The “story” of War Chest – such as it is, and for an abstract game at that – which i glibly gloss over during the unboxing video, is that the game was created for a young prince to to train him in battle tactics. Kinda neat. Knowing nothing about the game meant that i was genuinely suprised – and often delighted – by what i found inside the box.

(click to view transcript)

Hi! It’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table and out of the blue, the good people at AEG sent me a copy of War Chest, presumably because they saw my crazy Cat Lady video and they enjoyed it, and they thought “Gee: he likes Cat Lady. Perhaps he’ll enjoy this hardcore strategy game that’s sort of like chess?” i don’t know the connection. i’ll tell you a little secret, though: i don’t really like chess. You mad at me now? Abstract games aren’t really my bag. This looks like an abstract game. What’s interesting about it is that it just recently won a Board Game Geek award, i believe for best two-player game if i’m remembering that correctly? Let’s open it up and see what’s inside! (humming) It’s kind of an unorthodox box. i think they’re going for the really “chesty” angle of War Chest, cuz it feels very sturdy, and it has a strange lip on it. i think it’s gonna open… well, we’ll see. Yeah – definitely feels substantial… that’s – ooo! i detect a magnetic clasp – yes, on the front. So it opens… here, let’s turn it around like that. It opens… like thaaaat! Magic. Not like magic. Like normal boxes. i guess. But oh, look – how pretty! Heh. We kick off with a little story: “On this day of his child’s birth the leader of the kingdom received gifts from dignitaries, well-wishers, and read it yourself when you buy the game.” And lovely presentation, though. We’ve got this very nice-looking – the aesthetics are really nice = very nice-looking a rule book and with iconography that reminds me maybe this is deliberate, but it’s its kind of Games of Throne-y. It’s kind of like “This faction is the wolves, and this faction is the crows.” That’s what it reminds me of. Anyway, lots of text in the book, lots of text. Not a whole lot of pictures, surprisingly. For an abstract game that’s a bit interesting, because i would have thought it would be, see, this kind of thing that’s all about movement along a grid. i would have expected a lot more of that as opposed to the old blah blah blah, but who knows? Until i read it, i can’t judge it. An interesting… hmm… vacuform lid. i’m expecting there to be tokens underneath there that we have to sort and put into this little tray. Oh my goodness! i mean, okay: it’s really nice opening it, i have to say. A little baggie right here, with a small deck of cards. If I had to ask me probably fifty thousand cards? And – oh, here are the little little dance charts of how the different units can move across the hexes. Maybe those are reminders, or maybe those are – you, you gain those, and now your units can move that way? i don’t know. But look at these! Oh my gosh! Wow! These are beautiful! These are the most beautiful bags i have ever seen in a board game. These are gorgeously embroidered felt bags with drawstrings. These look really, really nice. Wow. One for… i must… no. “One for each faction,” i was going to say, but there’s two wolves here, and two crows. Maybe crows and wolves. That’s what you get. So i believe this plays up to four, but the Board Game Geek award, if i’m remembering correctly, was for two. Let’s get the box outta here. Crack open the board, which – yeah. So i saw this on the back of the box. So they’ve continued the theme of the locked chest – you know, lock illustrations. It’s nice. It’s a style that doesn’t have a lot of bold outlines. Like, everything is lineless, so it blends in. It’s simple, straightforward, bold colors, bold – sorry – flat colors. It’s sort of muted, as you can see. For my blind viewers – no. i’ll describe exactly what you’re seeing on the screen. i don’t know. Maybe you are blind? And you just like listening to the dulcet tones of my voice? Doubtful. In the box, stuff to punch out. More wolves, more crows. Just a few – what? Eight, ten, twenty… i can’t count. Twenty, let’s say. But! Hwa! The Big Show, and the reason why the box is so heavy, and completely unexpected, because honestly, I know zilcho zip about this game, except that the back of the box made it look like chess, but very heavy, very nice – man, the components are off the charts! i just gotta say, and i don’t say that very often, but whooo! These are, like – come ON, now. Clay poker chips. i don’t know if they’re actually made out of clay. i don’t know if POKER chips are made of clay. i don’t gamble. But they’re very very heavy, and not very delicious, but they feel amazing! Hoo hoo hoo! Put it all on red! Haha. Wow! These are – i’m impressed. These are pretty cool. These are pretty cool. They look really nice. They’ve got a nice pearlescent finish on them – oh, lovely. Lovely. But it’s the weight! It’s the weight that really gets you. You really want to move these around a board. …if you like abstract games. i’ll play – i’ll try it! i’ll try anything… once. Neat! And then the other one is another stack – well, four. Holy cow. Four whole stacks of these things… each one more beautiful than the last! Lovely. And they – presumably, instead of stacking in the bottom of the box like they have in there, go into this little tray. And you sort them by… axe? i don’t know. But pretty! Pretty… pretty heavy. (laughs) Pretty nice, though. Really, not like – yeah, i mean, as far as component quality goes, that’s – i mean, i’d be ecstatic to receive this game. And in fact, i DID receive this game, and you know what? i’m ecstatic. Neat-o. That’s War Chest. Just a quick unboxing. Impressive! i’ll play it, i’ll tell you what i think of it, and who knows? If it’s in the cards, i will do a How to Play video. For now, thanks for watching this one! Did you just watch that whole thing? Oh – hey! 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Get Your Own Copy of War Chest

Publisher AEG wasn’t messing around with the components in War Chest, inspired perhaps by the nice weightiness of the chips in Splendor, and raising the bar that much further. To add your own copy of War Chest to your board game collection, follow the Amazon link below, and i’ll receive a small commission.

War Chest

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