Currently live on kickstarter
Dawn of the Peacemakers is created by Sami Laakso. If the name sounds familiar? It should. He is the same creator and artist behind the brilliant Dale of Merchants & Dale of Merchants 2. Right off the bat you can tell Dawn of the Peacemakers is set in the same universe as the DoM games with the anthropomorphic characters of birds, lizards, foxes etc. Unlike those previous games where profit wins the day. Here the only way to win is by stopping a war.
Where Dawn of the Peacemakers tries to be different is that instead of stopping a war before it begins. Conflict has already started, your role as a group of adventurers is to turn the hostilities in such a way that both sides are ready to call a truce and withdraw. Yes this is a co-op, campaign, skirmish game with legacy style elements.
Yes you did just ready that right. Dawn of the Peacemakers is a co-operative board-game where as the game progresses through the campaign you will unlock different abilities and environmental attributes (Not all are guaranteed to assist you) to turn the tide of hostility. Be careful though as fail to achieve the balance can leading to escalation and ultimately loss for all involved.
You are also gaining a skirmish style game as well where you can control one of the armies each and go head to head with an opponent in battle. You will be able to utilise the unlocks from the campaign mode missions to assist you. So the skirmish battle after 10 missions will be hugely different to the one you have out of the box at the start.
The copy of Dawn of the Peacemakers that was sent to BGE reviewers was not the final production copy. So component quality was not comment-able. If however the standard of the preview copy is anything to go by, then it is showing a lot of promise. During the Kickstarter campaign upgrades and enhancements will become available. Also the copy received did not have the miniatures but standees. The following list is the planned set for the game before stretch goals are added.
- 420 Cards,
- 1 Double sided game board,
- 2 Double sided boards
- 30 Miniatures,
- 30 Custom miniature bases,
- 30 Double sided terrain tiles,
- Custom Die,
- Various tokens (damage fortification etc.),
- Campaign rulebook,
- Skirmish rulebook,
- Index rulebook,
- Undisclosed unlock-able components.
You and your fellow adventurers have been called upon to stop the brewing war between the Ocelots and the Macaws. So how do you achieve this? You are on the battlefield stood between the two hostile armies and feeling decidedly vulnerable. You will each in turn use cards from your hands to allow you to move, fortify, heal, damage or a myriad of other things. While you will not come under direct fire yourself. You must work together to ensure that no one side becomes dominant. If that happens then the stronger side will win and war will ravage the land (you lose). An army that loses its leader will lose the will to fight and surrender (you lose). An army whose motivation to fight drops to low (you lose). You see the pattern? The only way to succeed is not to stop the fighting but control the losses on either side, ensuring both sides lose the will to fight on at the same time (at least in the beginning). Over the course of the campaign you will encounter many scenarios. You do not need to win every one (it would help though). Instead you need to focus on the bigger picture of stopping all out war.
The story weaved through the game (as experienced so far). Is one that has depth and engagement. You will start to care about your characters and how they achieve their goals. Your allies in this adventure will work with you assisting you along the way. The rules were well explained if a little complex initially due to the new terminology encountered. The Index book is a good addition allowing you to look up a particular term for a clear explanation.
Overall I really enjoyed Dawn of the Peacemakers. I do think it has the feel of a gateway to legacy/co-op style games due to the friendly artwork which hides some of the depth to come. The first intro campaign explains the base rules well. A problem I did encounter was with the enemy order decks. Which while a great idea, due to a bad draw of them lead to my first play of the intro campaign taking much longer than was needed. This was because we had managed to get to a point where we just needed one soldier to die and we would win the scenario. It took 8 more rounds for this to occur with nothing much happening in the meantime. NOTE this was not repeated on the second play as it flowed much better and the unlocks allow for much more flow reducing the possibility of this happening. But it does need mentioning. I could see this working well in a family setting as well as a regular game group. It is a game that demands the investment of time to play the campaign so is less suited for the ad-hoc game night. I am looking forward to seeing the finished product on sale.
This pre-production copy of Dawn of the Peacemakers was sent to Board Game Exposure for preview. No money changed hands and no obligation for review content was inferred with the supply of the game.