Now Presenting: The Isofarian Guard
Let’s face it, some board games, when they show up, are big. They will dominate your YouTube reviews and game plays. Of course, that is if they are what the crowdfunding or prereleases promised. One of those games which is coming for me tomorrow, I believe, is The Isofarian Guard by Sky Kingdom Games. So before it gets here, let’s revisit the hype and why it was worth picking up.
Crowfunding Isofarian Guard
Let’s first off start by talking about the Kickstarter campaign, which I actually didn’t back. Back around when it came to Kickstarter I had just backed a handful of campaign games, and when I say a handful, I mean a small moving truck full. And Isofarian Guard promised another small moving truck full of game. Though, in reality a lot smaller than a lot of those.
But the game itself was one that I was interested in. Rolling Solo had a game play of it to show off how it worked at least in prototype form. And the mechanics looked interesting to me, but I wasn’t blown away by it. The story, however, I knew that I loved the idea of it. So Isofarian Guard stayed on my radar.
Now, this is where it got interesting. I saw the prototype for Isofarian Guard on a video(s) that Quackalope and BoardGameCo did. And man, is there a lot in the game. In fact, there is so much in the game that I went back and looked at it again. Why, because I thought it might be worth it for the price point. And well, I was right.
Size to Cost Ratio
Let’s just talk about the size of this game, because it is huge. It is bigger than Frosthaven, a very big box and game. And it is cheaper. Now, there are elements in which it has less. But weight wise and size wise it is larger than Frosthaven, so Isofarian Guard is huge. In fact, it’s too large to fit in a Kallax cubby which means I’m heaving it to the top of a Kallax or a need to find another solution.
But that doesn’t cover the cost. The game is cheaper than Frosthaven as well. So larger box but cheaper overall. And it is a lot cheaper than more recent campaign games on crowdfunding. Even when I late pledged it after watching the BoardGameCo video, it was cheaper than the campaign games showing up at that time.
So for me, and where I was with what I had backed recently, I got the late pledge. Even if it is not a game that I love, I think mechanically more than story wise, it is a worthwhile investment.
The Mechanisms of Isofarian Guard
So let’s finish up by talking about the mechanisms in the game and then the story. But the mechanisms need to sell me on themselves for the game. Isofarian Guard is a story adventure game that has two parts. The first part is traveling through the lands. Then you go and have story phases, or more story focused phases in settlements. This might sound like another game, Oathsworn.
But the main mechanism that I want to talk about is bag building and pulling out chips for attack, defense, and other abilities. I think that looks interesting, but it didn’t sell me on it. Mainly, it seems simpler to me than a lot of other games. Let’s compare it again to Oathsworn. That has hand management with a cool down track, and a push your luck element. This is build your bag and assign the chips you pull. But I suspect that there is more than that from the taste I got.
And the story is something that sells me on the game. Again, this is what I remember, because the game has been in production for a while. The world is one where there really isn’t magic, or not much magic. Magic is something of the legends and when a group of the kings finest guard or at least trusted soldiers, become imbued with magic that might end a war, they think that is weird but great.
The king, when they return, he is not a fan. And if I remember again, he is listening to a character that I can best describe as a Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings. Someone who is poisoning the mind of the ruler and leading them into decisions that are not good for their kingdom.
That is a story that I am sold on. It is interesting, offers depth. And does a few things that are unique. In the box is a number of campaigns. But it isn’t like you pick one and play it and then the next one follows along after. I believe that they all happen at the same time as I you play different groups of the guard who split off to complete different objectives from the start of the story. That is a very interesting idea.
Final Thoughts on The Isofarian Guard
Let’s be fair, I late-pledged this game because I love campaign games. But there is another reason as well. While, Isofarian Guard looks like a table hog. It is a solo campaign game. If I couldn’t have played it solo, I wouldn’t have backed it. It is a game that I plan on playing on Malts and Meeples.
Of course, I need to play play other campaign games first. But most likely, not today, but next week I will unbox the game. Show off all the components because, it is a lot and there are some interesting things to look at in the game. I love a campaign game for that. And I want to play it as soon as a can. In fact, it might be the game that I play after ISS Vanguard, we will have to see. I own others like Oathsworn that are high on my list to play as well.
Did you back The Isofarian Guard?