Published on December 20th, 2013 | by Nicole Jekich
The Game of Guile
King Arthur and Sir Mordred Compete for Influence!
Guile is the first of many games to come from Terra Nova Games. It was successfully funded in July 2013 and is a rework of classic memory games perfect for kids and adults. If you have a spare $20 and a need to pad out your game shelf with a solid, casual game for two players- buy Guile! Also, your support goes to an independent designer and more future Kickstarters and game projects.
For an even BETTER DEAL, Terra Nova Games is offering a holiday package for $35 including: one copy of Guile, a t-shirt, digital download of the soundtrack, buttons and Chessex custom dice all of which are gift wrapped AND a portion of their proceeds will go to National Multiple Sclerosis Society! A great deal that will go to a great cause.
Guile is a card game for two that could fit in a shirt pocket and is easily portable for gaming on the go. There are less than 30 cards in the box but each card is well designed and uses high quality cardstock. Also the attention to detail for the card backs is fantastic. The influence, victory and turn cards all feature the same matching sunburst-style pattern which helps with setting up the game. I find that even games like Guile, which have simplistic gameplay, benefit from engaging art and design. Good art helps make casual games stand out from all the other options available to gamers. All the character cards are painterly portraits of knights and other Arthurian characters like Merlin, Isolde and Morgana.
Guile takes a memory-centric card game and adds a bit of variation and style to the basic gameplay. Players line up all the knights in a circle, making sure to alternate between King Arthur’s knights and Sir Mordred’s knights. Then they place the turn card in the center- pointing to a knight with its coin side down. Players then take all of the numbered influence cards and draft a four card hand, discarding the remaining two cards, then place those numbered cards face down on their knights, being careful to not reveal their motives to the other player. Players have two rounds worth of opportunities to peek at or switch their cards with another on the board so as to confuse the opposing player and hopefully to get you closer to having the most combined influence at the end of the second round. Once the second round is completed, scoring occurs and the leader with the most combined influence on their knights wins the game and receives a victory card. The play starts over again until a player wins two games and is declared the winner!
There are many games that I keep around because they serve as gaming appetizers and Guile falls under this category. Gaming appetizers are games that are casual, very short games used to liven a party, bridge some time between conversation or prep a group of people before diving into a longer more complex game. I also love keeping a collection of games that are 30 minutes or less because like many people, I enjoy games but I don’t always have the patience or time to sit down and play a two hour tabletop game. After an introduction game which takes around 20-30 minutes, subsequent games can go as quickly as 10-15 minutes.
I played Guile a couple times with different people and they all mentioned that memory was not their strongest suit. Despite having a distinct advantage over my memory-weak opponents, the games in Guile were always very close. Since there are no complex game mechanics, this would be a great game to play with children as well. The creators also encourage players to add their own meta elements to the game to make it more fun and interactive. Feel free to confuse the other player by quoting all your favorite parts of Monty Python’s Holy Grail or speaking in ridiculous English accents or having timed rounds. Guile is here to satisfy a quick gaming urge and I am looking forward to testing out new ways to play!
Guile is a successfully funded Kickstarter game from this past summer 2013 by Terra Nova Games. This duo is based out of Colorado and announced a new game, Ophir for 2014! Check out more information about the designers and their games at TerraNovaGames.com. Also don’t forget that holiday deal for $35!