Currently on Kickstarter Stack and Attack is a small deck-building game from Egra Games. For 2-4 players, this game has the players as cavemen from the past trying to appease their primal gods by stacking the highest pile of rocks possible. Each tribe is trying to gain the favor over other tribes. So rather than just focusing on building the largest shrine, why not hurl a few rocks and knock theirs down instead? What results is an all out war of hurling rocks while trying to frantically build up your own tribe’s shrine.
Players each start out with a similar deck of cards representing rocks of different sizes and shapes. During their turn they have up to 4 action ‘points’ to spend on either stacking cards from their hand onto their pile, adding cards from a common pool into their deck, or attacking another opponent’s pile of rocks. Each task requires a number of actions with larger rock cards requiring more points. Each rock type has different defense and attack values. Further, rocks of a certain size can only be placed so high in the stack. The further you get your pile up, the less chance you can put the larger, more sturdy, rocks into your pile.
When attacking, a player picks a rock out from their hand and targets a specific rock in their opponent’s pile. The players then have the option to draw additional cards from their decks to add to attack or defense values. The player with the highest total (attack vs defense) wins the round. The defender not only counts the defense value of their targeted rock, but also all the rocks stacked on top of it. So as a player gets their rock pile stacked up, the base of their rock tower is much sturdier.
If the attack is successful, the thrown card and the targeted card are discarded from the game. That precarious pile of rocks above the targeted rock? Well they go tumbling down back into the defender’s deck. However, if the attack is not successful the attacker passes their thrown rock over and the defender gets to add it to their deck.
Aside from throwing rocks, about a quarter of the deck are various effect cards. They do relatively simple bonuses like add to attack/defense values, or allow more actions to be taken during a round, to even boomerang rocks that return to the player’s discard pile (regardless of the outcome of the attack). It’s a nice addition to give some variation to the basic rock types. At the end of the player’s turn, they shuffle their hand into their deck and draw a new hand of 3 cards, allowing them to pick up any rock cards they bought from the common pool for use on their future turn.
At the heart of the game is a choice of either attacking your opponent, or trying to build up your pile. As you pile up rocks, not only are you increasing your victory point score, but you also get bonuses action points and can have a larger hand. Heavier, more potent throwing rocks, can’t reach higher stacked rocks in a pile. Also as a player not only takes into account the defense of their targeted rock, but all the rocks stacked on top of it, you might very well get a foundation of immovable rocks. So each player is in a race to get their stack as high as possible and as quickly as possible.
Due to the stacked defense bonus, it can be exceedingly difficult to knock over a key rock in an opponent’s pile. To prevent that you might have to attack a certain rock in your opponent’s stack before it gets too big. All the while, you might end up with cards you can’t use (some big rocks cannot be thrown or stacked within a pile at a certain point). So you might have to try and either attack while you can, or even pick up needed rocks from the common pool. In the end, it’s pretty interesting management of actions during your turn.
When cards are purchased from a common pool, they are immediately replenished from the game supply. As rocks are being thrown about, they are discarded from the game. So eventually you will be running out of cards due to crushed rocks lost in attacks. When that happens the game ends. The player with the highest stack of rocks on their scoring track wins the game.
It seems a fun, light strategy game with a cute theme. There is a decent variety of cards, where not only are they small, medium, and big rocks, but also being either flat or round offering different attack and defensive values. It’s made their target funding for the game with a few weeks more until the campaign is over. You might want to check it out if looking for an enjoyable card game.