Archive for the ‘Card Games’ Category

2nd Hearthstone Expansion

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

The new expansion of Hearthstone (Goblins vs. Gnomes) is now online. The first expansion contained fewer cards, which you would acquire by completing specific single player matches. This new expansion contains a lot of new cards. In fact there are so many that when you buy a new pack of cards now, you have to select if you want the original cards or the new ones. I wonder whether Goblins vs. Gnomes will be commercially as successful as Naxxramas. I personally have no incentive to by card packs with real money. I play in the lower reaches (typically rank 20-17) anyway. So there is no need to buy packs or arena passes with real money to get cards more quickly. I rather spend my in game gold on them. With Naxxramas it was different, the real money bought access to the game content which otherwise would not have been available to me for long time.

In any case the new cards are great fun. Buying packs with gold brings back the excitement, for you get only few new packs each week. Since now I have only few of the new cards, many packs contain five unknown cards, some of which are great. Wow! I also have the impression that there are some very powerful cards in the new set. This is obviously for the same reason as with Magic the Gathering. If the cards of a new expansion are just equal (or even worse) than the existing cards, no one will buy the new cards. Anyway, I played with a Hunter and noticed how the Webspinner is boosted.



The card still works the same way as before. I was however lucky and got one of the new überbeasts:



The next game went equally well and the Webspinner summoned the new legendary druid beast, a feat I didn’t even know was possible.



Death Angels – Todesengel

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Space Hulk : Death Angel – the Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games is a is a cooperative card game for up to six players. The game is part of FFGs Games Workshop licensing. The original Space Hulk game from Games Workshop was a spinoff of GWs Warhammer 40K miniatures war-game. Space Hulk was one of the early dungeon crawl board games. In it each player plays a single squad of space marines, while one player is the kind of dungeon master and plays the Tyrannid forces.

In FFGs Space Hulk card game the Tyrannid (or actually Genestealers) are handled by card draws. Each player plays a squad of marines, however in the card game the squad is represented by just two marines. Gameplay is very simple, the marines march in column they have a front and a back (i.e. left and right side of the card). They can attack Genestealers in front of them. Each card has just one hit point. This makes the game very fast paced.

In case you are wondering Todesengel is the German title of the game.


Why do I like this game?

What I like about the game is that it is a quickly paced game, doesn’t take long, and still it transports the atmosphere and tension of the original game quite well. I can almost hear the heavy bolter rounds when I roll to attack the Genestealers. Bam!


Single Player

I have not yet played the game multiplayer. I played it with different numbers of marines and believe that it scales fairly well.


My Wish List for Essen 2014

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Soon there will be the Spiel in Essen. For those who don’t know, it is supposed to be the biggest trade show in the board gaming industry.

My recommendation is usually not to go on the weekend but rather on Thursday or Friday. On the weekend the halls are crowded and you have to be careful not to step on the little kids that are running around along with their parents. The other thing is that the hot new releases are likely to be sold out by the weekend. There is however one advantage to going on Sundays. You are likely to strike good bargains on whatever is still left for sale. The booth operators usually don’t like to ship their merchandise back home so they will sell the rest of their stuff really cheap.

Sometimes when games are not yet released you can have a look at a demo (don’t go on Sunday if that is your plan, because many companies from overseas will have packed their stuff and gone by then).


Anyway here is what I plan to have a look at in Essen (and possibly purchase):


There is supposed to be a new expansion released and I really like the game as a puzzle.

Arcadia Quest

A competitive dungeon crawl if I understood correctly. Well I’ll have a look.

Warhammer 40K Conquest

Two player living card game from FFG. I expect of it something like Bloodbowl Team Manager but for just two players.

Dead of Winter

Semi cooperative game about the Zombie Apocalypse.

Star Trek Fleet Captains

An older title with nice miniatures and ship combat.

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures

There are a lot of new releases I didn’t yet have the chance to look at.


An old title which seems to be interesting. It’s a two player battle of Orcs besieging a human castle.

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game from Paizo is a cooperative cardgame for up to four players (up to six with the multiplayer expansion). The game is based on the Pathfinder roleplaying game, a variant of the open license Dungeon & Dragons 3.5. The artwork, characters, monsters etc. therefore are those of the original RPG (role playing game) adventure paths (i.e. campaigns).

So far two card games of this series are published based on the Rise of the Runelords and the Skull & Shackles campaigns respectively. Each of them has five separately available adventure expansions and one multiplayer expansion. I own the Rise of the Runelords cardgame and the first three expansions to it.


Why do I like this game?

Playing really feels a bit as some reviewers said “like playing a roleplaying game but without a dungeon master”. I would like to add that it feels like a “hack & slash” type roleplaying game there is obviously not much NPC (non-player character) interaction, plotting and scheming etc. included in this game. Almost all scenarios have as a goal to find and defeat the villain.

I still like it for it transports the leveling up and finding of loot elements of a RPG campaign very well.

The replayability is fairly good. I played the first adventure a couple of times with different heroes. Once you start mixing in cards from the expansions playing the initial scenarios becomes however difficult. I suppose if you really wanted you could spend the time to sort through the deck and remove the expansion cards again or draw new cards if you drew cards from a future adventure (but I have neither the time nor the patience for such things).


Single Player

I have not played the game multiplayer. I played it with up to five heroes and due to scaling it plays very different with each number of heroes. In my opinion the sweet spot in terms of difficulty is with three heroes. With fewer heroes each individual hero may take too much damage and may therefore die and/or you may end up lacking the right combination of skills to overcome the barrier and monster cards or close the locations. With more heroes you will often have difficulty not to run out of time. I actually never won a game where I played four or five heroes and didn’t even try to play six. The reason is that the players have basically a combined total of 30 turns, independent on the size of the group but for each additional hero a new location with 10 more cards, where the villain might be hiding, is added to the game.



One thing I find annoying is the large number of small decks (i.e. ten to fifteen cards), which you need to shuffle repeatedly. What I do now is: I lay out the cards of the location decks face down in a row. If due to the use of some items or abilities I know the top card of a stack, I put it face up aside. Otherwise when drawing a card I roll a die to pick one at random. That way the villain or henchman of each stack always comes up at a one, but the odds are the same as if I had shuffled the decks.