All Hands on Deck! Winds of Fortune card game wages naval battle on Kickstarter

winds of fortune

At first glance, Winds of Fortune from newcomer SafeHaven Games looks like Summoner Wars set in the ocean. But a number of intriguing concepts brought me back and kept me looking.

Flagships of Doom

Each player has a faction deck they use to deploy ships and effects. These ships go into one of 3 different combat lanes, 3 spots deep, and are then used to wage war on the opposing side. The target in this case is the opposing player’s flag ship, a looming behemoth at the rear of the board comprised of 3 cards from that player’s chosen faction.

I really like these flagships. Each ship is comprised of 3 different cards…fore, midship and stern. Each card has its own ability and when that card takes enough damage it’s flipped over and you lose that ability. Winning the game involves destroying all 3 pieces and I can foresee this setting up a really intense back-and-forth naval battle…with a flagship being almost sunk, then coming back with a victory out of nowhere.

Image from  Kickstarter page illustrating game play

Image from Kickstarter page illustrating game play

The campaign also claims these flagships will be more customizable as more cards are released. With more options, it will eventually be possible to cherry pick the 3 different parts to make the exact ship you want. I can see this being trouble in a tournament setting.

Doubloons

Doubloons are the mana of this game. You summon your ships with it, and carry out various activated abilities by spending it. You can even spend doubloons to draw extra cards, which might be pretty amazing if there’s some way to get a combo of cards to kick out more doubloons than normally anticipated.

The Art and Theme

I really hate when a game retreads over a previously used theme. Right now I am tentatively optimistic because I read the entire kickstarter and never saw the word “Cthulhu” once. Instead, Winds of Fortune has gone through the necessary struggle to develop its own story. It’s a little steampunky, a little supernatural, but with new unique elements that fit in with the nautical theme. Victorian Waterworld, perhaps? The campaign claims there will eventually be a Martian faction which I am on the edge of my seat awaiting with either excitement or dread.

The Art is good. I mean, it’s really, really good. Take a look at the kickstarter just for the art and envision that art on the cards. 3 different artists have been hired, and it looks like they’ve done a good job fleshing out the bizarre imagery to its fullest extent.

The Campaign

With 26 days left to go, the kickstarter has raised almost $3,000 of a $16,000 goal. The quality of the art, as previously stated is amazing. The campaign itself seems pretty fleshed out, with both a intro video and a prototype preview from Bored Online? Board Offline!

The one thing I don’t see is a rulebook, and it would be really nice to read all about this game and get a better feel for how the action happens. But from the other elements it’s obvious SafeHaven Games does indeed have some sort of real, working game here and it’s only a matter of time before more details emerge. Right now I know it’s a 2 player game, and takes about 60 minutes to play. Includes 2 pre-built decks with extra cards to build your own custom decks, LCG-style.

I’ll be keeping my eye on this kickstarter and seeing how it develops as the month progresses.