A tile-laying war game set in the second Sino-Japanese war, where three players battle to deternine the fate of a nation.

  • Duration: 4 hours

  • Participants3 players

  • Language: English 


The year is 1937 and Japanese forces have invaded mainland China. With the situation critical, bitter rivals Chang Kai-shek – Chairman of the Chinese National Government and Mao Zedong – Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, agree to put aside their differences and forge an alliance to defend their country from this new threat.

In ‘A War of Spirit’, players take on the roles of commanders of the three main factions during the second Sino-Japanese war. The Japanese commander is fighting against the clock to conquor enough cities to force a surrender from the Chinese forces, whilst the Chinese commanders not only need to deny the Japanese these cities, but ensure that their residents are willing to back them against their domestic rival when the war is won. The game incorporates three asymmetric factions – the Japanese who possess superior soldiers and technology, the Nationalists who have prepared strong defences and can tap into the massive production powers of the country, and the Communists whose guerilla forces can strike swiftly from unexpected angles.

The game uses tile-laying to simulate the positions of the various forces, along with a system of unit support where posiitoning and forward planning are crucial to ensuring attacks succed and cities are defended. The game also features a novel reinforcement system whereby immediate gains must be balanced against future recruitment needs and players can entice their opponents to make attacks in certain areas whilst leaving others alone.

About the designer

Kieran hails from London and has been an amateur game designer since 2018. He enjoys playing, playtesting and discussing all kinds board games, but with a particular love for strategic ‘Euro-games’. He hopes one day to turn his passion for board games into a published game. This is Kieran’s first time at Fastaval and he is very excited to be there!