Alynthia Kickstarter Review

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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

No. of Players: 1-5
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 60-150 minutes.
Find more info on BoardGameGeek.com  
From the Publisher:

You look across the ravaged landscape of Alynthia as Dragons fly through dark clouds overhead. Your fellow guild members look to you for leadership after fleeing the devastation, and you feel the incredible weight of that responsibility. Your beloved guild is a shadow of its former glory and despair threatens to overwhelm you. But you are determined and begin to plan your strategy to reclaim your homeland.

In Alynthia’s cooperative mode, a horde of Dragons has just destroyed the cities of Alynthia and built deadly Nests atop their ruins. You are among the survivors who have united to free Alynthia from the Dragons, so you take your turns simultaneously. You must band together to retake the land by defeating all Nests before the end of round 5. Don’t wait too long – starting in round 2, if you don’t defeat at least 1 Nest per round, Alynthia will fall.

In the competitive mode, it has been years since Alynthia was first decimated by the Dragons. They still roam the land, but they are fewer in number and much less deadly. The time has come to turn your attention to other matters. You are competing against your fellow guild leaders to become the new leader of Alynthia, so you take your turns individually. To win, have the most Renown by the end of round 5, securing the support of the people.

Whether you like working together, fighting your friends, or playing alone, Alynthia lets you play the way you want while seamlessly transitioning between modes. The diverse set of abilities and guilds plus a semi-modular board also ensures that each game will be different. Build outposts, slay dragons, and conquer the land as you seek to win the hearts of the people and lead them on the path to victory.


Disclosure: The game is in pre-production, so a Tabletopia version of the game was used for the review.




The thought of fighting a dragon and earning prestige and honor played a big part in many of my early fantasy role playing games. So, when I discovered that Alynthia brings that same sense of fighting dragons and earning renown to a board game, I was really looking forward to playing the game.

The game includes solo and cooperative modes of play where you or everyone tries to rid the board of all the dragons, and an everyone for themselves mode (PvE) where you try to be the player with the most renown at the end of the game. It would seem the cooperative mode of play would be easier, since everyone is working toward the same goal, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If the group doesn’t diversify their resources it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the dragons. I really enjoyed the everyone for themselves mode of play. You had to be more strategic with your moves and hope to get your engine going. (Maybe I just thrive on competition.) I will definitely be adding this game to my game shelf once it is published.

Rules & Setup:

The rule book is laid out such that it walks you through the game, presenting each topic when needed. It walks you through the general setup of the playing area, then through how each player’s player-board is set up and works, and finally the different phases of game play. This allows experienced players to easily run through the rules and for new players too by simply following the layout in the rule book. The rule book is well written and provides a number of illustrations and examples that clarify game play and are useful for any questions that may arise. The publisher has included reference sheets in the rulebook that provides a quick reference guide that can easily be copied so each player may have a reference.

The main playing area is created by taking the indicated number of hex tiles and arranging them in the pattern associated with the number of players. Cards representing resources and an Action Card Deck are placed next to the playing area. Renown, dragon, and outpost upgrade tokens are also placed next to the playing area. A Market Card Deck is placed next to the playing area and 8 cards are turned face up. Set up the round tracker board based on the number of players. Finally, place dragon nests on the playing area.

Each player, starting with the last player, picks a guild to play; each guild has unique abilities that will help focus your game play and starts in a different location on the playing area. Players take the guild board, the associated outpost and research ability tokens, the associated die, and the associated meeple. Players place attack, defense, and focus markers on their player board.

Theme and Mechanics:

In Alynthia players have 5 rounds of varying actions to either eliminate all the dragons or earn the most renown. The strength of the dragons increases as the game progresses. In addition, new dragons spawn each round, so the dragon population can spiral out of control quickly. Players spend focus and resources to expand their area of control, increase their capabilities, or fight dragons (or other players in PvE). In cooperative game play, players must control the dragon population. In PvE gameplay, players are vying for the most renown.

The game has elements of area control and engine building. Controlling areas allows a player to harvest resources. Players also have to contend with resource management. Judicious application of resources, focus, and abilities will allow players to take more actions each round, although no action is guaranteed.


Alynthia is played in 5 rounds, whether playing solo, co-op, or PvE. Each round consists of 3-4 phases; 3 phases for normal game play (with basic predetermined guild abilities), and 4 phases for advanced guild mode game play.

The first phase, in advanced guild mode only, is Selection of Guild Abilities. Each round a player selects a new guild ability to use that round. The guild abilities help a player with more resources or actions for that round.

The next phase, the first phase in a basic game, is Spawning Dragons. For each active dragon nest a die is rolled to determine how many dragons spawn in the nest. Spaces with nests that have been conquered gain only 1 dragon. If there are ever 5 or more dragons on a single space a swarm occurs and 1 dragon moves to each adjacent space; swarming can cause a chain reaction. At the end of this phase, if a dragon has moved onto a location where a player’s pieces are present, that player must defend against the dragon(s); a dragon battle occurs.

The next phase is the Actions phase. During this phase players spend focus and resources to take actions. In co-op play all players take actions simultaneously, in PvE each turn players are allow to take up to 2 actions, but passing without taking any actions means a player is finished for the round.

The final phase is the Harvest phase. Players harvest resources from their outposts on the playing area, reduce the number of cards in hand to their hand limit, reset ability tiles, and prep the game for the next round of play.

What is done well:

The game has done a very good job of balancing the game play so that it works well for co-op and PvE game modes. The game seems to be designed with this in mind rather than designing for one game mode and then adapting it for the other.

The game presents player with a variety of actions without making it overwhelming or seeming to be too one-tracked. Players have options on when to use abilities, and what actions to take when, providing a good amount of strategic game play, but not so much strategy that your head will hurt by the end of the game.

What some may find issue with:

Because of the variety of actions a player can take, some players may feel too limited by the amount of resources a player is allowed to have; there are limits to the amount of resources that may be carried over from one round to the next. Players who have difficulty with resource management games may have problems playing this game.

Final Thoughts:

I played this game using a Tabletopia version of the game and can honestly say I am looking forward to this game being produced. Some people may find the bits a little fiddly, but there aren’t an overwhelming number of bits. I found moving the bits around wasn’t a distraction from the game play. Having the dragons get more powerful as the game goes along forces you to pay attention to them; if you ignore them it just gets harder and harder to deal with them. There is a bit of luck of the draw and timing when it comes to dragon spawn rolls and market cards, but that just adds variety to the game. I think players will find this game enjoying to play and I plan to add it to my game shelf.

Players Who Like:  Area Control, Variable Action, Engine Building, and Asymmetric and/or Cooperative game play


After reading Thomas Shepherd’s review, if this sounds like a game for you at the time of this posting Alynthia will be live on KICKSTARTER until Thu, March 2 2023 1:00 PM PST, and has a funding goal of $21,500. check it out and back it HERE.
Find out more at BGG
Did you back it based on our review? Please comment below letting us know!


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Check out Alynthia and Xplody Games


Thomas Shepherd- Reviewer

I grew up loving to solve puzzles, play games, and have fun.  In my younger years I had fun playing pencil games, enjoyed the creativity of playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends, and generally hanging out with others. My favorite thing to do was to make puzzles of all kinds, mazes, word games, picture games, etc.

Sadly my career took me in a different direction, solving computer problems rather than gaming problems.

Gaming came back into my life, though, in a big way about 15 years ago, and I have held onto it since. I still enjoy designing games and have 9 published titles, which I did through my own game publishing company, Toresh Games, prior to the Covid pandemic. Sadly I was not able to sustain the company through the pandemic.

I highly encourage people to play games, make friends, and have fun. As a game enthusiast, I would love to see a return to games as the best social media platform for the masses.

All of Thomas Shepherd’s reviews can be found HERE.


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