Sovereign's Chain: A Sci-Fi Take-That Card Game | Casual Game Revolution

Sovereign's Chain: A Sci-Fi Take-That Card Game

Sovereign’s Chain

Envoys, mercenaries, and empaths: use each card’s special ability to build your chain or sabotage your opponent’s, while unexpected events change the rules of the game or throw unexpected challenges in your path.

Published by WizKids, Sovereign’s Chain is a light, fast playing card game in which players are trying to build a chain of seven cards. Be careful, opponents may play cards into your chain as well, in an effort to reduce your final score.


The deck is shuffled and each player is dealt five cards. You choose one card and place it face-down in front of yourself. This is the start of your chain. Your chain will run from your left to your right. The event deck is also shuffled and the first event card is drawn. Events will change the rules of the game while they are active, such as changing the suits of your cards or only allowing you to play cards to another player’s chain and not your own. Certain cards you play during the game will cause a new event to be drawn, in which case the old one is discarded.

Player cards come in one of two suits: stars or planets. They each have a number value and a special ability. Abilities are triggered when you play a card and when a face-down card is flipped over. It’s possible for the same card’s ability to be triggered twice if it’s initially played face-up and then flipped later on.

On your turn, your play one card face-up either to your chain or to another player’s chain. Cards are played adjacent and to the right of the previous card added to that chain. You then end your turn by drawing a card from the deck. There are a range of abilities on the cards. Some may have you place a card on top of another card, taking its place in the chain, some may flip cards face up or down, may change their suit, or add a modifier to a card’s value.

The game ends once one player’s chain becomes seven cards long. Players then take turns flipping over any face-down cards in their chains and performing any abilities listed on those cards. Players score points based on the difference in the total values of cards in the two suits in your chain. For example, if all your planet cards combine to a total value of twenty-two and your star cards combine to a total value of thirteen, your final score will be nine points. The player with the highest score wins the game.

Sovereign’s Chain Components


Sovereign’s Chain is a card game with lots of back and forth between players, interaction, and quite a few take-that situations. The idea of the chains is really simple to grasp, as is the scoring, but both of these elements open the way for some fun strategy.

Striking the right balance between the two suits in your chain is tricky, especially when other players will be trying to sabotage you. Do you play a high value star card onto an opponent’s chain to balance out their planets? But with a judicial use of abilities they may be able to turn that card to their advantage.

You need to use abilities wisely throughout the game and the order you play your cards in can be important. Holding onto certain abilities for later might be wise. You also want to consider carefully which cards you flip face-down, and the ability to use this mechanic to trigger a power twice makes it even more interesting.

The event cards are also a solid addition. They can really affect your strategy and mix things up substantially without ever feeling as if they’re derailing the game. They are an additional challenge that you have to consider when taking risks or making big plays, and also keep things unpredictable from one game to the next.

Sovereign’s Chain has nice component quality for its cards. They’re a little larger, and all the information is clearly presented and clear to read. We did like the game’s artwork and aesthetics, however each card type can be found in both suits and the artwork doesn’t vary for, say, a mercenary card of the planet suit or a mercenary of a star suit. It’s a minor point but it would have been a nice additional touch if they had been different. Also, while a reference card is included for turn order and scoring, it would have been more useful to include one that listed all card abilities, so you can track what your opponents may be capable of doing on their turn, and helpful for learning the game.

We enjoyed the speedy gameplay and the constant tug of war feel between the chains. Turns are fast, the events fun, and the face-down cards are a clever twist. There’s still plenty of luck mixed in with what you draw, but we found this to be an engaging, light card game that still had plenty of strategy to offer.

Pros: Lots of player interaction, good card quality, fun face-down card and event mechanics

Cons: Reference cards for card abilities would have been useful, lack of different artwork for the two suits

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.