Air, Land & Sea: Spies Lies & Supplies Review

26 August 2022
A good war deserves a sequel

Hold it or fold it is the first and maybe most important lesson to learn from Spies, Lies & Supplies, a sequel to the original Air, Land & Sea. Like the original, players set out three Theatres (this time Diplomacy, Intelligence and Economics) to compete over using their hand of cards. You play a card into the matching zone on your side, and then the opponent does the same on theirs. To work out who has control over any region we simply look at who has the highest total power by adding up the numbers on the cards they’ve played. Simple enough, except the game is exquisitely balanced. It has the same sense of back-and-forth play of a classic card game that you might play with a standard pack.

Most cards in the game have a power that either activates when played, or offers a continuous effect. Many of these effects are to do with adjacency – meaning the zones either side of where the card is played on either player’s side of the board. This makes for fun little calculations. For example, you might want to play a card which flips an adjacent card. This can be good or bad, playing a card face down is always worth two points, so you might want to upgrade a one cost card on your side to a facedown two card. Or you might decide to flip the six card on your opponent’s side (thereby reducing the power value by four). Or you could even consider flipping a lower powered card with an ongoing effect that’s been annoying you.

The game has a nice objective curve in it from the way the central area players are fighting over had more adjacency. Knowing how good your hand is makes all of the difference here. Winning is a matter of how long it takes the other to fold, or defeating them in battle, in a race to twelve points. You’ll get six points for a complete victory (i.e. totting up the power values and seeing who won each theatre), and a sliding scale of points depending on when your opponent folds and whether you went first or not. If you still have four cards in your hand as the first player that’s a mere two points for example. A weak hand can then be assessed as a whole and you’ll soon be folding quickly to save yourself for a better round, or choosing to test it out for a turn or two to see if your opponent’s hand is just as bad.

And in this, there’s the duel at the heart of the game. There’s great satisfaction squeaking out a victory, and you may even come to admire your opponent across the table when they beat you. In short, an excellent two player game that should be welcome in any collection.

Christopher John Eggett


Like many of the best two player games, the simplicity of Spies, Lies & Supplies soon gives way to a complexity developed through the actual back and forth between players


If you liked the first game, and want a way to expand it, you can use the advanced ‘mix and match’ here to get even more war for your money.

Read the full review here

Buy Air, Land and Sea here

Content continues after advertisements

Designer: Jon Perry

Publisher: Arcane Wonders

Time: 15-30 minutes

Players: 2-4

Ages: 14+

Price: £18


Looking for more?

The front cover of Tabletop Gaming Magazine

This review came from Tabletop Gaming Magazine, which is home to all of the latest and greatest tabletop goodness. Whether you're a board gamer, card gamer, wargamer, RPG player or all of the above, find your copy here.

Get your magazine here

Read More... 

The box art for ARCS by Cole Wehrle

If you want to read more about one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year, check out our interview with Cole Wehrle on ARCS! A new game from the designer of Root and Oath, and we've got all you need to know.

To infinity and beyond


Join us in person

The logo of Tabletop Gaming Live 2022

We can't wait for Tabletop Gaming Live 2022! An epic weekend in Manchester full of board games, card games, roleplaying games, wargames and more, with amazing exhibitors, great games, and an opportunity to game together in person.

See you there!

Treat Yourself! 

Tabletop Gaming Game Store Contains Power Rangers Heroes of the Grid

Have you visited our game store? We have everything from mystery boxes, to games and accessories – including the above Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid, with a great discount! Head over to find your new favourite game.

Visit the Game Store


Sometimes we may include links to online retailers, from which we might receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate links do not influence editorial coverage and will only be used when covering relevant products


No comments