Thou Art But A Warrior

Posted: 19th June 2013 by Victor Wyatt in Reviews

I was late to the indie game thing only finding them for the first time in 2007 or 2008. This might explain why I have never played Polaris by Ben Lehman but I’m intrigued by Thou Art But A Warrior by Anna Kreider. It’s what I am reading tonight. It might have been because of not trying the earlier game or the historical theme it’s got but when I saw it on IndieGoGo I had to back it. I am not disappointed. It’s well written and I am a sucker for a game that can believably pull off a historical event.

The game is about a protagonist in the period of time when the Muslims held much of the Iberian peninsula. At that time they were a very advanced society. They prized art, knowledge and religion. Like many societies that displaced a prior group they set themselves up for trouble. With Christian barbarians to the north, pushed from the land that used to be their home, the Muslims were sitting on a time bomb that would eventually go off.

In Thou Art But A Warrior you get to play a protagonist as he witnesses the death of his society on the Iberian peninsula. The game is designed for two to four players. Each has a protagonist and the others play antagonists as well as societal and emotional relationships for the protagonist. Then each of the other players have protagonists as well with their own set of antagonists and other relationships. Through a series of scenes the players negotiate for the outcome of the events in each protagonist’s life.

What really aids the flavor of the game for me is all the ritual intoned in the phrases said to start and end scenes and the phrases used during conflicts. Reading through the book it first seemed odd but I think it adds a level of formality that enhances the historical, Muslim theme of the story generated during play.

If you like historical based role-playing, story games that have a tragic quality to them check this game out. Like I said earlier, games like Thou Art But A Warrior have been catching my attention as of late.

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