Episode 160: A War of Whispers

Click here for the direct download link for this week’s episode

1) The Pegs discuss their recent game plays including Awkward Guests, Terra Mystica: Merchants of the Sea, Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates! and many more;

2) All the Pegs review A War of Whispers by Starling Games; and

3) Look back at Porta Nigra by Stronghold Games.

Join in the conversation for this episode over at our Board Game Geek guild.

Show Notes

00:01:04 – Trivia


00:07:20 – Contest: Thanks for the Meme-ories Part II. Click here for examples from the first Thanks for the Meme-ories contest. #BPPPContest

00:11:07 – PAX Unplugged next episode

00:11:30 – Robb and Christina conquer the Great White North including a visit to The Game Shelf.

00:19:31 – A visit from the Queen – er, Travis Reynolds from Queen Games and Jeremy Ruins a Date.


00:22:45Show Manager [Buy] – Queen Games; Designer: Dirk Henn; Art: Jo HartwigReinhard HorstOliver Schlemmer;

00:31:40Terra Mystica: Merchants of the Seas [Buy] * – Z-Man Games, Inc.; Designer: Eduardo Andrade, James Ataei; Art: Dennis Lohausen;

00:35:41Awkward Guests [Buy] – Megacorpin Games; Designer: Ron Gonzalo García; Art: Samuel Gonzalo García, Laura Medina Solera;

00:46:26Extraordinary Adventures: Pirates! [Buy] * – Forbidden Games; Designer: Don Beyer, Glenn Drover; Art: Jared Blando, Jacoby O’Connor, Mark Page;

00:45:38Clank! Legacy [Buy] * – Renegade Game Studios; Designer: Andy Clautice, Paul Dennen;

01:03:00Push [Buy] – Ravensburger; Designer: Prospero Hall;

01:09:32What Do You Meme? [Buy]


01:12:45Man vs. Meeple Kickstarter

01:14:52Barkham Horror

01:18:55Another Dungeons and Dragons Movie

Review: A War of Whispers

01:23:24 – Rules Breakdown

A War of Whispers is a 2-4 player area control game designed by Jeremy Stoltzfus, with art by Tomasz Jedruszek and published by Starling Games in 2019.  In A War of Whispers, five empires vie for control of territories, striving the be the empire with the most controlled cities by the end of the game.  However, the players are not the empires – they are shadowy organizations who have placed secret bets on the winners and losers of the struggle, and are competing against each other by working behind the scenes help their aligned empires and hurt their enemies.

At the start of the game, each player will place their secret bets by shuffling five face-down tiles representing the five empires, then randomly assigning them to the five loyalty spots on their player board.  These loyalty spots each have a point multiplier that will be applied to the number of cities controlled by that empire at the end of the game: 4x, 3x, 2x, 0, and -1x.

Over the course of the game, players will take actions by placing an agent in one of four council seats in each empire.  During the first round, players will place two agents each, one at a time, in turn order. During later rounds, players will start by removing one previously placed agent from its position before then going on to place two more – in this way, agents may maintain control of seats for future actions.

Players may also choose to place an agent on the board in a region.  At the end of the game, this agent will count as a city for that player, scoring points based on the players loyalty.

After all agents have been placed, the seats are resolved in order following a path along the perimeter of the board, meaning that each round each seat from each empire will always resolve in the same order.  If a council seat does not have an agent on it, the action may be taken by the player who controls the next agent to the right. For example, in a situation where a player has placed an agent in the rightmost seat of the empire and no other player has placed an agent earlier, the first player will get to execute the actions of all four seats.

During the resolution phase, players will take one of the actions granted to them by their seat.  While each seat has a different actions, they all break down in much the same way: place one or more banners on a region controlled by that empire, invade an opposing region adjacent to a region that empire controls, or collect one or more Empire cards, which will grant the players special rule-breaking bonuses they will be able to use on future turns.

Since this is an area control game, combat is a key mechanic, but here is pretty simple: Move X number of banners into an adjacent region, and remove X number of an opponent’s banners.  If at least one of the attacking army’s banners remain, that empire now controls this region. Ultimately, empires want to control the regions that have cities in them – and city distribution is uneven both geographically and in numbers across the five empires.

At the end of the first three rounds, players will have the option of switching their bets by revealing two tokens and swapping their locations on their loyalty spots.  Players cannot change bets the final round. After all four rounds are done, players reveal their loyalties and tally their scores. Ties – which may be common – are broken first by who has changed loyalties the least, and then by whomever has the most Empire cards in hand.

01:18:55 – Discussion

01:50:00 – Ratings

Review: Porta Nigra

02:00:43 – Reroll Song

02:01:25 – Review

Gameplay Photos

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors. If you are interested in submitting a title for review, please read our Review Policy.

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