This week’s word is “Mysthea.”
Something a little different for Word Wednesday this week. I don’t have a book for you, but instead, I want to look at the Kickstarter for the stylish new strategic boardgame, Mysthea.
Mysthea is produced by Tabula Games, makers of deep-thinking, high-concept strategy games. Last year’s Barbarians: The Invasion was a Kickstarter success (over 600% funded), delivering a huge game with quality components.
Tabula’s trademark is marrying great themes with board-game component innovation. For Barbarians it was the three-tiered volcano, that players move up as they contest the game. In Mysthea, the board will feature islands, that will move into varying positions as the game progresses.
What is Mysthea?
In the words of the designers, Mysthea is a “hand management and area control eurogame. Time-tested euro mechanics get a modern twist and are infused with a strongly thematic design to immerse you in the strange world of Icaion.”
This is a game for 2-4 players, aged 14+, with games slated to come in at around 1-2 hours. Looking at the sheer volume of components and length of the rulebook, I would imagine games are more likely to come in around the 2-hour mark.
I am the Lore!
Millennia before the start of the game, Icaion was hit by a giant crystal from the depths of space. The impact was so strong that Icaion, and the forces governing it, changed forever. Large chunks of the planet were broken off in the crash and formed floating islands. These are held in place by the gravitational pull of the crystal. A prosperous civilization has risen from the remains of the planet and its people can channel the power of the shards of crystal now scattered everywhere.
These crystal shards, called Qoam, have their own magnetic field. Their displacement has had huge consequences on the balance of the forces of Icaion. Their legacy is the spawning of oddities and anomalies that bend the laws of physics.
As the game opens, the powerful “Guilds” of Icaion have each hired champions to explore the harsh environments of the floating islands, in the hope that they may harness the power of the crystals lodged there.
The lore of the game makes for a rich background in front of which the game takes place. Players will take the role of the Guild’s “Champions of Illvash.” Each champion will have their own skills, specialties, and back story. The champions, and many of their foes, are represented by resin miniatures. The pictures of these look stunning, and, if the miniatures from Barbarian: The Invasion are anything to go by, the Mysthea minis will be of the highest order.
According to the game’s designers, conflict between champions will be a strategic decision, but players will more than likely have to join together to fend off the terrifying monsters that roam the floating islands. Choosing correctly when to team up with your fellow players and when to fight them may be the key to winning the game.
In Mysthea, you will need to, “Build your army with different kinds of troops, build fortifications on the lands you explore and empower your champion, with deeply balanced asymmetric gameplay.”
If you would like some idea as to the quality of Tabula’s previous Kickstarter Barbarians, check out my first look video, below.
Why back the Mysthea Kickstarter?
Tabula’s games are deeply immersive . They’re, perhaps, not for casual gamers, but if you’re looking for something with more heft, both Barbarians and Mysthea should definitely be considered.
Backing the game will bring you a host of cardboard and plastic. The component list is impressive!
- 1 Game board.
- 1 Events board.
- 5 Floating island boards.
- 4 Player boards.
- 20 Game summary cards in 5 languages.
- 64 Command cards.
- 4 Champion miniatures.
- 32 Troop miniatures.
- 16 Golem miniatures.
- 3 Monster miniatures.
- 4 Encounter tokens.
- 16 Fortification tiles.
- 29 Encounter cards.
- 5 Attunement cards.
- 4 Champion cards.
- 5 Region cards.
- 3 Monster cards.
- 1 Storm card.
- 4 Energy tokens.
- 4 Experience tokens.
- 4 Glory tokens.
- 4 Artifact tiles.
- 5 Mirage tiles.
This component level does come at a price. The minimum pledge is €85 ($105), and you’ll need to add postage too, but that will bring you a whole lot of game. There is a special early-bird pledge (available in the first 24 hrs only) that will give access to an art book and see your name printed in the box. The art in this game is amazing, so it’s definitely worth considering jumping in early, especially as you’ll save yourself a few Euros too.
Countless hours of effort have been put into making the realms of Mysthea, and the game looks to reward those with the time to fully explore both the setting and deep mechanics of the game. For a look at the draft rules, click here.
The quality of the artwork and theme set this game apart from many Kickstarters. The entire game is gorgeous. Family life hasn’t afforded me the time to fully probe the game’s mechanics, but Mysthea looks to be an innovative and challenging game. A game that keeps evolving as its players’ understanding of the moving board mechanic broadens. If you like all-encompassing games with complex strategy, all topped off with a quality aesthetic, do be sure to take a look at the Mysthea Kickstarter today.
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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.