Dogs of War - My Number 1
Honestly, I don't care about the Board Games rankings, I never did, liking is something very personal, and Dogs of War is my number 1, simple as that, and that will prove assertive during this review. Dogs of War is a game that mixes strategy, tactics, treachery, war (of nerves included) and a lot of cold blood! I've seen heated discussions in Dogs of War (and I've participated in most of them).
There are 6 Noble Houses fighting for power, each player represents a Dog of War that, armed with their captains and soldiers, will choose which House to support at the right time, thinking solely and exclusively for their own benefit. In fact, that's it, there is no loyalty, there are bluffs, opportunities and selfishness. What matters is what you will gain.
Allies are important. Trying to win them is necessary, but remember, you owe them nothing, using them makes perfect sense in Dogs of War, and bluffing and betraying them makes even more sense. The battles will be a war, where there will be support and many, many betrayals.
About the Game
Dogs of War is the best board game ever. Ah, I already said that.
Yeah, its mechanics are worker allocation (my favorite mechanic) and team play (well, that's questionable). It ranges from 3 to 5 players with a minimum age of 14 years, where the goal is to get more points than the opponents, and in the way you want, fighting together, cheating, bluffing, being an opponent, or any other way you deem relevant to win.
The Dogs of War designer is Paolo Mori and the artists are Mathieu Harlaut and Christophe Madura. For you to see how unfair the world is, he only received the “Recommendation” for Game of the Year in 2015. He is so good that he received another title among board gamers: “The best game you've never heard of”. What's more, he only ranks 696th on the BGG Ranking, nothing more unfair. It is distributed by CMON.
Why is it the best game ever?
The Nobles are at war among their Houses, it's only fair that they hire dogs of war and their entire arsenal to do their dirty work. The problem is that you, as a war dog, want, in addition to "defending the House", you have more self-respect and can at any time (and I advise you to) just go after your needs, passing over loyalty, promises of support, and that my friends, is the pepper of the game, you help some House or someone to the point that it interests you.
Go after your interests, get support - whether it's trustworthy or not, it's needed! Bluff, betray, ignore principles and rules previously agreed upon, get angry and suffer from it too, after all, we are among war dogs with unique and truly selfish goals, each one fighting for what is theirs. This is the scenario of Dogs of War! So, do you accept the challenge? If you do accept, you can find the game here, we highly recommend acquiring from our partner Noble Night.
Playing this Marvel
There will be 4 years of battles and 6 Noble Houses at war, but there is a very fascinating peculiarity: they don't fight the 6 among themselves at the same time. In fact, every year there are always 3 battles, always 1 against 1, that is, you have 3 battles per year to decide who you will support, or better yet, who offers you more advantages so that you are willing to fight for them.
As there are 3 battles at the same time each year, it's up to you, armed with soldiers and equipment, to choose which battle you want to fight, which invitation is more favorable to you, which partnership is more advantageous for you at that time.
At that moment, they will make a thousand partnership proposals for you to be an ally, but when this partnership no longer makes sense to someone, abandoning it is the surest and most advantageous thing.
Dogs of War gives you several ways to get stronger, the main one is by winning the wars you choose to fight, the other way is to earn money from the war to hire more soldiers, weapons and influence, in other words, participate in more wars. Oh, I haven't talked about it yet! You can participate in as many wars as you like, even 3 at the same time, but stay on one side (or at least pretend), and only change if it suits you.
By the way, participating in several wars is good, but see if you have soldiers and equipment for all of this, as you may have little influence if you want to participate in all wars. Prepare well for it, or focus on one you are sure (or at least imagine) can win.
An important fact of Dogs of War is that when you win some wars, or just support a House, you earn that House's coats of arms. If the opponent notices at some point that you have too many coats of arms of a House, it's obvious they'll mark you and fight you. This is justified because at the end of the game, the most prominent Houses will give the most points. It's a game of marking your opponent.
I really left the icing on the cake for last, Dogs of War surprises! Each dog of war has a specific ability, that is, know how to take advantage of it and stand out in relation to your opponents.
Every year you get more soldiers, which helps a lot. But if you choose the right wars, you can advance that, and as war is always war and depends on people, the more soldiers you have, it is obvious that you will have an advantage. Fight for it! It really makes a difference! Even if this soldier is the traitor to the move, but he will guarantee you victory when no one has more soldiers than you.
Of course, you will seek, for your own benefit, to support the most prominent House, that is, the one that is winning the most wars, but if you make that clear, everyone will go against you and your life will be much harder. Fighting in a war is no longer easy, now other players know that you support a particular House, then my friend, you will gain enemies for the rest of the years of the game.
End of the Game
The end of the game takes place after the 4th year of war, that is, after 12 major wars have elapsed. After counting the points, including the most prominent house (and how many coats of arms you have of it), the winner is the one with the most points.
This is Dogs of War, a different game in each game and in each round (year) because everything is drawn, which makes the game unique in each turn and each round (year). It really is the best game and I highly recommend Dogs of War in your collection!