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Res Arcana: Boardgame Review First Impressions

Craft a magical engine of artefacts and beasts in the fantasy world of Res Arcana!

Boardgame Review

Res Arcana has everything I love, a high fantasy theme, beautiful art, fast-paced gameplay, engine building, and most importantly, dragons!

Players play as mages in a race to earn 10 points by crafting unique Artefacts, constructing Monuments and conquering Places of Power! Each magical component is obtained or put into play by spending a combination of the five essences in the game – Life, Death, Elan, Calm and Gold. These components then provide some way to gather, convert or produce essences, creating an engine of conversions. The crux of the game is figuring out how to perform conversions as efficiently as possible to obtain the 10 points before your opponents.

Gameplay is brisk and snappy, with each player taking a single action per turn, and it is extremely satisfying to watch your tableau of Artefacts and pool of essences grow rapidly.

With a variable set up, a vast number of unique cards and multiple paths to victory, Res Arcana has high replay value. The game starts by drafting your entire deck of 8 Artefacts to suit both the abilities of your Mage and the randomised objectives. Players often have to choose between the highly sought after Monuments that provide flat amounts of points or the randomised Places of Power that provide an active mode of gaining points. Combined, these variables promise a fresh experience with every play through.

Res Arcana’s deck drafting sets it apart. It reduces the element of luck that often comes with card based engine builders and allows players to craft the experience they want to have. Experienced deck building and engine building gamers will definitely love Res Arcana!

If you would like to learn how to play the game, watch this video by Watch It Played.

And if you prefer watching a full playthrough, I recommend this one by Rahdo!

Boardgame Review First Impressions

Tavern Rating: 8 🍺
Complexity: Level 2
Core Mechanics: Engine Building, Resource Management
Similar Games: Wingspan

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