Deck Building Games

Renegade Game Studios and Dire Wolf Digital have announced their compilation project, Eternal: Chronicle of the Throne. Chronicles of the Throne by designer Paul Dennen, is a combination deck building game and strategy card battler which could only have been created by the combined efforts of these two studios. In the game, 2-4 players will “experience fast-paced gameplay as they attack, block, and summon creatures in back and forth CCG-style combat.”

Renegade Game Studios and designer Paul Dennen, are the brains behind the immensely popular games Clank! A Deck Building Adventure and Clank! In! Space! Both of the Clank! games managed to take deck building to a new level, using it as a mechanism in a fantasy board game. Much like deck builders Dominion and Legendary, players can use symbols on their cards to move on the board, buy new cards, or fight monsters. However, the price for many played cards is noise – “CLANK!”, which draws the ire of the dragon below. Players need to judge how deep to delve, trying to collect better and better artifacts, while avoiding becoming the increasingly angry dragon’s wrath.

Dire Wolf Digital is the design team behind Eternal, a popular digital CCG on iOS, Android and Steam. Eternal takes place in a world “where six-guns and sorcery combine”. Much like the heralded Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering Arena, in Eternal players collect cards and construct digital decks for head to head battle. Players use power cards to summon units and cast spells, trying to dominate each other. Eternal: Chronicles of the Throne takes place in this fantastical world, populated by all the art from the digital card game.

Eternal: Chronicles of the Throne should be coming to stores in time for GenCon, in August 2019. For more information about the game, check out the dedicated webpages for the game from Dire Wolf Digital and Renegade Studios.

Board and Dice has announced Sierra West by designer Jonny Pac Cantin, a unique game combining deck building, tableau management, worker placement, multi-use cards; in short this game is a tapestry of many interwoven moving parts. In Sierra West, 1-4 players move pioneer workers through paths in the mountains, claiming cards and actions, collecting resources in their pursuit of the american west. Prominent in setup is a large mountain made of a pyramid of overlapping facedown cards, with the top cards visible. 3 cards from the player’s hand are placed in a notched board, revealing 2 rows of icons from the bottom of the cards, representing two different paths the pioneers can traverse. Each space on the path can generate resources, allow actions or present danger. Boot actions on the path allow the movement of the caravan along the road, or the frontiersmen up the card mountain. Frontiersmen allow players to claim new cards from the top of the mountain, while the caravan gives access to special cards below the wagon trail. Additionally, players can build cabins with resources, and place their pioneers on the cabins when they are not on a trail, generally helping the rest of the workers. The game ends when the 6th special card is added to the caravan trail.

All of this sounds like a great game, but Sierra West is a flexible kit, designed to make more interesting, more variable games with the included modules. Each module changes the starting cards, rules for play, type of cabins, and action spaces. The game comes with 4 modules: Apple Hill, Boats and Banjos, Gold Rush, and Outlaws and Outposts, with more expected to release in 2020. Sierra West is expected to be released at GenCon, in August 2019.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has announced they will be starting a Kickstarter Campaign soon for a premium reprint of the popular deck building game Valley of the Kings (2014) by designer Tom Cleaver. This Premium Edition will include not only the original game, but also the subsequent Valley of the Kings: Afterlife and Valley of the Kings: Last Rites. Although Valley of the Kings was an early deck builder, using tried and true mechanics of buying new cards from a marketplace, using the buy power of other cards in hand, it introduced some novel ideas into the genre. The only cards to score points in Valley are those purposely culled from one’s deck into a special “entomb” pile, removing the card from play. The timing of when to use a card for its action, or when to use it for cash value to buy new cards, or when to give up the card for points, kept the game fresh and interesting. This new collection not only contains all 3 games, but also includes new graphics, new Pharaoh cards with unique abilities, and enough tarot sized sleeves to protect all the cards (over 300). The Kickstarter for the Valley of the Kings Premium Edition is scheduled to begin on April 2, 2019, and continue for 2 weeks.

At the recent PAX Unplugged convention, Dire Wolf Digital announced a new Clank! game in partnership with Penny Arcade, Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated, coming in Fall 2019. Clank! A Deck Building Adventure by designer Paul Dennen uses deck building mechanics of gain money, buy cards, fight foes, but added movement in a dungeon to the mix. Players had to run quickly through the depths, collect an artifact, then make their way back to the surface, all while trying not to make enough noise (CLANK) to invoke the ire of the beast. Clank! has won several awards, has a spider expansion, a mummy’s tomb expansion, and a version in space, yet still remains at a very respectable #61 in the boardgamegeek top 100. Now the promise of adding legacy elements to this great game is sure to have fans excited. Acquisitions Incorporated, which started in 2008 with the simple idea of “friends having fun playing Dungeons & Dragons”, has become a 20 year podcast and IP with a strong following.

From the press release – “Found your own franchise of the legendary adventuring company Acquisitions Incorporated, and shepherd your fledgling treasure-hunters to immortal corporate glory over the course of multiple games.”

For more information, you can read the full press release from Dire Wolf Digital here.

Stone Blade Entertainment has announced that they will be releasing a digital version of their hit deck building game Shards of Infinity in collaboration with Temple Gates Games, makers of the digital versions of Race for the Galaxy  Shards of Infinity designed by Gary Arant and Justin Gary was Stone Blade’s followup to their immensely popular card game Ascension (2010), and hit the blooming deck-building market by storm. Shards has been positively regarded as an improvement on the standard head to head deck building game. In Shards, players fight head to head, trying to deplete their opponents health while improving their own Mastery. Mastery makes a players’ cards more powerful, and at 30 Mastery a player can employ their Infinity Shard, immediately defeating their opponent. The digital adaptation is expected in Spring 2019, on Android, iOS and Steam. For more details, you can read the press release from Stone Blade Entertainment here.

Fans of the classic Vlaada Chvátil game Mage Knight (2011) rejoice, for Wizkids has announced a new Ultimate Edition of the critically acclaimed exploration and adventure card game. Mage Knight has been an evergreen release, inspiring a Star Trek re-implementation in 2016, and staying in the top 25 at Board Game Geek.

With this comprehensive Ultimate Edition, we will be releasing Mage Knight in English, Spanish, Polish, Czech, German, French, Russian, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese, and Italian! Now you can get Mage Knight in your preferred language and make your playing experience that much easier!*

In Mage Knight, 1-4 players take on the role of  the Mage Knights, role-playing by drafting cards and deck building, in order to create an army to take over their corner of the Atlantean Empire. Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition contains the base game, expansions The Lost Legion (2012), Krang (2013) and Shades of Tezla (2015), a new comprehensive instruction set, miniatures with alternate paint jobs, as well as 5 new cards.  For more details, check out the WizKids web page here, and look for Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition this December.

Upper Deck Entertainment has just posted a blog article reviewing their 13 card and board game releases for 2017. Legendary, the very popular deck building system, added the small expansions Legendary Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Legendary: Noir, and the larger Marvel Legendary: X-Men. Additionally, the Legendary system welcomed the new standalone game Legendary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

VS System 2PCG had a number of changes and additions last year, including Legacy, Monsters Unleashed, S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Hydra, and The Predator Battles. The games have also undergone a huge change in their publication format, and Upper Deck has said the small box expansions (now known as Giant-Sized Issues) will be released much less frequently.

There were also 5 original games released in 2017, including The Dingo Ate The Baby, Dread Draw, Dungeon Draft, Quest for the Antidote. Finally, Upper Deck released the wonderfully campy hidden movement one-vs-many game Shark Island from Richard Launius and Pete Shirey.

Read the full press release on Upper Deck’s webpage here.

Stone Blade Entertainment, under UltraPro Entertainment, has announced a new game from Ascension designers Justin Gary and Gary Arant. Shards of Infinity is a deck building game for 2-4 players, taking place in the far future, when the Infinity Engine has been shattered, and its reality bending shards are wreaking havoc with the world. Players win by either mastering the power of the Infinity Shard, or by destroying all of their opponents. Shards of Infinity comes with 128 cards, 4 player dials and promises quick 30 minute gameplay. Look for Shards of Infinity on shelves in March 2018.

Cryptozooic Entertainment has added two new titles to its list of licensed card games, which previously included Cartoon Network Crossover Crisis Deck-Building Game, Adventure Time Card Wars, Attack on Titan Deck-Building Game, and Rick and Morty: Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind Deck-Building GameCartoon Network Crossover Crisis: Animation Annihilation Deck-Building Game is a new stand-alone expansion, which will play like its successful predecessor, and be 100% compatible, adding more Cartoon Network characters to the pool.

In addition, a new “Wonder” keyword explores the childlike sense of wonder from these cartoons. In  Teen Titans GO! Deck-Building Game, 2 players can take on the roles of their favorite Teen Titan characters, Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven and Cyborg, taking on a pile of 6 supervillains. Most points after the villains are defeated determines the winner. Teen Titans GO! Comes with 164 cards, and 6 oversized hero cards.

Cartoon Network Crossover Crisis: Animation Annihilation Deck-Building Game and Teen Titans GO! Deck-Building Game are due for release in November 2017.

CE-Y2-Tin

Stoneblade Entertainment have just announced that Ascension: Year Two Collector’s edition will be shipping in mid November.

Following up on the overwhelming success of the Year One Collector’s Edition, Year Two takes Ascension: Storm of Souls and Ascension: Immortal Heroes and gives them an all foil treatment! Also included is an Honor Token bag, portable storage box and full foil game board.

The set includes Ascension: Storm of Souls, Ascension: Immortal Heroes and the entire second year of promo cards and is playable as a stand-alone 2-6 player game and 100% compatible with other expansions.