Thursday, January 09, 2014

Thunderstone Advance

Thunderstone is a deck building game that came out in 2009 shortly after Dominion kicked that whole craze off. It's a game where you build a deck of adventurers by going to town and playing Dominion a bunch and then you go off to the dungeon to beat up monsters for victory points. I like the game and have played it a ton online but we rarely busted it out when people come over for games because it's very unbalanced. The online version on Yucata actually altered the rules to remove the most unbalanced part (some monsters could kill all of your starting adventurers which was an incredibly deck thinning technique only available to the starting player) but I'm not a huge fan of house ruling games. If the developer changes the rules in a new printing or something like what happened to A Few Acres of Snow, sure. But while I'll happily play Agricola with a new official deck I'm not a big fan of banning cards. I'd rather play a different game than house rule a 'broken' one. There are too many games to play as it is!

My brother gave me a copy of Thunderstone Advance over the holidays and it's essentially a reboot of the Thunderstone game using the knowledge gained from the last 3 years to make the game better. They made a ton of minor changes to the game that all seem to combine to make it feel more interesting. The basic overview of the changes is they buffed all the cards that start in your deck, fixed the rule that made the above trick work, and added extra incentives to fight in the dungeon early. The end result is there's often a decision to be made about if you want to go to the village and play Dominion or go to the dungeon and fight a monster.

I've only played a couple of times so far but it definitely seems worth playing some more. Most of the village and monster cards are different so it's got that newness going on regardless but it really feels like the rules have changed in small ways that add up to be significantly for the better.

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