2023. November 30.

Ironwood is a rules-light, highly asymmetric, card-driven tactical game for 1-2 players. Each round, you and your opponent alternate playing a total of 3 of your faction-specific cards for their action effects. These effects include positioning your warbands, initiating combat, extracting crystals, bestowing temporary passive effects, and many more. When combat occurs, you will use the same cards for their combat values instead, in a simultaneous bid to gain combat bonuses, inflict and fend off casualties, and augment the Dominance value of your warbands to win the combat.


An eternal conflict for the land of Ironwood is raging between two factions: the stalwart and hard-working Ironclad, settlers of the iron mountains; and the ferocious Woodwalkers, swift and deadly shadows of the forests. Both factions struggle for the ultimate control over the land for its greatest treasure: the Larimor Crystals, a mysterious substance holding immense energy within. It can be found both inside the colossal mountains, and scattered across the dense forests.

The Ironclad extract the essence of the crystals and process their energy to fuel their machines and mechanical inventions. If they succeed, their giant forges will swarm the land with endless armies, and establish ultimate dominance over Ironwood.

The Woodwalkers use the crystals’ raw magical power to discover and retrieve three ancient totems from secret ritual sites, hidden in the mountains. Once retrieved, the combined power of these totems will summon the Guardian, the ancient protector of the woods, to wipe out the Ironclad once and for all.

Illustrations by Qistina Khalidah


Each faction is operated by their faction specific deck of 30+ unique action cards. Each turn, you start with your 3 base cards, including the most essential action effects your faction needs and you draw a number of special cards with more enhanced and powerful effects. On your turn, select a card from your hand and resolve its action to progress towards your victory.

However, when a player launches a battle, you will use the same cards in your hand to fight your opponent. Instead of resolving the action on the card, you and your opponent simultaneously bid a card for their combat values. After adding other sources of combat modifiers, you will compare the damage done, the damage deflected, and after removing casualties, you will add the card’s Dominance value to your remaining troops to determine the winner with the highest Dominance.


Each of the factions play and feel dramatically distinct thanks to the faction specific decks, the unique win conditions and the completely different playstyles.

On one hand, the Ironclad represent the established, defensive faction that prefers long-term development, passive effects and has the economic advantage by default with a steady income and a unique crystal collecting unit, the Drill.

On the other hand, the Woodwalkers have limited access to crystals, and as a result their more aggressive playstyle is focused on sabotage, looting and surprise attacks, and their card effects often launch battles with an extra bonus if they win. 

The two factions also differ in which parts of the map they have access to and how they can move between them. While the Woodwalkers prefer mobility and guerilla warfare, and their Fighters move individually from forest to forest, the Ironclad troops only march together in warbands and they only move from mountain to mountain.


As the Commander of the Ironclad, your primary goal is to lay down the foundations of your Forges in the outer mountains, and once you have collected enough crystals, build Forges on the foundations.

As the Chieftain of the Woodwalkers, your mission is to locate your people’s ancient Totems through Vision cards, clear the path to them by defeating Ironclad warbands, and finally securing them in the outer forests, beyond the Ironclads’ reach. 

Once you have retrieved the third Totem as the Chieftain or built the third Forge as the Commander, you immediately win the game.