From Entropic Games
A review by Mawihtec
You are an Oligarch (A leader with a lot influence usually wealthy). You are in control of formidable faction. Use your cunning to crush the opposition. Wield power whilst you engage in brutal struggles, comebacks and hideous desperate comebacks. A savage and ruthless world where the strong survive and the weak are erased from history in this Collectable Card Game (CCG) from Entropic Games.
The set I received for review contained 4 pre-constructed decks. With cards from all 8 factions. Also enclosed were 4 Affluence/ Influence Trackers, 8 Power Trackers, A quick start guide, A selection of counters and two dice. I was also supplied with 4 booster packs.
In a game of Oligarchy your aim is to reduce the power of your opponents Faction or Factions. To Zero. Do that and you will dominate. You will attempt to achieve this by the use of Influence and Affluence to bring characters and abilities to bear on your target. Be careful they will be doing the same to you. You will need to defend from attacks at the same time you try to destroy. You can use just one Faction or Combine two in an attempt to create combinations that will allow you to win. Before you start a game you will construct your deck of at least 50 cards. Of these you will include Affluence and Influence cards in a fine balancing act of having enough of either come out as and when you need it. You will have access to “Incident” cards like “Back Stab” where you make an opponents card attack them. Items like “Quantum Grenade” which can be sold. Characters are varied from Fanatics to Managers to Corrupt Banks to Bartenders.
CCG. Deck Building. Pre-Constructed? Yes this is a game that plays in a very similar fashion to those other CCG’s like Magic and LOT5R and as such I have to in all honesty hold it up to these style of games. Oligarchy uses a nice theme to the CCG concept of games where Affluence and Influence work as the equivalent of Land cards Characters are akin to Monsters or Creatures. I will say it now I did not find enough depth here to make me want to go and buy booster packs. The pre-constructed decks worked well and from the plays I had seemed to be fairly well balanced. What was noticeable was that there was not enough cards of each faction to play a single faction deck. This was a shame as part of a CCG is experimenting with deck construction. The booster packs did not contain any Affluence or Influence cards this again restricted the ability to play with balance. This was especially the case if you wanted to play 4 player. So while it has a nice feel I do not see enough depth to keep you coming back for more or wanting to go and buy boosters.
If you were to just buy the base box then you would have a game that you can play out of the box which allows you to play a little with deck construction. While not having the expense of getting heavily into buying lots of booster packs. I applaud the attempt at opening up the field of CCG’s. But I cannot find a home on my shelf for this game. It is a shame as this game showed some potential as a head to head or 4-way battle game if it was all self contained. The desire to go the CCG route was a shame as that is how it has to be judged.
Big gripe time. Rule Book Legibility! Oligarchy has a rule book that to be honest is not accessible. If you have 20/20 vision you will struggle let alone if you have any sort of sight deficiency the Black background makes the white text less readable add in the dark purple and greens of the Affluence and Influence are almost impossible to see. Also some of the text print examples were slightly blurred. Just not good enough. So many games show so much promise and it is ruined totally by a bad rulebook. All publishers need to learn to spend a bit on editing and proofreading in this day and age.
- Nice ideas.
- Variety of Factions.
- Rule books bad.
- Not enough depth for a CCG.
- Other games do it better.
I received a copy of “Oligarchy” through BGE to review. This game will now been forwarded onto another reviewer. I have tried not to let this influence my review.