Building a deck of deckbuilders

I had this on my list already waiting for EA to end.

I have a job for you! Pay is good!

Want to try out these and tell me which one you like; if any? :slight_smile:

Rune Gate has a demo right now on Steam, happy to give that a whirl.

In the meantime, triple gold star recommendation for Wildfrost. Yes, older game now, but it has just benefitted from a significant content patch, introducing a bundle of new cards to play with, new achievements, and applying some useful balancing changes.

For example, before the most recent patch, playing on Overcranked Bell Strength 22 mode (the hardest) meant you would always be taking a ‘bell’ that halved your leaders health part-way through a run. As a result, many leader choices were simply non-viable since the final fight always includes something that could one-shot a leader of less than a certain amount of health. The mitigations were to pick higher HP leaders AND hold on to any options you got to improve HP throughout the run to apply them after the halving. Workable, but it was a heavily restrictive malus.

With the patch, this is changed into a bell which will take 2 HP off your highest HP unit, leader or minion, after each boss fight. This is still painful, but brings a lot more leader choices into viability for a highest difficulty run. Good move.

Wildfrost also was just released on mobile. I have a trip cross country next week. Might be the perfect time to pick this up, finally. But now I have to decide between iPad and Deck, lol.

Speaking of deckbuilders, I read this positive review about Slay the Spire.

I might have the chance to play it in the next few weeks; I’ll report back if so. I generally avoid physical deckbuilders where the decks are small, because I hate constant shuffling. Gloomhaven enemy action decks are that way. While drawing just one card from a deck of eight seems like it would be a while, two of those cards say to re-shuffle the enemy action deck. That’s me being annoyed by it happening in game that’s not even about the decks. It’s too much fiddling on the…demersive? remergent? (I’m looking for something meaning it takes me out of the experience) side of piece interaction.

That’s why I fell in love with the digital version of ascension originally.

I’ve been playing the tabletop version quite a bit for the last few weeks, and it is a remarkable adaptation. The review above covers it well, but this is not a typical piles-of-cardboard-and-minis kickstarter cash grab. It is a well-designed board game doing novel things that would be well-reviewed if the video game didn’t exist. And if you’ve played the video game, it very faithfully recreates the experience of playing without slavishly copying mechanics. It simplifies and streamlines everywhere so that the game requires a minimum of fiddly bookkeeping. Setup time is limited to shuffling each act’s encounter and event decks and the dozen or so map node tokens (campfire, elite, etc.) Most of the joy I’ve gotten out of it is in seeing how they translated different player cards, relics, potions, and enemy encounters.

The only downside, which was covered in the SU&SD review, is that even though it does all of these things exceedingly well, it’s still Slay the Spire on tabletop. Is it really better than playing the video game? For me, the answer is not really. If I had a group wanting to play it co-op, then maybe. That’s something you can’t do digitally. As it is, I’m going to play a few more runs and then probably pass it on. PM me if you’re interested and I’ll send it for the cost of shipping (US only, this thing is pretty heavy.)