Radlands


Some of you will certainly have noticed something about our campaign My Game 2021. The only contribution that is missing in the article is my game 2021. Who follows us in the social media already knows what is coming now: Radlands. The game by Canadian game publisher Roxley Games was very successfully funded on Kickstarter in February 2021. Enthusiastic about the theme and design, which is somewhere between Tank Girl Comic and Mad Max, I supported the project directly. It wasn't until much later in the year that I realized what else the game had to offer.

Radlands is a fast-paced competitive game for two players that is controlled entirely by cards. The goal is to destroy the three enemy camps. Let's see if this is really as easy as it sounds.

Off to the mat

Before the start, however, three camps must first be selected and the starting cards and resources distributed. The game comes in a small box that can be transported in a backpack without any problems. However, the game is much more fun when the separately available game mats are used. These not only look good, but also give the game the recommended structure when laying out and playing the cards, which is not entirely unimportant.

The game is played in a 3x3 grid, where the camps are placed in the bottom row. In the two upper rows, the players try to protect their own camps by placing punks, warriors and mutants. These are only protected if at least one card is placed in front of them.

On the left side is the event queue. There, pending events advance one row per turn and are eventually triggered. In addition, each player has a water silo and the Raiders event. Water is the general currency in Radlands and this is - as you would expect - always in short supply. The number of hand cards with which the game is started is shown on the camp cards. The starting player begins the game with only one water token.

Punks, effects and always that thirst

A round of Radlands is played until three camps on one side are destroyed. This is how long the players take turns making a move. A turn consists of the following three steps:

  1. Trigger events - all cards in the queue are moved up one field. Events that go beyond the top of the three rows are triggered. The card is then discarded (unless it is the Raiders - these go back into their own discard).
  2. The player puts the three water tokens into his/her own supply and draws a card.
  3. the player:in plays actions until the resources are exhausted. There are five actions available for this purpose, which we will look at in more detail below.

On the one hand, the player:in can play a card. In most cases, this action must be paid for with water. The played card is placed in front of one of the camps. The payment is placed directly on the card, signaling that it is not ready for use. For two waters, a card can also be drawn. From the high price you can already tell that not only the water but also hand cards are a rare commodity. A hand card can also be discarded to use the effect shown on the left.

The water silo gives you an advantage for the future. This can be taken into your hand at a cost of one water and played at any time in the future. This means that you will have four waters available in one of the coming rounds.

One of the most important actions is to use a card ability. Each person and each camp has an ability that can be used - usually for a fee. For this, certain prerequisites must be met:

  • Persons must not be wounded and must be ready for action
  • Camps must be operational

The abilities of the cards are very different and serve of course mainly to damage the opponent. But also own cards can be made operational again via effects and damage can be healed. Punks have a special role. They have no ability and serve as a one-time defense. After a hit they are directly discarded while normal persons are 'only' wounded.One of the most important actions is to use a card ability. Each person and each camp has an ability that can be used - usually for a fee. For this, certain prerequisites must be met:

  • Persons must not be wounded and must be ready for action
  • Camps must be operational

The abilities of the cards are very different and serve of course mainly to damage the opponent. But also own cards can be made operational again via effects and damage can be healed. Punks have a special role. They have no ability and serve as a one-time defense. After a hit they are directly discarded while normal people are 'only' wounded.

A new round?

Yes, I'd love one right away and then another. Radlands is extremely competitive and the duels are nerve-wracking. The game is very entertaining and well balanced. It often happened to us that a victory we thought was secure was turned around by a desperate final battle. Of course, a fair amount of luck is involved. Some cards are stronger than others. Those who know the game and especially the abilities of the camps have an advantage here, which is why there is a well-functioning starting selection of camps for the first rounds. This starting lineup is also recommended for newcomers to Radlands.

A special feature of the game are the high-quality cards. These are made of a synthetic composite and have no problem being bent in the middle. The water tokens are also nice heavy discs - but not in the English retail version. There they are simple markers made of cardboard. The game mats are a useful addition and should be ordered in any case.

Soon Radlands will be available in the Spieleschmiede and thus soon also in German including the high-quality cards and components. But also the English version can be learned and played quickly due to the catchy iconography and the easy to understand language. Once this hurdle is cleared you get a fast confrontational card game with great tactical depth and great design!

Players: 2 | Age: 14+ | Playing Time: 20-40 Minuten | Published: 2021
Designer: Daniel Piechnick | Artist: Lina Cossette, Damien Mammoliti, Manny Trembley | Publisher: Roxley Games

  • 12 Water discs
  • 2 Card decks
  • 1 Rule book

In Radlands, players will receive a set of three unique camps to protect.
You win by destroying all three of your opponent’s camps.
The main resource in the game is water. You will spend it to play people and events, and to use the abilities of cards you already have on the table. People protect your camps and provide useful abilities, while events are powerful effects that take time to pay off.
Both players draw cards from the same deck. All cards in your hand can either be played to the table or discarded for quick “junk” effects. To win, you will need to manage your cards and water wisely.

Dystopia Analog Games
15.04.2022 - Stefan