DECKBUILDING BOARD GAMES
A relatively new style of boardgame, deckbuilding games have become a rather dominant style of boardgame in the community. The idea is to start with a blank slate of generic cards, then create something magnificent out of that mold. The style appeals greatly to those of us that enjoy build um up video games; like Fallout or Elder Scrolls. Although the style just came into the boardgaming scene within the last ten years, or so, it has commanded recognition and respect from the community. These are trending Deckbuilding Games.
If we are to talk about Deckbuilders then the first should rightfully be Dominion. This game was the first official Deckbuilder game made, and is the blueprint of which most Deckbuilders first look at. The idea is to create a kingdom and bureaucracy to impress the king and other nobles.
“You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner.
But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn’t be proud, but your grandparents, on your mother’s side, would be delighted.”
Ascension took the concept of Dominion and added factions into the Deckbuilding genre. Now you can create a deck around any of the factions and their mechanics. Lifebound focuses on the power of nature. Mechanica focuses on the power of industry. Void focuses on the power of ether and the afterlife. Lastly, Enlightened focuses on the power of thought and meditation.
Ascension: Deckbuilding Game — originally released as Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer — is a fast-paced deck-building game designed by Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour champions Justin Gary, Rob Dougherty, and Brian Kibler, with artwork by Eric Sabee.
Ascension is a deck-building game in which players spend Runes to acquire more powerful cards for their deck. It offers a dynamic play experience where players have to react and adjust their strategy accordingly. Each player starts with a small deck of cards, and uses those cards to acquire more and better cards for their deck, with the goal of earning the most Honor Points by gaining cards and defeating monsters.
Legendary takes the Deckbuilding mold and adds in Marvel Comics into the mix. It’s a mission style gameplay changed up the classic mold that Dominion had established and instead of just building upon a blank slate now you had to also accomplish the goals of the mission. This added an element of cooperation to a competitive style of gameplay.
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is set in the Marvel Comics universe. To set up the game, players choose a mastermind villain (Magneto, Loki, Dr. Doom, etc.), stack that particular villain’s attack cards underneath it, then modify the villain deck as needed based on that villain’s particular scheme. Players then choose a number of hero decks – Spider-Man, Hulk, Cyclops, Wolverine, etc. – and shuffle them together; since players use only a handful of hero decks out of the fifteen included, the hero deck can vary widely in terms of what’s available.
As players fight and defeat villains, they collect those cards, which will be worth points at game’s end. Players can also fight the mastermind; if a player has enough fighting power, he claims one of the attack cards beneath the mastermind, which has a particular effect on the game. If all of these cards are claimed, the game ends and players tally their points to see who wins. If the mastermind completes his scheme, however – having a certain number of villains escape, for example, or imposing a certain number of wounds on the heroes – then the players all lose.
DC COMICS DECKBUILDER
Similar, yet different, to Legendary this Deckbuilder dives straight into the lore and feel of the DC Comics-verse. What sets this game apart from other Deckbuilders is that it lets you assume the role of your favorite DC Hero. Each hero card gives you a special ability that you can use and base your deck around. This captures the feel of the DCU while you are playing this popular Deckbuilder.
Batman! Superman! Wonder Woman! Aquaman! The Flash! Green Lantern! Cyborg! The Justice League of America is ready for action – are you? Fight the never-ending battle for truth, justice, and peace in the DC Comics Deck-Building Game!
To start the game, each player chooses one of the seven over-sized hero cards, each of which has a special power, and starts with a deck of ten cards. Each turn, a player starts with a hand of five cards and can acquire or conquer the five types of cards in the game: heroes, villains and super-villains, equipment, super powers, and locations. To defeat villains, you’ll need to have power – but when a super-villain is defeated, a new one comes into play, attacking all the heroes while doing so. Make sure you’ve acquired defenses – like superspeed or bulletproof powers, or The Batsuit equipment – to protect yourself from harm.
ABOVE AND BELOW
This new Deckbuilder has taken the style of the genre and meshed it with classic tabletop RPGs. Now you can create your own townstead and recruit heros and workers that can delve into the deep. This game gives you classic RPG options when you adventure into the deep, and based on your choices, and die rolls, you get a outcome that could help or hinder you.
Above and Below is a mashup of town-building and storytelling where you and up to three friends compete to build the best village above and below ground. In the game, you send your villagers to perform jobs like exploring the cave, harvesting resources, and constructing houses. Each villager has unique skills and abilities, and you must decide how to best use them. You have your own personal village board, and you slide the villagers on this board to various areas to indicate that they’ve been given jobs to do. Will you send Hanna along on the expedition to the cave? Or should she instead spend her time teaching important skills to one of the young villagers?
A great cavern lies below the surface, ready for you to explore– this is where the storytelling comes in. When you send a group of villagers to explore the depths, one of your friends reads what happens to you from a book of paragraphs. You’ll be given a choice of how to react, and a lot will depend on which villagers you brought on the expedition, and who you’re willing to sacrifice to succeed. The book of paragraphs is packed with encounters of amazing adventure, randomly chosen each time you visit the cavern.