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Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn» Forums » General

Subject: How'd everyone's first game go? rss

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David Bruder

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We played with the prebuilt decks for Maeoni and Coal which led to some interesting interactions and combinations.

Some quick first impressions:

I like the combination of allies/conjurations being in two different decks.

It was easy to mitigate unlucky dice rolls with meditating.

The one main action and one side action make the game flow smoothly.

It was easy to determine which dice you needed and which dice were available. I saw some concern about this before, but had no problems.

I like the exhaustion mechanic. I had a few situations where I wasn't sure if it was worth losing someone/an ability for the rest of the round.

There were times when I was done doing things a few turns before my opponent, but didn't mind because I felt I accomplished just as much and the turns move quick enough that you're not sitting there tapping your foot waiting for the other play to make decisions.

Of course the art is great and the dice are equally as nice.

So based on just one game I'm enjoying it. We've already got Noah vs. Saria ready to go next!

Edit: Played 3 game today. Each time we each tried out a new Phoenixborn. So far I've like each deck and now I'm wondering what it will be like to try to make a deck on my own.
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Joshua Christensen
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I'd be interested in reading a more in depth write up if you felt inclined to give one. It would also be cool to hear your thoughts after the next couple of games.
 
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David Bruder

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ClanNatioy wrote:
I'd be interested in reading a more in depth write up if you felt inclined to give one. It would also be cool to hear your thoughts after the next couple of games.


I plan on it! Once I get a few more games in I'll put up a more detailed review. Anything specific you're interesting in hearing about?
 
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Donny Behne
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I've played two games so far but will be getting in several more at GenCon. I play to devote a section of my blog (geauxgaming.com) to Ashes coverage. I'll be writing about it there later this week or early next.
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Joshua Christensen
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dbruder182 wrote:
ClanNatioy wrote:
I'd be interested in reading a more in depth write up if you felt inclined to give one. It would also be cool to hear your thoughts after the next couple of games.


I plan on it! Once I get a few more games in I'll put up a more detailed review. Anything specific you're interesting in hearing about?


Not really anything specific. Just interested in hearing different peoples' thoughts on this game.
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Joe Clark
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I can't wait to play. I'm going in as Noah, so that will be fun.
 
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David Kartzinel
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Well got my copy last night, and I didn't quite get a full game in, I ended up just playing a few rounds against myself. I was shocked at the amount of tactical decisions that needed to be made. Frankly, my biggest concern about getting this game was if it was going to have enough replay value and if there'd be enough strategy to really keep things interesting (especially with a 30 card deck). Just playing against myself, that concern has been completely alleviated. The limitations of 1 main and 1 side action mean you always end up "running out of time" to do everything you want to do, and then that opponent of yours gets to do something that really messes everything up - forcing you to constantly adjust and do something different. Just in the first round, strategies and goals changed a shocking number of times.

Oh, and watch out for the Hammer Knight, that sucker is brutal.
 
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Nate F
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I played a couple games last night. Quick thoughts:

The game is gorgeous with the card art and big, colorful dice.

Gameplay is really snappy. I go. You go. I go. You go. Pass. Pass <whew>. More cards.

I like that the Phoenixborn served as an avatar, and that each one is unique in the allowed summons and spells as well as the special ability. Makes each game feel very different right from the start.

I liked the dice-as-power. There are a number of ways to re-roll or select faces, so if you REALLY needed to get a particular spell off, you could. I like that you can bank the 3rd-tier faces for future turns.

It takes up a surprising amount of table space. We had standard size play mats and stuff was spilling off the edge. I'll try some different card positions next time.

Our first match-up Aradel Summerguard vs Saria Guideman. Aradel's Blue Jaguars absolutely wrecked me. I couldn't summon things fast enough as everything was immediately exhausted and then killed. My Fire Dancers were executed with the basic action of the Nature card. I milled the crap out of her deck, but I never even depleted it, much less started doing damage that way. It was very frustrating for a first game.

Second match-up was Maeoni Viper vs Jessa Na Ni. This game was much closer. Jessa is an absolute blast with all of her necromancy and dark magic. She basically wants her stuff to die and I was taking huge chunks of Maeoni's life with Living Dolls. Maeoni's ever-growing silver snakes won the day though. Those things are big and very hard to kill. I only had so many Fears and eventually succumbed to the snake crush. I had her down to 6 life, though.

I really want to play more, soon. I imagine we'll stick with the pre-constructed decks for a time as we learn the intricacies of each Phoenixborn. I really like deck building, though and I am itching to give it a go.
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Joe Clark
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OK, I played a single game against myself. Noah vs. Maeoni Viper.

Noah DESTROYED.

It wasn't even funny. First, his ability completely nullified Maeoni from the start by locking down the silver snakes. She played the Gilder card,and that other ready spell that does a whole bunch of crap when attackers are declared. Meanwhile, Noah quickly developed a big army. Masked Wolves being a side action is HUGE. It allowed him to bring one out every turn, even while he got a false demon up, running, and Brought Forth. Maeoni, meanwhile, was able to use Transfer to move the exhaustion token off of the snake card and onto the Summon Gilder, and promptly summoned a snake. Noah hit Maeoni for 5, 3 from the False Demon, 2 from a wolf. The snake no status tokens because the demon guarded for a wolf when the snake attacked it.

Round 2, Maeoni starts off by killing a wolf with the nature dice power, as well as focusing Empower. This is where it got ugly for her. Summon Sleeping Widow! Noah then took the opportunity to play Slight of Hand, and put an exhaust on the Summon Silver Snake. Maeoni was lucky and got Transfer again, but she was forced to use it. It was all downhill from there as Noah just built up a huge army, while Maeoni was starved for resources as Noah was screwing with her key cards. At the end of the round, she was hit for 9 damage. Still nothing to Noah. She had 8 Health remaining.

She died next round, of course.

The ability for Noah to basically just tack on wolves as an afterthought is huge. Also, sleeping Widows are really, REALLY nasty. Poor Maeoni wasn't given a chance.
 
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David Kartzinel
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Ouch, now, just looking at your description, are you remembering to exhaust the Summon Masked Wolf spell? That does sound a little bit one sided to me...but I haven't tried that match up yet either.
 
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Joe Clark
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Yes. I was using a bit of hyperbole, of course. The every turn part is of course, not true, but it felt like it in the second round. Noah was fortunate enough to draw a second copy of the spell on turn 2, allowing him to summon 2 wolves in one round. The wolves are nasty, man.

I feel like with Maeoni, I need to play more Gilders. I transferring exhaust tokens to the Summon Gilder card because I wanted Snakes, but I've realized that summoning a snake onto an empty board, without focus, is not a good move, unless you can play a Gilder right after and the one damage can be used to kill something.

Noah's power is probably the most vicious aspect of fighting him, though. It can effectively nullify any spell. For a deck like Maeoni, where you are essentially relying a single conjuration brought forth from a single summon spell, and the rest of your deck is just tailored to help that unit out, it's pretty brutal. I feel like if she could just focus the spell, she'd have a much easier time. The exhaust token is actually pretty irrelevant, because you probably aren't ever summoning more than 1 snake per turn anyway. As Noah, once it's focused, I'd go for the Gilders. Without them, the snakes just can't get the status tokens going, because even when focused, 1 attack just doesn't cut it when I can guard with my demon.

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Joseph Arthur Ellis
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sandgoblin18 wrote:
Yes. I was using a bit of hyperbole, of course. :) The every turn part is of course, not true, but it felt like it in the second round. Noah was fortunate enough to draw a second copy of the spell on turn 2, allowing him to summon 2 wolves in one round. The wolves are nasty, man.

I feel like with Maeoni, I need to play more Gilders. I transferring exhaust tokens to the Summon Gilder card because I wanted Snakes, but I've realized that summoning a snake onto an empty board, without focus, is not a good move, unless you can play a Gilder right after and the one damage can be used to kill something.

Noah's power is probably the most vicious aspect of fighting him, though. It can effectively nullify any spell. For a deck like Maeoni, where you are essentially relying a single conjuration brought forth from a single summon spell, and the rest of your deck is just tailored to help that unit out, it's pretty brutal. I feel like if she could just focus the spell, she'd have a much easier time. The exhaust token is actually pretty irrelevant, because you probably aren't ever summoning more than 1 snake per turn anyway. As Noah, once it's focused, I'd go for the Gilders. Without them, the snakes just can't get the status tokens going, because even when focused, 1 attack just doesn't cut it when I can guard with my demon.


You putting Open Memories in your starting 5?
 
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Joe Clark
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Yes sir. It was my first game, so I didn't go for the Snake Summon card. Now, of course, I will seriously consider that. Hindsight is 20/20. I'm realizing that while my play with Noah was pretty good, I made some mistakes with Maeoni. Hey, at least I may have found the perfect Phoenixborn for me.

Btw, hey joepinion. All the way from the PHG forums.
 
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Joseph Arthur Ellis
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sandgoblin18 wrote:
Yes sir. It was my first game, so I didn't go for the Snake Summon card. Now, of course, I will seriously consider that. Hindsight is 20/20. :) I'm realizing that while my play with Noah was pretty good, I made some mistakes with Maeoni. Hey, at least I may have found the perfect Phoenixborn for me. :)

Btw, hey joepinion. All the way from the PHG forums. :)

We're not in Kansas anymore.
 
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mathew rynich
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hyperinactive wrote:
Our first match-up Aradel Summerguard vs Saria Guideman. Aradel's Blue Jaguars absolutely wrecked me. I couldn't summon things fast enough as everything was immediately exhausted and then killed. My Fire Dancers were executed with the basic action of the Nature card. I milled the crap out of her deck, but I never even depleted it, much less started doing damage that way. It was very frustrating for a first game.


This was my first match up as well. I got the game a couple days ago. Played this match then swapped decks and played again.

Aradel can snowball really quick it feels. She seems the most straight forward of the PB to play so far IMO (I haven't played Coal's prebuilt deck yet). She spams out units (recovering from board wipes really quickly) and exhausts your stuff strategically. Felt really powerful.

I can see where Saria can be a monster if the opponent tries to turtle or tries to aggressively draw. I almost depleted the opponents deck (3 cards left) and managed to get Aradel down to 3 life through Sympathy Pain and a couple lucky shots. If the game went one more turn Aradel would have been toast. I just couldn't keep Aradel's swarm down low enough to stop her from breaking through my line each turn. I feel like I could have won with Saria if I was a bit more clever with my management each turn.

I would not recommend Saria for you first play through. Aradel was easy enough to jump right in and play. Maeoni was also pretty easy to get your head around. A bit harder than Aradel in the beginning since those snakes take time to build up.

I was iffy about the dice inclusion, but they work really nice and if you get a bad roll it doesn't shut you down. It just makes you less efficient that round, which is nice. The preselected starting hand and relatively low deck size I think mitigate the dice luck and in fact balance the whole thing really nicely.

The turns go really fast so you never feel like you are waiting. I like this game a lot. If I can mange to keep local interest up I'll be on board for whatever expansions they have planned for this game.

 
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