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Ascension: Deckbuilding Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Portal Deck Variants rss

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David Jones
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So, just because Mechana and Enlightened are my favorite factions, I made a custom portal deck with just those two factions. Since this only uses half the heroes/constructions, I sorted the monsters and took half out. (With the base+Fallen, there are two of every monster, save seven or eight of them, so its pretty easy to balance the deck.) The game was not as interesting as I hoped it would be. Without dumping mechanisms from the void, its much harder to control the deck and the game takes noticeably longer. Still, I and the other players liked the variant and found it an interesting change. Since it was easy to set up from that point, we also played a Lifebound/Void deck, but the results were much less interesting. For our next session I am going to setup a Lifebound/Enlighted deck and a Mechana/Void deck to see how those go.

We've also talked about about the idea of a three faction deck, but balancing the monster load seems like it might be a bit trickier. Any suggestions here would be welcome. I also have a crazy(?) idea about making a deck of nothing but 4+ monsters and 5+ rune buys but with a Sensei in the starting deck to help get your base cards boosted. A friend of mine also suggested a construct only deck and, conversely, a non-construct deck.

Has anyone experimented with other deck builds? Have you come across any successes or failures? Do you think there is an easy way to calculate a balanced monster vs non-monster ratio when making a custom build?
 
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Mark Johnson
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When I get Storm of Souls, I would like to play a game where instead of the normal initiates/militia, each players deck would start out with some cards/a card from each faction from the first block... maybe in place of one/two initiate the decks could add:

Demon Slayer and/or Arbiter of Fate for Void
Reactor Monk and/or Avatar Golem for Mechena
Dandelion Witch and/or Druids of the Stone Circle for Lifebound
Arha Templar and/or Askara of Fate for Enlightened.

I guess you could try this in the first block but I think it would be better to have unique cards that could be used with Storm of Souls.

As for Portal decks, when Storm of Souls has an expansion released I'm going to try a portal deck on the left comprised of CotG+RotF with 3 cards of it to the right and a right portal deck comprised of SoS+Exp with 3 cards of it to the left. That way you still only have a display of 6 but could mix all the expansion together. I think a larger display than that would unbalance the game.
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Steve Calomino
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Illinois
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Eeeville wrote:

... I think it would be better to have unique cards that could be used with Storm of Souls.


I definitely like the whole "select, unique" cards aspect of your idea. Like, "not normally available."

I, too, really like the idea of faction-specific starting decks. My idea is a little different, but I might re-tool it now. I haven't gotten to play it yet, but once I do, I might combine the two in some way.
I'll mention mine below.

Eeeville wrote:

I think a larger display than that would unbalance the game.


I don't know about balance, but I don't like the larger display either. I can see with a 5 or 6 player game maybe increasing the center row to 7, but otherwise I just feel like there's too much available. You know what it is? When there are limited options it seems like I'm more cognizant of how my choices will affect my opponents.

As I mentioned, I know little about how subtleties affect balance. That said, the idea I want to try is to take out 2 apprentices and 1 militia from the starting decks, and then replace them with the 3 associate "(faction) Initiate"'s. Yes, I realize that would be a drastically different game. Probably so much that it is not balanced. But then again, maybe not? I want to try it either way. Obviously, it only plays up to 4.

The combination thought I had would be to take out ALL heroes (from both games) that cost 1 rune, and separate them by faction. Each player chooses a pile and chooses which 3 they want to use to replace their 2 apprentices and 1 militia, and discard the rest to the box.

Or take the piles and put them to the side like archives, and players can spend like 1 rune and 1 fight to exchange an apprentice/militia for a hero from the archives. Or they start with one, instead of an apprentice, then the first one is 1 and 1, the second one is 2 and 2, etc. I don't know. Obviously, this entire paragraph contains thoughts that just now occurred.

Anyway. Yeah. Those are my thoughts.
 
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Steve Calomino
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I figured I owed an additional comment.

While I only did it once, and only with 2 people, my original idea kind of sucked. In a major way. I'll say it. I just wanted it to be something it wasn't going to be.

That said, I've had some interesting conversations recently about 1-cost card drafting. I think that would do more to my original goal than either of my ideas.
 
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David Jones
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I'm not overly surprised. The problem with having a void initiate too early in the game is that you actually can thin you deck to the point of uselessness if you aren't careful. Lifebound initiates will simply end the game early since everybody will be depleting gems. Mechana initiates are the only really useful starting card as they offer flexibility. Also, removing all the one cost card from the deck seems a bit harsh.

Somewhere around here there is another thread about creating different starting decks. Its kind of sparse, but you may to find it. I too have thought about this idea, but haven't really thought it through well enough. I think my base deck would be twelve cards with a void initiate, a mechana initiate, a temple librarian, and one less apprentice. If you start digging into the expansions, I think Aiyana's Messenger, Hectic Scribe, Void Militia, and Grease Monk could all be interesting starters as well. Getting really wild, I would love to try a game where everybody starts with a Twofold Askara, but I do worry about that being too overpowered.

Anyway, those are just off the cuff thoughts. I haven't put a lot of thought into how those kind of changes might unbalance the game.
 
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