Billed as Magic The Gathering meets Final Fantasy Tactics, Phoenix Covenant hit Kickstarter and is already off to a great start.

I first got a chance to sit down and play the game at Connecticon this year, and since have received a preview version of the game to take my time with here at home. Played on an 8×6 board, players pit their decks against each other trying to knock the other’s hit points down to zero. This can be done by making it across the board and attacking, or by attacking the other player’s reinforced hard points. Decks include units, structures (that can be built on hard points), commanders, and more. Commanders have the ability to pull new units onto the field near them, instead of in the summoning areas of the board.

Depth is served not only via the units and their stats, but also by weak points, armored areas of cards, and a bit of resource management with your Mana and Command Points. While the board may seem a bit large at first, units have a good range of motion and the action is rather fast paced. Cards work well together, so making sure you’ve got a deck that meshes well is important to victory. If it sounds interesting to you, you can download the manual and a print-and-play demo. The game really only takes 10-15 minutes to learn how to play, as the core rules are relatively simple.

I played this most with my 9-year-old son whose a huge fan of MtG. We’ve had a great time with it, and I really can’t wait to see the final product once the project is funded. Speaking of which, a $15 pledge will get you the full print-and-play version, while a $50 pledge guarantees you a physical copy of the game. There’s also some great perks at higher levels, and some sweet looking stretch goals.

A preview copy of Phoenix Covenant was provided free for review by Adam Porroni.