take a castle or discard their remaining hand. Once everyone has passed then the game is over. Each castle has a point value which is only earned by the current owner of the castle. Once the game is over the points are totaled up and the player with the most points wins.

Conclusion

To a certain extent this is really more of a child’s game. The game play mechanics are pretty simple and the strategy in the game is rather limited. That being said, it’s refreshing to see a different take on the robin hood time period. In fact he isn’t mentioned at all and you would only know it was the same time period by knowing your history

The game is alright, but I do have some complaints. For one thing the box this game comes  in is waaaay too big. I actually built a smaller box to keep all the pieces in to make it more portable. My other complaint is the simplicity of the game of course I suppose this isn’t surprising as it is marketed as a family game. So, I guess in a way this is a selling point as it means it’s a game you can play with young kids if you want, making it a decent quick little family game.


 Part 1: Clash of Arms: Castle Lords – Review
 Part 2: Clash of Arms: Castle Lords – Strategy
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