Friday, November 23, 2007

A Short Rules Preview of Power & Weakness

Last week I wrote about the rules for Albion, an area-control game set in medieval Britain. Today I’m writing about the rules for Power & Weakness, an area-control game set in medieval Britain.

There are a couple of big differences in the games. For one thing, Albion is a multi-player game and Power & Weakness is strictly two-player. Another difference is that Albion tries to be loosely historical, but Power & Weakness focuses on magicians as well as on conventional forces.

The heart of Power and Weakness is a mechanism in which conventional and magical conflict alternates as players struggle to control regions on the board. A cycle in which players move knights from regions to adjacent regions to combat enemy forces is followed by a cycle in which magicians teleport all over the board between regions that share the same magical symbol.

On his turn, a player can take two actions. Typical actions will be adding a friendly piece to a region on the board, recruiting friendly pieces from the stock, or taking and/or playing an action tile. There are a variety of actions tiles. Some of the typical ones allow a player to remove enemy pieces from a region, add friendly pieces to a region, move pieces from region to region, or cancel an opponent’s action. Some action tiles have duel abilities, and players have to choose which abilities to use. Some action tiles cannot be simply taken, but have to be auctioned off between the players.

Taking some actions removes timing cubes from the timing track. The cycle ends when all the cubes are gone, and manipulating the end of a cycle appears to play a part in game strategy. For example, playing tiles that add friendly pieces to the board can trigger the end of a cycle and make it impossible for the opponent to respond before a scoring round.

Power & Weakness has some interesting mechanisms, but the two-player limitation may decrease its appeal. I would be much more likely to acquire a game like this if it allowed for several players; two-player games just don’t get played as much.

Power & Weakness was designed by Andreas Steding and is available for pre-order from

1 comment:

huzonfirst said...

Your thoughts are much like mine, Kris. The mechanics for the game sound very interesting and I'd like to try them out. But I don't have the opportunity to do much two-player gaming; at least, not with games of this complexity. Still, they're sufficiently intriguing that I may try to play it with someone who owns a copy. Steding's done some interesting things in the past (in particular, the very innovative Kogge), which also makes me more prone to give this a try.