Time of Crisis is a light wargame that uses several different mechanics, including area movement, action selection, hand management and deck building. Did I just say deck building and wargame?!? Yes I did and let me tell you it is a deliciously guilty pleasure for me as it simply works so well.
Each player starts with a deck consisting of three different types of cards, either red military, blue Senate or yellow populous cards. These cards are all 1 value and provide the players with points to spend on specific actions such as recruiting legions, moving armies, placing Governors, building improvements or increasing support. As you might imagine, 1 valued cards are not very powerful as they only give 1 Point.
Players select from their available cards 5 cards to start with and then can take actions to gain additional points to use to purchase more powerful cards at the end of their turn or discard unplayed 1 value cards to make their decks more efficient and powerful.
Players can select to purchase new cards from the above pictured 9 cards increasing from 2-4 influence in the same three colors. As you can also see, each of these improved cards contain written text that can be used in addition to creating influence. Some of this written text allows for rerolls in battles (Flanking Maneuver), the placement of a Quaestor marker that makes replacing Governors more difficult (Quaestor) and flipping barbarians to their inactive side (Tribute).
These improved cards are very necessary and players must buy as many as possible in order to be able to take more actions each turn. In the end, the player who can more efficiently manage their turns and take more and more powerful actions than their opponents will be victorious.
We really enjoyed the deck building aspect of Time of Crisis and feel that it was one of the shining points of the design.