Conflicting Kingdoms

Warning! Do not send me a game to review.I was sent a 2-deck Conflicting Kingdoms starter pack six months ago and thanks to illness and multiple bereavements, I’ve only just got around to reviewing it.

Pretty cards

The delay wasn’t helped by the poorly written rules, which seem simple enough, following a simple flow chart. In fact they ARE simple, but there are so many unexplained card abilities that it’s impossible to play straight out of the box without consulting the online references. When someone buys a game, they expect the rules to cover all of the basics and point out special rulings for rare game occurrences. With Conflicting Kingdoms, after we spent 60 minutes trying to fathom out how to even play the basic rules through online tutorials and FAQ’s we gave up to play Breakout Normandy.

Yes, Breakout Normandy. We’re not averse to complex rules, but unclear rules are just frustrating and it’s a shame, because people are going to give up on this before they’ve even started.

Conflicting Kingdoms is a Collectible Card Game with the nice idea of using the location cards within the deck to construct the game board (previously used in Aliens vs. Predator). Each location will then provide one or more of the four different elements with which your avatar can play abilities and receive awards.

Space Marine vs Genestealer

The ultimate aim is to kill your opponent by reducing their life total to zero. This is done by attacking from varying locations (which give different benefits and may reward you after attack resolution) and damaging your opponent if they do not have a conflict card with which to defend themselves.

The different avatars and abilities require different combinations of elements enabling deck construction around particular strategies providing a great degree of replayability.

The addition of dice into the mix can ruin a nicely balanced deck however. Fine-tuning a deck can feel like a horrible waste of time when your avatar cannot move into a certain location because you didn’t roll well enough. Additionally the conflicts became dice-fests.

The aesthetics of the game are rather pleasing, with the art in each of the pre-constructed decks being done by a different artist, lending each of them their own flavour. Additionally, there are metal miniatures available to represent each player’s avatar; a lot of effort has gone into the design of the components.

Conflicting Kingdoms styles itself as “The Most Exciting Trading Card Game…. In The World.”

For some people this may be the case, but the fact is, they may never get pass the vague and inadequate rules. I had to sit down and read and re-read the rules and solo-play the game using the online resources before I could introduce it to other people. I had to force myself to play.

With the vast number of easily accessible and fun games out there, the ethereal quality of the rules may prove to be the undoing of Conflicting Kingdoms as players just give up and read another game’s rulebook; one that makes sense.

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