Geekery: High Command Collectible Card Game

I learned a new game this evening at our favourite game store, Hobby Kingdom, in Burlington, Ontario!

High Command, a collectible card game from Privateer Press (PP), was just released in early October of this year, and our local PP Press Ganger, Chris, was on hand at the store today to demo the Hordes version of the game and hand out cool swag from the company. High Command is billed as “The strategic deck-building conquest in the Iron Kingdoms”, and its tagline is (in ALLCAPS, of course): “CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES IN YOUR PATH TO CONQUEST”.

SuperHappyFunballz, yo.

So, yeah, normally not my type of game AT ALL. I’m more of a Pathfinder geek, where I get to roleplay a character I’ve spent time and effort to flesh out.  High Command is none of that; with 386 cards in the basic box, there are a LOT of choices, but all of them are guided. You choose whether to play Warmachine or Hordes (see the two boxes above), and then choose one of several factions to play. Then based on that choice, you choose three of five warcasters/warlocks (if you’re playing Hordes) that will be your go-to guys, and a bunch of different cards are handed to you as your in-hand pile and your pick-up pile. The centre of the table is reserved for the four location cards where the battles between the factions take place. You also have to make space on your side of the table for two different types of discard piles depending on what step you’re on in the game, and another space to collect the cards that have Victory Point values to you, which you add up at the end of the game. 

Yes, I agree it sounds a bit complicated. 

There are other sets of cards that I won’t get into, and I won’t discuss the mechanics of the game in depth here (largely because I’d probably bore you but also because they’re only just settling in my mind now and I’m still a little a lot shaky on how the game works), but suffice it to say that a demo game was very much appreciated! I understand so much more by playing through at my own pace and receiving open-handed, generous help as I needed it.  In fact, I won the game against three male opponents, two of which had already played the game several times and had great mindsets for the strategy of the game, to which I was, and always shall be, woefully under-prepared.  My win was probably a “gimme” to the new kid (moi), but I appreciated it just the same!

All in all, it took the four of us about 2.5 hours to play through the demo game, although I imagine we’ll be much faster the next time.  The Hubster and I will probably end up buying the game next week, especially since the swag turned out to be special cards that have not yet been released for the game…but you can use them in your own game to CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES — cool!


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