Momentum Volsk Castle Assault is a very entertaining take on the “Tower Defense/Attack” game style. Most deck based card games can drag on for hours while each player tries to play some massive mental mind game with each other, holding their best card until it’s just right and nearly hours later. That isn’t the case here as the gameplay takes 30 minutes maximum for either the players to run out of options and even quicker if you get lucky with the draw and smash through your opponent’s castle in minutes. Castle Assault is all about the “MOMENTUM”, a fascinating game mechanic that keeps the game and each player moving along at a fun pace. The MOMENTUM, is a gauge of sorts determined each turn by a die roll that slide the momentum in your favor (hopefully) granting your troops bonus on their attempts to breach the castle’s walls.
My favorite part of the game (in my few plays, both at PAX East and at home) has been seeing how each faction operates and each deck defends, such as the Elves being long ranged team work assailants or the orcs being super strong but not the heartiest of clans to enter the battleground. The other playable decks in the game aside from the fantasy staples orcs and elves, are the Undead, werewolves and vampires along with humans. Another part about this game that felt like a real treat, was the artwork of each deck. With different artists illustrating a different faction, there helps to further flesh them out. For example, the elves have an almost anime-style quality to them further boosting their almost magical feeling to them while in contrast, the orcs are grotesque hulks almost like garbage pail kids.
As Castle Assault is a Kickstarter funded game, it was really interesting to get to talk to TJ Dunbar about this game and the process. With his guiding hand, I was able to get a game in during PAX with another event goer as we dueled it out until our cards were gone (another feature ensuring the game doesn’t drag on) and we were both reduced to a single life left. The game mechanics aren’t hard to figure out, and by turn 3, I was in the full orc-smash mindset of my deck. One of the major features I always try to find in a new game, is the co-operative gameplay or solo feature. Not always having someone around to play a deck based board game, it is really great to mix it up with a fun boss battles that even comes with its own sequential style set of three cards making up a dangerous foe you need to take out before it reaches your castle. The unique single player game even allows for your special heroes to level up and become more powerful.
This game hits every check box on my list of qualifications for a new game that I want to delve into. It has various factions for different styles of playing, it forces each player to keep the game moving along and keep the end goal a first priority. It comes with more artists than a standard game creating a wonderfully illustrated world of fighters that has me in awe each time a card was played that I haven’t seen before. Sure there is a tiny learning curve to get used to where to find the health and strength of each unit, or when you can play a Lord card of a shift card, but those are just minor quibbles.
With a new Kickstarter for the Fell Fire Forge expansion soon to hit the campaign trail, I can’t wait to see what new decks or enemies will be wonderfully illustrated for us to battle it out in the battlefield.
You can find more information and follow Castle Assault here: