My final thoughts can be found here

My d4 DICE reviews are a quick and easy to digest review of a board or card game. Along with a brief introduction to the game I use DICE as an acronym for Duration, Interaction, Complexity and Engagement to quickly explore a game. Enjoy!

Bellum Sacrum is a two player competitive, quick playing, card game from designer Anthony Gibbins and published Bow String Games.

In Bellum Sacrum the gods of Mount Olympus, who apparently have a lot of spare time on their hands, hone their skills on the battle field. Each player has an identical deck of 42 cards. The deck has 10 different types of cards, identified by their roman numeral, colour and the name of a Roman God. The strength of the card will dictate how many there are in the deck.

The different types of cards have an attack and defence value as well as a unique invocation power. On a players turn they can perform four out of the possible five actions. These include

  • Drawing five cards from their deck
  • Deploying cards in to their battle column (consisting of a front, middle and back row)
  • Attacking – either unsupported (using the warrior at the front of the column) or supported (using the unit behind the front warrior to bolster the attack value of the front warrior)
  • Strengthening – adding card of the same colour/type to already placed cards
  • Invoking – discarding a card from your hand to activate the special power.

During an attack you compare your attack value (adding in any “supporting” units if used) to the defence value of your opponents warrior at the front of the column. If you are equal or greater than the opponents warriors are removed from the column.

If at any point in the game one of the players has no warriors in their column the opposing player takes a trophy card. The first player to get five trophy cards is the winner.

d4 D.I.C.E. Review

Duration

The game is quick, typically around the 20 minute mark. Turns are also fairly quick even though players perform four actions, the actions themselves are simple and quick enough that the turns zip by. I often play the best of three as it is so quick.

Interaction

Very interactive, you are fighting your opponents with your warriors in an attempt to knock them all out of the battle column. You will be using invocation powers to force your opponent to discard cards and exhausting warriors to name a few. If highly interactive, competitive games are not your thing then bear that in mind

Complexity

The game is not overly complex. The rules and actions are straight forward and easy to understand.

Engagement

Players are fully engaged throughout. The quick turns and the interaction ensure this. The other player is messing with your warriors and attacking you which keeps you engaged throughout.

Please note – Bellum Sacrum was provided as a review copy from Bow String Games