Quick Look: Alynthia
Designers: Travis Jones, Andrew C. White
Publisher: Xplody Games
Year Published: Currently on Kickstarter (February 2023) Link at bottom of this review
I’ve had a few chats with Travis and got to meet up with him and Andrew, the designers of Alynthia, for an online playtest via Tabletopia and Discord this past Saturday. Their campaign has already launched and has surpassed 70% funding at the time of this review. The game has two main modes: Co-op or Competitive. We played a 3-player co-op game, but I can easily imagine what the competitive play would look like. The large amount of content and components in this game give it, unsurprisingly, a lot of replayability. Aside from that, based on your challenge tolerance, there are adjustments to make the game easy, medium, hard, or insane. This is attractive to me as a veteran gamer who searches for games that I can’t always win. I’d dig in for that insane mode and welcome a tough victory or a glorious defeat.
You must rebuild Alynthia. Either unite to free Alynthia from the Dragons or compete against your fellow guild leaders to become the new ruler of Alynthia. The choice is yours.
Disclosure: The game is in pre-production, so a Tabletopia version of the game was used for the review.
I did not see/hold the physical version of Alynthia. I did get to chat about the components in general and play with a digital mock-up of what they will look like. They components themselves look great and I’d like to specifically reference the good use of space, iconography, etc. Games like this will either be made or broken by their rules and iconography, and I was very pleased at how easy it was to pick it up and go based on my existing knowledge of symbols and icons. I am a big fan of that box art and would be happy to have it presented as one of the feature spaces on my shelving.
Base Game – List of Components (base game):
• 89 Custom Wooden Pieces (25 outposts, 24 outpost upgrades, 35 dragons, 5 meeples)
• 5 Guild Research Tracks with Abilities and 5 Player Boards
• 7 Board Tiles and 3 Nest Tracker and 1 Round Tracker with Marker
• 54 Renown Tokens
• 95 Ability Tiles (various types)
• 9 Dice (various types)
• 5x each Focus, Strength, and Defense Markers
• 163 Cards (Resource, Action, and Market)
• 7 Nest and Dragon Markers
• Tunnel Space, 3 Entrances, and 2 Walls
• 1st Player Token
• Rulebook with Three Game Modes (Solo, Coop, Competitive)
• Game Box
Check out the component spread for a visual on all of the components.
I love the whole idea of taking back a land overrun by dragons. The way they keep coming every round and can swarm the area is awesome. I REALLY like that as the game progresses the guilds scale up/level and unlock abilities, but the dragons also scale up in their Attack/Defense Stats. I think the choice to scale the players as well as the dragons was key to maintaining tension in the game.
I had played an easier mode for the sake of ease when running the playtest so I could focus on the game itself for the review. However, at higher difficulties I can see how acquiring the appropriate renown could be very difficult and I’m not sure how you’d manage to prioritize collecting it and dispatching the dragons given your limited number of rounds and therefore actions. I’m not sure this qualifies as a least favorite aspect but it’s something I’m curious about and would have to play more at a higher difficulty (as well as the competitive mode) to see if that would take away from the game as I’m concerned it would. Mind you, I did not experience that in my game, and it played without a hitch.
– Action Points
– Area Control/Influence
– Area Movement
– Dice Rolling
– Variable Player Powers
– Victory Points as a resource
– Solo, Coop, Competive Game
Areas they did well:
• Great Iconography
• Enjoyable theme and art
• Smooth gameplay with less downtime than anticipated.
• Solo, coop, and competitive modes
• A TON of content and replayability
• Clear round progression that makes sense.
• Sense of pressure building from spawning dragons.
• Controls the length of gameplay and difficulty through limited rounds.
• Variable player powers were well done but also really nice to have access to the same skill tree as everyone else.
• Leveling or progressing not only the guilds (players) but the dragons as well. The whole game is an ongoing escalation.
• Great components and functionality of components.
• Custom pieces (Dragon Meeple being my favorite)
• Easy combat resolution
• Multiple difficulties to try (easy, medium, hard, insance)
• Large amount of options for actions or purchases to focus on.
Areas they could have improved:
• I’d like to see Dragons with more movement/flying distance.
• I’d like to see Dragons banding together for a common attack from different spaces.
• I’d like a few more options on action cards, In fairness, I don’t think I was playing with their full content for this deck.
• I’d like a little more renown for defeating dragons. At present you do get to roll a reward for each dragon killed, but I think a base return of 1 renown + the roll felt right. But listen, the team has playtested the game excessively and my one play experience is only a quick feedback report on impressions.
The gameplay is smooth and turns pass quickly with many simultaneous play portions. It’s surprisingly easy to digest and get into the swing of things. I’d say 30 mins/player is an accurate time expectation on an early play and I’d say it would be faster on consecutive plays. I’ve got a solid group for this style game, and I know we could crank out turns quickly and really tear those dragons up with time to spare. In other words, don’t be intimidated by the mass of components. It ties together nicely, and the overall experience is quite enjoyable.
I had a great night playing Alynthia and would be eager to play again. I’m giving an extra shout out for this title because I want to add it to my own collection! I have some friends in mind that would really enjoy it. Plus, I want to hit up that competitive mode. I know that it’s free to try on Tabletopia and the designers would be happy to reconnect, but I want that in-person table presence. Sometimes you got to feel that impending doom of a couple dozen dragons breathing down your neck to get the blood flowing, ya know?
I’ll see you next time, back here at The Game Table,
Brad Hiscock, aka Zerility
Here’s a link to the live Kickstarter campaign and the website:
Find out more at BGG.
Do you find that you’re missing too many reviews as we drop them? Provide your name and email below and we’ll keep you in the know of what we reviewed that week as well as other hot news!!!!!
Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”, is a construction project manager and electrician by trade who was the owner of a 6-time award winning electrical company. His passion for board games has led him from playing hundreds of original titles to creating a design and publishing company of his own, Convivial Games. As an up and coming collaborator on many projects, he is always eager to try new games and meet new people.
Find him reviewing on the socials too!
All of Brad Hiscock, aka “Zerility”‘s reviews can be found HERE