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War of Omens is a card game combining deck-builder and CCG mechanics, featuring fast, strategic play and 3 different playable factions.
War of Omens is a card game combining deck-builder and CCG mechanics, featuring fast, strategic play and 3 different playable factions.
War of Omens is a card game combining deck-builder and CCG mechanics, featuring fast, strategic play and 3 different playable factions.
527 backers pledged $32,335 to help bring this project to life.

A Brief Intro to Gameplay!

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Hey Backers!  Jace here with our first BIG update!

Today we wanted to really dig into the meat of War of Omens, and give you guys a glimpse into the great game that we've created.  We're going to take you through the creation of a deck, introduce you to one of the game's heroes, and give you an idea of how someone could decide to play a Vespitole deck, if they choose.

We've said a lot that "War of Omens is a hybrid between a deck-builder and a CCG."  Today we're going to provide a glimpse into what that means, so first, let's open up the game and meet Captain Listrata.  

Captain Listrata is a Vespitole hero who generates 1 food each turn.  We're going to use this power as the basis of our deck, so now let's go into the deck builder and put that together.  

An empty deck.  Let's fill it.
An empty deck. Let's fill it.

The deck builder shows the total library up top, and your currently constructed deck down below. Cards that you’ve unlocked are available, and ones you haven’t unlocked are greyed out. Decks in War of Omens are small; 10 cards, plus coins. Each card is meaningful and contributes a huge part to your overall strategy; there are no filler cards here.

The deck we're putting together today is straightforward, with a simple strategy. To win War of Omens you have to reduce your opponent's hero to 0 health. Captain Listrata generates food, and food can be used to “activate” troops, which will then attack.

To augment Listrata's power we’ve selected cards that also generate food; Spice Route and Trade Company; and then taken a good selection of troops to eat that food and attack; Militia, Mercenary, and Soldier. To round out our selection we’ve also got Serf, a cheap peasant that will defend us from attacks, and Collect Taxes, a simple card that gives us an additional draw. We’ve also got Vintner, a peasant that generates food every turn he's in play.

Finally, to give us some powerful tricks, we’ve got Merchant Guild and Benediction. Merchant Guild generates one gold per food, giving us the ability to accelerate our economy as we generate food. Benediction causes all cards on the board to activate, giving us a huge offensive punch if we're lucky enough to play it with troops out.

So, that’s our deck. You can see it down below.

Our fully constructed Listrata food deck.
Our fully constructed Listrata food deck.

Now let’s take that deck into a game.

Upon loading in, you can see that our first hand is four Ducats, which generate gold.  Coins are part of every deck automatically, so we don't bother with them in the deck builder.  Over on the left, we have our first “bank” of cards, which is populated from your deck. In War of Omens you buy cards from your bank, and upon purchase, they get put into play.  Once they're exhausted or destroyed they go into your inventory, which is where your hand comes from every turn. As the game proceeds you'll continue to buy cards from the bank, which will expand your inventory, which will in turn diversify your hand and make you more powerful.

So what do we have here to buy? Looks like Spice Route, 2x Collect Taxes, and Militia. We can’t afford anything on turn one, since we only have four Ducats. So let’s play those Ducats, generate four gold, and end our turn.   Our opponent is Cardinal Pocchi. His first turn is pretty similar; he plays his Ducats, can’t buy anything, and ends his turn.

Our second turn starts, and now we’ve got three more Ducats to spend. Each turn, you’re dealt three new cards.  Now we have seven gold if we play these next three Ducats, which is enough to buy a Militia. Let’s do that.  When we buy the Militia, he goes into play immediately.

Troops activate at the beginning of each turn, so we missed that already, but we can activate Troops on demand with Food. Captain Listrata's power generates one food per turn, so let’s use the two food we’ve saved up to hit Pocchi for two damage, bringing him to 18.  This is the most basic combo we've got: get a troop out, and feed him to attack.

Now let’s skip ahead a few turns, and see where our deck is:

We have more troops now, more ways to generate food, and we’ve also purchased Benediction.  On this turn, we’ve drawn Benediction. However, notice that we don’t have any troops in play. Benediction would be wasted if we played it with no troops out, but fortunately, we don't have to play it.  We can keep it across turns by keeping it in "the pocket."  The pocket allows players to retain one card across turns, for as long as they want.  We'll exploit this to our advantage and wait for a better opportunity to play Benediction.

Pocchi takes his turn, and it looks like he's got a pretty impressive line of troops out. Let's see what we can do about that.

On our next turn, we buy a Militia. When the Militia comes out he activates his draw, which actually nets us a Mercenary from the inventory. We play that, and with two troops now on the board, it's a good time to use Benediction.  It activates our two troops, wipes out two of Pocchi's defenders, and also gives us a draw. The draw actually nets us another militia, and playing that Militia nets us ANOTHER Militia. Playing that nets us Benediction AGAIN. All of a sudden we’ve played two Benedictions on one turn, and the second one meant four damage instead of two.  We finish the turn by spending food, and in one turn, we've demolished Pocchi's impressive array of troops AND hit him for 4 damage.

That was a great turn, and it’s the kind of “turn extension” combo strategy that players of Dominion will be really familiar with. If we keep going like this; comboing cards off of one another, extending our turns, and hitting hard with our troops; Pocchi will be down in no time.

That’s a brief taste of what it’s like to play War of Omens, but keep a few things in mind:

  • Cardinal Pocchi doesn’t generate food; he generates gold. We probably wouldn’t have engineered a deck to work with food if we played Pocchi, because his strength is in gold, not food.
  • Pocchi’s deck is a little more complicated than ours, thanks to the computer AI (they're also done a lot faster). He's generating other resources and doing some slightly more complicated things.  We'll cover more advanced strategies and behaviors in future updates, but see if you can figure him out!
  • We only used 10 of the 33 Vespitole cards to construct this deck; there are a TON of other combinations, strategies, and combos that you could put together, just within Vespitole.
  • Remember: each victory nets you gold, which you can then use to purchase boosters.  Each booster has a chance to give you new cards, or to contribute to upgrading your existing cards.  We'll go more into the economy and card upgrading later.
  • … And while we’ve highlighted Vespitole here, there are two other factions in War of Omens: Daramek and Metris. These two factions play COMPLETELY differently, and we’re going to go into them in future updates.  They're nothing like Vespitole.

Hopefully this will give people an idea of how a game of War of Omens is played, and some of the potential that we’ve created for customization, strategy, and depth in War of Omens.  We plan on going into more detail on the other factions, plus different strategies, details about the mechanics, favorite decks around the office, and more in future updates. 

Before we go, we wanted to highlight some of the great support that we've received in our first few days on Kickstarter:

Ben Paddon mentioned us on his blog.
Game Academy did an awesome interview with Andy and Gabe.
Frogdice mentioned and tweeted about us, so check out Tower of Elements 2.
Hand of Fate mentioned us; congratulations on a successful Kickstarter, guys!
Andy Young featured us on the AIE Podcast.
We got a shout-out from Logitech!

Thank you to everyone who has backed and supported us during our first few days.  It's been a crazy ride for us at Fifth Column, and we know it's just getting started.  

That's it for us this week.  Please discuss this update in the comments section (it could use some love), ask questions, spread the word about our Kickstarter, and have a good weekend!

Eric Royal likes this update.

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