Monday, July 13, 2009

Teaching an old dog new tricks...


Back in the TCG avalanche of the mid 90's, Mayfair games released one called FANTASY ADVENTURES. This was a TCG based on a stand alone fantasy card game released 10 years earlier called ENCOUNTERS. The art work was lifted from fantasy book covers and is hit or miss.

The game in a nutshell:

Each player has a party of 8 heroes in in 2 ranks of 4. Your hand contains monsters and treasures. You play your monsters against your opponent. If the player defeats the monsters, he may lay treasures from his hand on to heroes in his party. For 4 turns you go back and forth either battling monsters, or playing monsters on your opponent. After 4 rounds, the player with the most survivors and loot wins.

The way they made this into a TCG was by 1) random boosters 2) deck building. While the first is no big deal, the second killed it.

Your deck was built using the gold value of each card. So with calculator in hand you had to total up the gold value of cards in your deck and stay within boundaries for maximum card mix and gold value. What a pain in the asterisk.

Then your heroes deck was only a random 8 card draw...which you only used once at the start of the game! LAME

Recently my wife discovered (somewhere buried in the depths of the game shelves filling the garage) my box filled with these cards. She asked me to "fix" the game so we could play it. I enjoy a challenge so here's how I did it:

1) Take all of the cards and create 3 decks:
A) HERO DECK-contains all yellow backed hero cards
B) MONSTER DECK-contains all monsters & traps
C) TREASURE DECK-contains all spells, items & treasures

2) Deal 8 hero cards to each player, then set aside the heroes deck.

3) Each player selects one hero than passes the cards to the next player

4) Each player continues to select one hero card and pass the cards to the next player until each player has 8 heroes total

5) Next deal each player 3 cards from the treasure deck.

6) If possible you can attach all 3 to your heroes.

7) Deal each player 10 cards from the Monster deck

8) play begins as normal

9) After finishing a turn playing as the monsters, always draw your hand back up to 10 monster cards from the Monster deck.

10) Anytime a hero in the front rank is killed, a hero form the back rank must move up to the front rank and fill the gap.

11) for each monster you defeat on your turn draw one treasure card.

12) play treasure cards on your party per original rules at the end of an encounter

13) Keep any monsters your party of heroes kills or traps you avoid in a separate pile beside your heroes. You can discard your heroes into this pile as well.

14) at the end of the game,total the gold for each treasure attached to a hero then add 100 gold for each monster defeated or trap avoided. Player with the highest total wins.

This lump TCG is now a fun little fantasy adventure card game that plays in about 45 minutes. You can play it with 2-6 players and while it won't win any awards, it is fun and an easy casual game to teach. You can score a starter deck +540 random cards from Mayfair for $25! It's good little card game that with a wee bit of wrenching displaced the dreaded Munchkin as our card game of choice.
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