On a mission from gods

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  • LOREN BENOIT/Press Stephanie Billman, right, trades her gold coins to hire and place a missionary on a game board during a play-test event at Strategy and Games in the Silver Lake Mall on Monday. Also playing are Rachel Sieradzki and Cody Raugh. Four people can play “Archaic Realm Missionaries,” a strategy game where each player must promote their faith to inhabitants of a secluded island.

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    LOREN BENOIT/PressKeaton Marschman places a believer cube on a board during a "Archaic Realm Missionaries" play-test event Monday at Silver Lake Mall.

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    LOREN BENOIT/PressStephanie Billman looks through her event cards while playing "Archaic Realm Missionaries" Monday at Silver Lake Mall. Event cards, some minor and major, help shape a player's strategy.

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    LOREN BENOIT/PressVanessa Bastida, center, ponders her strategy before her turn while playing "Archaic Realm Missionaries" Monday in Strategy and Games at the Silver Lake Mall.

  • LOREN BENOIT/Press Stephanie Billman, right, trades her gold coins to hire and place a missionary on a game board during a play-test event at Strategy and Games in the Silver Lake Mall on Monday. Also playing are Rachel Sieradzki and Cody Raugh. Four people can play “Archaic Realm Missionaries,” a strategy game where each player must promote their faith to inhabitants of a secluded island.

  • 1

    LOREN BENOIT/PressKeaton Marschman places a believer cube on a board during a "Archaic Realm Missionaries" play-test event Monday at Silver Lake Mall.

  • 2

    LOREN BENOIT/PressStephanie Billman looks through her event cards while playing "Archaic Realm Missionaries" Monday at Silver Lake Mall. Event cards, some minor and major, help shape a player's strategy.

  • 3

    LOREN BENOIT/PressVanessa Bastida, center, ponders her strategy before her turn while playing "Archaic Realm Missionaries" Monday in Strategy and Games at the Silver Lake Mall.

COEUR d’ALENE — Chaos, calamity and conflict ensue when missionaries collide on a remote island.

Who will reign in a battle between the followers of nature god Enthos and mercy goddess Crillana? Will the followers of Corl, the goddess of knowledge, defeat those who worship Golat, the god of thieves and assassins?

Only those who beta-tested the new fantasy board game "Archaic Realm Missionaries" in Strategy and Games in the Silver Lake Mall on Monday know how those stories unfold.

"We haven’t had a clear path to victory," said a determined Conan Uibreaslain, contemplating his next move while examining a game board.

"Once we got into it and figured it out so we can stop looking at (the instructions) every move, we’re actually enjoying it," Uibreaslain said. "When we pulled it out we're like, 'Oh, it's 'Risk.'"

"It's at a stalemate at the moment," said Uibreaslain's board game opponent Greg Pritchard of Post Falls. "You ever played that game 'Screw Your Neighbor?' I've been screwing him over every chance I get."

Uibreaslain and Pritchard were two of many curious players to test Missionaries, a board game based on the book and fantasy role-playing game "Archaic Realm" by local game enthusiast Ron Pasco.

In Missionaries, followers of different deities discover an island untouched by religion. Conflicts arise as the missionaries take over and players battle for territory.

"It’s made up deities, a whole pantheon of them,” Pasco said. "Their missionaries discover a remote island that’s never seen any religion whatsoever, so they all flock to it to try to take over and promote their religion. And they all arrive at the same time."

The game uses cards, coins and miniature pieces. Pasco hand-made the trial sets and hand-painted each miniature building piece.

"I painted 400 of these puppies over the weekend," he said, holding up a green miniature temple. "I literally wrote this game in one evening. Ninety-five percent of everything here is from that first long, long evening. I started about 8, ended about 3 a.m."

Pasco said Missionaries came to him after he and his wife had a conversation about church and missionaries. It does play a bit like "The Settlers of Catan," a popular tabletop game, but it has more elements of "Risk" because of the conflicts.

“Everything that people do to each other, they do it on purpose. It can theoretically get kind of sporty," he said. "This is something that's very combative. You have to beat somebody, you don't just get to win."

Strategy and Games regular Bryan Baker said he and his friends were interested in Missionaries because Catan is one of their favorites. He said he was eager to see how the battle element would play out.

"There’s not much interaction. There’s the trading, but it’s not direct confrontation," he said of Catan. "This game has that; there’s direct conflict and that’s going to be really interesting for me and my friends to play."

Pasco plans to make changes and improvements to "Archaic Realm Missionaries" after the beta comments are in. He said the game could be on shelves as early as October.

"I've been playing games since I was in high school, and I graduated in 1980," Pasco said. "I've always loved it."

Info: www.archaicrealm.com

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