The best card games merge in this strategy/board game
In 2013, Abrakam put together a Kickstarter for its card-cum-tile strategy game Faeria. It was wildly successful – raising over $90,000 (over £75,000 in the Queen’s money). Now, that game is available on Steam Early Access as a free-to-play title for everyone to get in on.
Faeria brings together aspects of Hearthstone, Magic: The Gathering, and
Scrolls, and mashes them together. Players fight by summoning creatures and other units to a board of hexagonal tiles, and also summoning land.
Summon red mountains, and you’ll be able to summon red creatures – which are combat oriented. There are four special types of land, plus plain prairies, each of which corresponds to a type of creature. Deckbuilding is thus not based on classes, but the type of land you’re trying to make.
It’s an interesting and strategically deep idea. Some creatures can be ranged, for example, and attack in any straight line at a distance, but unable to move and attack in the same turn.
While such depth makes Faeria a challenge to get to grips with if you dive in head first, it has a robust singleplayer mode with which to educate you. Both AI battles and puzzles – scenarios where you’re challenged to win in one turn – help to coax you into the right mindset.
When you win, it feels satisfying, a combination of feeling like you’ve both outwitted and outmanoeuvred your opponent. The added complexity of the hex-based layout makes it feel less like a card game and more like a board game.
It does, however, mean sessions are a little slower than you might expect from a card game – turns are often longer and you’ve got to think about your options carefully. Positioning on the board is key, so you’ve got to account for all sorts of possibilities when anticipating the enemy. There’s a lot of fun to be had in learning
Faeria. Its depth means real-world opponents are a challenge early on, but it makes for a rewarding climb through singleplayer until you’re ready to take on the world. Some changes will surely be made before the game comes out of Early Access, but right now this is already a fulfilling and challenging strategy game.