четвъртък, 10 декември 2015 г.

Myths at war - The end of the Age of Men!

This time I intend to remind you that this blog is not only about video games, but also about boardgames. Here some of you will say "But you wrote about some digital board games recently, we remember." , but what I mean are "real boardgames" like Dungeon Raiders and Discworld: Witches.

Today I will tell you about Myths at War! Designed by Francisco Gallego Arredondo and published by GMD, Myths at War is a game where you will build your own deck and will summon armies of Gods and Warriors who will fight against each other. Sounds familiar? Well it has almost nothing to do with the one you are thinking.

Myths at War has 6 sets released so far and each one introduces a new faction composed of Gods and mortals. The main idea is to create decks from those sets and fight against each other with them. The winner is the first who get to 30 points(power cubes). Here comes the first difference with other similar CG games - players don't have health points. Neither do their creatures. But I'm getting ahead of myself. First the cards themselves.

Each set includes two pantheon cards, 20 gods cards(characters,events and resources) and 30 designs. The sum of these numbers is also the minimum size of your deck - 51. Pantheons are cards which will define your strategy, because they are a must and there are only two of them for each faction. They will also tell you with how much power cubes you start and will mark your Pantheon are, but more for that later.
The gods cards include characters which are Gods, Mortals and Summoners. The Gods are powerful cards from which you can have only one in your deck. Mortals are limited to maximum of two and are used for sacrifices for the Gods or to help each other and be stronger together. Summoners are also mortals which are the only ones who can use Incantations which are something similar to equipments but reduce the characters statistics and give them new abilities.
Events are cards which together with the others from the Gods deck form your Oracles from where you will reveal cards. when event is revealed it resolves immediately. They can be both positive or negative and will be main part of your strategy.
Resources are special cards which will help you to accumulate more power cubes which are both resource and victory points.

The designs deck include equipment and actions. The first are item cards which you equip to your characters and they boost them. There are faction bound items and also items which cost less for certain characters or give them abilities. The actions are one time use cards which can have various effects on the game. They have different control effects so to say. For example they will exhaust other cards, kill characters, remove cubes etc.

Building a deck might be a taunting task at first.  And it may even look like there are not many strategies in every faction, but once you become familiar with the cards and play few games you will see more and more strategies within the decks. Battle oriented decks, cubes control, Incantation/Actions heavy are just few of the options.

Now that you have an idea about the cards let me guide you through a round of Myths at War.

When all players(up to 5 by the way...I don't recommend it though you will hate the game if you play it with five) are ready with their decks everyone put their Pantheon cards on the table, take as much starting cubes as shown on the Pantheon card. Next to the card will be your Pantheon area. After that shuffle and separate the Gods deck into four face down piles. It is not necessary for those to be even just start from right to left and put one card in each until you run out of cards. These will be your Oracles. When all players have their Oracles ready, shuffle your Designs deck and draw 5 cards. This is your starting hand. When all this is ready decide who will be first player. MaW have its own complicated way to decide who is first but everything will do so the way is up to you.

First phase is revealing the Oracles. Everyone in order flip the top cards on all of their Oracles and then they can discard one card from the Oracles which doesn't have any cubes on it.

Next is Transfer phase, this is probably one of the most important phases if not the most important. During Transfer you will move cubes from your reserve to characters and resources or from characters who already have cubes to other characters. Remember that only cards with cubes equal to their cost can enter your Pantheon. Transfer is also done in order and each next player have one more transfer than the previous player - the first player have one, the second two etc. You can transfer as much cubes as you want per transfer action. If any cards have their cost paid with cubes they are moved in play(in your Pantheon). All characters keep their cubes while any resources in play have theirs removed back to the common pool.

When the Transfer is completed is time for Influence phase. In this phase you have two basic actions which you can always take - Equip and Meditate. Equip allows you any number of times to equip one item to one creature after paying its cost. Equipments are played from your hand. Meditate gives you the option to tire(tap, sorry Wizards, please don't sue me) one character and take two cubes from the common pool. Other than that you can play and/or use any actions and abilities which say that take effect in the Influence phase. Important to rembeber is that players alternate in playing cards until one of them passes two times in a row. Influence is the time for last preparations between the clash between your armies. Last chance to disable this one scary God or get in play your own monster of character. When everybody are done with this phase is time for...

Confrontation is the long waited clash of sorcery and steel. Players in turns asign characters to the battlefield. All characters which are in the Pantheon can be asign if they have at least one power cube on them. This is the cost for entering the battlefield. When everybody have asign what they want to the battle is time to see who wins. All players count the force of all their characters on the battlefield. Tired characters count for half of their force. Exhausted chracters and such with negative force do not count. The player with lowest force remove from his pool as much power cubes as is the difference between him and his opponent.

After the end of the battle all creatures are returned to your Pantheon. All effects that don't specify continiuos effects are removed; each player draws one card from their Designs deck; any Tired creatures are returned to normal state. The player on the left is the new first player.

This continues until one player have 30 power cubes in his reserve or until only one player have any power cubes.


This was one very long explanation. Sorry about it, but I think that without it you would have no idea what I'm talking about. Now that you have an idea let me tell you what I think of the game. 

I will start with the components and the rulebook. The cards are well made with nice and thematic drawings. Unique for each faction. Unlike them the rulebook is...horrible! May be one of the worst rulebooks I have ever read! Its worse even than the rulebook of Heroes of Might & Magic. The rules are written in two languages and are eleven pages long...eleven! For a game this complicated! I have no idea what GDM have thought when they have written this rulebook... There is even some difference between the wording in the rules and on the cards! Anyway after some guessing and some research on the internet I have figured how to play the game. And oh boy was it worth it?! Myths at War is amazing!

Through the years I have played a good amount of CCG games(HEX, Hearthstone, Duel of Champions, Infinity Wars, Duelyst are some of the more famous ones) and while most of them offer some difference from the original formula(MTG) they are heavily based on it. Players have health points, they need some sort of mana to play cards, cards kill each other in battle. Myths at War is nothing like that and I love this about it. There is basically no board control here because every turn all creatures return to your Pantheon and you need to keep them supplied if you want to bring them to battle again next turn. Because of this well running engine which produce stable amount of cubes for you is extremely important.  These mechanics turn Myths into a lot more strategic and harder game. 

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