A Deckade Games Review of Of Knights & Ninjas
A medieval card game of strategy, trickery, adventure and a whole bunch of fun!
Launched on Kickstarter on February 11th, we were given the pleasure of taking it for a test drive through the realms of time.
Become the master of your own kingdom and dive into the middle ages with Ninjas on top!
The rules of Of Knights and Ninjas are fairly straightforward. The aim of the game is to collect 10 gems through plotting and attacking your way to victory.
Players start with 4 cards each and 5 gems. Then on your turn you must draw two cards to begin play.
You then have three choices: fortify your kingdom, attack a rival kingdom or perform a special action.
Fortifying your kingdom will allow you to build Castles and use Archers to protect your kingdom from future attacks. This means that other players will need to use tactics like Ladders or Ninjas to sneak their way into your kingdom and attack you.
Choosing to attack will allow you to attempt to steal gems from rival players. There are several attack cards, from Peasants and Soldiers to Dragons and Kings. And each card has a strength number which indicates the number of gems that can potentially be stolen.
Special action cards will allow you to do things such as taking cards from other players. Use Merchants, Heralds or Monks to perform a special action.
If under attack players have the opportunity to Respond using another card. Respond cards can counter-attack the attacking move and stop players from stealing your gems. For example playing an Executioner after someone has played a King to attack, will kill the King and end that players turn.
A player’s turn ends when gems have moved from an attack or when the player decided not to play anymore cards.
By strategically planning your attacks and protecting your Kingdom you’ll soon be collecting gems and claiming your crown.
Playing with two
For our first encounter with the world of Of Knights and Ninjas there were only two of us so we followed the specially adapted two-player rules.
When playing with two players, each player starts with 6 gems instead of 5 and the aim is to gain all 12 gems.
There are two phases for gameplay. Phase 1 involves drafting cards to use during the game and the second phase involves dueling as you would do in a game of more players.
The main differences between the two player version and playing with more players are the way in which the special action cards work. But the rules are clearly explained, and this doesn’t affect the fun of the game in any way.
We had a lot of fun with this one. Any card game that requires a bit of strategy is always a hit in our books.
The fun of the game
Each card is delightfully illustrated with cute and colourful characters. We love the way the medieval theme is carried throughout the game with characters you’ll recognise from folk tales gone by. Dragons are tamed by Princesses, Knights and Soldiers will form your armies and Peasants will bond together at your command to do your bidding. You’ll be playing out the greatest story ever told.
And just when you think things couldn’t get anymore interesting, you have the Jester cards. Funny though they may be, Jester cards are no joke. These wildcards can represent any other card in the game (except objects), and are a handy edition to the game.
I found these cards particularly useful when trying to attack a fortified kingdom but having no way to get in. Playing a Jester as a Ninja allowed me to sneak behind my rival’s Archer and slay him, just when I thought all hope was lost.
We also loved the Traitor cards, which allow you to reverse an attack on a player. I almost got slaughtered by my own 4 peasants when my fellow player sent in a Traitor to respond to my attack. Thank goodness I had another Traitor of my own to turn my peasants back onto my rival. A crafty move from a clever card!
As we were playing we decided to change the rules a bit to spice things up using the Herald card. During a two player game, the Herald card forces your rival to place two cards in front of them of their choosing. You must then pick one of the cards to put in your own hand to use later.
With this in mind I suggested that instead of having the rival player choose two cards, we should shuffle our cards and pick two at random and then blindly choose two cards. This would mean there would be a chance to pick a card that your fellow player may not want you to have.
This really added more fun to the game. As the joy we got stealing a top card such as a Jester or an Executioner really made things more interesting.
This is another reason why this card game is so great, there are so many interesting cards that there are endless fun ways to play.
Of course the standard rules are fantastic enough, but we always try to stretch the games we play to see what else we can get out of them and this one did not disappoint.
Pro and Cons of Of Knights and Ninjas
The brains behind the game
You’ve heard from us now let’s hear from the wonderful team behind this brilliant card game.
Of Knights and Ninjas was created by Josh McBride from Blue Fox Games.
And we wanted to know what inspired him to create the game.
“I love the Middle Ages and I wanted to make a card game that incorporated castles to fortify and ladders to climb and catapults to destroy fortification. All the characters have highly thematic roles to simulate a feudal and whimsical medieval battle.
I have created games since I was little by mixing pieces of different games, often annoying my parents (who told me that there were already rules to the game). I have several others I would like to release soon.”
We also asked Josh who else helped him with the creation of the game:
“My wife does an amazing job of PR. I also have friends I’ve met on social media that have been incredibly amazing, like Jan-Christian Friedrich who I call the Pirate. He made my epic Kickstarter video and will be bringing Aye Aye Island to Kickstarter soon.”
There are also some awesome expansions to look forward to, so stay tuned.
And in the meantime whilst you wait, you can follow the journey on social media:
It’s always a joy to come across a great new card game. With so many games out there, it’s becoming rarer and rarer to find one that has unique gameplay and as well as keeping you entertained all night long.
Of Knights and Ninjas certainly has both of these qualities. This card game has loads to offer and each time you play offers a new adventure and experience.
We would highly recommend this game which is fun for all the family. Whether you’re having a party or a cosy night in, it’s truly a good fit for any occasion.
The strategic planning mixed in with the luck of the draw makes this game one we’ll be playing time and time again.
And besides, where else can you fight your way through Castles, charm Knights with Princesses and steal treasure with Highwaymen? This answer this time lies with Of Knights and Ninjas!
Tell us what you think about Of Knights and Ninjas!
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