Spoils of War - Dastardly Review #117
Spoils of War was designed by Jason Medina and Bryan Pope and published by Arcane Wonders in 2017.
Spoils of War is a perfect example of a simple, fun, fast boardgame. It is proof that boardgames don't require scores of miniatures, rule books the size of War and Peace, outlandish price tags and weeks to play.
Spoils of War is a box of fun.
You win by having the most valuable collection of Treasures and Gold at the end of the game.
The box insert (like everything with Spoils of War) is of high quality. The art on the box and cards is fun and beautiful. The cards are extremely easy to read and understand.
- 5 Dice Cups
- 3 Sets of Treasure cards
- A bag o dice
- 5 Player Aid Screens
- Challenge Markers
- Lots of gold coins (actually just heavy card board cleverly painted gold)
Game setup is simple and quick - each person gets a Player Aid Screen, a dice cup, some dice and a pile of gold coins.
The game plays in 9 rounds. Three rounds with level 1 Treasure cards. Three rounds with level 2 Treasure cards. And (you guessed it!) three rounds with level 3 Treasure cards.
Each round starts with a grid of the Treasure cards some face up and some face down.
The Player Aid shows the steps in a round and also bonus end of game hand sets: Conqueror's Hoard and Treasure Sets. Players shake and roll their dice behind their Player Aid Screen.And then the bidding starts. Each player secretly bids an amount of gold.
Then It is good old fashioned Liar's Poker based on the dice of all players. You can see your's but not anyone else's dice.
Each bid must be higher than the bid before it or you must use your Challenge Marker to Challenge.
All other players get to choose between Challenge (last bidder fails) or Declare (last bidder will succeed).
If you chose wrong between Challenge and Declare then you lose all of the gold that you wagered.
If you were correct then you keep your wagered gold and get to pick Treasure from the grid. The player that was correct with the highest wager gets to pick 2 Treasures. The other correct players get to pick 1 Treasure in descending wager order.
Play continues until all 9 Rounds have been played.
We really like Spoils of War.
It is equally great with the grandkids, as a game to hook non-gamers, as a beginning/ending of hard core game night or just when you want to have 20-30 minutes of fun.
There is enough strategy in the wagering, liars poker and set building to keep all people engaged.
There is almost no down time between player actions. Just a lot of fun.
Spoils of War was easily in my top 5 new to us games of 2018.
The Good: Quick to learn, fun and good replayability.
The Bad: Ain't much bad in this box!
The Dastardly: Pick artifact treasures in the early rounds so you get their benefits through out the game.