Kickstart This! #307:  Sons of Faeriell

Designer: Christian Zoli (Bad Babiez, Wherewolf)

Artists: Andrea Butera (Legends of Novus, Sanctuary: The Keepers Era), Thibaut Denise, Maxime Morin

Publisher:  Tabula Games (Barbarians: The Invasion, Mysthea, Volfyirion)

Genre/Mechanisms: action queue, miniatures, movement points, ownership, point to point movement, prisoner’s dilemma, semi-cooperative game

Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Sons of Faeriell is already fully-funded. Pledges currently total more than 2x the initial funding goal with less than 1 day to go on the campaign.

Player Count: 2-4

Solo Mode: no

Complexity: medium-heavy

Risk: medium-low

What It’s About: “Guide your Weybits and decide the destiny of a verdant land in this semi-cooperative strategic game with multiple endings.”

How It Works: “The game is divided in a series of rounds, each round counts three turns per player. The turns are performed clockwise. There are three different kinds of Phases, they are represented by the relative Phase tile.”

“In each turn, the active player has to choose one face-up Phase tile, turn it face-down, and resolve the correspondent Phase. Once a Phase has been resolved, the turn ends (a previously activated Phase can’t be chosen again from the same player for the rest of the round). When all the three Phases have been resolved by all players, the current round ends. Then, the First Player token passes to the next player clockwise.”

“During the Tribe Phase, the player can buy, build and improve game elements. Then Choose which Tribe actions to perform in any order from among the following: Dress a New Hero, Level Up a Hero, Build a Settlement, Build a Beacon, Control the Spiritual Totem, Gather a Heirloom Herb, and Attune with a Great Guardian. When done performing the chosen actions, pass the turn to the next player.”

“During the Event Phase, new Menaces are assigned and players receive Essences. Players perform the Event Phase actions in the following order: Great Guardian Movement (optional), Menace Draft, Solve a Menace by Beacon or Spiritual Totem (optional), and Harvest.”

“And during the Hero Phase, the player can move Heroes through the map and use their abilities, choosing to take Hero Actions, Perk Actions, and Lore Actions as they so choose.”

“The goal of the game is to claim the most Achievements, which are tracked on the appropriate space on the game board. Achievements must always be claimed as soon as a player meets the requirements. To claim an Achievement, you have to take one of your Achievement tokens from the player board and place it on the corresponding Achievement slot on the game board. Claiming Achievements costs one Essence card, except for the Corruption Cleanser Achievement which can be claimed for free. When you take an Achievement token from the player board to claim an achievement, the related Essence color to pay is shown on the empty slot. You may either choose not to pay the Essence, or you might not be able to pay: place the chosen Achievement token anyway and move the Doom token one step forward on the Doom Track. Achievements must always be removed as soon as a player loses the requirements.”

“At the end of each round, turn all Phase tiles face-up, Restore all Attunements, Heirloom Herbs and Actions gems, then pass the First Player token to the next player, clockwise. A new round begins.”

“The game ends when one of these two conditions are met. 1) If the Doom Track reaches the 15th slot and no player has the Corruption Sower, Faeriell is doomed: the game ends immediately and all players lose to Corruption; 2) If the Doom Track reaches the 15th slot and a player has the Corruption Sower, Faeriell is doomed: the game ends immediately and that player wins the game. When a player claims five or more Achievements, Faeriell can still be saved and the game will end at the end of the round. The player with the most Achievements wins the game (even if, by any means, they end up being less than five). In case of a tie, the player with the Corruption Cleanser Achievement wins the game. If no tied player has claimed it, then the player with the Purity Achievement wins. If no tied player has claimed it either, the first player in turn order wins.”

Comparisons: Semi-cooperative games are rather unique in that they require players to work together… for a time. If players start acting in their own self-interest too early, often the game is lost for all. However, is a player waits too late to start taking actions in their own self-interest, they’ll likely lose to another player. Some of these games incorporate a traitor mechanic, whereas some utilize some kind of mechanic that functions as a timer for an apocalyptic end-game event. The sweet spot in these games is knowing how long it is necessary to work together, as well as when to make a break for personal victory. Some other semi-cooperatives include Archipelago, AuZtralia, CO2: Second Chance, Dead of Winter, Forgotten Waters, Legendary: A Marvel Deck-Building Game, Nemesis, and Shadows Over Camelot.

What Should I Pledge?:
$66 Sons of Faeriell: the Sons of Faeriell game plus the Digital Art Book of the Art of Icaion.
$107 All-In Sons of Faeriell: includes everything in the Sons of Faeriell pledge level, plus the Bundle Box.

$20 Great Guardians Miniatures Set
$18 5th Player Tribe Set
$8 Dornog, The Spider: Mini & Ruleset
$7 Spooky Root Mini
$42 Bundle Box: includes all of the (4) above-listed items
$21 The Art of Faeriell
$12 Custom Sleeves: enough for all cards, including stretch goals
$4 Weybit Coasters (4)
$4 Tree Nation Reforest donation

KS Exclusives
Lots of little things. In the Kickstarter version the player boards are double-layered, have art prints on their backs, and the Settlement Tokens are screen-printed. The Kickstarter version also includes 12 new Perk tiles, 4 new Adversity Cards, 4 new Corruption Sower Perk tiles, 10 new Way Cards, 4 new Heirloom Herb Cards, 4 new Achievement Tiles, and screen-printed Beacon Meeples. Finally, all of the items listed above in the Add-On section are also Kickstarter Exclusives.

All-In Total: In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $107 for the All-In Sons of Faeriell, $12 for the Custom Sleeves, and $17 in shipping for a total of $134.

Sons of Faeriell completes its Kickstarter on Friday, November 20th and tentatively ships in October 2021.

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