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From the minds of the Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) comes Thunderstone, a member of the card game/board game hybird genre that’s been gathering steam for the past couple of years. Moe and I talked a good deal about this game on the latest episode of Drunken Gamers Radio and you can feel free to check out our thoughts on the game there. However, I wanted to make sure that you all could read some more details on the game as well as check out some of the video that explains this very fun game in a visual way.
For starters, here’s that video review from the www.boardtodeath.tv website that Moe and I were referencing on the podcast this week. Check it out for a nice overview of the game as well as a look at the visual set up of the cards:
What I find interesting about this style of game is how much it takes what I always hated about the CCG craze of the late 1990’s (the immense cost) and makes a very compelling game out of a simply 300 card base set. Other games, such as the fantastic Dominion, have done this as well and I think it’s a nice compromise between the static board game and CCG. While I miss the excitement of getting that rare kick ass card and the way a CCG could spin the gameworld on it’s head with a new expansion, I don’t miss the hundreds of dollars sucked out of my wallet.
Another thing we didn’t mention on the podcast was just how fantastic the artwork is on these cards. While it makes no real difference in how the game plays, I would be lying if said such things didn’t matter to me. The honest truth is that the artwork on the cards really helps set the vibe of the world of any game and if it sucks, I’m far less likely to take the game seriously. Lame, I know, but true.
It should also be mentioned that Thunderstone has two expansions that are out currently, which Moe and I didn’t have a chance to play. The first is called Wrath of the Elements and introduces some new gameplay elements, namely a bad ass Guardian Lord. This particular card makes it’s way OUT of the dungeon (past Level 1 and to a newly introduced Level 0) where it sits and destroys cards out of your hands until defeated. The next expansion is named Doomgate Legion and features a new den of cultists that, along with the monsters normally found in the dungeon, attacks the heroes. However, the Heroes are aided by the newly introduced Mercenaries that are now part of the Village. Lastly, in February, the latest big box expansion is set to hit, named Dragonspire. This stand alone expansion which seems to be set to introduce a bunch of new concepts, including a Dungeon Board and all new characters.
One more reason why Thunderstone and it’s card game brethren are doing it right is that each expansion can be played alone or with the core set. No set of cards is wasted and that makes each particular set its own “story” that can be connected to the full game if you want. I like this idea as it makes the game a much more interesting game. Do you only want to fight the cultists from the second expansion? Fine, simply use those cards. Do you like certain monster sets and not others? They can be mixed into the game and others left out with little penalty to the game. This gives Thunderstone the potential to not only be a completely new experience each time you play but a one that can be tailored to your likes and dislikes without breaking the game.