Blue Moon (card game)

Any fans of Knizia’s Blue Moon here? I just bought it recently, and have been playing a lot of games with the pre-constructed decks. I’m almost ready to proclaim this the best card game ever, although it might just be the honeymoon that’s speaking. I’ve always found Magic the Gathering fascinating, but quit playing when I realized what a huge money sink it was, and how badly balanced some of the cards were. While Blue Moon is simpler in many ways, it has enough strategies, clever cards and possibilities for deck building that I’m completely hooked. The deciding factor is that it’s non-collectible. There is a pre-constructed deck for every “race” that has to be bought separately, but after that you’ll own every card ever printed (and there’s no overlap between the different decks, so you won’t get unnecessary extra copies of cards). Just the pre-constructed decks by themselves are a lot of fun to play, and with two or three you’ll already have lots of material for custom decks too.

The theme of the game is a civil war between the different people of Blue Moon. It’s strictly a two player game, where you play a series of “fights”, each which can net the winner the favor of one or more of the dragons. There are several conditions that can end the game, but ultimately the one who has more dragons at the end of the game wins.

The basic idea of fights is that there are two elements: Earth and Fire. Each fight is battled in a single element, which is chosen by the player that initiates the fight. Each turn, both players must play a character, all which have varying strengths in both elements and some have special abilities. In addition, there are Leadership Cards that have a multitude of one-time effects (force opponent to discard cards, draw more cards etc.) and booster/support cards which are mainly used to increase the strength of the character cards. A fight is over when one of the players decideds to retreat, which you must do if you can’t match the power level of your opponent. Since you have to either match or exceed the power of your opponent every turn, as the fight goes on both players use more and more powerful cards, until one of them decides to cut his losses and retreat.

There are eight pre-constructed decks, and they all seem quite balanced while having wildly different playing styles. Some decks are based on a large selection of strong character cards, while others force the opponent to dicard cards or prevent him from playing the cards he wants. The playing styles, while abstract, fit the stories of the different people very well. For example the Khind are small, childlike creatures (think faeriefolk), whose characters are very weak individually, but can band together using a mechanic that is unique to the Khind-deck.

If you are a fan of card games, I really urge you to give Blue Moon a try. It can also be played online using program called CardTable, but the UI is quite unwieldy and the software is still a bit unstable.

Drat, I was expecting an Advance Wars thread.

  • Alan

I have it and all of the expansion decks. It really is a good game. It is not quite the same, however, as Magic. I could not figure out why for awhile, but someone elsewhere posted a relatively decently explanation in that in Magic (and probably most other CCGs), you build up a base of cards on the table that you play and react off of. They eventually tell stories in their own right, about how your foozle of X managed to last 8 rounds on the table and take out 4 black foozles of doom before finally being killed, but only at the cost of taking all of your opponent’s focus, causing him to lose.

Blue Moon, on the other hand, is still closer to a “conventional” trick taking card game. There are little battles in which you add cards, but for the most part each battle is separate, those cards go away, and you start the next one. The game does not really have a “memory” for played cards in the way most CCGs do.

A great game (as evidenced by the fact that I bought everything), just different in feel in the end.

Never heard of this one. I do love a good Card game. Magic is the only CCG I’ve played. Too much money to invest in another CCG. Because of that I pretty much restricted myself to Non-CCGs. I’ve played Guillotine, Lunch Money, and Munchkin a while back. Blue Moon looks like it’s on a whole other level though.

I own this game but was a little disappointed by it. Of course, I never really bothered to do any custom deckbuilding w/ it (because I only bought the core set), and I’m betting deck-building could help.

If you like Blue Moon though, you should check out Scarab Lords and Minotaur Lords. They are also single-purchase CCG-ish games that support deckbuilding, also designed by Rainier Kneiza and published by Fantasy First. In fact, the games have an awful lot in common.

Scarab Lords and Minotaur Lords are compatable with one another, and the cards can be combined to build custom decks. They each also come w/ small ‘sideboards’ that can be used to alter decks between matches when playing with just one set.

I like the Lords games better than Blue Moon for a few reasons, but they basically boil down to me liking the rules and cards more, and just generally having more fun with them.

YMMV, of course.

No idea, but I’m a partial fan of the Alcoholic Beverage Blue Moon. Imported, and its good!

Crazy online CCG thing:

Crazy online Blue Moon plug-in for CCG thing:

My favorite beer, and a Belgian White, to boot!

Imported from Colorado, maybe. It’s brewed by Coors.