Kingdoms of Immacus: Game Overview, Races, and Card Types
Kingdoms of Immacus is an empire-building strategy card game that can be played with two or more players. Players will be able to build their empires with personalized decks (minimum 50 cards) that are only limited by the player’s imagination and a building sideboard of 15 cards known as the Blueprint Pile. Players take turns placing various cards down that will help them destroy their opponent’s kingdoms. To win the game, players must accumulate 15 Dominance Tokens from the five methods of accumulation: Brutality, Ingenuity, Sovereignty, Calamity, and Expandability. But before we head out to the Battleground, let’s take a look at the six playable kingdoms in Kingdoms of Immacus.
The Six Major Kingdoms of Immacus
Immacus is a vast and diverse realm that is home to powerful kingdoms and the numerous beings that inhabit it. However, six kingdoms have emerged as the strongest and most influential, bringing any foe to their knees. Each kingdom has their own unique attributes and playstyle, which makes each game of Kingdoms of Immacus both exciting and refreshing.
The Xizek race is the oldest race known to Immacus since the banishment of the Old Gods by the Spectral Mothers. Currently led by the Xizek Hive Mother Xusthra, they are a savage and resourceful race that uses their hive behavior and regeneration techniques to their advantage. They are able to swarm their opponents with hordes of small Followers or punish opponents with heavy hitters.
The Ethereals composed of spirits, geists, and other-worldly beings that make their way through The Veil. Many of which are not as menacing as they sound, instead they enjoy their time out of the Veil with feasts, celebration, and mischief making; however, the less civilized horrors are not as good-spirited. They prize the value of the mind and manipulating it for fun, bringing ache for those who oppose them.
The Astrasites are foreigners to Immacus. They came from the skies and found a way to thrive through infecting and parasitizing the fauna of Immacus. Where ever the Astricites go, infection and death seem to follow. Due to their parasitizing nature, they are unable to remain in a single location for very long before they drain its resources and move on to the next area to exploit. They are an evil that Immacus was not prepared for.
The Crystalynns are a race of humans that have learned to harness the powers of the crystals found beneath Immacus’ surface and on the wide-open crystal fields. However, exposure to the crystals over time has turned them into stone and crystal-like beings. This has made them a strong and defensive race, making a battle with them difficult by their size and strength. They are the most diverse, inclusive, and resourceful kingdom in Immacus – enlightened by the power of the crystals they hold so dear.
The Te’kesh are the desert dwellers of Immacus. The arid environments they live in has proved very difficult for foreigners to survive in. They prize isolationism and the manipulative magics that keep their kingdom protected from outsiders. No other kingdom is more attuned to the magical schools than the Te’kesh, and they use their expertise to dominate their opponents through magical control. Victory against them is usually no more than a mirage.
The Kravix love to toy and tinker with mechanical contraptions, and they are the most unwieldy as their inventions tend to malfunction. Any battle against the Kravix will result in high expolsions and singed fur. Because of their affinity for metals, they are the most resource-intense kingdom of Immacus, spreading to regions that are rich in raw minerals and oftentimes they decimate the landscape. This has made them both a troublesome and dangerous kingdom to go up against.
There are several card types in Kingdoms of Immacus that you should familiarize yourself with. Each one can help provide a unique and strategic path towards victory.
Principalities are the regions that your kingdom controls. No empire is built overnight, and therefore, you are only able to play one Principality a turn. Principalities and the people that live there are eager to help you grow in power, and because of this, you are able to Exhaust Principalities the turn they come into play. Not only do Principalities provide you with valuable Tribute to recruit Followers and play other cards, they also are the source of raw materials for buildings, relics, and other cards that require Steel, Stone, Lumber, or Magic. Though Tribute fades away at the end of turn if not used, Steel, Stone, Lumber, and Magic can be saved in your Storehouse for later use. These locations are all not created equal however, and some are more loyal than others to you kingdom.
Principalities are currently broken into three subtypes: Governed, Rebellious, and Ungovernable. Governed Principalities are the most loyal to your kingdom, notated by the three loyalty crowns located on the upper right portion of the Principality cards. It takes three turns of Disloyal Influence to sway a Governed Principality to secede from your kingdom. Rebellious and Ungovernable Principalities have two and one loyalty crowns respectively. They are able to provide more resources, Tribute, or are more flexible in usage, but it comes at a cost of easily being taken over by your opponent. Be careful, losing a Principality will win your opponent 1 Sovereignty token.
Buildings are the core foundation of your kingdom. A kingdom resting solely on Spells and Followers will be trampled fairly easily. Buildings raise your Unit Cap, Building Cap, and have various other abilities that affect combat and progression. There is no minimum to your Blueprint Pile, but because of their key role in your kingdom, you are allowed a Blueprint Pile of up to 15 buildings. Building uses a lot of resources and labor to create; therefore, only one building can be constructed each turn.
Once built, buildings are useable the turn they come into play—no need to prepare to be Battle Ready. Unlike Followers, they start at level 1. The resource numbers located on the left side of the art frame are the number of resources necessary to upgrade the building to the next level. Damage on buildings is permanent, but many buildings offer a damage wipe through repair upon reaching level 2.
Followers are recruited from your Principalities by offering them their respective required Tribute. Their required Tribute costs are notated in the upper right hand side of the card. Whatever Tribute is required to get them to the battlefield is what race they have aligned themselves with. Thus, a Follower that requires Ethereal Tribute is considered an Ethereal-aligned follower and is affected by spells and abilities that target Ethereal cards. Each follower has four stats on the left side of the art frame. Attack, Defense, Recovery, and Experience.
Attack is the amount of damage the Follower is able to do in combat to a valid target such as another Follower or Building. Defense is the amount of damage a Follower can withstand before dying and going to the discard pile. Damage taken by a Follower is permanent, but some Followers have points in Recovery that allows them to remove damage taken. Recovery is the amount of damage that is removed from the Follower at the beginning of the Recovery Phase. Though not all Followers have Recovery when they come into play, many are able to gain the Recovery stat upon leveling up. Experience is the number of Experience needed to gain a level. Followers start at level 0 upon entering the battlefield.
Kingdom Projects are endeavors undertaken by your kingdom to better your grip on the realm. The reward for such an undertaking is typically a Dominance Token from the school of dominance it most closely resembles. Most projects take three turns to complete, and once completed, you will receive a Dominance Token. Each project is unique and can only be completed by you once per game. There can only be one active Kingdom Project on your battlefield at one time.
Your Principalities are filled with practitioners of magic that are able to lend you their skills in battle when needed. For additional Magic, you are able to Enlighten each spell to enhance its power or reduce its negative effects to the caster. There are a few types of spell cards that you should know.
Incantations are spells that are attached to the cards they target. Their target is denoted by the subtype. Whether they target a Follower, the battlefield, or other target, once they are played, they remain in play permanently and don’t fizzle out like other spells. These spells can only be cast during your turn.
Force spells are powerful spells that can be played during any turn. With the ability to play at any time, there comes an additional cost typically. They can also be played in response to a player’s actions.
Relics are created by the artificers of Immacus and they are typically not aligned with any race in Immacus. Because of their construction, every Relic requires at least 1 Steel cost. There are three subtypes of Relics that you should know.
Heirlooms are ancient Relics that have survived the previous wars of Immacus and are bestowed with powers that allow them to affect the field of battle or those that come into contact with them. They remain in the battlefield until removed from play and do not go into the discard pile after playing.
Equipment cards work much like Incantations that attach to Followers with the exception that they must be equipped to work. They remain in the battlefield until removed from play and do not go into the discard pile after playing. Each equipment card has an equip and an unequip cost, and it is either classified as an offensive, defensive, or both offensive and defensive equipment card. Followers may only have one offensive and one defensive equipment equipped at one time. If a Follower dies and the owner is unable to pay the unequip cost, the equipment goes into the discard pile along with the Follower it is attached to.
Constructs are living Relics that were granted life by the ancient grand artificers of old. They remain in the battlefield until removed from play and do not go into the discard pile after playing. Though Constructs behave and play like Followers, they are neutral in their alliances with the six kingdoms. Therefore they are not considered Followers and are not affected by Follower-specific targeting spells and abilities. They are however affected by spells and abilities that target Relics.
The Hero card is the backbone of your army—the source of morale, and each turn your Hero gains an Inspiration Point that will allow it to use its abilities or level up. At level 1, the Hero is unable to attack, but it can still use its abilities to affect the battlefield. There is no restriction as to what Hero you must play in your deck, but you must have one on the battlefield and each Hero requires a certain number of racial specific Tribute-producing Principalities to use its abilities or level up. This is notated on the card. A Hero’s abilities can be used on any turn and in response to a player’s actions. A Hero can only level up on your turn, and once leveled up, all damage is wiped from it. At level 2, your Hero is now in its active form and is able to attack and participate in battle like any other Follower you control. It is also now affected by spells or abilities that affect Followers. Your Hero is immune to Follower-specific targeted effects at level 1.
Walls are not a type of card themselves, but they are a valuable token that are often vital to your Kingdom’s defenses. Walls are capped at your building cap; however, walls do not count against your building cap. Walls must also be attacked first before any other targets may be attacked. Walls supersede priority over cards with Mock.
I will go into more detail about turn order and player interactions in another blog post, but this should give some insight into some aspects of the game.