I first saw Final War at PAX East this year and it was unlike any other CCG I have ever played. The Onslaught Starter Set contains everything you need to play including a board, tokens, and over 200 cards. Games Lab Pty assured me that the game was balanced in a way that a player could get maximum enjoyment out of the Starter Set without having to purchase any other cards.
The Onslaught Starter Set comes with 3 different Warlords to head players’ decks. The 3 Warlords represent 3 different factions: Good, Neutral, and Evil. Unlike other CCGs where players are in direct conflict, Final War has players building their army while competing with cards in a Fate Deck. The game proceeds this way until the Final War card is played and the players’ armies clash to determine the victor.
Units in Final War are placed in spaces on the board. Once the board is filled no more units can be placed. There’s places for your Warlord, regular units, Heroes, and fortifications. Heroes and Warlords can also hold items, while Spells are cast and spent.
A brief overview of the game can be found in the Quick Rules, or the full rules linked above.
The production value of the Final War: Onslaught Starter Set are incredibly high. The cards are you pretty standard CCG fare, but the large box filled with the boards, rules, dice, and tokens goes above and beyond what your standard CCG starter contains. The box truly contains everything you need to enjoy the game.
I’m really impressed with how Final War plays. It’s a fresh take on CCGs with quick setup, rapid escalation, and tense gameplay. There’s no mana needed to summon cards and no energy level that increases every turn that’s used to field your army. Strategic placement of cards is important as some cards can buff others in different rows. The Fate Deck keeps players on their toes as they try to bolster their forces for Final War and victory.
My one complaint is the price tag for the starter set. While you’re getting a lot, $70 is a bit steep as an entry point for a CCG. While you can just purchase boosters, you’re in no way guaranteed to get enough to play even if you bought a booster box.
My advice? See if you can find somewhere to give the game a shot first before you pull the trigger. Fans of CGGs and card battle games are sure to like it, but no sense is risking that kind of money unless you’re sure it’s a good fit.
A copy of Final War: Onslaught was provided free for review by Games Lab Pty.