The transitions between video games and board games are becoming more and more common, be it customization or the use of licenses from one to the other. but
clash of decks takes this parallel even further as it adopts the distribution method of some of the most popular titles: play for free ! But first let’s see what the point is, playfully speaking.
So when we discover the game, we use a pre-packaged one. Then we either build it in advance, or this step is integrated into the game by splitting the cards with your opponent (the principle of the
draft ). In any case, we start with eight cards in hand and add a ninth, the Fortress, to the far left. When it is your turn to act, you can play cards from your hand, but only from the first four leftmost. For this you have to spend mana, depending on the card between 0 and 7. The amount available corresponds to the number of cards in hand at the beginning of the round.
Most are creatures with an attack value, hit points, and special abilities represented by icons. We place them on our side, filed behind one of the two bridges that separate our kingdom from our opponent’s. A few are incantations that go right back into our hand after they’ve been played and applied their effects.
Then our creatures will attack, giving priority to the opposing creatures over the corresponding bridge, if any. A destroyed creature returns entirely to its owner’s hand. If no opponent is in front, they attack the opponent directly. For each damage, the player moves his fortress card in his hand one position to the right. At the end she turns left. But if it comes all the right a second time, we lose the game.
There are a few rule tweaks (a creature that arrives on the turn doesn’t attack, they attack in a certain order, etc.), but it’s mostly their twenty or so special abilities that make the game so rich by using their affect attack, their defense, etc.
Finally, note the presence of a solo play variant in which we fight the remaining creatures that are not in ours
deck and which must be destroyed one by one to reach the end of the deck.
Why play clash of decks ?
The free game Aspect is obviously the most atypical element of clash of decks . It’s the first “real” board game that works on this principle, to our knowledge (if we exclude prototypes, print-and-cut games, etc.).
As in a video game, the inauguration pack is already very complete with its four preconstructed ones Decks, is free, available in shops or on the publisher’s website , whereby only the shipping costs are at your expense. After that, you have the opportunity to enrich it with various extensions. Two are already available crime and submerge . Each focuses on two special abilities, adds as many new cards as the starter pack, and stands on its own. More are planned in the coming months.
But aside from his great outdoors, what about his playful qualities?
clash of decks is a confrontational, strategic, minimalistic game with fast paced and exciting matches. It surprises in many ways, especially in its depth, which one does not suspect at first glance. His great originality is also one of his strengths. Games where you are forced to keep the order of your cards in your hand are not common (we’re thinking of station wagon , Explore , Hanabi and that’s it).
Also read: These 7 video game remakes are superior than the originals
Extensions (published or in preparation) // Source: Grammes Édition
The first two or three parts that need to be made with pre-engineered
decks , are somewhat laborious and sluggish. Despite its very simple rules, it takes this time to properly integrate the numerous creature ability symbols. We then advise you to switch to a card Draft, our favorite game mode.
The following parts are much more enjoyable and smooth, especially since the game offers a nice learning curve. You gradually learn to handle your hand well, to anticipate your moves and those of your opponent. And we are beginning to understand the principle of the fortress, which in its hand navigates from left to right depending on the cards played, returning to the right and thus adding life points, etc.
We also quickly understand, usually with pain the first time, that the more creatures we have in play, the less mana we gain and the more vulnerable we are to our opponent’s direct attacks.
clash of decks is a really good surprise. It is play for free Component does not equate to a game that is uninteresting, sloppy, or forgettable. But on the contrary. It offers a rich experience with minimalistic hardware and simple rules. It is reminiscent of other successful card games, Hearthstonein the head. This is not alien to his very beautiful illustrations. It requires strategy, anticipation, opportunism, a little programming, all in a short amount of time. And its many extensions promise a long life.
clash of decksis a game by Léandre Proust Illustrated by Studio Rexard
Published by Grams Edition
For 1 or 2 players, ages 8+
For games of about 15 minutes
At the price of 0 € at Philibert (for the introductory package)
We would like
A minimalist material
Very simple rules
The mechanics of managing his hand, original and very interesting
A nice strategic depth sprinkled with opportunism
We liked it less
Plenty of symbols to grab during the early playthroughs