Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Chara Games Commissioned Review

My family had the privilege of trying Commissioned from Chara Games for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum and Bible study. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Patrick and Katherine Lysaght founded Chara Games in 2014 in hopes to bring Christian based tabletop games to the home that are fun for the family to play together. They named their company Chara which means unshakable joy in Biblical Greek. They created their first game, Commissioned, which was funded through a KickStarter campaign and a second game called 3 Seeds was also funded through KickStarter later on.

Commissioned is a board game that is for 2-6 players and is for ages 14 and up. This historically-based cooperative, strategic deck-building style game takes about an hour to play and is built upon how the Early Christian Church was spread. The game covers the first 150 years of church history. There is no need to know the history of Christianity to play.

To play you get to be one of the six Apostles: Paul, Peter, Barnabas, Andrew, Thomas or John. Each Apostle has specific characteristics, abilities, and ways they can help the game. Players in the game work together as a team with the other chosen Apostles to strengthen their individual decks of faith cards, grow the church, collect the books of the New Testament, all while overcoming trials, obstacles, and persecution. The game is played in three rounds: Arm (drawing faith cards), Live (taking action: trials, pray, share, move, and grow), and Mature (expanding faith decks). Commissioned has five separate scenarios you can choose to follow: Acts of the Apostles, Peter's Gentile Outreach, The First Missionary Journeys, Appeal to Caesar,  and To the Ends of the Earth. These scenarios make the game interesting every time it is played. The first scenario is the easiest and suggested for the first play of the game. Commissioned has two different difficulty levels of play and one adversary variant as well. Game ends when scenario victory conditions are met, 5 churches are extinguished, or the last Trial Card is drawn.

Chara Games Commissioned Contents

What Is Included In The Box:
  • 1 Double-Sided Game Board: the board map you play on, has two sides for the two difficulty levels.
  • 5 Double-Sided Scenario Cards: the first thing you choose in play to start the game. These tell important information, game board set up, victory conditions, and what failure means for each scenario.
  • 6 Unique Player Boards: go with each Apostle player.
  • 96 Faith Cards: six are drawn at first for each player, use these to acquire more faith cards after accomplishing 5 actions in the Live round the required amount of times. These have up to 5 components: Title, Faith, Point Value, Board Effect, New Testament Books (only on 2-Faith Cards), and Historical Reference.
  • 27 Trial Cards: number of turns is limited by the number of these and when you run out it is the end of the game.
  • 4 Wooden "Missionary Meeples": help populate the cities on the map with churches when there is less than 6 players.
  • 75 Wooden Church Member Cubes: represent church members on the map.
  • 1 Wooden Elder's Staff: is passed left along to each player on turn, Elder makes important decisions and rolls die.
  • 6 Wooden Apostle Player Pawns: color coded to match the player boards.
  • 30 Double-Sided "Stop" Tokens: stop things from happening, these are played during the Live round when indicated. One side is growth stop and other side is mission stop.
  • 5 Double-Sided "Extinguished" Tokens: match the art of the board, these are placed when a city location containing a church becomes empty either by trial or choice. If 5 churches are extinguished, the game is lost.
  • 1 "Converted City" Leader's Token: is played in the location with the Elder's Apostle pawn when this faith card is selected in the Share action. No trials except for Worldly Priorities and Mount Vesuvius Erupts can affect this area. If card is selected again, move token to specified city. Previous city looses protection. If played on a ship, move to city when the church leaves the ship.
  • 1 Roman Legion Token: is played with the Adversary Variant.
  • 1 8-Sided Die: rolled to know what to do next.
  • 1 12-Page Full Color Rule Book: for teaching the set up, instructions, and rules of the game.
  • 1 Theme Appendix: helps you learn about historical concepts encountered throughout the game.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

My family loves all types of games; whether it be board games, card games, video games, relay races, competitions, etc. We love testing our skill, wit, speed, and strategy. Games are great opportunities to get together with family and friends and have a great time. They help us learn how to: take turns, think ahead, make choices, have consequences for our actions, cooperate, work as a team, and be a good sport. We love family game night because it strengthens family ties & bonds, and builds memories. We also love educational and historical games for homeschool and we always like getting new games to add to our collection because it means a chance to try something different.

The artwork of the Commissioned box, game boards, cards, and tokens are superb and vibrantly colored. The game is beautifully made and constructed well. It is made of high quality materials and I could see this lasting a long time if properly cared for.

We found Commissioned to be a great board game of strategy and cooperation. Since it is a game for ages 14 plus I had my son Delbin who is 16 play the game with me. I would not recommend this game for really young children as it does go long and I would expect my 6 and 8 year old would get too fidgety and loose patience. This game is intense and I am so glad we watched the helpful "How-to-Play" video that is on the website because we would have been totally lost without it! I am so thankful that Chara Games made this, as it clarifies everything! We set up the game and played along using the demonstration video as our guide. The 12-page rule book is nice, but still a bit confusing and definitely made the game sound very complicated at first. I have never played a game this involved before although apparently it is similar to other strategy games of this type. It is definitely a game for the serious gamer.

We actually took longer to play and achieve the winning requirements than just the hour it says it should take, but we were also just learning how to maybe this is why. Once we got the game down it flowed seamlessly. It has so many different ways of play with tons of neat pieces that I do not think we will ever get bored playing. We also loved how much we came to understand better what the Apostles actually went through to while growing the Christian church. What an eye opener.

Look for my upcoming review of 3 Seeds from Chara Games shortly after I receive it.

Purchase Commissioned for $28.92 + $5.99 shipping.

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Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Chara Games Commissioned...
Commissioned {Chara Games}

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