Guardian’s Gambit Preview

Guardian’s Gambit is a tight two-player tug-of-war. Each round, a player will have 6 cards at their disposal: 2 Swordsman2 Shieldbearers, and 2 Special Guardians that you get to choose from out of a larger pool of Special Guardians. Each round, you will attack and defend against your opponent’s attacks until only one player has cards left and wins the round. The kickstarter is currently running: Guardian’s Gambit Kickstarter

Guardian’s Gambit has the perfect amount of information overload. The loser of each round gets to choose which two special guardians to sub out of their hand, while the winner of the round has to keep the same set of cards. This allows some strategic round-to-round planning, as well as a catch-up mechanic, without overwhelming what is a simple micro game.

The size of the cards in Guardian’s Gambit are novel. They are narrower than traditional cards, and they’re unique in that you don’t set them down at any point in the game. All six cards that you start a round with stay in your hand. As they are killed, they are shifted to a graveyard, which is located in another part of your hand.

The game is at it’s best when you are deciding on what to do when  attacked, as you must choose whether to defend an attack with one of your shieldbearers. Exposing your shield in this way saves another card, but reduces the ability to use your cards as traps. As you get closer to the end of the round, you have one card of three that your opponent must kill to win, and watching them eye your cards trying to determine which to attack provides the game’s most tense moments.

It’s a good micro game, particularly if you want a game that you don’t need a table to play on. The entire package will easily fit in your pocket. And that includes the pockets on a woman’s pair of jeans. The art is fantastic, with graphic design that gives it a unique look a la Glory to Rome Black Box Edition.

There is a fair bit of game to explore in all the unique special guardians. I can see bringing this out while waiting for a movie or sitting in a diner waiting for your food to come. If you like micro games, I’d check it out. But if you don’t enjoy smaller, lighter games, this isn’t one that will change your mind.

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