Preview - Underleague

Posted by Rob Kalajian in preview

Designers: Fergus Blair
Publisher: Cogwright Games
Year: 2017
Minimum Pledge: £39
Players: 2-5
Play Time: 45-90 minutes
Ages: 12+
Rules Available Online: Yes
BGG: Underleague

Prelude

Cogwright Games recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Underleague, a fantasy-themed game where players battle horrific monsters in illegal underground fights. Players each take the role of a monster breeder facing their monsters against the rest in search of fortune in the pits. It’s not always stabling the best monsters, though. Sometimes it’s knowing when to bet against yourself to gain the upper hand needed to be victorious.

Play

The goal in Underleague is to achieve 20 Victory Points by fielding high-value creatures and winning battles against fellow players. Each player, at all times, will have 3 creatures in their stable to fight with, each having a daytime battle value, nighttime battle value, the creatures worth, and sometimes an ability. Each round players will complete a Pre-Season Phase to do some book keeping, swap out monsters if needed, and use Battle Chips earned from the previous round to purchase more strategy cards. After this, they’ll take turns using their chips to be for/against any monster on the table. Then card play/combat occurs, earning players victory cards and their chips back (if they’re lucky!) This is where Strategy cards come in handy, affecting the game in various ways or equipping creatures with a multitude of buffs/weaknesses. Play continues this way until a player has earned 20 Victory Points calculated during the Pre-Season Phase.

You can check out the full rules here.

Pieces

I can’t really comment on the the components of the game since what I received was a very basic prototype. From what I’ve seen on the Kickstarter page, the artwork looks amazing. I’ll have to hold off judgment here until I received a finished product.

Underleague Cards The final artwork in the game is absolutely amazing

Perspective

While it was a bit hard to get into the theme of the game without any artwork or flavor text, it really let me focus solely on the mechanics of Underleague. While the basic rules are fairly simple, all the depth comes from the creatures and strategy cards and their abilities/effects. The bidding mechanism, which I didn’t think I was going to be a huge fan of, turned out to be one of the most fun parts of the game. It really takes some thinking to figure out where to place your bets to maximize your card currency for the next round. Other players’ bets can seriously impact your turn, possibly causing you to try and intentionally tank one of your own creatures so you can keep an extra Battle Chip away from someone else. Add that it to trying to maximize attack and defense with daytime/nighttime battles and you’ve got an excellent card dueling game with tons of replayability.

I’m looking forward to seeing Underleague funded and getting my hands on a final version of the game.

A prototype copy of Underleague was provided free for preview by Cogwright Games.

Rob Kalajian

Father of 4. Husband to 1. Overall Geek. Rob is the owner of A Pawn's Perspective and an Editor over at Purple Pawn. During the day he's a Senior Web Developer for an ad agency in Avon, CT. In his free time...he has no free time. Games. Toys. Books. Scouting.