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Friday, April 5, 2013

Yet another game?

As I've stated before, I play more than just 40k (and miniature games in general).  Today, I'm going to talk about a game that I cannot resist and highly suggest...

I received a call from one of my gamer buddies a few months back and was told to pick this game up.  I was whollly surprised by this.  First off, he's a miniatures gamer too, and so good that the Chicagoland area knows his name and considers him to be one of the 'cheeziest' 40k gamers around (he is quite good, to be honest).  Just as miniatures are my second love and first passion, so too is he dedicated to the plastic/pewter/resin gods.  But he told me about a card game and passionately suggested that I pick it up.

Why would I waste my time with a card game?  I'm glad you asked.  I wouldn't.  You see, back in college I had gotten into Magic: the Gathering (this was '98, so it was 'beta', I think).  I couldn't lose amongst the group and I knew immediately that this game was not for me.  After all, losing is kinda my thing.  Any game that I can pick up and not lose at is obviously not balanced, as my ability to win is wholly based on great tactics and the all-too-rare bout of good luck.  So I dropped it.  I then got into Jihad and Lunch Money and various other card games and found myself underwhelmed (only so much fun to be had after awhile, and college can certainly last awhile).  So I dropped card games altogether.

I used to be into comic books, and have recently jumped back into them.  I, being the consummate role-playing gamer of days long gone, have been interested into getting into the DC Universe RPG (adapted from Mutants and Masterminds).  Unfortunately, the books are too expensive for my measly budget right now.  So Heroclix certainly resolves my comic-and-gaming craving.  Until that phone call, anyway.


Enter the DC Deck-building game.  It's cheap (only $30 or 40, but I don't quite remember now), and it's very easy to learn.  I walked into the LGS after a day of gaming and picked it up without a thought, and then got home and forced my buddy-in-tow to play with me.  In the span of a couple of hours, we'd deciphered the poorly-written rulebook and played a game.  There were many laughs to be had all night long.  I ended up winning that game, but it was too much fun to care about that.


Here's the basic 'gist' of the game- 
You start with a 'hand' of cards, which you play.  Each card has a 'Power' rating or a special ability, and play them all to gain as much power as you can.  You add up your total power, which you may then use to 'purchase' cards from the table (it's called a 'line-up', and it's really no different than the table having it's own 'hand'), or defeating the Super-villain at the top of that pile.  You then discard your cards and any that you gained, and draw a new hand!  Play continues in turns until all the Super-villains have been defeated.  Each card in the game also has a 'victory points' total, and the end of the game sees each player adding up how many victory points they've gained.  There are cards that reduce the victory points in your hand and other players can force you to gain those cards in the form of attacks, so be careful.  At the end, whoever has the most victory points wins the game!  It's that simple.

Here's some of the other things that I like about the game-
-It's comic book characters from the DC Universe.  I like comics, so it's a nifty little tie-in.
-It's based on the 'New 52' images, which means better artwork and certainly cooler outfits for everyone.  I love the new stuff, so even better for me.  
-It's easy to role-play.  Despite not having any RPG element whatsoever, any player worth his salt can have fun playing his hand and narrating what's happening.  My buddy and I love to characterize our combat actions as 'punch-kick combos' and 'ridiculousness'.
-Finally, it's a long game.  I don't mean it's long to play a game, I mean that it takes about three games for two players to see every card in the box and see what they do.  There's quite a few heroes, which each player chooses and gains some special ability from, so it's fun to see how each hero interacts with the game.  Although it's easy to learn and master after only one game, it's still a few games before the players really understand everything that CAN happen.

Do I suggest this game?  ABSOLUTELY!  I've even done a great job in pimping this game out to a couple other buddies and they've ran out to buy it.  And they've all raved about how much fun it has been.  From one happy gamer to another- GET THIS GAME NOW!  It's great for those nights when you have nothing else to do and you've got an hour to kill.  Trust me.  I'm Superman.  :-) 


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