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- Forge War is a competitive game of economic management and spatial reasoning in a high fantasy theme.
- Ages: 12+
- Number of Players: 1-4
- Playing Time: 60-180 minutes
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In Forge War, players will take on the role of blacksmiths in a kingdom rife with marauding harpies, cursed dungeons and fire-breathing dragons. They are charged with gathering ore from the mines, purchasing weapon designs from the market and then using these resources to forge weapons for adventurers who will go on quests to fight back the ever-deepening darkness. If the adventurers are successful, they will return with more ore, money and other rewards with which players can invest back into their burgeoning weaponsmithing empire.
At its core, Forge War is a rewarding game of aggressive investment, which occurs through the acquisition of quests. Quest management becomes challenging for the player, however, because quests undertaken aren’t completed immediately, but instead progress each turn and become more difficult. At specific time intervals, players will need to add more resources to their quests or face failure.
Other features of the game include collecting metals and gems in the mine through spatial reasoning and player interaction, competing with other players for weapon designs and other valuable resources in the market through an action selection mechanic, and leveling-up adventurers as they complete quests – giving them access to more weapons and powerful titles.
Top Customer Reviews
The gameplay itself is made up of a few smaller parts that I think blend together very smoothly. Everything is very abstracted but also very thematic at the same time which lessens the blow I feel from many abstract games. First players collect resources by moving overseers around a map of mine tiles. The overseers "create" workers that mine that particular mine tile for that particular resource as well as "convert" any opponents workers they pass over. The workers also strike if too many of them are in close proximity and turn order for the rest of the round favors whoever has the fewest workers on this map.
Then there is a worker placement phase where players take turns acquiring different weapon plans, market bonus cards, or hiring and training new adventurers. Finally players begin and manage their existing quests which are passed or failed based on the strength (and often weapon type) of the adventurers and weapons sent on that quest.
I know that's a lot and a lot of different gameplay elements but I really enjoy games like that when they are blended smoothly. Too often when a game tries to do too much it can feel clunky or like one piece was just tacked on as an afterthought but this game has a very nice flow. The non-epic version of the game goes by pretty quickly since a lot of the phases can be played overlapped or simultaneously (such as quest management). The epic game is much longer but downtime isn't too terrible since the turns are divided into pieces and there is still a lot of overlapped and simultaneous play.
The artwork and components are very nice with a lot of fun thematic nods such as needing an axe to complete a quest where you have to kill a possessed tree or needing a spear to reach the bats in a tower. The player and main game boards convey a lot of information without looking busy. The only major qualm I have with the components is the itty bitty cubes used to track quests. I would have preferred larger quest tracking spaces or even a different tracking method altogether than these miniscule cubes just asking to be lost on the floor for a pet or child to gobble up.