Barbarians: The Invasion preview

Enter the mysterious World of Fenian, a place where barbarian clans rule the wild lands and corrupted civilizations live in their decadent cities. A place filled with powers gifted from ancient gods and treacherous demons.


Barbarians: The Invasion is a game from Tabula Games and Hyperborea’s designer Pierluca Zizzi coming to kickstarter on april 26th . The game features glorious high fantasy art from Ivan Cavini and some nice looking miniatures. Pierlucca has been working on and perfecting the core mechanics of the game for years before he settled on a Barbarian/Fantasy theme that worked well with the system. The art and Miniatures caught my eye with this project but what really got me interested was the fact that it’s a Euro style worker placement game which is not what I was expecting from the title and art style.

I have not played Barbarians but I have been provided some promotional materials, background information, and a rough copy of the rulebook so I will share my impressions.

The main game board features a large volcano that is made up of 3 concentric rings with spots to place your warriors to take various actions such as gathering resources, constructing buildings, or send your troops into combat. One distinct design choice that Pierluca made was that he didn’t want direct player combat so the combat is conducted on a map separate from the main game board and is done to conquer lands rather than hinder an opponent. The main game board also features a couple of tech trees that players use to discover knowledge and tactics.

The game will last 7 rounds or end in the round when a player reaches 100 points. Each round has 3 phases:

1. Maintenance

  • restore spent cards.
  • activate buildings to gain the resources indicated.

2. Action

  • In turn order, place a warrior on an action space of the volcano and perform the indicated action.
  • your first warrior goes on central wheel, the 2nd on the middle wheel is a space linked to the first warrior, and finally the third warrior goes on the outer wheel in  a spot linked to the second warrior.

Some of the possible actions are Gaining Resources, Erecting Buildings, Invoking a God, War, Knowledge Tracks etc…

3. End of round

  • Recover warriors from the volcano
  • In turn order, players resolve this rounds Demon or Event card

Event cards offer the players a chance to pay to gain victory points, you can choose to pay or to do nothing. Demon cards offer players a bonus if they sacrifice something like a troop, resource, gold but unlike the events if a player has the requested item they must pay if they do not have the requested item they lose victory points.

There are a lot of things that have me excited to try Barbarians: The Invasion. First and for most I am a sucker for worker placement games and one that offers me that with miniatures and gorgeous art is going to be high on my list. I am also intrigued to see how the volcano wheels will affect my choices of actions. If a few actions I need to accomplish what I want each round aren’t linked how do you mitigate that? I think this mechanic could offer up some interesting choices. This project definitely has potential and I believe that the combination of a popular mechanic, great art, and nice miniatures is a recipe for a successful Kickstarter and one I will be watching out for when it launches in a few weeks.


Author: The Gentlemen Blogger

I am an avid board gamer. I also enjoy every conceivable type of music and a salsa (the dip, although the music is good too.)

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