Joan of Arc is a finely crafted war-game with exceptional component quality and endless amounts of replay ability
Publisher: Mythic Games
Designer: Pascal Bernard
Artist: David Demaret
Artist: Julien Fenoglio
Artist: Stéphane Gantiez
Artist: Nicolas Jamme
Artist: Bayard Wu
Artist: Stef Kopinski
Game Type: Wargame
Game Type: Medieval
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Age Range: 14+
Expected Playtime: 45-90 Minutes
Number of Players: 2-4 Players
Theme and What is it?
Joan of Arc is set in the dark ages of European history where religion and mythology clash together to create an epic scenario-based combat game for 2-4 players.
Huge armies and heroes enact scenarios that can range from farming to huge battles through villages and castles will test you to see who will come out victorious in the end.
As with most war-games, Joan of Arc is a turn-based game pitting factions against each other. Each player will be able to active units in turn order deciding whether to advance, retreat, reposition, attack, defend, etc. They will also be able to use magic powers and other abilities based on the units and characters at their disposal.
Each scenario is set up very differently using the modular tile system giving each scenario a slightly different feel. The scenarios can include villages, hill sides, castles and lots of other medieval themed bric-à-brac.
And the standard armies, Joan of Arc also introduces mythical creatures and religious units such as angels and demons that add a very interesting twist to many of the scenarios in just the base game.
I could continue to break down every nuance of how Joan of Arc plays out but, needless to say, they fill the campaigns with epic battles in one shape or another.
Mythic Games have shown themselves to be a very reliable and dedicated games publisher. You can tell even from their previous games that they take pride in their work and Joan of Arc is no exception. I watched the Kickstarter campaign with feverish curiosity to see what they would release next and how much detail they would deliver.
Game Build Quality
What can I say!?!?! Joan of Arc must have been a labour of love. Every aspect of the game is of the highest quality. Considering the amount of plastic that comes included with this game it would be easy to see how some companies might try to cut corners. This is not the case with Mythic. It still blows my mind how much detail they have added to such trivial things like barrels or campfires. The buildings all scale very well with each other and the other minis and everything flows together naturally.
In the several play throughs I’ve had of Joan of Arc I am yet to see anything that I would consider substandard. Great work Mythic!
The artwork on the cards is stunning and the location tiles are versatile enough to sit with each other without giving a glaring tile effect. The theme oozes through every aspect of the components and you never lose touch with the medieval theme.
So far, I have heard no negative feedback regarding the art or its direction.
I have had the pleasure of playing several of the scenarios, some way more interesting and involved than others. This is where I have a few minor gripes about Joan of Arc.
Some scenarios can feel very unbalanced and one sided. This is sometimes quite thematic, but it can make for a frustrating game for the player that is fighting an uphill battle. Also, some scenarios are fillers that didn’t take my fancy at all. There are some scenarios that are treated like gathering missions in an RPG which wasn’t something I was expecting from a war-game like this.
Also, some scenarios include one time only used characters or creatures that add additional rules that can often massively complicate what is normally quite a simple game. This is a personal gripe, but others may thrive on these ad hoc changes and I may still find some in the scenarios I enjoy.
On the plus side, you don’t have to do any missions that don’t take your fancy. There isn’t an overarching reason to do every scenario so just pick and choose like we have.
Oh, and Mythic have also introduced a free battle mode where you can create armies based on a points system and duke it out with your friends and family to your hearts content.
Age Range & Weight
This is an interesting one, 14+ seems about right but I would say this is more about the game mechanics and complexity rather than offensive artwork, etc. However, I can’t see any reason this couldn’t be taught to younger folk looking for a war-gaming experience.
The weight is also pretty spot on. The scenario play times can vary dramatically depending on the size and complexity of them.
Joan of Arc is a finely crafted war-game with exceptional component quality and endless amounts of replay ability. They steep the scenarios in flavour and the free play aspect means that gameplay is endless.
Although some scenarios have questionable drivers, overall, Joan of Arc’s core features add up to an exceptional game. I look forward to playing more of the scenarios and experiencing more of the variety of troops that the game has to offer.
The price point for Joan of Arc might be a little high for some people but the vast amounts of content makes it a worthwhile purchase.
Try it, see what you think.
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