Storm the Castle! - Board Game Box Shot

Storm the Castle!

| Published: 2013
29 5

Finally a game where its GOOD to be BAD! Welcome to world of Storm the Castle!, a 1-4 player semi-cooperative battle board game where you take the exciting role of one of the four marauding Dark Forces armies in a race to breach Castle Storm Haven’s defenses and claim victory by reaching the keep first.

Players can choose between 1 of 4 Dark force armies each with their unique units, abilities, and ways of winning. Though they share the same goal of defeating the Fantasy Defenders, players are allowed and encouraged to use treachery, cunning, and steel against their team mates to add in their goal of being the first to enter the castle’s keep.

Storm the Castle prototype
images © Giant Goblin Games

Storm the Castle! is not a heavy war game. Though you have many options each game turn, the rules are easy-to-learn and the game is quick to play. Each turn, players have a wide range of choices to customize how they want to play. Do they buy cheap pawns to throw against the castle walls, devastating siege machines, lumbering giants, strange equipment, or use arcane magic to turn the tides of battle? These choices and more give the game a unique flavor allowing players to try multiple and varied strategies each time the game is played.

User Reviews (1)

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38 of 40 gamers found this helpful
“Are you sure you want to storm the castle??”

This is a game that I unfortunately missed on Kickstarter by a week or so and I was really excited when I picked it up last month.
My first try with this game was yesterday (3 players) and it lived up to my high expectations which have been increasing since I first came over it.
Storm the Castle! is a semi-coop game for 1-4 players with a listed playing time of 90 minutes. This is the first game from a new publisher called Giant Goblin Games and they are working on 3 more.
In this game you take the role of one of the 4 dark forces and the goal of the game is to be the first to breach Castle Storm Haven’s defenses and enter its keep. Yes, you heard right! In this game YOU are playing the bad guys!

Components
I was expecting better production quality with this game. My first impression when opening the box was that it was far from good (I bought Rex and Bioshock and unboxed those at the same time as this), but after playing the game I felt it is ok. Everything is card board; from the cash, magic and damaged counters to the Dark Force and the Fantasy Defender units. There are some misprintings on the turn order tokens and some of the tokens are cut wrong. But the worst thing is the cards which stick together and are difficult to shuffle, as they aren’t flat.
That said the artwork is stunning!!
Details on the game board, on the cards, on the different tokens are just great! The same goes with the text and the graphical set-up of the cards!

Game setup
The set-up is quite standard with a board in the middle of the table, a lot of tokens that needs to be within hands reach etc. Each player blindly draws a turn order token and the one with the lowest number (continuing with the next lowest aso)get to choose their Dark Force first:
– The Green Tide: Goblins, orcs, giants. Hard hitting unit with equipment upgrades like dwarven ale and rocket boots
– The Acanists: Spellcasters with powerful cards that may battle outcomes
– The Undead Horde: Walking dead using magic and causing fear
– Dark Elves: Ranged attackers and infiltrators
Each play then takes their dark forces reference card (card board), deck of power cards and all the tokens that comes with, 3 ladders, 5 gold (and 3 magic if playing undeads or arcanists). Lastly the Fantasy Defender reference card (also card board) goes to the player with the lowest turn order token.

On the reference cards of the Dark Forces you see the 5 units you can deploy (1 being your big bad champion) and a description of their powers. The Fantasy Defenders reference card works the same way but there are 6 basic and 3 hero units here.

Play
The game consist of 8 turns, and each phase of 6 phases:
1. Collect
Collect gold, magic and draw a power card. No player can hold more than 10 gold or 10 magic at any time!
2. Who’s the Boss?
This is a really interesting thing about this game. As everyone play their Dark Force and are “working together” to breach the castles defenses, every round one of the players becomes ‘the Boss’. To be the boss you vote and the one with the highest bid are the Boss until the same phase the next round. Votes are made by secretly bidding an amount of gold + counting your base votes like ‘how many walls you’ve destroyed’ or if your champion is in play. Being the Boss gives you access to the boss deck which has really powerful cards + some other neat stuff like getting more gold/magic, cannot be attacked aso.
3. Let’s buy and deploy
This is where you look to your reference card checking how much it costs to buy unit, and to your hand to play equipment (if you have that). When all are finished buying, in turn order, you deploy your units and equipment on your (or the other players) battlefield.
4. Reinforcement phase
This is when the Fantasy Defenders act and the controlling player first blindly draw and deploy one regular unit to the Castle, then draws events cards that are resolved before and after players turns. The controlling player then gives the reference card to the next player (you can’t be in control of the Fantasy Defenders and playing your turn at the same time).
An event can be normal or special attacks from the Fantasy Defenders, buffing the Defenders or debuffing the Dark Forces, aso.
5. Players turn
Before the first players turn the first event card is revealed and resolved by the player controlling the Fantasy Defenders. (The next card is resolved after the first players turn, and after all the other player turns. After one card is resolved, the reference card is handed to the next player.)
Now the active player have a few options:
• Move: you can move up to a total of 5 army moves and each unit has a max of 2 move (1 for ‘slow’ units).
• Play cards: if the card doesn’t say when to be played, you can only play it now!
• Attacking: every unit can attack if they are in range of a wall, a Fantasy Defender or another players unit.
Combat is resolved by throwing 1 or more 6-sided die/dice (depending on the units strength). These dice only have ‘hits’ on 2 of the sides. The red die (the one you always throw) has 1 hit and 1 crit. A crit lets you throw the 3 white dice adding them to your first result.
6. Wrap up
Discard down to 3 cards (hand size), unflip Defender units, shuffle the highest “attack” event card back into the Defenders event deck and move the turn tracker.

Winning the game
As I told earlier you win the game by entering the Keep in the middle of the castle. The mechanics of the game make this quite hard as you constantly will meet tuff resistance. In addition your playing mates will do what they can to give you a hard time while making it easier on themselves when the control the Fantasy Defenders.

Final thoughts – pros/cons
There’s a lot more to this game like different battlefield upgrades for each of the Dark Forces, buildings for the Fantasy the Defenders, Battle field locations that will give you bonuses (+2 gold/magic/draw/hand) + the variety of all the units and power cards each Dark Force have.
The rules are quite quick to grasp even with its complexity, but the key to win is in exploiting your Dark Forces’ strengths to your benefit and be smart;)

Pros
Original theme you being the bad guy
Rules that makes sense and makes the game flow smooth
Great artwork!
The Dark Forces are completely different from each other with unique units, power cards and equipment/magic
The Boss – give even more variety to the 4 Dark Forces and can be (was for us) a game breaker
Humor

Cons
Production quality – everything is a token (a token on top of a token on top of a token on top …..). I’d like to see miniatures in later productions. This would also give the game a more 3D feel
The passing of the Fantasy Defender reference card (who controls them) where a bit confusing with 3 players
Works best with 4 players (or 2) as the starting positions where you deploy units are the same for all. This is not the case in a 3-player game

All in all I really enjoyed this game!
There’s a lot of humor, both art-wise and text-wise, and since the strategy is light to medium weight this is a game that can be played at almost any occasions. We are definitely bringing this game to the table again and I will surely introduce it to some of my non-gamer friends.

 

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