A review by
- 2 Players
- 30 Minutes
- 14+ Ages
Conflict has erupted across the land of Jogu. Various warring factions vie for control. Not so much of the kingdom itself, rather for access to the liquid Saiur. An energy generating liquid which has the ability to transform the economies of the various factions and their followers. You will be called upon to master both war and deception in your efforts to emerge as the victor and claim the spoils you and your followers so richly deserve.
The gorgeous art box contains all you need to play. At the time of writing The Kickstarter relaunch campaign is due to happen in March 2018. Because of this the final component count could potentially change due to any stretch goals reached dependant on the campaigns success. The preview copy I received for preview had inside,
- Location board,
- Scoring track board,
- End game and round markers,
- Victory point and moral markers,
- Location cards,
- Faction cards (currently 200 in 5×40 card faction decks),
- Stay tokens,
- Start player token,
The basic core concept in Warriors of Jogu has players trying to out manoeuvrer each other. Each round you will send troops to various locations to battle for supremacy. There is however a catch (isn’t there always). You only know one of the two initial battle locations in each round. Your opponent knows the other. Can you work out where your opponent is focussing their battle forces while deceiving them about the location of yours? Misdirect by sending troops to dummy locations. But watch out, your rival will be doing the same. Just to complicate things a little further there is a restriction on the total value of all cards that can be placed at a single location (cue some rule breaking abilities if you please).
Warriors of Jogu is normally played over seven rounds. I say normally as this can possibly change due to special abilities on some of the cards that might become available each round. All rounds in a typical game are broken down into a series of five phases. These phases are,
- Reinforcement→ A discard and draw phase to replenish your hand to seven cards.
- Scout→ Each player draws a battle location card from their location deck.
- Deployment→ Taking turns players will either place a card onto one of the location spaces on the board or pass (if you pass that is it no more actions this round).
- Resolution→ Reveal battle locations. Calculate battle location strength (highest wins). Place your VP marker onto track. Reduce losing players moral based on their cards used. If moral track reaches zero, that’s it you lose.
- Clean-up→ all used faction and location cards are discarded, round marker moves and start player rotates.
“Hold on a minute. Didn’t you say something about special abilities?” Yes I did. This is where Warriors of Jogu steps up its game if you will pardon the pun. What would otherwise have been a box standard number crunching card game. Manages to throw you a bit of a curve ball with the use of interesting special abilities. Some examples of these are,
- Playing restriction→ Might only allow you to play a card to a certain location or only if another card is already in play on that location.
- Instant→ Effect triggers when card is played might include play card upside down or play a card from your discard pile.
- Timing→ Effect triggers at a certain point in the round for example move a card if opponent plays card to this location.
- Resolution→ Effect triggers during this phase example could be gain moral or opponent loses moral.
- Protection→ Immunity to abilities and effects from other cards.
Does it all come together into a neat little package in Warriors of Jogu? Well almost. I did enjoy playing the game and found some of the card abilities interesting. I do think the variety in each of the faction decks could have been greater. An example of this is that the Guards of Keion faction 40 card deck only has 6 different cards. Eleven (11) of which were the one card and eight (8) were another. That equates to almost half of your deck of 40 cards being comprised of just those 2. Do all cards really need abilities? Some cards with no abilities would have allowed for greater variety and made for some interesting decisions. This does not mean that Warriors of Jogu is a bad game, far from it. I do however think some more work on card variety would have helped.
Now onto a big bug in my ointment. Box Size! Here we have a game that comes in a box 30×22×7cm when it could easily have been almost 1/3 of that size. I do understand arguments about shelf presence but do we really need so much empty space on a Kickstarter game? Surely a smaller box could have saved on shipping cost while still having plenty of room to allow the sleeving of cards. A larger collector style box could have easily been introduced for expansions.
A light 2 player deck battler game that plays well and deserves some of your time to experience. Some nice ideas well implemented. Just let down with a lack of variety. One to watch going forward I think.
I was provided with a copy of Warriors of JOGU to review as part of the BGE group. I have now passed this copy on to another reviewer in the group. This has no bearing on my review or my final thoughts on the game.