Ryan Tullis
United States
Orlando
Florida
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Let me tell you. I took out Summoner Wars thinking it looked like a nice little diversion. What I didn't expect was a 2 hour intense battle more akin to an abstract or war game. And it was awesome.

So here we go.


Me - Phoenix Elves
Pat - Tundra Orcs




Early Turns


I choose for myself to go first and suffer the loss of draws. I use it in an attempt to snag a quick kill on the far left Orc Fighter. I miss and end up embarrassing myself.

The Orcs begin their movement inward, go for early attacks on a Warrior. Misses as well. Not so bloody yet. But on the next turn my Guardian and his inability to miss makes quick work of one of the fighters.

After a few more turns and exchanges, my Elves are having a good time keeping the Orcs at bay. The Orc Smashers, with their 4 HP, make it in. But with some careful positioning of my Summoner, I lay one or two of them to waste. Things are looking solid.

Then the Freezes begin. Pat manages a freeze on a Warrior next to my own wall, both taking up a summoning space and making the unit worthless. 2 magic to free up a 1-magic-to-summon warrior? Haha. Then, to make it worse, my advantage in forces quickly works against me as he throws out a reinforcements spell. More units. Immediately. His units start to come down the left. Worse still, a plethora of ice walls come down close enough to leave only one space between themselves and my own walls.




Then the real painful reality hits me. If I summon in the space between his wall and mine, his Summoner can cause 1 wound every turn to them. It'd be a mass suicide. My options are limited, and I'm pushed back closer to my wall.cry

The good news is, while my left flank suffers, my right is becoming stronger. The wall set-up has left only one, vertical column at which his units can advance on the right side. Down that column I place one of my Phoenix Archers with their 4-tile range. On the left I summon a Guardian, use Blaze Step on a Warrior and meet those forces.

Then Pat makes a blunder. Mistaking the damage icon for magic-cost, he illegally places this badboy:



surprise This is one of his biggest mistakes. 9 HP, being able to hit all adjacent units, and up to 3 damage on each one is terrifying. The problem is that he ruined the surprise and allows me to plan.

Really, as the elves, I'm at a major problem. I can't steal his Magic deck with my event card because he technically has more units on the board than I do. It's just that two of my units are frozen and useless. What a pain!

I reply with "A Hero is Born." Decision time. Even though he's swearing up and down he's discarded his 8-to-summon badboy Krung, he's building his magic pile like a fiend and not summoning anything else.




So do I go with the big hero, or plan on putting out my two smaller 5-cost ones?


I choose small. I just feel there's no way my Fire Drake can compete in a slug fest with his Krung.


Late/End Game

Unit count on the board is plummeting. With both of us saving up stock, outside of a 1-cost placement from me here and there, the board is in a calm before the storm. Worse still, Tundra-Pat places some units between our walls in order to begin breaking them down with a reinforcements card, forcing me to send forward a couple of units to their certain death to stop him.

And then Krung, the unit he often assured he discarded, is summoned on the right side of the board, charges down my "choke" column and makes quick work of my archer. He is out of cards. His summon stack is empty except for ONE card in his hand, which he decides to save, along with 2 cards in his magic pile.

I was saving my burns for this, and quickly place down three damage on Krung as a reaction. ninja Moving my summoner away from the right, I kill a Smasher, and keep begin working my way around to the left, you know... the side that's NOT around Krung. Next turn I summon Maellena.

Because of the early reinforcements Trunda-Pat played, his draw pile is empty while I still retain a precious few cards. I use them to summon the archer-sister-looking-girl of Maellena.

These are all that remain:

For the Elves:

My Summoner
2 5-cost Heroes

For Trundra:

Summoner
Krung
1 mystery card in hand, could be an ice-wall or a unit


So I charge up the left. It's a race now. Krung is destroying the walls as a short-cut to get back to meet my force before it makes it to his summoner.

With Krung right behind me, I place both champions on either side of his hero, move my summoner close enough to cover an escape route (I decide not to attack with him since he only has 4 HP, and the Tundra Orc Sum can do 4 damage in a single blow).

4-damage on his Summoner. Krung will reach mine in 1 turn. Should I risk it? Then there's the mystery card in Pat's hand.

I decide to move my summoner into his left corner, meaning I would be trapped in two moves and screwed. But I'd get one extra move if I failed the next.

That move won me the game. I fail the next turn to kill his summoner (1 HP left). Pat's Krung is one turn away from reaching me, and his hidden hand was a Smasher. His plan was to summon it and use both to take out my summoner that turn. The move into his corner stopped him from reaching me. I kill his summoner. Win the game.


Final Thoughts


I'm surprised how well balanced this game is. If Pat had saved his Freezes and an ice wall for the end of the game, he could have definitely won. One of my two heroes would have been rendered useless. And an ice-wall would have blocked my path to his summoner, leaving Krung to his devices.

What a great 2-hour battle. I was tired this morning since it kept me up past midnight, but it was well worth it. And Pat, my competitive buddy, is always fantastic at making us both hit the ground running.


Thanks for reading!














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Seth Trammell
United States
Benton
Kentucky
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Nice session, and glad you liked it!
A note for future reference (if you didn't know), you CAN kill your own units for magic. Some people don't like doing this, but it is REALLY helpful when you have a frozen warrior and would rather kill him than pay for his "thawing".
The fact that you liked this matchup tells me you'll probably LOVE the game, I don't really like the PE that much :)
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mrkurtb
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Iowa
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Great report.

Imho, if Summoner Wars was simply TO vs. PE it would still be a great game. These two factions are so different and yet I am amazed at how many down to the wire finishes, much like Ryan's, the matchup produces.

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Bill Kunes
United States
Cincinnati
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Exciting read. I can't say that I fully understand it, but since this is most likely the next buy on my wishlist I was curious enough to read it. You didn't disappoint.

General questions: How easy is this game to learn how to play (not master, just play)? Does it normally take 2 hours to play?
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LSU LSU
United States
Pennsylvania
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BK: it is quite easy to learn, though most players make a few mistakes the first time they play. It does not normally take 2 hours. Once you learn the rules and play a few times you should be able to play in 30 minutes. My first few games were 45-60 minutes.

It's a great game.
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Ryan Tullis
United States
Orlando
Florida
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Hey, BK. Our game was almost two hours because we took our time with our moves and trying to intimately understand our decks within the first game.

The game is very easy to learn, and was a lot of fun to play. I recommend picking it up. If I recall, that specific box was relatively cheap.

Also, I had no idea I could kill my own units for Magic. Man, that would have made the battle quite a bit easier for me against the Freezes.
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glenn3e glenn3e
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A quick note to the TC, Grognack's ability only works on enemy Units, not Walls. Quite a lot of abilities make use of this distinction, such as Precise.
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