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Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms

[Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms]

Richard Gain, William Niebling

Japanime Games

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Ralf Togler writes about the game:

Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms is a reimplementation of Kanzume Godess. Moreover, it is a further development with a much better rulebook and a lot of expansion and standalone variants for more diversion. The game itself is a typical deck builder that plays in the Mythic Greek era. Or better: it is about a fictional fight of the Greek gods against the Norse gods. Players take the role of one of the gods and send their warriors and disciples against their opponents to fight each other. There can only be one! So the player who is last one surviving the fight wins the game.

So gods, their warriors and some disciplines. Strong, ripped men, one might expect. But Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms is a JAPANIME GAMES game. And so, we find cards that are skillfully illustrated, but most of them are women. And they come in a (more or less sexy) anime style. Maybe this isn’t gender-sensitive, but maybe the ripped men weren’t gender-sensitive too. Whatever, me and my wife were not offended by the illustrations. But of course, you might say, sex sells. But what might be behind it? So, l let's focus on the game mechanics:

[Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms]

Click on image to enlarge!

As so many other deckbuilding games Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms starts with a typical 10 cards starting hand for every player. No strong cards, just some very “cheap” disciplines cards. Five of these cards are drawn as hand cards. Those three discipline cards are also the basis of the market place. But the more interesting cards for the further gameplay are the warrior cards. In Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms there are 18 different of these warrior cards that are all shuffled at setup and six of them are added to the market place. If you draw a warrior card that is already in the market, you just put the new card on top of the existing one and you draw another warrior. As a result, there are always the three disciples and six different warrior cards in the market for purchase.

Playing cards and acquiring new cards from the market follows the typical structure of other deck building games like Dominion, Thunderstone and Star Realms. The currency of Kamigami Battles: River of Souls is faith. Most cards also have special abilities that can be categorised in act and react abilities. Most important to win the game are the attacking abilities (of course an act ability) that reduce the strength of other gods. And once this strength is reduced to zero that player is out of game.

[Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms]

Click on image to enlarge!

Nothing particular so far. But Kamigami Battles: River of Souls has some nice features that make the game special in my opinion. First thing is that you can (but you don't have to) play a team match in which one team takes the role of the Greek gods and the other of the Norse gods. One of the players of every team is chosen as the main god player. This player starts with more energy, while the support gods only start with less energy. And it's a team's aim to reduce the health of the main god to zero to win the game. It's a more cooperative way to play the deckbuilding game.

The other interesting feature is the colour restraint of the warriors played in a turn. There is normally a limitation to play only one warrior in your turn. But if the colour of a warrior on your hand matches one of the two follow-up colours of the played warrior card, you are allowed to play this second warrior card too. And this card will give you another new follow-up colour, and so you can play a third, fourth or even a fifth warrior card, if you can match all follow-up colours. So you can create a nice chain reaction. Of course, all of these colours and follow-up colours of the cards should be considered when buying new cards.

In addition to Kazume Godess, Kamigami Battles also introduces a new game element that is called Temples, and is a permanent ability of a god that comes in form as an own card with its own strenght. So, this card can be attacked too, and once its strength is reduced to zero, the player can no longer use this ability.

[Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms]

Click on image to enlarge!

In the end, Kamigami Battles: Battle of the Nine Realms is a typical deckbuilding game with some nice features and some interesting illustrations. I liked playing the game, although the deckbuilding mechanism is not really improved or combined with some sophisticated new ideas compared to some other deckbuilding games in the last year. But it plays smoothly, and if you love the art, you will find a lot of different nice cards. The gameplay can be best compared with Dominion that is still a great game for me.

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