Randy Newnham
United States
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Summoner Wars

Phoenix Elves played by Angie (my wife)
Guild Dwarves played by me

My wife and I picked up Summoner Wars: Phoenix Elves vs. Tundra Orcs a couple weeks ago. A few playthroughs and we knew it was a hit, so we also picked up the Guild Dwarves vs. Cave Goblins a couple days later. Until tonight, we had only played those match-ups. Tonight, we decided to do the first of the cross-matches. We both chose factions we had played before and felt we had ideas from previous plays on where their strengths lie.

Angie won the die roll and decided to take the first turn. She came off to a decent start and took out two of my commons first turn, if I remember correctly. On my first turn, I took adavantage of the starting wall positions of the Dwarves vs. Elves setup and immediately set an Engineer upon her wall, putting three wounds on her only wall. After a couple playthroughs of the dwarves, it became apparent through their event cards and Engineer units that they should be taking out enemy walls to prevent summoning. The Defender units, on the other hand, lock up the board with their ability to prevent adjacent units from moving. The elves, though, have ways of dealing with that.

The Phoenix Elves are fast and furious. Once Angie saw what I was doing to her walls, she immediately started countering that. Over the course of the first three turns, she used a Burn and Greater Burn to take out Engineers, but not before I had slapped down a couple Besiege the Walls cards on the same turn and took out one of her walls, and severely damaged another. I was very happy that I was able to draw those out with my commons.

Relatively early, I was able to put three wounds on Prince Elien (the elves' Summoner), which kept him on the run. Unfortunately, I had burned through a lot of my deck building magic to summon, and a couple turns had me summoning three commons. The Elves are excellent at killing commons, and I was throwing them at her. Most of the game I was able to keep at least one Defender near my Summoner to lock up movement. Even the Blaze Step ability of the Elves' Warriors didn't do much to get her in better position. Eventually, though, my rapid depletion of my deck resulted in her having two champions (the Fire Drake and Kaeseeall, the one who can take over commons and champions), two commons and her Summoner left, and me having only Oldin, the Dwarves' Summoner. SHe had just parked the Fire Drake by me and put the fifth wound counter on Oldin (he has six life!). But her repositioning of Prince Elien allowed me to maneuver to get a ranged hit on him, putting that final wound counter on him. Blam! Dwarves win. Talk about close!

So what I found out is that the Dwarves' ability to take out walls is very useful. Removing barriers and summoning points allow them to control the board, especially when combined with the Defenders' capability of stopping them in their tracks. We definitely love this game! Check out more of what I have to say on my family's blog, Still Gamin'!. I can't wait for the master set later this year with its six new factions!
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