I’m part of the creative team that makes the Epic Spell Wars games, and I wanted to take a moment to talk about the Epic Spell Wars deck builders and why I love them so much.
One of the great things about tabletop gaming right now is the INCREDIBLE number of choices we have. Literally, any interest you have has a board game dedicated to it. Bird watching? CHECK! Riding trains? Detonating cats? Planting trees? Check, check, and check! Having sex with anthropomorphic lunch meat? Probably? I mean, I haven’t played EVERY game. The point is there’s something for everyone, and for some people that’s Epic Spell Wars: ANNIHILAGEDDON deck builders. So, how do you know if you’re one of those people?
If you can check these boxes, then you’re probably a lot like me. I love Bomberman, Super Smash Bros., competitive TCGs, and Street Fighter. I love going head-to-head with my friends and beating their asses or getting my ass beat. I love games with REAL emotion… I want to yell in both victory AND defeat. That’s what the Epic Spell Wars deck builders are all about: real emotion, real excitement. This game is NOT for everyone (clearly beyond even the game, the adolescent humor is just too goofy for some people) but again if you’re like me, not only is it FOR YOU, it WILL BE your FAVORITE game… pure love.
If I were going to describe why the game works, I would start by saying I am a huge fan of the PLEASURE/PAIN principle… the idea that a game can only make you as happy as it can make you sad. Here are some charts:
This principle is a big part of why the Epic Spell Wars deck builders are great. It takes A TON of time to create AND balance a game that wants to deliver high PLEASURE/PAIN, and it’s especially true in the case of a deck builder. That’s where the innovations of ESW: ANNIHILAGEDDON really shine: The granularity of the design elements allows you to be table-flipping angry one minute and 100% back in the game moments later and fist-pumping the devastation YOU just caused!
One of our first design decisions was building in hit points, the idea of a secondary tracking element not connected to your primary deck-building job (that job being acquiring new, more powerful cards and optimizing your deck.)
Hit points allow the game to create reward and punishment that isn’t (always) connected to your ability to win the game, or at least doesn’t impact your ability to play the game. As a matter of fact, I think we have built some of the most interesting attack and defense cards ever seen in a deck builder, leading to incredible combos, morphing effects, and just ENDLESSLY crazy stuff. This brings us to…
Dead Wizard Tokens, the REAL innovation in ESW! Acquiring these tokens is the result of having your health total reduced to zero. It’s important to note, going to zero health does not end your game. Your health immediately resets BUT you get a Dead Wizard Token that will reduce your final game score and, in many cases, give you a little pain on top of that.
What’s cool about Hit Points / Dead Wizard Tokens is that they create dramatic gaming moments, but even the worst of these don’t destroy your ability to stay in the game and deal out punishment and realize the master plan of the deck you’re building. The dual vectors of score at the end of the game and awesome stuff my deck does give you the chance to have big emotions (good and bad) about both!
There are a ton of other awesome and FUN innovations in the game, like Abilities and Familiars for your champion… and game-warping MAYHEM cards! If ANY of this sounds like fun… PLEASE jump into the Kickstarter. I promise you’ll love the game as much as I do!
Set up a standard game of ANNIHILAGEDDON, BUT instead of using Ability tokens and Familiars, you get… A GANG! That’s right, you are the leader of a GANG.
AND you get to use your Gang to unleash holy hell on your opponents!
BUT that’s not the only change! You also replace the Legend boss stack with Legendary TREASURES, a HUGE pile of very cool and powerful cards that ramp up the damage… and FUN!
PLUS… there’s an all-new set of DEAD WIZARD Tokens, including the new SECRET DEAD WIZARD TOKEN!