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  • Writer's pictureJared

War of the Vales: Deck Building, Chess Like Strategy, and RPG Elements Combined.

This has been a project of mine I have been working on since 2016. Off-and-on in my spare time with these last 2 years finally producing physical products to be able to playtest. War of the Vales has undergone 4 complete revisions and I'm bringing it to the shop just as soon as I get all of the cards completed. This is still a work in progress but I feel it is getting a lot closer to being "complete".

I know you guys have seen me post links about this game before, some of you even checked it out (thank you) but I'd like to make a little article about it to try and give you a Reader's Digest version of the game, its story and mechanics. While I'm trying to keep this brief, this is an entire game I'm trying to condense so it might be a little long but here goes anyway.

The Story

War of the Vales takes place in the world of Astevar. A huge energy spike, known as the Flux, erupted from the darkest depths of the realm, sending the Elves into a murderous rage. They began killing everything that didn't have Elven blood running through its veins. Forcing all of the other inhabitants of Astevar to forge unlikely, and fragile, alliances with one another to defend themselves against the Elven war marches in hopes to be able to rebuild their respective societies once again.

The Factions

The inhabitants of Astevar banned together to create Factions. There are currently 9 factions with a Mercenary Faction technically making 10 Factions. The current Factions are: Elf




Halfkin (think halfling/hobbit)

Grimalkin (cat people)

Basilin (lizard people)



Each Faction has their own unique pros and cons so consider these when you want to combine Factions with each other, or when choosing Mercenary Units, so they make up for your Faction's particular drawback.

How to Play

War of the Vales has your typical mechanics you should be accustomed to if you are even remotely experienced in TCG/Tabletop gaming. You have turn phases, Resources you use in order to bring units and structures into play, or to cast player magics. The biggest exception to this would be that it is played on a gridded playmat.

War of the Vales uses a simple d10 system. Combat, Magic Combat, and any other skill checks you will need to make are all done on a d10. This cuts down on the amount of different dice you need in order to play. You could technically only use one d10 and be fine, but I suggest multiple just to make it easier on yourself. It's also advised to use a piece of paper to help keep track of your point value, what your units HP's are currently at (as these are static and units do not automatically heal at the end of each turn) and any other notes you may need to keep during the game.

Players have two decks: A Main deck and a Resource deck. There is a third "deck" but it is only used for No Man's Land and then is no longer needed for play. Your Main deck is where you have your Units, Structures, Actions, World Magics and Equipment. Your Resource deck is pretty self explanatory, it's where you draw your Resources from. Each turn you draw one card from your Main deck and automatically put a Resource into play from your Resource deck.

Combat and movement play an important role in War of the Vales. Combat operates on a d10 roll and the "to hit" number needed is determined by the Defense Value of a unit or war machine. For example if a unit has a 6 Defense Value, you would need to roll a 6 or above on the d10 in order to make a successful hit. If you roll above the number needed to hit (in the example above a 6) then the attacking unit's Attack Value is used to determine how much damage it does to the unit it attacked. If the attacking unit has an Attack Value of 4, then it would deal 4 damage upon a successful hit. There is also a Defense Roll when you pass an initial attack roll. If the Defense Roll is below the unit's Defense Value the defense is a success and no damage is taken, if the Defense Roll fails, full damage is taken. When units cast spells against each other Magic combat works the exact same except you use the Magic Resistance stat instead of Defense Value.

Each unit and war machine have a specific Movement Pace which determines how many squares they can move during your Movement Phase. Most units and war machines can only move in four directions: Left, Right, Forward and Backwards. Generals can move in the same directions but also diagonally. Careful when positioning your units as you can be flanked and attacked from behind. Each of these give specific bonuses to the attacker so try to use them to your advantage as well.

Players can interact with the battlefield through Actions and World Magics. These are spells that range from simply destroying a unit, healing units, bringing units back from the graveyard, making your opponent discard cards, wiping the board completely and more. Actions can only be played during your turn and World Magics can be cast at any time during the game, regardless of whose turn it is or what phase the turn is in.


Your generals are the most important unit you've got. They are powerful adversaries on the battlefield with a wide arrange of abilities and skills to help turn the tide of battle in your favor. You can choose two generals to lead your armies into battle, if you choose to mix factions you must have one general from each of the chosen factions. Be careful though, once both of your generals have fallen you lose the game.

No Man's Land

This is one of the more interesting aspects of War of the Vales. No Man's Land represents the world of Astevar on the battlefield. No Man's Land is the area between both Factions and must be crossed before you can engage in combat. No Man's Land has its own specific deck that each player has. No Man's Land cards are played at the start of the game by both players, face down, in the No Man's Land zone. When one of your units reaches a face down No Man's Land card they "trigger" that specific card and you flip it over. Whatever happens then depends on what the No Man's Land card is. It could be a lost resource, a lost piece of equipment, a trap, an event, an obstacle or a Wild Unit which will immediately engage in combat with the discovering unit.

General, Unit, and War Machine Stats

Each General, Unit, and War Machine have their own specific stats. They are Attack Value, Defense Value, Magic Resistance, Hit Points, and Movement. You use these stats during combat, magic combat, and any type of skill checks you might have to undergo. These stats can also be altered by equipment and spells.

Winning the Game

War of the Vales is won whenever you destroy both of your opponent's generals or you reach 25+ points, whichever happens first. Each unit, war machine and structure in War of the Vales has a specific point value associated with it. Defeating them grants that player whatever the point value of the destroyed unit, war machine, or structure was. You may also use your points as resources to help you cast spells and bring units into play.

War of the Vales will hopefully be available for more playtesting next Friday ( 7/22 or so). If you are interested in giving it a whirl and participating in the playtesting let me know, or if you see me playing it with someone feel free to watch us play and give feedback. You can also find more information on the individual Factions and a Core Rulebook here. Hope to be playtesting with some of you soon.

Thank you for letting me talk your ear off about my project.


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