This time, we are attacking Armello, a game developed by the independent studio League of Geeks, and which combines several aspects such as the board game or the RPG.
A tutorial prologue
The story of Armello is quite simplistic when you look at it. The lion, king of the land, has become corrupted by a curse called decline. Following this, the king will simply try to destroy the entire kingdom he has unified before.
During the prologue, you will learn the basics of the game that is Armello (we will come back to this in the second chapter) but also the discovery of the 4 clans in opposition to the king (wolves, rabbits, rats and bears).
Despite a well-crafted prologue and a good opening to a story that could have been exciting, the game boils down to defeating the king on a board game.
The Corrupted King will lose one life point per turn. If he dies, the game is over and a winner is chosen. The 4 ways to win are:
- Kill the king while he's still alive
- To be a prestigious champion upon death
- Banish him with 4 Spirit Stones
- Go to meet him being more corrupt than him
A checkered map
Whether solo or multiplayer, you will first need to choose your hero. Each has strengths and weaknesses as well as certain specialties. For example, the wolf clan characters are fairly balanced while the rat clan is all about cunning and murder. In addition to this, you can equip your hero with a ring and an amulet acting as a passive bonus (+1 attack or stealth).
The game takes place on a checkered board where 4 players compete to take the place of the corrupt king. Each player has the choice between 3 quests offering a stat bonus, a prestige point and an item if the associated strength test is successful. The quests only consist of reaching a point on the map but it will not be so easy between players and other NPCs.
The checkerboard is not made of plains and mountains. You can find special boxes like:
- Colonies giving 1 gp per turn and per square to whoever controls them.
- Dungeons that can give you a bonus of gold, magic, treasure or even a plague!
- Swamps (you lose 1pv) or stone circles (you gain 1pv).
In Armello, you have to take into account that you can have cards that will help you in your adventure:
- Item: For gold, you equip the item, for example increasing your fighting skills.
- Magic: You can use spells to increase your character or cripple your opponents.
- Cunning: Trap your enemies to slow them down.
Your enemies also have their cards and will not hesitate to use them against you. The other utility is help with traps or fights. These fights are played with dice and have several sides:
- Sword: Deals 1 point of damage.
- Shield: Protects you from one point of damage.
- Sun / Moon: Deal 1 damage points depending on the turn of the game
- Wyld (Tree): 1 damage point and an additional die
- Decline (Serpent): Fail the die unless you are corrupted
The two protagonists of the fight inflict the damage on each other even if the first, which attacks the other, dies. If you kill an enemy hero, you gain a prestige point and you lose one if you die. You will therefore have to pay attention to the actions and movements you make so as not to be surprised.
Armello is a fairly complete game. Being a fan of this kind of game, I find on the other hand that it lacks for example other cards or the possibility of choosing a quest before the end of our turn (which can make us lose some movement points).
The game may suffer from some re-playability even if the publisher has implemented a system of rewards to improve your hero (ring and amulet). Mixing up these passive bonuses will make your games look very different from each other, which is a really good point.