Looks pretty cool so check it out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michaelmindes/coin-age-a-pay-what-you-want-area-control-microgam
Looks pretty cool so check it out here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/michaelmindes/coin-age-a-pay-what-you-want-area-control-microgam
Blue Moon City has been plunged into chaos. With the death of its ruler and the disappearance of its creator, the city needs a strong leader now more than ever before. The separate peoples of Blue Moon City are gathering, each to support one of the heirs and claimants of the throne. Perhaps a strong ruler can restore peace to the city and convince the creator to return.
Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to announce the upcoming release of Blue Moon Legends, a collected edition of Reiner Knizia’s classic two-player card game Blue Moon! The battle for the throne is more intense than ever before as you struggle to garner the favor of the elemental dragons and establish your claim to the throne. You must lead a people successfully, and Blue Moon Legends offers more opportunities to do so by including every people deck expansion ever released! Now, you lead any of nine different peoples as you attempt to rise victorious and repair the damage to Blue Moon City.
read the rest of the release here: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4318
Bag, Board game, Card game, Chips, Crash Gems, David Sirlin, Deck-Building, Fantasy Strike, Game, Game Salute, Geiger, Grave Stormeborne, Player, Publisher, Puzzle, Puzzle Strike, Retail Price, Rook, Sirlin Games, Valerie
Anime? Fantasy Strike? What’s not to love! Puzzle Strike: Bag of Chips 3rd Ed. is set in the Fantasy Strike Universe of fantasy martial arts fractured by political conflict in an Olympic-style tournament. Grave, Jaina, Midori, Setsuki, Rook, DeGrey, Valerie, Geiger, Lum and Argagarg, these10 Fantasy Strike Characters will be placing their skill on display in this exciting puzzle game!
Publisher: Sirlin Games
Game Designer: David Sirlin
Ages: 10 and up
Playing Time: 20 minutes
Contents: 342 Chips, 4 Bags, 4 Screens and 4 Game Boards
Suggested Retail Price: $49.99
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
Object of the Game: The player’s goal is to overflow their opponents gem pile with to many gems. If any player ends their turn with a gem pile totaling 10 or more, that player loses and is out of the game while the other players continue on till there is only one player left.
Puzzle Strike is a unique deck-building game that uses chips instead of cards. It simulates a puzzle game amongst Fantasy Strike Characters. Or as the rulebook describes it “A card game played with chips instead of cards that simulates a puzzle game that simulates a fighting game.” In Puzzle Strike, gems all into the players gem pile each and every round. The player whose pile fills up first loses. The players combined gems to create bigger gems and then crash those gems to break them apart and send them at other players. The more full a players piles gets, the closer they are to losing. However, this also gives the players more chips to draw to potentially make a come back.
Each player starts with a “deck” or bag of chips and has the chance to buy more as they play to improve their “bag.” Each character has different strengths and weaknesses, which allow for different strategies by each player. This allows a great amount of re-playability, as the combinations possibilities are very large.
There are several modes of play for Puzzle Strike: 2-player, 3/4-player free-for-all, 2 vs. 2 Team Battle, and Custom Clockwork Mode where players build their own characters.
Ante Phase – At the start of the game, each players gem pile is empty. At the start of their turn, each player takes 1-gem from the bank and places it in their gem pile.
Action Phase – Each turn a player play one Action chip (chips with a banner.) Place it on the table and follow it’s text. Chips with a + -> allow for more actions to be played that turn.
Buy Phase – During this phase all players must buy at least one chip per turn. This chip goes into the discard pile. Players may play as many chips as they legally can from their hand to the table (not the gem pile) then add their values to the +gem the player may have gotten this turn’s action phase. Subtract $1 for each Combine played this turn. That total is the amount of money the player may spend this turn. Gem piles do not count as money.
Money is lost each turn if not spent. If a player has no money they must “purchase” a wound chip for $0.
Cleanup Phase – Players put all chips played to the table or left in their hand in the discard pile then draw 5 chips.
The Height Bonus:
The higher the total of a players gem pile, the more chips that player gets to draw that turn. Here is a hint to remember how many extra chips to draw. “If the players gem pile has 3/6/9 in it, then draw an extra +1/+2/+3 chips.”
The Purple Chips:
Combine – Combine two gems from a players gem pile into a single gem if the total is 4 or less.
Crash Gem – These gems break gems in a players gem pile and send them to any opponent the players chooses. The bigger the gem crashed to more gems sent at opponents.
Double Crash Gem – This gem works the same as a Crash Gem other than it breaks two gems from a players gem pile.
Crash Gems can also be use to “counter-crash” gems from an attacked players gem pile. This is a reaction indicted by the purple shield on the Crash Gem. This does not cost an action to play. Each 1-gem from players “counter-crash” negates a 1-gem sent by the player’s opponent.
4-gems are not “counter-crashable.” These gems cannot have purple shield gems played against it as well.
Other Types of Chips:
Gem Chips – In a players hand these are money, in a players gem pile, they are used to crash to send to a players opponents.
Character Chips – All 10 characters have 3 special chips each. These chips start in your “bag/deck” and tend to push a certain strategy. These chips cannot be crashed. These chips cost one action to play unless they have shields are and played as reactions.
Puzzle Chips – Puzzle chips all have a puzzle icon at the top with the cost of their purchase inside the icon. These are part of the bank until purchased. These chips cost one action to play.
Wounds – These chips are just taking up space in a player’s deck. They are useless and worthless.
Components – Sirlin Games has always done wonderful job with the components in Puzzle Strike. The only issue I see is being careful of tearing when removing the chips from the board when opening the game. The chips are heavy; the print is easy to read on them. The rulebook is well laid out and easy to understand. The bags are serviceable. I of course prefer a softer fabric but that is such a minor complaint. The game screens are well put together with cool 8-bit art on the inside wall. The box insert is the best I have ever seen for a game organizer in the box. Sirlin Games really did well with this and I wish more companies would learn from their actually going the extra mile to label the inserts. The biggest improvement here is the addition of the game boards. This will greatly improve playability for newcomers to the game and understanding when a player can draw extra chips.
I have been playing Puzzle Strike since it first came out back in 2010 so this 3rd ed. really fixed one thing that always kept it from being a great game instead of just a good game. In the original edition, you could only send gems to the player on your left and not at any player. While that is an interesting mechanic, it always felt very limiting to me. Now that you can send gems to any opponent, you have so many more options and strategies. This was a major fix for me and really makes the game more enjoyable.
The other high point for me is the way that this doesn’t feel like just another deck-builder to me. It operates the same and has gives you as many options but it completely stands out from the other deck-building games to provide a fun, unique experience. This is why theme and little bit of thought or originality can make such a big difference in a game. With a flood of deck-builders coming out every year, having to purchase them at $40-$50 each plus purchasing expansions, plus card sleeves to protect them, it’s nice to have a game that provides an experience to make it worth the purchase price and doesn’t need endless expansions to stay fresh and exciting to play.
I am giving it 8 out 10 stars as Puzzle Strike: Bag of Chips 3rd Ed. is a winner in my book. This game has plenty of strategy, options and re-playability to keep it coming to the table for a long time to come.
This game is Geek Certified!
Board Games, Card game, David Lowry, Deck-Building, Demons, Drow, fantasy, Fire Dragons, Game, Geek Eccentric, Glacien, Haven Town, Jeremy K. Anderson, Necromancers, Playing card, reviews, Shadowrift, Storm Lords, The Lowry Agency, Village, zombies
Haven Town is under attack! The Shadowrift has expelled hordes of monsters upon the town threatening total annihilation. The villagers are scrambling to defend their homes from Drow, Glacien, Zombies, Storm Lords, Necromancers, Demons and Fire Dragons. How will Haven Town survive? Who will step up and be the Heros of Haven Town? Do you have the skills, strategy and magic to protect Haven Town? You better hurry before Haven Town is full of corpses and everything is in flames.
Publisher: Game Night Productions
Game Designer: Jeremy K. Anderson
Ages: 15 to adult
Playing Time: 40 – 100 minutes
Contents: 1 rulebook, 25 1-point tokens, 6 5-point tokens, 454 Game Cards, 6 Scenario Cards, and 1 Heroism Marker..
Suggested Retail Price: $45.00
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
With this review I am going to do things a bit different the reason being as that the rule book for this game is so bad I don’t even want to consult it for this review so I will tell you about my game experience instead.
Shadowrift is a game from first time game designer Jeremy K. Anderson and while his first attempt at the rule book fell short (as is to be expected for a first time designer) his game didn’t. Shadowrift is a completely different deck-building game experience than any other I have encountered and that is a good thing!
In Shadowrift the players have the job of working as a team to protect Haven Town from total destruction from the creatures clamoring through the Shadowrift hell bent on wiping out Haven Town and everyone in it. This game is a truly co-operative affair in which strategy is paramount to actually fend off the denizens and come out on top. In a typical deck-builder, you may have to have light interaction with other players with the exception of a few LCG’s (Living Card Games) from Fantasy Flight Games.
As the Heroes in Shadowrift not only are you attempting to build a strong and powerful deck to use but you are also fighting monsters as well as building a separate deck for Haven Town in which you may have infiltrators, monster effects or a town full of dead bodies that slow that decks effectiveness with junk or even frozen areas of town that have to be freed up in order for the villagers to be helping the heroes with special villager card powers or benefits they may tap into. So in effect you have a trifecta approach to deck-building that is completely new and unique in my experience. It provides all kinds of interesting situations for the Heroes to have to decide what to do and in what order.
The game also comes with 6 different monster types that are basically scenarios for the Heroes to defend against and each one gives a completely different feel to the game. Not only is this very cool but it provides a ton of re-playability to the game. When paying $45.00 for a game, the last thing you want is to burnt out on it after a few plays due to already figuring out the strategy or it just not being deep enough to play over and over again providing a rich, rewarding gaming experience.
There are recommended cards for using with the 6 different monsters but you are not required to use them. The players may put together what ever cards into the purchasing area that the players feel make the most sense or have figured out what card combos work best through experience.
Experienced board gamers know that one of the dangers of playing a co-operative game is that sometimes you have that one person who likes to dominate the session and think that his strategies are the ones to use. They want to pick everyones moves for them and basically ruin the whole game experience for the other players. This game doesn’t stop that from happening, but if you can find a good group of people to play Shadowrift with you will have an amazing experience with it. It is a very solid game with great mechanics, lots of good game tension and decision making to do! The players have to figure out their roles and what cards are necessary to buy to defend Haven Town.
One of great things about this game is in the village deck. If your village ever comes up showing 5 cards that are not villagers or walls then you lose the game! The monsters are great about killing off your villagers which in turn puts lots and lots of corpses in to the village deck and at a much faster pace than you think. This makes managing the village deck a serious priority. A great mechanic that adds a whole other level of depth and game play.
The players have wounds and/or burns when fighting the Fire Dragons that populate their decks and you get one of these for ever turn you attack or one per monster attacked. This of course clutters up your deck very fast and now you have to implement an additional strategy with card purchases or villagers to clear out your decks.
The Monsters win if the whole village is corpse ridden or no villagers appear at the beginning of the next turn or if the corpse deck runs out of corpses.
The players when when they seal all of the Shadowrifts that appear out of the monster deck or by building eight walls in the village.
This is currently one of my favorite deck-builders and I hope to see more expansions for this game as well as an updated rule book.
Ok so now for the bad stuff. As I mentioned earlier, the rule book is atrocious. I had to do hours of research on boardgamegeek.com to learn all the rules and what some the card effects, order of actions etc. I am still not sure what the pawn that comes in the game is for as I can’t find a reference to it anywhere so there maybe a part of the game play I am still missing. I know there are cards that effect whomever is holding the pawn but I am not sure how who holds the pawn is determined. So be prepared to do some research with this game.
When you open the game, it is not completely intuitive on how it breaks down into the card box for separation or ease of find cards. The cards should have come in order to break them down easily for the purchaser. There is no mention in the rule book how to do this properly.
There is also no reference in the rulebook as to how to set up the cards on the able. Since it’s release there are some player aids on boardgamegeek.com to show you how to do this.
There are 6 black tokens that come in the game that I have no idea what their use is for, so I have been using them as the seals on the Shadowrifts.
The cards are also a bit of an issue. The art on the game is great! However cards were already flaking on the corners after just one play. You will want to sleeve these cards if that matters at all to you.
The suite spot for this game is 4 to 5 players. Any less and you are going to have trouble dealing with all the monsters, village issues and wounds in your decks. This game has a lot going on!
I know it seems like there is a lot of negativity about this game but please bear with me. While the rule book could be (much) better and the cards are a bit flakey the game play itself is awesome. Shadowrift is one of the best games I have played in recent memory and every person who loves deck-builders should own it. Aside for a bit longer learning curve most players should intuitively understand the mechanics and be able to find what they are looking for rather easily on boardgamegeek.com for rules clarifications although my personal opinion of this is that should never have to happen. Publishers and designers need to become much better about their rule books.
So far there is minor talk of a 2nd Ed. game but date yet and at that time obviously a much better rule book should be included.
I am giving Shadowrift an 8.5 out of 10 stars for game play but a 6 out of 10 for the trouble of having to learn the game everywhere other than the rule book it’s self.
This game is Geek Certified!
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The year is 2097 and the earth was transformed from a climate shift of cataclysmic proportions plunging the earth and all its inhabitants into an ice age. An estimated 90% of the earth’s populations was decimated forcing the survivors to join together in tribes. Does your tribe have what it takes to survive? Will your tribe be able gather enough resources, medicine and tools to make it? Can you combat rival tribes for these incredibly scarce resources? In this battle for survival the largest Arctic Scavengers tribe wins!
Publisher: Rio Grande Games
Game Designer: Robert Kyle Gabhart
Ages: 13 to adult
Playing Time: 45-60 minutes
Contents: 1 rule booklet, 1 rule summary mat, 1 junkyard mat, 1 contested resources mat, 1 initiator card, 149 play cards including 20 refugees, 69 mercenaries, 46 junkyard cards and 14 contested resources.
Contents: HQ Expansion – 1 expansion rules summary, 1 engineering schematics mat, 1 storage cover, 49 playing cards consisting of 12 buildings, 10 tribal leaders, 8 junkyard cards, 8 medics, 8 engineers and 3 gangs.
Suggested Retail Price: $34.95
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
Rio Grande Games originally released Arctic Scavengers back in 2009 but with the release of Dominion and it being the hot game of the moment, Arctic Scavengers really took a back seat to its counterpart. With the new re-release of Arctic Scavengers, it is very possible that you are getting a better game at least from the visual point of view.
In Arctic Scavengers, each player works to grow their tribes as large as they possibly can. They do this through hiring mercenaries, scavenging through the junk pile and winning in player skirmishes against the other competing tribes. The player with the most tribe members at the end of the game is the winner.
The card anatomy is as follows:
The upper left corner is the card type. The upper right corner is the cost of recruiting this card to your tribe. Down the left side you have in order; draw cards, digging, hunt and fight. If any of these spots are empty, then this card does not that have ability as in the card below as it does not have the draw or dig abilities. Finally the bottom left corner is the amount of people represented by the card. This is where you total your victory points at the end of the game as well as it has its part in the player skirmishes but we will cover that later.
Every card has some ability to it. Some have medicine (+) not shown or sub-type actions such as +modifiers to certain abilities. All these are needed to recruit better people to your tribe or to dig deeper in the junkyard or be stronger in the skirmish.
Each player starts with 4 refugee cards (these water down the deck) 3 scavenger cards, 1 brawler card, 1 spear card and 1 shovel card. I should note that one person could only handle one tool such as a spear or shovel at a time. You can’t combine both a spear and shovel with a scavenger for instance.
Each round of Arctic Scavengers is broken up into 3 phases:
The Drawing Phase: Draw 5 new cards and discard any old cards from the previous round. After round 3 begins, the starting player (this rotates each turn) gets to peak at the top card of the contested resources deck that players will skirmish over to set the tone for the bidding war.
The Resource Gathering Phase: Each player uses any resources to gather resources to accomplish the main actions during this phase.
– Draw – Take one or more cards from the deck and add them to the players hand depending on how many draw resources have been played that turn.
– Dig – Here the player digs as many cards out of the junkyard as resources have been played that turn. For instance if 3 resources were played, the player can then draw 3 cards from the junkyard pile, keep 1 of those 3 secretly and put the other 2 back under the pile facedown so no one can see what they are.
– Hunt – This allows the player to produce one or more food for use in recruiting a new member to the tribe.
– Fight – This action is used during the Skirmish. The players commit cards secretly to the table to be revealed during the Skirmish Phase. These cards can not be used for any resource gathering during this turn. Highest score wins the skirmish and collects the contested resource and discards it secretly.
The Skirmish Phase – (following round 3)
– Once all the players have gathered their resources and put down cards they committed to the skirmish (they can’t be used for gathering resources), they then reveal their cards and the winner is determined.
– The winner puts the card in their discard pile and the first player moves to the next person.
There are additional free actions that can be taken as well.
– Hire – Select on mercenary from the table and pay its cost with food and medicine.
– Trash – Select one or more cards from the players hand and place them on the bottom of the junkyard pile.
There are special action cards as well such as the Sniper Team and Saboteur cards. The Sniper Team cards allow a player to snipe another players tribe member and can be played from a players hand or in the Skirmish phase. The Saboteur cards allow a player to disarm another player’s tool and can be played the same way.
Some the key ideas to think about while playing Arctic Scavengers are that a player wants to take all unused cards in their hand to the Skirmish and bluff their opponents into thinking they have played more fight than really has been. Each player may also make multiple actions per round as well as playing multiple cards for single action as that can make the action much stronger. A player may also only perform any given action once per round. Once a players has used one card for once action it cannot be used for a separate action. In order to use a tool, group leader or any card with a modifier to it, it must be paired with a card that has the base ability even if the base ability is 0. If there is no icon in the spot on the card, it does not have that ability. Once again, only one tool per tribe member card.
The game ends when the last contested resource has been taken from the pile. At this point, all players go through their decks and up all the people in the bottom left corner of their cards and the biggest tribe wins!
Arctic Scavengers also comes with the HQ Expansion for free! The expansion is 4 different modules that can be used any combination in play. The basic premise is a basic headquarters or base camp for each tribe leader as well as being able to construct buildings that can be used during play for strategic use. This introduces new victory paths, new mercenaries and tools. The engineering schematics deck are also included. The basic game is basically the same when the modules are added.
Module #1 – Medics, Tools and Gangs
– Medics have a draw of 1, can be played to represent medicine to recruit new mercenaries or they can be played from the hand to save another tribe member from a sniper attack.
– Save – a new action to protect a tribe member from or leader from a sniper attack.
– Rifle – A tool for hunting and fighting Skirmishes. This gives you a +2 in 2 categories.
– Toolkit – This helps digging for both junkyard and engineering schematics or can be used by another tribe member to speed up building. This also allows for cards to be removed from one building that is under construction.
– Gangs – There are 3 new gangs introduced here for a new concept. These gangs hide back until all the contested resources have been gathered and then try form an alliance with whichever tribe best meets its needs. The gangs are “The Gearheads,” “The Pharmers” and “The Masons.”
Module #2 – Engineering and Buildings
– Engineers may dig in the junkyard but their main purpose is to dig in the engineering schematics pile as they are the only card that can do this. This is of course how you go about building the buildings as well.
– Buildings – Players use engineers to construct buildings at the player’s HQ. These buildings take time to build but offer strategic advantages once built. Buildings are normally used during the players turn and never during the Skirmish.
– Building Types – Amory (stores 2 tools for later use,) Bunker (stores 3 tribe member cards for later use,) Hydroponic Gardens (generates 1 food per round, which does not accumulate) and the Pharmacy (Enables 2 medicine cards to be stored here for later use. Not including medics and not during the Skirmish.)
– Store – a new action that allows the player to take one or more cards of a particular type from their hand and place them, face-down, under a building.
– Retrieve – a new action that allows the play to take one or more cards from an active building and place them in your hand. This can be done anytime except after the Skirmish has started.
Module #3 – Tribal Leaders
– Tribal Leaders – The concept is to give unique capabilities that no other player will have. Every player picks one leader from the two provided at the start of every game. This will impact the players strategy and game play.
– Butcher/Cannibal/Fanatic – Cards that are removed from play cannot be brought back.
– Butcher/Cannibal/Sergent at Arms – Leaders can use special abilities without the need for a refugee.
– Excavator/Fanatic/Gangster/Mentor/Organizer/Peacemaker/Ranger- This requires the use of a refugee to utilize the leader.
– Butcher/Cannibal/Fanatic/Mentor/Organizer/Peacemaker – Abilities can only be used once per round.
– Excavator/Gangster/Ranger/Sergent at Arms – Leaders grant abilities that are always activated and can affect multiple cards in any given round.
Module #4 – Dirty Deeds
– New Saboteur ability – The Saboteur may attack a building and disable it. This makes it unusable. No cards can be played to or from the building until it is repaired. This requires the player to discard a card their hand.
– New Sniper Team Ability – The Sniper Team may now attack a tribe leader, wounding that leader removing their advantage until a medicine is played against the leader to heal them.
Obviously there is a lot I couldn’t put in the review and there is a good amount of depth for this deck-builder. Arctic Scavengers while being a deck-building game offers a fair amount of versatility in it’s game play and separates it’s self enough from other games of the genre to make it a must have game. I really enjoyed this game and highly recommend it to people who love the deck-building genre or who may be on the fence on this since it’s original release in 2009. The interaction with the Skirmishes alone makes it fun.
The components are well done and the artwork is fantastic. The box isn’t to big and it is designed to break the cards down easily although I am not sure it accomplishes that. I prefer slots for starting decks myself to make game set up easier and quicker. Also, if you sleeve your cards, this system will not work as the slots are not big enough. This part could have been better thought out.
All in all, a very good deck-building game that is worth the price and should give you enough of a different feel that you don’t feel like it’s just another deck-builder.
I will go out on a limb and give this game about an 8 out of 10 stars as it achieves the depth I like in a deck-builder especially when the expansion is added. [rating=8]
The review was originally posed on Geek Eccentric: http://www.geekeccentric.com/arctic-scavengers-review-by-david-lowry/
[amazon asin=B00BZ4PQ36&template=iframe image]
Al Ghul, Aquaman, Batman, Ben Stoll, Board game, Card game, Cryptozoic Entertainment, Cyborg, David Lowry, DC Comics, Deck-Building, Flash, Game, Green Lantern, Justice League, Martian Manhunter, Matt Hyra, Superhero, Superman, Supervillain, The Lowry Agency, Wonder Woman
Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Martian Manhunter, the world’s greatest hero’s join forces to vanquish the super-villains and archenemies. Each bent on the destruction of the Justice League. In the DC Comic Deck-Building Game, you get to pick the role of one the famed heroes and compete with fellow heroes to defeat all the super-villains lined up to take you out.
Publisher: Cryptozoic Entertainment
Game Designer: Matt Hyra and Ben Stoll
Ages: 15 to adult
Playing Time: 30- 45 minutes
Contents: 214 game cards including, 36 punch starting cards, 16 vulnerability starting cards, 114 main deck cards, 16 kick cards, 12 DC Comics super-villain cards, 20 weakness cards, 7 oversized DC Comic super hero cards and 1 rule book.
Suggested Retail Price: $40.00
Parental Advisory: Safe for kids
In the DC Comics Deck-Building Game you are randomly dealt a Super Hero to play. If you are dealt The Flash, you always go first. The Flash super Power allows for you to go through your deck quickly which makes sense, as he is the fastest man alive. Other heroes have benefits like Batman gives you bonuses for playing equipment cards, Superman likes super Power cards, Wonder Woman lets you draw more cards for every super villain you defeated each round.
You start with a hand of 7 Punch cards worth one Power each and 3 Vulnerability cards worth nothing. These effectively water down your hand and need to be purged as soon as possible. Each of your Punch cards comes with 1 Power, which is the currency in the game to either buy additional cards or defeat Villains and Super-Villains. You shuffle and draw 5 cards for each hand. Once you have played your hand any cards used or drawn are discarded and then 5 new cards are drawn for your new hand.
The main deck comprised of 114 cards (not including Super-Villains, Punch, Kick, Vulnerability or Weakness cards) is shuffled and placed in the middle of the table. Place 5 cards out in a line for the line-up. This is where most of your deck will come from.
The Super-Villain stack is set off to the side of the main deck on the table. The Super-Villain deck can be comprised of 12 different cards but usually 8 cards are used unless you prefer to play a longer game. The Super-Villain card Ra’s Al Ghul is always the top card to start any game. All the other cards are placed facedown underneath the Ra’s card. Make sure to shuffle this deck and randomly draw out the cards not being used so that the deck is unknown to the players.
The Kick and Weakness cards are also place at the end of the Line-Up with the Super-Villain cards. The Kick (+2 Power) cards are always available for purchase at the cost of 3 Power if the cards in the Line-up are either to expensive to purchase or the players doesn’t like the current cards in the Line-Up. Weakness cards are given to the players in the form of an attack either played by the Super-Villain cards being revealed or a player invoking the attack of a villain they put into play. Weakness cards again water down the hand and provide a -1 victory point per card at the end of the game.
Once play begins you can purchase cards from the Line-Up to improve your decks and can purchase as many cards as your total Power allow. The purchase or defeat cost is on the bottom right corner of the card in the Line-Up or Super-Villain stack. Once you purchase a card, the space in the Line-Up is left there until after that players turn is done, then the Line-Up is refilled back up to 5 cards.
Cards are played in any order and the text on the cards is resolved immediately. This makes it very important to know what is in your hand and what order to play the cards in. Villain cards played may have an attack against the other players, Equipment cards may give you bonuses or allow cards to be destroyed, and Location card text may be triggered as well as your Super Hero Card. You may purchase cards from the Line-Up at anytime during your turn even if you haven’t already played all of your cards. During a players turn, if they defeat a Super-Villain and completed all their actions, they draw back up to 5 cards and then the next Super-Villain card is flipped up and the First Appearance text is resolved against all players in the game.
If during an attack be either a player or a Super-Villain, a player may have a card in their hand with a defense. They can then play this card if they chose to ward off the attack and resolved the text on the card for defense. Once the player has finished their turn, all cards purchased or defeated go face-up in the discard pile to be redrawn later, this includes all Villain and Super-Villain cards.
Once all of the Super-Villains have been defeated the game immediately ends and the players count up their victory points on the bottom left corner of the cards in their deck.
Cards my have certain benefits such as Location cards once played stay out in front of the player the rest of the game and may be triggered each and every turn. Super-Hero cards like Superman for example, have their abilities triggered every time a Super Power (orange) card is played.
There are quite a few variants of the game that can be played as well:
Two Heads are Better Than One – This variant is a 1 on 1 game, where each player plays two different Super Heroes at the same time. This allows for game text to apply to both Super Heroes.
Team Game – This 2 on 2 variant has one team working together to defeat the opposing team. Teams alternate turns and are free to discuss strategy. Attacks do not affect your teammate but if you are attacked, you may defend your teammate. Once the game is over, both players add their totals together and the team with the highest total wins.
On Patrol: This is basically the standard game except you may immediately fill any holes in the Line-Up on your turn after a purchase or defeat of a villain. If any attacks appear during the refill of the Line-Up they affect you and only you.
The game cards are good quality and weight and the artwork is extremely well done. The rule book is laid our fairly well and easy to understand making the game easy to pick up quickly and get playing immediately. The Super Hero cards are of a much larger size than the playing cards and unfortunately don’t fit well into the box. The space provided makes it very difficult to get them out and could lead to damaging the cards. The other cards slots leave a lot to be desired as well. If you decided to sleeve your cards to protect them, the current box will provide major fitting issues for putting away your game. Good box design is critical for deck building games and this is one area where the game fails but I am glad to say the only area.
The DC Deck-Building Game is really a lot of fun. It’s a very easy game to learn and teach. It’s playing time make it an easy filler while waiting for other people to show up or something you are able to play several times in one sitting for those that really get into it. While not as strategic as some deck building games it really fills the void for those looking for something that keeps the action going and this game will suffer a lot less from those people with analysis paralysis. While the theme is DC Super Heroes, the theme isn’t really a factor in the game. When you are supposed to be a Super Hero like Batman, but yet you are playing villain cards that you previously defeated, that really doesn’t make sense but it’s okay. The game delivers on many levels while any little nit picking things really don’t matter or take away from the game play. After playing this game at many different game nights and teaching it to other people who don’t normally play board games or usually only play Magic: The Gathering, the response has almost been very favorable and the game store it was played and demoed at sold all their copies to these people.
I will give this game about a 7.5 out of 10 stars as it does lack depth but it is certainly worth the price and wins in the fun department. [rating=7.5]
This review was originally posted on Geek Eccentric: http://www.geekeccentric.com/dc-comics-deck-building-game-review-by-david-lowry/
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