Winter is fast approaching, and acorns are a rare commodity.  The fight is on to obtain the most acorns before winter arrives!  

 Forest Fighter Cover

Forest Fighters (2020)
Designer(s) Matthew Wilmot Artist(s) Katherine Jordan Publisher

Real Deal Games

2-5 8+ 45m

Deep in the thick forest, the animals try to gather their resources for winter.  Their ultimate goal is to get more acorns than their woodsy counterparts before winter sets in.  Do you have what it takes to take on the other woodland creatures and fight for the last acorn?  Let's take a look.

Box and Components

Forest Fighter 2I love depth of the box; both the lid and the bottom of the box are very spacious.  Most card games just have a lid that barely fits on the bottom box but this one allows for tossing the game around and the lid stays on.  Wait, people toss game boxes?  Oh the horror!  Anyways, the box is the right size for all the components in the game.  The box is about 5 inches by about 4 inches in size and about 4 inches high.  The artwork on the box goes along with the artwork you will find on the forest creature cards in the game.

When you open the box, you will find packages of cards to open.  There in total is 285 cards and 26 dividers.  These cards are printed on reasonably sturdy cardstock which will bend if forced.  All of the cards have a nice glossy feel on them.  All of the cards have a black background with the picture of the item in the upper portion of the card along with the name at the top of the card.  At the bottom of the card, it provides a brief description of the ability.  

The dividers are a little bigger than than the playing cards so you can separate the different food items, acorns, and forest creatures.  They also use the same glossy cardstock and visuals as the cards.  The dividers provide some additional information about the cards and their abilities; this was helpful during our first couple of plays of the game as we were learning the abilities.

Within the 285 cards there are 26 different types of cards.  The primary/base cards are: Forager Squirrel, Blackberry and Acorns.  These are part of your starting hand and available to "purchase" for a price.  There are secondary cards which consists of: Worker Mole, Squirrel Trader, Rummaging Raccoon, and Groundhog.  Each game should include at least 1 set of these cards.  Then the rest of the sets include: Chipmonk, Rabbit Farmer, Skunk, Blind Bat, Porcupine Protector, Hedgehog Hoarder, Toad Governor, Badger Reinforcer, Spy Sparrow, Battle Bat, Micenary, Honey, Honey Bee, Thieving Rat, Red Squirrel, Rabbits Warrior, Barn Cat, Weasel Commander, and Hawk Plunderer.  All of these cards have some type of ability that can be used during your turn that could allow you to "purchase" more food or fight your opponents to possibly steal their acorns.


This is a nicely implemented card drafting game. Initially, I was confused with set up, but after the initial game, set up for future games went rather quickly.  The objective of the game is obtain more acorns than your opponents to win the game.  


  1. Forest Fighter 6Deal all players 2 Acorn cards, 3 Blackberry card, and 5 Forager Squirrel Cards.  These will be your initial deck and used to build your deck further.
  2. Determine how many Acorns are needed in the "purchase" field based on the number of players. For a 2 player game, form a stack of 10 Acorns.  Add 3 more Acorn cards to this stack for each additional player.  So with a 5 player game you should have 19 Acorns in a stack that is within reach of all players.
  3. Place the remaining Blackberry cards and Forager Squirrel cards in stacks next to the Acorn card stack.
  4. Next select 12 other sets of cards to play with in the "purchase" field.  This set must include at least one of the Secondary cards: Worker Mole, Squirrel Trader, Rummaging Raccoon and Groundhog.  I found setting these up by their "cost" value in the "purchase" field made it a lot easier during game play.  Set these cards up in their own individual stacks below the base card stacks.  We did rows of 4x3 for each stack below the primary cards.

To begin the game, determine first player.  We like utilizing rock, paper, scissors or the Chwazi app to determine that. Each player will shuffle their initial decks and draw five cards; this will be your hand for the first turn. 

Player Turns

On your turn, you can use each card in your hand and discard them into your own discard pile; any unused cards will also be discarded unless an ability says otherwise. Below we will cover what actions the cards can be used for.  When your turn ends, you will draw back up to five cards.  If at any point you do not have a draw pile, shuffle your discard pile into a new draw deck. Play continues clockwise around the table.

Forest Fighter 7

Adding Card(s) to your Deck

This part was confusing for me in our initial game.  There are two different forms of currency in this game: food and forage.  Food is the value you pay to recruit other woodland creatures to your hand from the "purchase" field.  Forage is how you claim food cards from the stacks in the "purchase" field. Each card has a price of either food or forage in order to "purchase" or recruit it to your deck.  These are not interchangeable.  The example in the rulebook is: "if a card costs 2 forage, food cannot be used to purchase it, and if a card costs 2 food, forage cannot be used to purchase it".  As in other deck builders, you must have correct change to be able to purchase or you will simply overpay without receiving change.  Any cards purchased must be placed into your discard pile, and they will be able to be drawn in future turns.

However, if you use a blackberry and honey cards, it returns their respective stacks in the center of the table.  You can purchase more of these in future rounds.  On your turn, you can purchase as many cards as you have funds to purchase. 


You can utilize your cards to attack your opponents and try and steal cards from them.  You may play woodland creatures that have the "sword" symbol on them and attack an opponent.  You can combine multiple animals in this attack.  This is a neat addition to the game to help prolong it and possibly steal points from your opponents or at least some food from them. 

The three things you can do if you win a battle:

  1. Take all the Blackberry and Honey cards from your opponent's hand and place them in your discard pile
  2. Take all the Acorn cards from your opponent's hand and place them in your discard pile
  3. Take one of your opponent's cards that is not a Blackberry, Honey, or Acorn card and return it to its corresponding supply pile.  For this option, the difference between the total attacking and defending values must equal or exceed the cost of the card being discarded (e.g. attack total is 4 and defense is 2, the discarded card cost must be 2 or less).

Things to keep in mind while attacking, you can't attack the same player that turn.  Players are eliminated when they no longer have the ability to purchase cards from the supply and have no animal cards left in their deck.  If this happens, the player whose attack eliminated that payer receives any Acorn cards that player still had.  So, be watchful of your cards in your personal deck and make sure you continue purchasing cards that you can buy food with to continue playing.

Defending (on an opponents turn)

If you find yourself being attacked during an opponent's turns, you can defend with the cards in your hand.  In order to do this, you must show cards from your hand that has a total defense value equal to or greater than the total attack value; this is illustrated with a "shield" icon and number.  If you are able to defend, you do not have to show your hand to your opponent because they don't get to steal cards from you.  Another neat addition with the defending is even if you were able to defend or not, you can decide to keep your current hand of cards or discard your entire hand and draw 5 new cards.  If you decide to keep the current cards, you do not draw any new cards even if you have fewer than 5 cards and any cards used in the defense stage can still be used this turn.

Game End

The game ends if all of the Acorns from the supply are depleted or all but one player has been eliminated. The player with the most Acorns is the winner.  If there is a tie, the player with the most Blackberries wins.  If there is still a tie, the player with the fewest Squirrel Trader cards is the winner.  

Final Thoughts

Our initial play of the game was confusing because we needed to use the dividers for the cards to read up on the "abilities" of the different cards to start.  Once that initial game was about halfway done, we picked it up and was able to continue playing with minimum assistances from the dividers.  After playing this game a few more times, we found ourselves in each game doing something different.  Occasionally, we had games where we didn't attack each other.  We had games where we were frequently attacking and purchasing cards.  So our strategy changed between each game.  I like that the game is easy to set up, and you can pick which cards you'd like in the supply.  The artwork is really cute on the cards as well.   I like the different woodland creatures and how adorable they all look. 

The game isn't without some faults though. There were a few cards that were damaged, but this is due to production/printing. It does have a budget feel to it, which isn't a negative to us, but there are some people who may overlook it because of this, which is a shame because is certainly has some charm. The rules could also use a slight revision to make some of the issues we encountered a little clearer maybe by included a few illustrations of the purchasing process. The rules is only a few pages so adding in 1-2 addition pages for clarifications wouldn't add much bulk at all.

If you are looking for a nice deck builder with a cute theme, this is a great one to check out. 

Forest Fighter 1


Forest Fighters Board Game Geek Page

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