Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Board Game Corner: Epic Spell Wars Of The Battle Wizards: Duel At Mt. Skullzfyre

This is a real game.


This is most certainly a real thing.

First off, this game is not really a children's game.  While bright and colorful, the game also has some humorous, over-the-top gore involved.  In fact, the art style of this game is very reminiscent of the art style of the show SuperJail.  Continuing on with the whole "Not for children" thing, this is the first paragraph of the rules booklet.

Once upon a time, there was a world filled to the brim with radical magic.  And not pussy magic, like rabbits in hats or shit like that.  No, it was kick-ass magic, where one guy blows another guy's head off with like, a fireball or something!  You know, BALL-ROCKING MAGIC!
The background of the game goes on for a few more paragraphs, but you get the idea.  While yes, some would think this kind of violence and language is juvenile, well, they're probably right, but it's still presented in a way that made me laugh out loud while I read it.  A rule book for a game has never done that before.

The premise of this game is pretty simple... Construct a spell from cards in your hand, and kill the other players.

At the start of each round, each player draws to their hand limit, which is by default 8 cards.  They then set one, two, or three cards face down.  There are three main types of cards in this game that'll be in your hand: Source cards, Quality cards, and Delivery cards.  When you play your 'spell' of cards, you can only play up to one of each.  So a spell can contain an S, Q and D, or just a D, or any other type combination.

You play the D.

The turn order is determined like this: The player who played the fewest cards plays first.  Any people who've played the same number of cards determine the order by the number on the Delivery, in this image, 16.  That's your initiative.  If you don't play a Delivery, you have an initiative of 0.  A 0 of two cards though is still faster than an initiative 0 of three cards.

We'll take two example spell here from the internet...

Sir Lootzor's Mysterious Dragon-Horde.

Hagatha the Heifer's Crushazorian Godstorm.

This game sounds like it could be used to create a metal album...

Anyways, in these two examples, we see that all three cards share the same glyph typing.  The glyph is the symbol in the lower left hand corner.  So this means, that for each power roll, you get a die for each card that share a typing with it.  For for the Godstorm, you get the one minimum, and you get one for each of the other two cards.  If you flipped the delivery in the two spells, you'd only get one die per delivery, since no other cards in the spells share a typing with it.  Wit treasures, and added cards to spells through effects, the maximum number of dice you can roll on a power role is four.  

The cards are all designed so they  reasonably fit together design wise.  You always resolve from left to right as well.  Now before, when i mentioned initiative, I said that there's a way to get 0 initiative with your delivery, which is normally never the case.  There are cards though, that act as wildcards.  They're called Wild Magic cards.  They can take the part of a Source, Quality, or Delivery.  If used as a delivery, they're considered initiative 0.  What you do then, is reveal cards from the top of the deck until you reveal the part of your spell the Wild Magic is replacing.  Then resolve the spell as normal.  

The Sir Lootzor card above mentions treasures, so let's dive into those next.

Why yes that's a Shit Wand.  Yes, it IS terrifying in game.

So we're going to look at these three.  The middle one is actually pretty scary, despite it's name.  If you're playing with just one other person, it's pretty useless, since, well, once they die, the match is over.  But in a larger game, you could be adding +2, +4, +6, or even +8 to your power roles.  If you're rolling two dice or more, that's a guaranteed max damage or effect on your delivery.  Another important treasure type is the shoe category of treasures.  There's one shoe treasure for each glyph type (Arcane, Nature, Elemental, Dark, Illusion), and the shoe treasure acts like an extra glyph in all your spells.  This means, if you have the Dark shoes, and a spell of three Dark glyphs, you get 4 dice.  If you have a card that says "Deal 1 damage for each different glyph in your spell", it counts as an extra glyph, and thus extra damage.  The effects vary but almost every treasure is useful.  One of my favorite treasures gives all your spells +10 to initiative.  Now, the highest, naturally occurring, initiative is 20.  Normally, stronger spells have slower initiative scores, so having this treasure could jump your initiative 2 spell to an initiative 12 spell, which could mean the difference between you getting blasted and you wiping out a few pesky opponents.

The last card type is called the Dead Wizard Card.  These cards don't affect the current match, but the next one.  When you are killed, you draw one of these.  Each time a new round in the match starts, all the dead wizards draw another Dead Wizard Card.  The point of this is to give you a handicap for being killed.  The longer you've been dead, the more of these you accrue.  The effects of them are things like starting with more HP, drawing a treasure at the beginning of the next game, adding a Wild Magic Card to your hand... or even having nothing happen.  There are only a few cards that go into spells that let you draw Dead Wizard Cards, so they're usually reserved for the deceased.

When I play, normally we play to 3 wins before declaring a victor, but you could almost play this game as long as you felt like.

The game ran me $30 at retail at a local gaming store, and I got the above Hagatha spell as a promotional extra.

All in all, the game is tons of fun, and something that has a decent balance of skill and chance to keep it interesting.  If you have any more questions about it, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to answer as best I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment