In Theomachy, the Gods get bored, and decided to fight over their souls of all worshipers. Theomachy knows it theme, and sticks with it, I’ll give it that.
What do you get when you cross deck building? Poker? Texas Hold’em Poker? Drafting? And thrown in a few bits of Magic: The Gathering. Spoiler Alert! You Get Theomachy. Yep you read that right, throw all those together and see what you get.
Theomachy is a betting and dueling game for 2-4 players that takes about 45 minutes to play.
In Theomachy, players take on the role of an ancient god, gambling the souls of their faithful. Each round, players will be betting their followers, casting spells, possibly trying to bluff their opponent, and eventually, fighting with each other. Fail to win the match and you’ll lose all the followers you gambled. Win, and you’ll not only keep your stake, but earn a few more for your congregation. However, if you’ve lost all your faithful, it’s elimination for you.
Theomachy God Cards
Each god card gives you a power and a way to earn miracle tokens.
The artwork is AMAZING, the cards are nice to hold, with a gold shine, I can’t talk enough how amazing this game looks.
Ok, now that I have the great out of the way, let’s talk about the bad. And I’m sorry to say there is a lot of bad.
First off, the rule book is not well written at all, I was all sorts of confused. The biggest problem is, there is 3 different styles of game play – Basic, Advanced, Epic. It would have been nice for them to separate these in the rule book, more than once I was reading trying to figure out a rule, only to find it was for the Epic game, which I was not playing. Frustrating to say the least.
Game play, I my opinion, they really tried to do too much here, you start out with a draft that seemed to me to take forever and day, then you move into the poker phase of the game, which again takes 3 rounds, so settle in. then if no one folded you can move to the battle phase ala Magic.
If you don’t like any of those styles of game play, trust me you’re going to have a bad time with this game. I think it would have worked better to just skip the drafting aspect, and stick with the poker, I enjoyed that part somewhat, again, 3 rounds took a while, it could have been I was just learning it too, have no tried since, so maybe after a better feel of the flow, it would go faster?
I did like how the God’s came into play with there unique special power, that was a bright spot in game play for me.
One good thing that Theomachy does is that it gives players a few different ways to play the game. Between the basic, advanced and epic versions, each is different add a bit more on the game. So a big thumbs on that design decision for sure.
As I eluded to before, I think that Theomachy definitely has a bit of a learning curve, and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed at the start.
Another thing that I did not enjoy that much is the player elimination aspect, yes you can get eliminated from the game, even early on, it’s comes to that dreaded RNG. As you are at the mercy of the RNG for most of the game play. So, if you don’t draft well enough or bid/bluff your way to good cards, you are going to be drawing for it, and if that goes south, you’re watching your friends play as you sit and twiddle your thumbs.
Theomachy is a game that combined some well-loved genres into a game with some gorgeous artwork. Seriously, I can’t talk about how much I LOVE this artwork. However, as I mentioned above, I don’t think the play style is going to be for everyone. It will boil down to this, do you like to draft cards? Like Poker? Love deck building? If you don’t like either of those, well then you get what you get, a bad time.
I think the big thing to think about is are you a fan of poker, if not then I would strongly suggest you give this one a pass, poker plays a big part of the game, you really need to enjoy bidding, bluffing, risk and reading other players to be successful at Theomachy. This is one the thing I did enjoy though, be it felt a bit too drawn out, but I did enjoy that aspect the most.
Theomachy is going to be one of those games, that you will either really love or you’re really going to hate it. I don’t think there is a middle ground with this one, you will have to figure which side you land on.
For more information on to order Theomachy from Petersen Games, head over to the official site
A BIG THANK YOU, to Petersen Games for providing the review copy, this is no way reflected my opinion of the game in any way.