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Deckbuilding Games

Fortinbras

Agent of Dream
Validated User
I'm trying to find some sort of list of games that are primarily deck-builders, and what some of the differences are, mechanically. I've tried looking on boardgamegeeks, but their categorization hasn't really help me find these. The games I am personally familiar with are:

1) Dominion - probably the strongest design, but the weakest theme. They way it is designed, the primary decision to make as a player is buying victory point cards vs buying cards that will help you during the game itself, and how much to slim down your deck. Each game will play differently, due to the cards available.

2)Thunderstone - much more strongly themed. The main difference from dominion is the separating out of the "buying" and the "killing stuff" (for victory points), so that you can't only buy things that make you better at buying things. There is more of a balance there.

3)Ascension - there are two main differences here. One, is that instead of having a group of cards that are picked at the start of the game, there are 2 cards to buy and one card to "fight" that are always available, and then you randomly lay out 6 other cards from a deck. As a player buys of defeats one of the cards in this row, another card fills its place. The other difference is that you can take as many actions as you want, so if you have enough Rune cards to buy three different items on the board, you can do so. The cards tend to interact into combos in interesting ways, but due to the randomness of what is available, it can be hard to assemble those combos.

I also know that there is a Resident Evil deckbuilding game, but I don't really know anything about it.
 

UtterConfusion

Rainbow Person
Validated User
There's also Puzzle Strike, which was inspired by the video game Puzzle Fighter and uses chips instead of cards. You are eliminated from the game by having too many gems in your "gem pile" (to which you add one every turn,) and the game revolves around "crashing" your gems onto the next player. It is designed to produce close games, with the timing of your crashes and attacks being very important.

Heroes of Graxia is more in the mold of Thunderstone/Ascension, all cards are in play and come up randomly like Ascension, but they are separated into Monster, Equipment, Spell, and Unit decks. Combat is more involved, with attack and defense values and lots of special abilities. The major difference is that you can attack the other players to get points as well.
 
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jadarx

What time is it?!
Validated User
There's also Nightfall which I haven't tried yet but looks interesting.
I got to play the demo set of Nightfall last week. It's really fun.

Heavy on theme and player interaction. There are two types of cards: Minions and Actions. The game feels a lot like Magic: The Gathering with you sending your minions to attack other players and using your actions to harm other players. The Chaining mechanic removes a lot of the downtime between turns and rewards you for purchasing cards that chain off opponents cards, allowing you to act more.

The game is very interactive and may not appeal to anyone who likes Dominion's multi-player solitaire feel. But I give it two thumbs up so far.
 

Fortinbras

Agent of Dream
Validated User
Very cool guys, thanks. Those lists will be really helpful Blacksheep.

I'll have to look at Heroes of Graxia, as I was interested in looking at how some of this style of game would handle more direct pvp.
 

UtterConfusion

Rainbow Person
Validated User
Very cool guys, thanks. Those lists will be really helpful Blacksheep.

I'll have to look at Heroes of Graxia, as I was interested in looking at how some of this style of game would handle more direct pvp.
Well, the Deckbuilding component of Heroes of Graxia is kind of weak, as a lot of the cards you buy get played out to your Legion and stay there. And it plays a lot slower than other deckbuilding games because of all the adding and subtracting you have to do. The PVP component depends on the players, since you can complete the game without any fighting between to players at all.

P.S: Puzzle Strike is super awesome, though.
 

Zeppelin

Mispeelings Intentional
I'd give a plus one to puzzle strike with the note that it is asymmetric as each player has extra chips from a choice of character that can shape how you play. Just worth noting as I don't think asymmetry is a particularly common trait within the deckbuilding genre.
 
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