Big announcement from Plaid Hat Games today, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn will be going up for pre-order on April 9th. Plaid Hat Games is the publisher that brought us exciting titles like Summoner Wars, Mice and Mystics, and last year’s huge hit Dead of Winter. They look like they may have another hit on their hands with Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn designed by Isaac Vega who also designed BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia and was a co-designer of Dead of Winter.
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is an expandable card game that will allow 2-4 players to take the role of one of the Phoenixborn, powerful demi-gods and magic wielders. Players will battle it out in a back and forth battle summoning terrifying creatures and loyal allies to become the last one standing. Player turns will be short and quick and will leave them with the chance to adjust as the round progresses. Players will be able to carefully choose their targets and easily react to their opponents actions. This should provide a unique game play experience with constant back and forth action. If that doesn’t sound exciting enough you can also say goodbye to mulligans because Ashes will allow players to choose their starting hand of 5 cards! Personally I don’t know of another game like this that gives you the choice of what cards to start with. This alone has my interest in the game at the maximum level.
Ashes will not be limited to just cards though, players will also have a dice pool that will give them the resources needed to fuel their magic and summon creatures as well as provide interesting powers on their own. Plus the dice pool should provide enough resources to start casting powerful spells immediately. Combined with the ability to choose your starting hand Ashes should deliver the all the thrills and excitement of a magic duel right from the start, no build up time needed.
If all that doesn’t have you ready to throw your money at the screen (don’t bother I tried it and it doesn’t work) then maybe this will help. There are three ways you can play Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn:
- Choose a pre-built deck – Ashes will come with 6 pre-built decks and assigned dice, just jump right in and start playing.
- Build a deck – choose from over 247 cards and 40 dice. Your build options will be nearly limitless.
- Draft a deck – the drafting rules promise to allow players to build fun and interesting decks quickly.
You would think all that would be enough and Plaid Hat Games would stop there. But in their typical fashion they left nothing to be desired and had illustrator Fernanda Suarez create some absolutely stunning artwork for the game. Fernanda did a terrific job on last year’s Dead of Winter but she really outdid herself on Ashes. The box alone could be framed and the artwork on the cards is some of the best I’ve seen. She is truly making her name known in the board game world.
So if you, like me, think that a magic dueling card game with dice that has you immediately casting powerful spells while providing three ways to play, quick paced act/react turns, a truly innovative mechanic that has you choosing your starting hand, and mind-blowingly gorgeous artwork sounds like your kind of game then keep an eye on your FLGS/OLGS and be ready to pre-order Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. You’ll just have to get in line behind me.