16 December 2015
Summon incredible creatures to do your bidding
Plaid Hat Games | Deck building | 2 players | 30 minutes | www.plaidhatgames.com
Don’t you wish you could summon things into existence? The odd ham sandwich here, perhaps a hot chocolate now and again… we’re not fussy. Summoner Wars is a little more serious than that and sees you summoning fantasy creatures in a fight to the death and there’s not a ham sandwich in sight.
The Master Set contains everything you need to get you straight into some summoning action, including six factions: Swamp Orcs, Shadow Elves, Sand Goblins, Mountain Vargath, Deep Dwarves and Benders. Each player has a deck of cards they must use to summon creatures on a battlefield in an attempt to chip away at their opponent’s health.
However, unlike games such as Magic, here the cards are actually moved around the board, ensuring it feels like a miniatures-based skirmish game and a card game. Even the number of cards in your hand (around 30) feels more like the troops in a skirmish game than something like Magic.
Talking of magic (with a small ‘m’ this time), you have to summon your creatures using a stash of magic cards that must be discarded to bring your units to life – the cost of the magic varies depending upon how good the unit is. You can also add to your magic pool by killing enemies.
Each of the cards has their own unique ability, such as revealing the top card of your opponent’s deck or moving other units using telekinetic blasts. Combat involves a relatively straight forward dice roll and anything over a three is considered a hit. If the card receives too much damage, it’s removed from the playing grid. The dice adds a nice element of randomness to battles that ensures each game feels fresh, rather than everyone always knowing their attack will be successful.
One of the other advantages of Summoner Wars is that battles are over fairly quickly and the game flows beautifully – no matter whether you’re moving, using magic or attacking.
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