One more week of classes and then Christmas break. Until then I continue work on the most complicated simulation game I have ever made. Who knew that attempting to simulate real life could get so…complicated? Suffice to say, when I get the rules (of life, ha) written up I will post them here for the interested and for anyone game design minded to offer their feedback. The more the merrier or something like that.
Meanwhile between bursts of writing, revising, and scratching my head why turning real life into a game is so complicated we are playing games. Fallout 4 continues to be very popular with Star Wars Battlefront in a close second. Board game wise, we have several new games to play among the first is Epic Card Game, Suburbia, and Warhammer Adventure Card Game.
Epic Card Game by White Wizard Games is in a single word, awesome. If you like Magic the Gathering you should like Epic Card Game and you will most definitely recognize the game play. A single purchase around $15 gets you 120 cards (at the moment there are no expansions). The deck consists of four colors of cards-red, green, blue, and white-in two types-events and champions.
Each turn, you get 1 gold and only 1 gold to spend on a card; cards cost 0 or 1 gold. You can play as many 0 cost cards as you want during your turn. Champions are creatures from Magic, with similar functions-used for attack, defense, and miscellaneous abilities. Events are enchantments, instants, and so on from Magic. The key difference between Epic and Magic, card interactions. Unlike Magic where you have to spend time and money gathering cards to build a deck that works like you planned, Epic Card Game has a lot of card interaction built in.
To play, deal each player (up to 4 with one box), thirty random cards (doesn’t sound like it would work, but ten games last night and no dud random decks). The first player does not draw a card. Otherwise each turn get 1 gold (no stockpiling gold, if you do not spend the gold by the time your turn starts you lose saved gold), draw a card, play cards, and declare attacks. Sound familiar? If you have played Magic, it should. Attacking was different and fun. Instead of one battle phase, Epic has as many as declared attacks. A player can attack with a Champions or a group of Champions, see the results of the battle and if they have more Champions, attack again.
An interesting aspect of battles was seeing what cards interacted with each other and what surprises a defending player had in their hand. Ambush, a trait, allows a Champion to be played at anytime (for the most part), meaning if the Champion cost 0 or the defender had their gold point, they could play one or more Champions as defenders. Combine that with the tribute trait or “comes into play” abilities that many Champions have makes for interesting battles. For example: I declared an attack on my boy who had no Champions. He dropped two zero cost Champions with Ambush and was able to block my attack and take out my Champion. Once the Champions meet it is a simple matter of attack vs hit points. If a Champion takes damage equal to or greater than their hit points they are defeated. Damage can be assigned as a player wants.
We played several two player games and other than the first game where I got the crap kicked out of me due to a bad draw and not knowing better, each game was engaging, no downtime, lots of interaction between cards and players, and best of all quick; longest game was 25 minutes. A four player game lasted longer, as expected, but was more interesting than most of the four player Magic games I have ever played.
If you like Magic the Gathering, for the cost of a starter deck (a bit cheaper actually), you cannot go wrong giving Epic Card Game a try.