War for Edadh: Mastering the Mastery

Picked up this battling card game called War of Edadh at Waterstones, when I was browsing the RPG section. Seemed like good value  at 17 quid, I liked the look of the artwork on the box..

Only just getting to grips with the rules really, but its a simple to learn, hard to master game. However, its real draw, I think, is that you can tailor the games difficulty. So when you’re learning, you only play the basic features, and after a while, you can add a whole lot more to the game.

Its a unit composition/deck builder, but resource balancer with “mastery points” dropping every round to determine the initiative (and subsequently who attacks and who defends) against the rising damage points of the actual combat – both recorded on the same scale. When damage exceeds mastery points you lose. Theres also three levels of combat, with different stats (ranged, charge, and melee), plus an added complexity of terrain (grass, swamp, forest) and they all affect the outcomes.

But its the initiative lay using the mastery cards that really seals the game as a strategy title, rather than a luck based dice roller. You lay a card with a value of 1 to 12. The highest card wins the initiative and is the attacker, the lowest is the loser and the defender. However, each numbered card you lay actually costs “mastery points”, the higher cards costing more to lay. AND, each point card has alternate values depending upon the value of the card that its up against. So player 1 lays a 12, and player 2 lays a 1 – when a 1 faces a 12, it counters it with an alternate value of 13 and so wins the matchup! Its difficult to explain in words, but there are ranges attached to cards that counter both highs and lows. So its a balance of risk vs cost. Lose the initiative many times in a row and if you’re troops are not up to the defence, you’ll  be looking at major hike in damage, catching up to your mastery points.

You normally have two lines of troops, and you battle each one on the front line once. After the combats have been resolved, then you determine if your total damage exceeds the discard value of your lowest troop, if it does, you need to remove the troop from the army, recovering damage to the cost of their discard value, until you can support the troops in your army. Its a very clever way of fatiguing/siphoning off your army during combats that the actual troops can withstand. If a troop has damage done to it greater than their discard value its an instant discard (ie. a kill).

Combat is resolved very simply, with an attack value compared with a defence value, if attack is greater, then max attack damage is inflicted, if not, then a portion of defence damage is taken (usually about half).

I must say, even after only a couple of goes at the game, one with the nipper, and one solo – I can see the complexity shining through the fairly simple mechanics, and find myself being enticed to play the basic game until I know the rules off by heart, so I can start to add the other more interesting mechanics into the play.

Check out their website, where the game is presented quite well with a lot of supporting materials. The artwork is really stylised and enticing, and to find there is a good section of background and lore behind the game just adds to its mysticism.

2 thoughts on “War for Edadh: Mastering the Mastery

  1. Amusingly, I saw it in Waterstones on Saturday, picked it up thinking it was some sort of new RPG (‘cos it was with the RPG games) and then realised that it was actually a card game. Thought it looked pretty smart. Of course, I don’t have anyone to play card games with these days, so I put it back. Nice to know my tabletop instincts for sniffing out good games is still intact though. Fingers crossed they make some sort of digital version so that people like me that don’t have any friends can play it. 😀

  2. Its an easy game to play solo actually, if you don’t mind randomly choosing the opponents Mastery Card for the initiative, and selecting the troops to fight on a regimented basis.

    However, I would agree the game positively screams for a PC implementation to enable solo play vs an AI, and the artwork could be enhanced in higher resolution. But I guess the Warrior Elite brothers just want to establish the game as an expanding card game at the moment. Conversion to a PC game with a decent AI would be quite expensive I’d imagine.

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