Verdun preview — Strategic trick-taking on the WWI battlefields

Verdun card layout

Step into the trenches with Verdun, a 1v1 and 2v2 trick-taking game that immerses you in the harrowing battlefields of World War I. Representing the German and French armies, players must navigate dwindling hands and strategic plays that sometimes aid the enemy, reflecting the grueling back-and-forth nature of the Verdun battles. Every card played carries weight, and each round is a test of planning and strategy.

The Battlefield Layout

Verdun unfolds over 1 to 3 rounds of intense gameplay. Before the first round, each team secretly positions one of their Assets behind each of their five Fortifications. Players then receive a hand of 12 cards, setting the stage for a series of 12 tricks. In each trick, teams strive to minimize their own Casualties while safeguarding their Assets and Fortifications. The player with the highest-value survivor after Casualties secures a Tactical Card, which can shift the balance by adding reinforcements, reducing Casualties, or inflicting additional losses on the enemy.

Verdun card layout close

Tactical Maneuvers

The scoring in Verdun is a delicate balance of offense and defense. Teams earn points by overrunning the opponent’s Fortifications and capturing their Assets while protecting their own. Casualties, however, deduct from your score, adding another layer of tension to each decision. After the designated rounds, the team with the highest points claims victory.

War Room Strategies

Though the rules are straightforward, the decisions are definitely not. Each hand may contain enemy cards that, if played, can benefit the opposition. This presents a constant dilemma: do you play your high-value cards to win the current battle, or do you anticipate a loss and play an enemy card to save your strength for the next trick? Alternatively, you might deploy an enemy’s high-value card alongside a Tactical Card that causes all troops to become Casualties, a move that could pile up negative points for the opposing team.

Verdun cards

The Final Push

Verdun distills the complexity of WWI trench warfare into a tightly woven trick-taking game. The need to manage your hand carefully, the strategic use of enemy cards, and the Tactical Cards that can turn the tide of battle all combine to create a game that is easy to learn but challenging to master. Each round is an intense experience as you balance risk and reward, making Verdun an interesting choice for fans of strategic card games or trick-taking games.

Prepare to lead your troops to victory or brace for the heavy costs of war in Verdun, where every card counts and every decision matters.

View the Kickstarter here.

Image of Mike Case
Tabletop Editor | [email protected]

Starting with the classic charm of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Mike ventured into the spell-slinging arenas of Magic: The Gathering. He later immersed himself in the strategy and storytelling of modern board games. His passion has taken him from digital realms to tactile tabletops, always in search of the next great game.

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