In my lifetime I’ve played a lot of games, some more than others, but if any board game stands out above the rest as eating away massive chunks of my time it’s the WWII classic Axis and Allies. In the 80s, upon the game’s release, I fell in such deep infatuation with this game that I actually left it out on a table in my living room and played against myself for the length of an entire summer. Yeah, you know how you see ‘smart people’ in movies playing chess against themselves? Well, that was me and Axis and Allies.
I was so devoted to it, that I’ve actually only lost a single game in twenty-six years, and that was the first one I ever played [although I do have a draw in there someplace].
Now, you might be wondering why I’m bringing Axis and Allies up in a post concerning Wizard’s of the Coast’s new epic game Conquest of Nerath. Well, quite simply, because in all my years of gaming, and all the games I’ve played, I’d yet to find something in the same realm of awesome as A&A until I sat down to play Conquest.
Simply put, this game is an instant classic, a pure gamers paradise that mixes the very best of thirty years of game development into a single cohesive unit. What A&A was as a Risk upgrade, so too is Conquest to everything before it.
Filling this box is a world of depth, Wizards having spared no expense in its creation as each nation possesses individual pieces on the battlefield and includes not only land, but naval, and air units that can be deployed against an enemy.
You want magic? Conquest has it as wizards prowl the battlefield. You want heroes? Conquest has them, the units leading armies into the field like fabled generals of old. You want high adventure? Conquest again delivers with in-game dungeon delves where you can fight fabled monsters to bring both wealth and magical artifacts to your armies. Are building fortresses your thing? Check to that, you can build, siege, and capture castles. Want a dragon? Go for it and sweep the field with deadly breath weapons. You love rolling giant handfuls of dice? Bingo, let the mass of polyhedrons clatter!
After playing Conquest I was left with only a single question, ‘what DOESN’T this game have?’. Well, other than a Catan-like resource trading system I can think of nothing, and in my opinion that’s more a bonus than a knock.
Are you an old-school gamer? Well if so, then enjoy the nostalgia as Conquest gives you the power to quest against some of your favorite classic D&D modules with its ‘dungeon’ system. You want White Plume Mountain? Got it! Hankering for The Temple of Elemental Evil? Go for it! Really, it’s a love affair down memory lane.
Have you ever been disappointed in a game’s length of play? Well Conquest takes care of that as well with an adjustable victory point system that allows the players the ability to decide how long they want to go.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about the nations involved, don’t worry, the usual suspects are there as well, with elves, humans, goblins, and undead all vying for supremacy across the face of this well thought out world.
So, in conclusion, if you want to have some fun this year and add what I believe to be a future award-winning game to your collection, Conquest of Nerath is worth every penny. As always, good gaming, and may the dice be with you.