So, last weekend, I sat down with my wife to play Villagers and Villains, a card game by C. Aaron Kreader of Studio 9 Games. This was a Kickstarter I backed last year and it is only now that I have finally gotten around to playing it. The Kickstarter offered several reward levels and I opted for the core Villagers and Villains (V&V) game along with the Villagers and Villains: City Builder expansion. This review is only for the basic core game (Ill review the advanced rules and City Builder expansion later).
V&V came in a nice, full color rigid setup box. Both the cover art and the bottom box art are well done. The box is good quality and sturdy. Its small and the components inside fit nicely.
Inside the box you will find the instructions which are a single black and white sheet. There are 115 cards all of which feature fantastic artwork created by the game's author. There are two chipboard markers, one for the Starting Player and one indicating the King's Favor (the King's Favor is for the optional advanced rules which will be covered in a later review).The game comes with some punch out gold pieces which are made of sturdy chipboard. These little dudes are fairly thick and I can see them lasting a long time. The cards are standard poker size and a decent thickness (if I had any complaint it would be the card thickness, but this is minor and not a factor at all (I'm just a card prude)). There's also a small white d6 and a scorepad.
I felt like all of the components were of good quality. Nothing felt cheap in my hands.
On a final component note, the artwork if great. It is playful, colorful, humorous and kid friendly. I really enjoyed it.
The goal of V&V is to build the most successful village. The game is divided into rounds, each round having six phases of play. These phases of play allow you to recruit cards, battle enemies, get pillaged by enemies, get gold, and hire new heroes or citizens or build new buildings for your village. Cards in your village award you with points at the end of the game. You will want as many points as possible in order to win.
Challenge cards feature villains and other threats to your village. You will have to defeat these or else you will be losing gold. In our first game, I had a bad run of recruitment and quickly found myself mired in challenge cards (I kept battling trolls only to lose time and again - I blamed the die that came with V&V as I was only rolling 1s. After switching to my own d6, I began rolling 1s and 2s).
My wife and I found the rules to be easy to learn and game play was fast. Within just a couple turns we were on our own, looking back at the rules for specifics only a couple of times. We were engaged and entertained by the game play.
Villagers and Villains is fun. It is quick to play and I can see how playing with more people would make it that much more exciting. When we were finished we both felt like it was time well spent. We are looking forward to running the advanced version tonight and the expansion sometime this week. Money well spent.
As a side note. I mentioned before that I picked this up as a Kickstarter last year. I would gladly back (and will back) any other Kickstarters that C. Aaron Kreader/Studio 9 Games runs. He was communicative and gave what was promised on time (I may have gotten my game a little before the due date actually). Fantastic Kickstarter experience.
Here is Bored to Death's review of Villagers and Villains.
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