Siege of Valeria is a solo only, tower defense style card game designed by Glenn Flaherty and published by Daily Magic Games. In Siege of Valeria you are tasked with defending your Fortress from hordes of monsters and menacing and deadly siege engines. You are low on supplies but you have your faithful soldiers with you and holy troops to meet, head on, the foe’s latest attack. You have seven days to break the siege.
In Siege of Valiera there is a grid of five by five enemy cards. The first four rows are made up of enemy troops and the top row is enemy siege engines. On your turn you will roll your pool of dice (Soldier and Holy) and assign these dice to defeat the enemy troops and siege engines.
Any Siege engine that is “in range” of your castle will trigger and be actioned. After this an event is revealed and resolved. In the next phases you can use your dice to perform attacks and defeat your enemies. Only the card that is first in each column can be attacked. Enemy troops require a certain amount of strength (from Soldier dice) and magic (from Holy dice) to be defeated. Once defeated you take the card into your hand. The enemy troop cards provided special abilities and bonuses that can be played when performing an attack.
Siege Engines that are “in range” but not on the front row can also be attacked and the value to defeat these will depend on where they are located. If you defeat a siege engine you gain a “Champion” card which goes into one of your five towers in front of you.
After all your dice have been used, any enemy card on the front row attacks and places an “impact” token on the tower that it is in front of. If any tower receives four impact tokens you lose the game. These enemy cards are then removed from the game The remaining enemy cards and siege engines then advance closer to your wall and new enemy and siege engines come out filling in the gaps in the five by five grid.
The game is won if you manage to defeat all the siege engines from the siege engine deck. The game is lost if a siege engine makes it on to the front line, when a tower receives its fourth impact token and the troop deck is exhausted.
Siege of Valiera is one of several games in the “Valeria Universe” and this game takes on the form of a typical tower defense situation. You have a horde of (seemingly) endless enemies coming towards you and it is a race against time to defeat the siege engines. But how does this game play? What are my thoughts? Well, lets find out.
Siege of Valiera comes in a relatively small box and has a few decks of cards and a few tokens. But don’t let that fool you, there is a lot of “game” in this box. It is also not an easy game and really puts you through the ringer.
The game is essentially a race. You have a set number of turns before the troop deck runs out and you have to defeat all the siege engines before this happens. This adds a big importance to efficiency and optimisation. Every action you do is important and there is no room for mediocre turns.
This makes the game fairly difficult. The first time I played I got nowhere near beating it. But with each subsequent play you learn new things and develop a better strategy. Future plays I have got closer and closer. I still haven’t beat it yet, but I am getting closer. I quite like the challenge and because it is pretty quick when I do lose I can go set it up and go again.
There are some very neat mechanisms in the game which I really enjoy. I like how you can supplement your soldier dice with holy dice. This adds some mitigation to the luck of the die roll. You can also combine multiple dice together which is needed for defeating the siege engines or if you simply get a few bad rolls. The enemy troops that you defeat also give you fantastic special abilities which can be used to flip dice, re-roll, gain new dice and change dice values. These abilities provide further ways of mitigation which is a must. However, playing these at the right moment and knowing when to hold off on using them is key to success. Some of the enemy troops also give you extra dice, which is another essential part of the game. More dice means more damage.
Defeating a Siege engine also grants you a champion. These champions also have abilities and powers. Some of them are one and done, others are once per round and can really give you a boost when you need it. I have found trying to defeat a siege engine as early as possible to be very helpful as they can be powerful. You start off with five siege engines in play and eight left in the deck. You have to defeat a total of 13 siege engines to win the game, in only seven rounds. That should give you an idea of the uphill battle you have against you. The odds are stacked against you, I love the challenge.
The game is tough. It is a challenge, but it is a challenge that I want to overcome. There is a learning aspect to the strategy of the game. I love this about Siege of Valeria. The artwork is great, the game is not overly long and presents a different puzzle each time. This is a great solo game that I highly recommend.