On January 9, 2019, 1939games’ new digital card game, #Kards, entered “closed” beta. I say “closed” because I got my invite less than twelve hours after my request. Do you like Hearthstone? Do you like World War II? Then this is the game for you.
@Kardsccg is similar to Artifact insofar as it attempts to combine the best elements of different game types (card games and wargames) into one game. However, the game more closely resembles Hearthstone, except there is an added neutral zone in the middle of the two players (called the “Frontline”) which can only be controlled by one player at a time.
This zone allows cards with the Infantry and Tank keywords to attack the opposing player’s life total (called the “HQ”), which is the victory condition. Cards with the Artillery, Bomber, and Fighter keywords need not be in the Frontline to attack the opposing HQ, but there are cards that trigger if a friendly card is in the Frontline.
Hearthstone players will also notice that every turn you gain a maximum mana (“Kredit”) which refills at the beginning of your next turn.
Now that you know how to play, let’s move on to deck construction. The five “Great Powers” of World War II (United States, Great Britain, Soviet Union, Germany, and Japan) are the only in-game factions (Sorry China, France, and Italy!). However, you can “splash” other powers into your deck, including ones from the other side of the conflict. For example, I have a Britain/Germany deck.
I’m a big fan of the Fallout series by Bethesda, so listening to oldies like Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again while you’re marching your British soldiers to their untimely fates is quite flavorful.
However, the period-correct music can rapidly approach a “Con” when an English-speaking player has to listen to ’30s Japanese music for any extended amount of time. Thankfully, you can opt out of music.
Also, I mentioned earlier that the option to play against an AI for PVP rewards is a Pro, but why does it take a full minute, especially during a beta, to offer me that option? It should be, like, twenty to thirty seconds at most.
Magic: the Gathering just had a minor rules change to address this issue. With no infantry in play, you can’t even play the “MODEL 25” as a blocker, because it’s Deployment trigger has no target. And it’s not “flavorful” that it needs a “driver,” because vehicles without Deployment triggers don’t need “drivers.” If it needed a “driver,” they could add that keyword. This is especially frustrating for the Japanese because they have a card, “Rising Sun,” which has the aforementiond required that a friendly card be in the Frontline. With Model 25 and Rising Sun in your hand, but no friendly Infantry unit in play, you can’t play either card. I agree that Rising Sun is powerful and should be conditional, but it already has a condition and having two dead cards in hand is a death sentence in most card games.
I’ve played for roughly six hours at this point, so it’s entirely possible that some of the Cons are just things that I was too lazy to find, so perhaps they just need to be more noticeable. Either way, this Ready Review is quite favorable!
Gameplay: 4.9/5. It feels, looks, and sounds great except for the manageable cons that I discussed (and that I am confident 1939games can fix).
Replay: 5/5. As, Phly Daily put it: “This game, at least in my experience, will suck the life out of you. I spent nine hours the first time playing it.” I played it for several hours the first day, went to bed, woke up, shirked my responsibilities, wrote this article, and then kept playing.
Speed: Medium+, and it will be Fast when 1939games fixes the Cons.
Learning Curve: Small/Low. Hand the Tablet to your kid and they will probably beat me.
Join the beta, friend me (FRFC3S#4540), and let’s blow some shit up!
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