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John E
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So I had backed the Epic Card Game kickstarter and hadn't been paying much attention to Ashes. I kind of feel as though it would be madness to try to keep up with both of them -- what does everyone see as the major differences between the two?

To me it seems Epic is more focused on just sitting down and playing with drafting, whereas Ashes seems more about constructed play. Ashes also has dice and Epic doesn't -- how much of a factor is the dice element of Ashes? Epic seems to play very fast and furious; maybe Ashes has a bit more 'build up' to it?

What do other folks see as the big differences, or are the differences really only minor/peripheral?
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Nathan Fritz
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I preordered Ashes back in May, then backed Epic last month when I ran across it. I've played the print-and-play for Epic for several weeks. My copy of Ashes came on Monday and I've been playing it a lot this week.

After a week or so of play with Epic, my son and I got to the point where we knew the 60 cards in the print-and-play set well enough to play best-of-three in 30 or 45 minutes in the evening. It plays fast, with no ramp up, given the 0 or 1 cost of every card. You can deal a random deck, then hit the ground running from turn 1.

Ashes has a similar fast start. You pick your first five cards, so your first round is spent working a planned strategy without waiting for luck of the draw. The dice function as a resource in the game -- you roll them at the start of a round, then spend them throughout the turns that make up that round. Bad rolls can be mitigated by discarding cards to reset their facing, but you're not rolling them every turn.

The feel is different. They both scratch the oonstructed strategy card-game itch for me. Both have fast turns with plenty of meaningful decisions to make and a variety of strategies to experiment with. But, Epic is certainly a wilder ride -- it is incredibly "swingy" with it feeling like you could win or lose with every turn (almost from turn 1). Ashes is a little slower with more back and forth between setting up a move an taking it. The turns are still quick, but you might play a spell one turn to cast it the next rather than springing everything on your opponent.

I'm tickled with Ashes. The art is fantastic, the build quality is excellent. My daughter will play it with me (even my wife gave it a try!) The single main action per turn mechanic leads to more frequent table interaction than some other strategy card games I've played.

Epic is going to get a lot of table time, too, when it arrives. It's probably going to come down to how much time and/or space we have. And which one has most recently released an expansion :-)
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mathew rynich
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I don't know much about Epic.

Ashes isn't slow. Each action is interleaved between players so you are constantly reacting to each other. You are fighting it out in round 1 since you can pick your starting hand, and have enough resources per turn to execute your whole hand if needed usually (though you'll want to spend some on summoning and readied spells). Two of the prebuilt decks have long game strategies (Saria's choke deck and Maeoni's snakes), but they need to fight off the other decks early to survive long enough to build up.

In Ashes the dice are integral to the game since they are the currency you use to play card costs and pay for your other actions. They are a resource management exercise. You can manipulate the dice through spell effects or the meditate action so it never feels like you are a slave to luck.

They have rules for drafting before play right in the rules. You could do that easily, use constructed decks, or just use the prebuilt decks and treat it like a straight up board game. I think it supports all those play styles quite well.
 
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B. L.
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I haven't played either but have researched both. I would lean towards ashes.

Ashes has less reliance on keywords and awesome art.

Epic is a great value but I already have Omen if I want to play a small game.

Ashes will have continued support and will expand for what I'm assuming will be years to come.

Ashes has been thoroughly play tested.

The dice just add another element to the game which other similar games lack.
 
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Zer0 Cool
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I got Ashes this week and was thinking the same thing. I don't have a ton of play time with either. I received Ashes yesterday and have only played once. I "kicked" Epic and played a couple of games at GAMA and a couple Print and Play games. Here are my initial thoughts.

They both scratch the MTG type itch for a fantasy card game. I'm not a serious player and mainly buy the new Clash deck and only play with that. I'm pretty sure they will both scratch that itch and clash decks will go by the wayside.

I think Ashes is a tighter game mechanically. Plaid Hat play tests the crap out of their games and like others have stated Epic seems more to have more swing.

I think I'll use EPIC as a gateway game for MTG or Ashes because it's so dang easy to play. I'll also use it for drafting because I can have an 8 player cube for the price of Ashes.
 
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John E
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nbfritz wrote:
But, Epic is certainly a wilder ride -- it is incredibly "swingy" with it feeling like you could win or lose with every turn (almost from turn 1).


Hmmm, this is a good point. Epic has that baked-in DNA of Star Realms and Ascensionwhich can both also be super swing-y.

I wonder how the feel of Epic will change when all 120 cards (plus promos) are thrown in the mix. Probably just get even crazier I guess

The real interesting part for both will be in how each one adds expansions. I really enjoyed A:NR for example, but there was no way in the world I could keep up with FFG's monthly march of new packs
 
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Skaak
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I think the two games scratch completely different itches (but keep in mind I haven't played Epic yet; just backed it).

Ashes is the strategic elements of Magic with the crazy high impact of luck of the draw mostly smoothed out of the equation. Big focus on deck construction here, and like Magic you can include almost any card in any deck (as long as you grab one or more of the requisite dice).

Epic is the crazy large creatures, overpowered rares, and ridiculous combos of Magic distilled into one box with resource handling completely taken out of the equation. However, it looks like it will still be highly luck-of-the-draw dependent, particularly since by default you only have one copy of every card.

I suspect once Epic arrives, I'll prefer Ashes but Epic will be my go-to traveling game (currently this is Star Realms). You can grab a box of Epic, deal out decks to 2-4 players, and then start whomping on one another with 10+ powered behemoths immediately. This will likely be fantastic for casual play.

Ashes, on the other hand, is more focused on constructed decks (or drafting, which is still a lot slower than Epic's default "deal 30 cards to each player and play" format). I'll generally want to play that with other people invested in the game, or people I'm trying to convince to become invested in the game.
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Brian Workman
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Morph Mode wrote:
To me it seems Epic is more focused on just sitting down and playing with drafting, whereas Ashes seems more about constructed play. Ashes also has dice and Epic doesn't -- how much of a factor is the dice element of Ashes? Epic seems to play very fast and furious; maybe Ashes has a bit more 'build up' to it?

What do other folks see as the big differences, or are the differences really only minor/peripheral?


Played a number of games of both. Ashes is honestly night and day from Epic/MTG and I find any comparisons between the two to be pretty superficial other than 'You have cards and are trying to kill your opponent'.

Epic will definitely scratch a MTG itch as a lot of the rules/keywords are lifted wholesale from that game. It plays fast, is crazy with potentially game-swinging cards dropping constantly, and you have options as every card in your hand is playable. That game is much more about hand management than it seems as you can quickly run out of gas in that game fast due to having so many sweepers.

Ashes is a whole different beast, the turn structure is the largest change. The way the turns ebb and flow in Ashes is amazing. The dice are interesting but no matter how they roll they're easily managed. It's kinda like you get happy when you see a nice roll, but you see a bad roll and you're like 'meh I can work with this'. You have options and never feel constrained but it feels much more reserved. Not many cards (although there are a few) will just dramastically change the boardstate. Each deck plays in almost wholly different ways and it's fun finding the synergy in each of the decks. The witch doctor girl is particularly fun to play as she does damage in kinda funky ways.

I also feel that in Ashes you tend to play the board more, and in Epic you tend to play the hand more. Most of the crazy cards in Epic like the sweepers and crazy events will just get dropped on you out of nowhere. There is a nice build up in Ashes where you can see most of the opponent's threats cause they're living in their spellboard/battlefield. I like that aspect of it as you can plan a little better I feel.

Also I'll disagree that Ashes seems more about constructed play. I actually think with the current cards constructed play would be kinda lame cause there is such strong synergy in each of the base decks that I'd wonder what I'd even take out of them. I think it works really well as a pre-built kinda game like Summoner Wars. While I definitely think constructed will become interesting it's an amazing game out of the box just using the prebuilts, and that's the only way I've been playing it and I've been having a blast so far.

There's definitely room to own both if you can afford it. If you have to pick one I'd give Ashes the definite seal of approval, and that's coming from someone who has backed 4 copies of Epic and is quite excited about it. Ashes is just bonkers good. It's great pick up and play, it'll support constructed if you're into that, every turn is just full of interesting decisions. Get it.

Edit: Another thing I forgot to mention that I love in Ashes is that there is no such thing as over-commiting. You get to re-roll all your dice and draw back to 5 cards every round. I mean you could burn through your whole deck and start decking yourself so that could be a problem, but it's not like Epic where you play your whole hand, your opponent sweeps the board, and you just sit there feeling stupid. Ashes I feel rewards you more for playing the cards in your hand and utilizing your mana.
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Joe Clark
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nex2null wrote:
[q="Morph Mode"]
Edit: Another thing I forgot to mention that I love in Ashes is that there is no such thing as over-commiting. You get to re-roll all your dice and draw back to 5 cards every round. I mean you could burn through your whole deck and start decking yourself so that could be a problem, but it's not like Epic where you play your whole hand, your opponent sweeps the board, and you just sit there feeling stupid. Ashes I feel rewards you more for playing the cards in your hand and utilizing your mana.

I love Ashes, it's my number one right now, but this isn't entirely true. You do need to be a bit conservative each round with your actions, because you may just end up handing your opponent an two or three turn period where they can do whatever they want. If you expend all of your resources - dice, cards, and non-exhausted cards - too quickly, you essentially have to pass while your opponent can do whatever they want with their resources. Balancing how much to put forth and how much to keep in reserve for the end of the round is one of my favorite parts of the game.
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John E
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Brian, thanks for putting in the time to write out your thoughts on the comparison between the two! I guess we are only a couple of months from seeing what the full Epic experience is like. In the meantime I'd better hunt down someone who has Ashes to see what it's all about
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Brian Workman
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Morph Mode wrote:
I love Ashes, it's my number one right now, but this isn't entirely true. You do need to be a bit conservative each round with your actions, because you may just end up handing your opponent an two or three turn period where they can do whatever they want. If you expend all of your resources - dice, cards, and non-exhausted cards - too quickly, you essentially have to pass while your opponent can do whatever they want with their resources. Balancing how much to put forth and how much to keep in reserve for the end of the round is one of my favorite parts of the game.


This is a good point. I guess saying it's impossible to over-commit was a bad choice of words. I just appreciate that at the beginning of each round you essentially go back to full on both mana and cards, so you're not punished for playing your hand, and don't need to hold back as much. Although your opponent outlasting you and essentially being able to take a handful of unanswered turns is definitely not a situation you want to be in.
 
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Brian Workman
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Morph Mode wrote:
Brian, thanks for putting in the time to write out your thoughts on the comparison between the two! I guess we are only a couple of months from seeing what the full Epic experience is like. In the meantime I'd better hunt down someone who has Ashes to see what it's all about


Quite welcome, good luck tracking a copy down!
 
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