Warigin - Warigin Never Changes
On Kickstarter Through: 3-Headed Dog - 2018
Designer: Christian Sauer
Head Artist: Anna Kersten
2 - 3 players ~ 15 - 30 minutes
Review written by Luke Muench
I’ve always found Kickstarter to be a difficult and confusing place. Sure, you have your crazy success stories like the infamous Scythe, but just as often you hear public outcry about big companies looking to take advantage of the ravenous, deep-pocketed masses. From humongous and gimicky Cthulhu statues to publishers launching kickstarters without the appropriate rights to their licenses, Kickstarter is no stranger to controversy.
Luckily, Warigin is neither of those things, instead it’s a quaint 2- to 3-player dudes-on-a-map game being released by a small group of dedicated people looking to make their dream a reality. It’s a resh change of pace to see such a well-meaning project come into the spotlight, and you can tell the team are invested in what they’re doing here.
Hydra Has Nothing On Me
“Cut off one head, two more shall take its place.” - The Red Skull
Warigin is a 2 vs. 1 game in which a team of players control the forces of hell as they attempt to topple the forces of heaven. The game ends when any player’s fortress falls, with the winner(s) being the team with their fortress(es) intact.
Each player has a group of forces which they secretly place on the board at the start of the game, composed of 1 strength regular soldiers, and mightier 2 strength heroes. The different units are identified by swords printed on the bottoms of the wooden figures provided.
Whether you are the hero or the villains, each round plays very similarly; after an event is revealed and satisfied, each player may play a card from their hand and must move figures on the board. The heavenly player gets 3 actions whereas the two hellish players get 2 each. Cards vary from take-that elements that remove enemy forces from the board, to passive buffs for your soldiers, to ways of reviving fallen figures. Movement is simple, as a figure may be moved 1 hex, and each figure can only be moved once per turn.
If a figure is moved into a hex occupied by an enemy, a battle occurs. The bottoms of both figures are revealed, showing whether or not they are a soldier or a hero. Then, each player rolls D8’s based on their figure’s strength; whoever rolls higher wins, with attackers winning ties. There’s also a more deterministic variant included that gives each player a deck of cards with values 1 through 8 to use in battles instead of dice.
And… well, that’s about it. Warigin is a small, concise, simple experience that knows that it’s trying to do and aims for it guns ablazin’. But does it work as well as it wants to?
Would I War-Again?
“I am sure that you will never end war with wars.” - Nancy Astor
If I’m being frank, dudes-on-a-map games have never been my cup of tea, and this game did little to change that opinion. Much of the game is left to the roll of dice and the hope that you can maintain enough figures to get by. Many of the cards in your hand do simple things, such as removing units from the board, so they never feel like they lead to clever or interesting plays. And while you have different types of units on the board, heroes feel more overpowered in combat than they do “special” in an exciting or interesting sense, crashing through enemy forces some days and rolling snake eyes in combat another day.
That being said, this may be a fun beer and pretzels game for some, or be a satisfying strategic abstract war-game with a gothic theme, as long as you want rules-light, straight forward experiences. The gameplay is fast in simple in a laid back kind of way, and people who can get behind the theme might find themselves engaging with it. There aren’t too many 2-player dudes-on-a-map games either to my knowledge (though I don’t focus too much on that style of game), so this might fill that niche for those who are looking for it.
Warigin is a neat experience for those who like the visuals they see and find the premise appealing, but what you see is what you get. If this doesn’t sound like a blast to you, it probably won’t be, plain and simple. That said, clearly enough people are invested in the idea, seeming as it has already reached its funding goal as of writing this review.. I wish Three-Headed Dog nothing but the best as they move forward with this passion project.
Who Should Get This Game: Couple looking for a light, simple war game to share with close company.
Who Shouldn’t Get This Game: Those put off by the dudes-on-a-map genre or the small playcount.
Got questions about the game, the review, or the creative process? Let us know any we may tackle it when we publish our audio version with additional thoughts and Q&A on TCbH Reviews.
Review copy of Warigin has been provided by 3 Headed Dog. You can find the kickstarter page for Warigin here.
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