The city of Gateway’s history is intertwined with the use of magic. Gateway and the arcane arts have always been inseparable… or so it was thought. Chancellor Gideon, ruling with an iron fist, has outlawed all forms of magic within the city’s walls. This has left many magicians, conjurers, and sorcerers hording powerful, magically-enhanced Runestones, as well as creating rebellious underground movements in order to overthrow the cruel Chancellor. But overcoming the city’s guards might be the least of the rebels’ worries. A ravenous group of monsters, the Druegger Horde, has started battering at the city’s gates, looking to reduce everything inside to rubble. In the swirling chaos that ensues, only one will be victorious. But will it be one of the Rebel Factions, the city guard, or the Druegger?
Gateway: Uprising is a semi-cooperative strategic deck-building game set in the once-magical city of Gateway. Players take on the role of the leader of a Rebel Faction in the city, looking to overthrow Chancellor Gideon by controlling the various City Districts. Complicating matters is the Druegger Horde, that are assaulting the city, looking to crush everything in their path. By recruiting powerful personalities to their side, wielding mystical Runestones, and controlling City Districts, players earn Infamy Points. At the end of the game, the player with the most points is the winner. That is, unless the whole city has been demolished or overrun by the Druegger Horde, in which case everyone loses. So players must work together, as everyone wants to save the city from the Drueggar and overthrow the Chancellor, but only one can be in power once the dust settles.
Rounds in Gateway: Uprising are broken up into Phases. A player goes through all of the Phases before the next player goes through theirs. When everyone has had their turn, the Round ends and a new Event card is drawn. Players begin with their Deployment Phase. During Deployment, they are able to play cards from their hand. Merchant cards give them resources that they can use later to make purchases, while Soldier cards are placed into the player’s army, ready to attack. Following the Deployment Phase comes the Recruitment Phase, where players are able to purchase new cards to add to their deck. Next, they will go to war in the Attack Phase. During the Attack, players can send their forces into the city to fight for the various districts. Battles are resolved simply, with each card having both an Attack and Defense value. This can further be augmented by using Runestones, which give various bonuses when utilized, but are discarded afterward. The totals are added up and distributed out to the other side’s cards. If no Defenders are left (or if there weren’t any Defenders to begin with), the attacker takes control of the District, placing one of their Faction tokens in it. Each District grants a special bonus when it is conquered. Finally, finishing up the turn is the Cleanup Phase. All cards played that turn (that aren’t part of a player’s army) are discarded and a new hand of six is drawn. The game ends when there are no more Event cards left in the deck. Players count up the Infamy Points they have gained from battles, as well as any cards with Infamy in their deck. The one with the highest total wins. That is, unless the Drueggar Horde has managed to destroy the city.
The city of Gateway is different each time it’s created. The various City Districts are shuffled together and set out randomly around the City Center. They are also randomly numbered, affecting how different Event cards impact the game. Players also start with a different Faction Leader card, giving them a unique advantage at the beginning of the game. These Leaders can help develop a strategy during early turns. Players also each get a unique Runestone to start the game with. These powerful, but one-time-use artifacts can really turn the tide against the oppressive City Guard and the Druegger.
Gateway: Uprising combines elements of deck-building and area control. Players can recruit more powerful characters, or look to overwhelm their opponent with numbers? Do they spend their money on rare Runestones? Each game will require a different plan of attack on the Districts of the city, each one granting a unique bonus when taken. The game is semi-cooperative, since the Drueggar Horde are an ever-present danger. If too many Districts start to fall, it can cascade as more monsters end up in the few remaining areas. The city is in peril and only a change in leadership will keep it from annihilation.
Gateway: Uprising will be available in FLGSs on September 29.
You can find out more about Gateway: Uprising here.