Designed by Paige Treglown | Published by Thunder Finch Games
2 Players | 25 Minutes
Faction Fighters will be available on Kickstarter October 2021. You can check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thunderfinchgames/faction-fighters-2-player-card-game
Faction Fighters is a 2-player, scenario-based card game pitting 2 teams of various factions against one another. Learn the secret behind the sudden appearance of mysterious power orbs across the world. Use their magical power to bolster your attack as you seek to discover their origins.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
In Faction Fighters you’ll begin by choosing one of the 2 pre-sorted decks: Team Hiss or Team Galazar. Each deck contains an assortment of fighters over 3 distinct factions and features their own tendencies and strengths. In addition to the factions, each deck comes equipped with wild cards, power orbs and Bluffy cards. Over the course of the game, you’ll be drawing cards and playing combinations in hopes of increasing your strength and over-powering your opponent.
Faction Fighters is not only a game of hand management, it also features a series of scenarios that introduce new game modes and additional factions to tie into your experience.
A typical game takes place over a series of rounds. In the first round, you draw 5 cards from the top of your shuffled faction deck along with the Bluffer card to bring your hand total to 6. Each round consists of a series of phases that take you through that round’s battle: The Draw Phase, the Scout Phase, the Bolster Phase and the Resolution Phase.
The Draw Phase is skipped in the first round of the game, but you’ll typically draw 2 new cards to help relinquish your hand.
During the Scout Phase, players will draw one card from their hand to serve as their initial fighter. The card is played face down and revealed when both players are ready. Aware of their opponents cards, players will then move to the Bolster Phase.
During the Bolster Phase, players will choose cards from their hand to play in tandem with their initial card to increase their overall strength and potentially unlock bonuses. There are certain rules that apply to the Bolster Phase. Players can only play cards that match their initial card’s faction, a wild card, power orb or Bluffer card. Faction and wild cards will provide additional strength for your team. Faction cards each feature a bonus ability that can only be unlocked by playing a certain number of power orbs. These bonuses provide a variety of benefits such as increasing that team’s strength, allowing additional cards to be drawn or applying additional strength to a future round. Once a power orb is played, it must be spent and removed from the game.
Wild cards can be paired with any faction cards and can be played during the Scout Phase. The Bluffer card essentially allows a player to pass on the Bolster Phase by not risking any additional cards.
The Resolution Phase resolves the battle and determines a winner. The winner is the player with the highest strength level for that round. The winner places their cards in their discard pile along with the loser who additionally removes their lowest strength card from the game in reparation for their defeat.
Faction Fighters comes with 4 unique scenarios to play through – each requiring a unique setup and different paths to victory. Each scenario features its own unique deck of cards. During each scenario, players will battle for each card from the deck, one at a time. While these cards will typically provide victory points, there are a few twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
The initial scenario titled Starfall Fields requires the standard game setup and has the players battling over power orbs and treasures. In Shard Peak, you’ll battle corrupted creatures. You can even push your luck by becoming corrupted yourself. Gem Hollow introduces global gems which will allow you to multiply your victory point. Finally, Doomsday Bay has players chasing beach treasures, storing up strength and eventually fighting a final boss.
Faction Fighters has a bit of a Pokemon vibe going on. While this style doesn’t typically appeal to me, the characters have a lot of personality and are professionally illustrated. My only issue is there seems to be a bit of a disconnect from the characters and the environment artwork. The backgrounds seem to desire to have more of a realistic touch. This might be the style, but it feels a little conflicted to me. Fans of this style will likely be satisfied with the fun, playful artwork.
I’m not sure what the future holds for Faction Fighters, but everything seems to be in place for expansions filled with additional factions and new challenges. Even adding in the few bonus factions awarded through the scenarios helps create opportunities for new combos and strategies. More advanced players can even incorporate a faction draft to mix and match their favorite factions.
The real twist here for me is the scenarios. Each scenario plays out like it’s own mini game. While the core game continues throughout with players battling over each card in the deck, each scenario requires a slightly different approach and strategy to winning. Gem Hollow creates a bit of a set collecting situation while Doomsday Bay could benefit the player who chooses to forgo their immediate victory points in exchange for additional strength that can be applied to the final boss.
All-in-all, there is a lot of variety to keep Faction Fighters going strong. Players can mix up factions to form a completely unique deck and see how they play out over the various scenarios.
Like most 2-player card games, you’re engaged in a battle of wits with your opponent. I think Faction Fighter is a game that rewards multiple plays. As you learn the game, you can begin to build your own strategy – when to go all in and when to jump ship and play the Bluffer.
Faction Fighters is a light-hearted, family-friendly card game. Each game is quick to set up and breezes by in 25 minute or less. The colorful cards and characters keep things fun and silly. Being able to mix and match your factions can create new and interesting combinations. The 4 scenarios help to give the game additional legs – essentially creating 4 unique mini-games in one box. If you’re a fan of anime-style artwork and you’re looking for a 2-player game with a decent amount of replayability, you should give Faction Fighters a look.