Clash of the Battle Goats (developed by Studio Woe) is the second tabletop game in the battle system first displayed by Gruff. I'm in the process of looking at Gruff, and it seems like an interesting game, so let's take a look at what Studio Woe is going for next!
Clash of the Battle Goats is completely compatible with their previous title Gruff. If you own the first game, you can treat this as an expansion and mash the two games together for some interesting gameplay options. If you don't own Gruff, Clash of the Battle Goats can be played on its own. I would consider it an "Expandalone" in this instance as it's both an expansion but also a standalone game.
This is Studio Woe's second Kickstarter. Their first was for Gruff and reached $65,465 of their original $10,000 goal. If you're interested in the original game of this style, you can buy it from Studio Woe, but you also have the option to get both games via the Clash of the Battle Goats Kickstarter.
Clash of the Battle Goats goes by that old standard of "easy to learn, hard to master." You choose three goats (or "gruffs" in the game's terminology) to form your "herd," and these three unsightly creatures will be your fighting force. Their stats can change each turn, which will mean that the pace of the game and the damage dealt will increase as time goes on. Each of the monstrous gruffs has their own abilities and associated cards, so you're doing more than the equivalent of plucking three monsters out of a CCG deck—you're picking three strategies.
The combat system allows for counter-attacking and evasion. If it's anything like Gruff (and since they're compatible games, they should be), it keeps the game from getting boring. There's no "waiting for the other guy to finish their turn" really as you'll be responding to your opponent's actions when it's their turn.
The setup for a game of Clash of the Battle Goats is detailed in their rules and is relatively simple. Players each choose a "Shepherd" to act as their avatar for the game. Each Shepherd has unique abilities. They then each choose three gruffs (out of six total) to form their team as well as 8 cards per gruff to form their deck. This allows for variety in your strategies; even if you choose the same Shepherd and gruffs, you can still choose different cards to change your gameplay style.
A $20 pledge will net you a copy of Clash of the Battle Goats as well as all stretch goals. Successive Pledge tiers add more goodies to the game, such as a playmat and bonus "sliders," which mark stats on the cards. The $75 price point will net you Clash of the Battle Goats, Gruff, a playmat, bonus orange sliders, and all of the stretch goals unlocked throughout the campaign.
The $15,000 Stretch Goal has been met and has unlocked five "Shepard Tier" characters from Gruff's Kickstarter campaign. The $20,000 Stretch Goal unlocks the Legendary gruff "Gaptooth the Devourer," which requires cards from Gruff to be playable. Studio Woe states that there will be additional Stretch Goals released as they move forward.
The campaign also allows you to make additional purchases if you're so inclined. You can grab an extra copy of the game (or Gruff) for a friend simply by following the instructions under the "Pledge Add-Ons" header.
Studio Woe addresses the Risks and Challenges by noting the success of their previous Kickstarter, as well as how they can utilize their existing resources such as the plastic molds for this current game. They intend to use the same manufacturing process as they did with Gruff, and while I don't have a copy of Clash of the Battle Goats in hand, I can say that the copy of Gruff I am currently reviewing is certainly a very nice game in terms of its materials.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfSOA2zgubQ
I've been enjoying my time with Gruff, and I think Clash of the Battle Goats will likely shape up to be just as good. If you're interested in laying out a bunch of cards on a table and fighting it out with your friend, I feel the $20 pledge they're asking for seems pretty reasonable for what you get in the box. And if it turns out that you really do enjoy Clash of the Battle Goats, you'll have the option to grab Gruff and add a whole lot more variety to your gameplay. You can check out their Kickstarter here. They're currently well over their goal of $10,000 and on their way to the first Stretch Goal.
What do you think of Clash of the Battle Goats? Are you fond of these little self-contained card battle games that doesn't require you to buy tons of booster packs or do you prefer the more traditional experience offered by games like Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh!? Let us know in the comments below!