Heath and Seth Robinson are currently Kickstarting their miniatures game, Incantris, of magical combat for 1-4 players. Each player in the game takes control of a team of three wizards, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. What makes the game interesting right off the bat is how each team is balanced a bit differently, mixing up the combinations of the six types of wizards to change the team’s dynamic.
I had a chance to play a prototype of Incantris and put the game through its paces. While the components I played with aren’t the final pieces, they’re pretty close. The model sculpts were excellent, and the art very was well done. All the counters and modular board pieces were sturdy, the dice icons clean and legible. The 3D terrain was solid, stood well, and looked really professional. Overall this prototype felt very close to a fully manufactured game.
I was a bit worried when the game came in. The rulebook was thick. Never a good sign for a miniatures board game that claims to be simple to learn and play. A quick flip through them put my mind at ease. The rules were printed one-sided and had plenty of images, examples, and reference materials. The game really is simple to learn. There’s even a two-minute video that Heath and Seth created to lay down the basics.
There’re several different ways to play Incantris: Battle Royale, Crystal Sap, Capture the Crystal, and my favorite, Shifting Arena. Each scenario has it’s own victory conditions and special rules that go along with it. Shifting Arena, for example, has the same goal to defeat all the other players as Battle Royal does, but the board shifts as you play.
During each turn in the game, a player will move and attack, or attack and move, with one of their wizards. That wizard can’t be activated again until the player’s other wizards have been used. There’s a total of 25 spells spread out over the six types of wizards, and each has its own area of effect. Some spells target empty hexes. Others, another wizard. Some spells have an area effect that can hit more than one wizard at a time. There’s spells that do damage and spells that inflict status effects. The amount of depth provided with such a simple ruleset is astounding.
As I usually do, I played Incantris with my kids. This time around my 11-year-old, 9-year-old, and 6-year-old played the game with me. All were able to grasp the rules fairly quickly, and once they got the hang of the team they were playing with, had a great time playing the game. Even with a full compliment of 4 players we were able to finish the game in around an hour. Gameplay is fast, spells are satisfying, and between the modular board and different scenarios there’s a lot of replayability here. The one thing I wish I had is the Wizard Design Kit, an add-on available in the Kickstarter campaign that allows you to customize your own team of wizards and the spells they have.
Incantris is already fully-funded with 7 days left to go in its campaign. A pledge of $50 will make sure you get a copy of the base game, while $7o gets you the game and the Wizard Design Kit. The latter would be my suggestion to get the most bang for you buck. This is a great game, and I hope to see more released for it in the future.
A prototype copy of Incantris was provided for this preview by Heath and Seth Robinson.