We have received Vanguards of War recently so today we are going to have a quick look at what the game is all about. Vanguards of War is a ‘Tower Defence’ game from Archon Studios. The idea of a tower defence game, which are hugely addictive and popular on mobile, is that the player must defend a central location from waves of enemies. Let’s see how well it translates to tabletop in this instance.
Vanguards of War is designed for 1-4 players, and can be played straight out of the box. With minimal set up required.
The premise of the game is that four heroes known only as ‘The Whispers’ defend a church inside the ruins of a once great city. Once a great city called Aurville, a wave of kidnappings and murders was herald to the opening of a demonic portal to the Unending Abyss. A portal opens once again and you join the story as a band of heroes desperately tries to defend the Church of the Everlasting Covenant. This is the only structure remaining from a great monastery with occupants trying to find a way to defeat the demons.
If you have played any form of Tower Defence game you will be familiar with the idea. The enemy advance along a track and your job is simply to stop them. In Vanguards of War this is essentially the same except that you as a hero can walk anywhere on the board. There are four lanes on which the advancing demons can approach. Should they reach the church they will start to attack it and cause damage. if the church falls then it’s game over.
Each game is divided into tiers which get more difficult as each one passes. Each tier is divided into waves. In each wave something will spawn from one of the spawn points. Then, in order of lane, all of the demons will advance towards the church. It is during these waves that the heroes must work together to destroy as many demons as possible.
Inside the box you get everything you need to get started. This includes the game board, four heroes along with their associated dice and cards. You also get an overlord greater demon, some abominations and minions. Minions are a pretty easy kill, but you are should act quickly. As with most weak monsters they are easier to handle alone than a group of them. However, overlords are a much trickier beast to handle. Also included in the box is a variety of tokens and card decks needed at various points during the game.
The base set doesn’t contain a huge variety of enemies to face but expansions will see this number rise. The miniatures are all ready to go straight out of the box, which also has custom cut foam inserts to aid storage and protect them from damage. Although a relatively simple game to play the rulebook seems to leave a little to be desired. A lot of the rules are not easily defined from the fluff and background which is a minor point but means you’ll have to read and study the rules concisely.
Winning is quite a simple concept. The church just has to remain standing at the end of the game. It doesn’t matter if the intrepid band of heroes survive. Although, obviously one of them some surviving would obviously be nice.
With exception of the rulebook, which I mentioned earlier, this is a really fun game. Sure, a greater variety of Overlords straight out of the box would have increased the replayability. With a fair few expansion packs already available and hopefully more to come this game definitely has legs!
As mentioned earlier tower defence games are pretty much a staple of the mobile gaming stores. There are literally thousands of them on the Google Play store. I was a little bit skeptical about how the idea would port over. From what I’ve play the idea works well in Vanguards and playing with miniatures in a turn based game works just about as well as playing on mobile. This surpassed my expectations and was enjoyable though the game feels a bit gritty in its execution.