It does sound like an interesting game and it does remind me a lot of BattleMasters from 20 years ago. However, my experience over the last 20 years since playing BattleMaster has altered my view of war gaming in general. I have a problem when it comes to a deck of turn card are being used in a war game.
1: Integrity: While I would never would or have done it in BattleMasters, I can see someone literally stack the deck against an opponent. Be that as it may, I would not be surprised that some people may do this. Call me cynical, but I believe that a dice roll is harder to control or cheat with as opposed to a deck of cards. I am not sure if this is a communal deck that is used, which would be my estimate but that is even worse in my mind.
2: Portability: While a deck of turn cards may not be that heavy or cumbersome, it is another damn thing that I am already toting and prone to forget as well. I have a hard enough time remembering my measuring tape, what makes anyone think that I will remember to keep a deck of cards handy.
3: Sensibility: This is not Magic:The Gathering or any other card game. Perhaps that I am just biased on this issue but I just don't want to include cards into my war gaming.
4: Necessity: I honestly think that I can find a better way to do things than with a deck of cards that determine which does what. I do like a concept of activation rolls or a more inclusive use of dice rolls to determine morale, fatigue, and competence. A deck of cards is just too out there for my taste.
Despite all of this that still stands for the reason why I don't like this part of the game system, I did read through the reasoning that the author produced to explain what they are doing. He did point out why they used a card system, and honestly I do understand some of his points that he has. Primarily what he is trying to do is to add randomness in to a gaming system that is more realistic than what is out there. It is one of those things where I think that there is just a better way to do things than add a deck of cards to the mix.
Honestly it is one of those issues where I just don't want to spend a total for $40 to find out if I am right or wrong. While I reserve the right to put it back on the list if I do end up playing a few games and actually like it I am taking it off of my list of alternative games systems which stands as follows:
List of Fantasy Game Systems:
1: Reaper Warlord
2: Kings of War (Mantic)*
3: Fantasy Warriors (Miltron)*
4: Armies of Arcana
5: Mighty Armies (Rebel Miniatures)
7: Songs of Blades and Heroes
8: Rally Around the King
9: 100 Kingdoms*
10: For the Masses (Majestic 12)
11: No Quarter
12: War Engine/Shockforce
13: Pride of Lions
14: Battle Systems 2 ed.
On another note I have just received Armies of Arcana and once I have my other reading backlog caught up it is next in line for me to review. From what I have looked at as I was flipping through the book, it looks very interesting to me. I know that I have been a "Negative Nancy" on the past few reviews that I have done. Hopefully this will be different in my next review.