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Evil Overlord: Kickstarter Preview

Evil Overlord: Kickstarter Preview

Information:

Mechanics: Trading, real-time, hand management
Player Age: 6+
Player Count: 3 to 10 players
Time to Play: 5 Minutes
Publisher: Shades of Vengeance
Game Creator and Designer: Ed Jowett
Graphic Designer: Alexander Korchnev
Artwork: Sophia Michailidou

Disclaimer: This is a prototype copy so everything could change when the game launches on Kickstarter and could change again once the game is finalized.

How to play:

The game begins with each player getting a total of 7 cards each of which they are not allowed to look at, sorry no peeking! Then on the count of 3...2...1 everyone can now look at there cards and begin trading.
Trading is the beginning of the first of two phases within the game.
The two phases are called: The Market Phase and The Battle Phase.


The Market Phase: This phase is reminiscent of how the game 'Pit' works in that all players are simultaneously trading a chosen number of cards for an equal return, however unlike Pit you are not trying to trade as fast as possible. To trade you will choose and announce a number of cards (these can be mixed or similar cards) to swap with another player offering the same amount. All players must have 7 cards at all times but you can stop trading at any time once you are happy with your hand. To stop trading you place your cards face down on the table and you are no longer allowed to interact with the other players trades. Trading continues until there is no one left to trade with but make sure to take note of who stopped trading first as this will be important in the battle phase.

The objective of this phase is to get the strongest power possible within one type of faction, this relates to both an individual card's number and the overall number of all the cards combined. 'Faction' is the term used to group certain cards together. There are four factions; Undead, Creatures, Dark Elf Empire, and Robots. These factions are depicted by the different coloured card borders and the iconography presented in the top right corner of each card (seen in the below picture).

At the end of the market phase, which is signified by the end of all trading, each player can only carry over one faction from their hand to be used in the battle phase. This means that any card not of the player's chosen faction is discarded.


Battle Phase: This phase begins immediately following the end of the market phase. Now it's time to send your chosen faction to war!
All players turn over their non-discarded cards and show which factions will be in play. There may be multiples of the same faction and absences of others but this is okay as there are a total of 27 cards within each faction in the deck and only 7 randomly dealt cards have been used for each player present.
Battle begins by resolving any and all abilities on the monster cards across all armies (abilities on non-monster cards come into effect later). 'Monster cards' are those with both a faction icon and a numerical attack value (termed as the card's 'power') in the top right corner. Most abilities are unique to that monster (see below images) although not all monster cards come with abilities.



Starting with the highest power, and continuing in descending order, each monster uses their ability. In the event of a tie in monster power, play goes to the player who first stopped bidding in the market phase (see I told you this would be relevant later). If that player is not a participant in the tie, play will go to the player clockwise and continue in this direction until it reaches someone participating in the tie.
Once all the monster cards with abilities have been played, it is time to move onto the non-monster based ability cards. These are depicted by a faction icon in the top right corner of the card but no power number (pictured below). These cards work to aid your monsters or hinder other player's monsters. 
The battle phase, and therefore the game, is ended by combining the power of each surviving monster and relevant ability. The player with the highest number is the winner and the new Evil Overlord.



Thoughts/ Who is this for?

Evil Overlord is a clear and concise game that can be set-up and learnt in minutes. The two phases are straightforward and intuitive; you trade cards to try and gain the best army then each monster going from highest to lowest will battle it out using their abilities and the player with the strongest army will leave as the victorious Evil Overlord.

This game is perfect for a couple of rounds while you are warming up for a fun tabletop night ahead. It is also great as a palette cleanser for when you need a break between those larger brain-burning games that can last hours of complex thinking.
This game is quick to learn, simple to follow, and fun with friends/family but also reaches depths that are not achieved by similar games. For example, through the allocation of relaxed trading, the game allows the players a high level of hand management, accompanied by an increased level for strategy development. For these reasons and many more, this game will keep you returning in succession. 

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