Card Game Review: Barnyard Legions

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Barnyard Legions is a fantastic new card game where armies of animals battle one another in a large barnyard. It’s described as “tic-tac-toe where the tics attack.” You act by laying out your armies across the field, aiming for five-in-a-row.

First up, a quick disclaimer. The designer of Barnyard Legions is my brother, so make of that what you will, but I would love this game even if I weren’t related to the designer.

There are four different armies to play: The Bovikings (Viking Cows), the Republic of Ram (Roman Sheep), Celtucky Chickens (Celtic Chickens) and the Porklite Phalanx (Greek Pigs). Each player uses one of these decks to play.

10991241_1554815351434173_2413022603984216216_nThe board is laid out in an x-shaped grid of cards. On your turn, you may draw cards from either your own deck or a deck anyone can draw from which have cards for everyone’s army as well as generic troops usable by anyone. You can perform two actions or a third action by discarding a card from your hand. These actions can be to play a card, perform an action on one of your cards, draw one of your own cards, or draw two cards from the communal deck. As you play cards, you attempt to take out other units while trying to create a row of their own characters five cards long in order to win.

10989151_1565292813719760_8572263568561130347_nAs the game moves along, you fill in the areas around the x-shaped grid, stomping across the barnyard that steadily fills with armies. The game has a lot of depth to it, with each race having dramatically different tactics, while still being an accessible game to the entire family. The Republic of Ram works synergistically with other cards to coordinate attacks. The Celtucky Chickens are sneaky, letting them attack other units not directly next to themselves. The Bovikings charge forward like cows, smashing through your enemies, and the Porklite Phalanx move around together in a… well, a phalanx.  Each game lasts around 15 minutes, and we haven’t played a single game without playing a second. I am a huge fan of the Republic of Ram, and have played them almost half-a-dozen times. My second favorite is the Celtucky Chickens.

I’ve gotten the chance to play the game quite a bit lately in the lead-up to the Kickstarter and have been having a blast. We’ve sat down and recorded the actual play of the game, so that should be up soon. The Kickstarter is launching on April 15th, and I’ll be sharing the page once it’s out.

I hope you’ll all consider backing it. Andrew is an experienced game designer with a lot of great games under his belt. Later this week we’ll be doing a give-away of one of his games, Mercs Conflict, so keep your eyes peeled for that as well!

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