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I enjoyed your review! I'm not a huge fan of the game myself though I do think it's pretty fun.
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Jeremy Yoder
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Just curious -- you say you can't afford summon costs -- are you putting mutations in your magic pile, spending them, and then using your summoner's ability to pull them out of your discard pile? (To either buy or yet again put into your magic pile?) Makes units more affordable.

BTW, I have to disagree about the deep dwarves -- I find them quite amazing, but to each their own.
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Jeremy Yoder
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Yes, it's mainly done in your early turns -- first turn you can draw one from your draw pile and after that from your discard. But after a point it's no longer as viable.
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Fede Miguez
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uh, DD is amongst the best factions around IMO. They are a combo faction which takes some work to really exploit though.
While I disagree with your general feelings about the FL, they freaking rock (like the freaks they are), I too felt completely uninterested them in my first plays. Mostly by the 'forced' weak starting set up they have. But after a few plays, when it all just made sense, oh my...
BTW, mutations are above in power/cost than commons. Also the beauty is in switching around mutations, combining their powers (like Horror and Spew).
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Fede Miguez
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I... uhm... am not sure what you are talking about.
The DD are a combo faction, that is set up your events/magic pile/discard pile for maximum efficiency. Ignore Sprog, Summon Lun and Kynder and with them combined, you can basically place a Gem Mage anywhere on the board, or put put an enemy champion where you'll roll 9 dice on it. You need to build magic early (drop miners and scholars and some gem Mage) and towards mid/late game you can use meditate if the opponent is not pressing on you.
So it does take planning and making things work together which seems to not fit your described styles. This just means that they are not a faction for either of you, not that they are bad. If you do have reinforcements (Piclo's Magic) I would recommend switching them around since they shy away from big fat combos and build more on tactical play. If you are interested, I have switched Miners for Crossbowman, Battle Mages for Scholars (keep Gem Mages), Gren for Sprog and Piclo for Kynder (keep Lun). You'll probably find them a lot more suited to your style that way.
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Ben Argo
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Believe it or not, the Filth and Deep Dwarves are my favorite factions. I enjoy the Filth for their Warhammer-y feel, and the Deep Dwarves because they vaguely remind me of my favorite D&D race: the Duergar. I always felt that the Duergar had a lot of potential that was never explored in D&D fluff, and it was cool to feel like I could control a whole faction of them in Summoner Wars, even if they're not really the same thing.

The Deep Dwarves also gave me my favorite Summoner Wars moment. After losing four or five consecutive games with them, something clicked in my brain, and I started playing different. Retreating from my opponent and biding my time. And, after picking up my first win, I had a, "Oh...so that's how you win with these guys," moment. Being forced to explore creative new ways of thinking is one of my favorite aspects of gaming in general.

The only faction I've tried and can't seem to win with is the Cave Goblins, which is odd, since they're a starter faction.

Anywho, great article!
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Fede Miguez
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Magus And Princess wrote:
We also dislike them in the way we usually play which is to shuffle the reinforcement decks in with the existing deck to make a massive epic game.
wat! haha that is funny. It does miss a bit on how their work since switching the units really changes the feel of the faction. In the case of the DD it makes them less combo centric and more opportunity takers. It does take away that "play right or die" feeling IMO.
I have played ALOT of summoner wars and I don't think I have ever planned 5 turns ahead. What I do, is consider the resources I have used and the ones I have to go and work from there (same for my opponent). Building hard early, first 3 turns, does not exhaust your deck, once you have the good cards in hand you just wait for the right opportunity. About specific units, you use what you've got until you get the combo out, not a big deal. Dunno, I think we just have a different perspective on it.
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Jeremy Yoder
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Given you like turtling, the DD can really fit your play style. They can afford to sit back and generate magic via Tundle. However, your opponent should know that, so they're kind of forced to advance, whether they want to or not. Because if they do nothing, you could, in theory, summon all your units, have a nice magic pile, and no discards.

You'll want to build some magic early on, but that doesn't mean all those commons are lost, thanks to Illusionary Warrior (which even let you bring your enemy's units back onto the board.) Couple that with Summoning Surge (or Tundle's Meditate) and commons from your discard pile can end up on the board. I always build miners -- scholars and gem mages are sweet.

I believe Kynder to be the best champ in all of SW. Moving / controlling units is huge in SW, and not only can he do it to enemy or friendly units... but he can move them 2 spaces... and at any time on your turn! That's major. Partner him with Lun (who on his own can sit behind a wall and suck enemy commons over to kill with his 4 space reach) and they're a combo to fear as you can push, pull, and move friendly or enemy units.

I don't play them as a quick kill faction... per se... but I do view them as a cobra. Meaning, you can afford to coil up and watch as your prey comes to you. On occasion, you strike, and leave your enemy recovering. Then suddenly, you may end up making your big strike and latch on, changing the course of the game. Consider an end game scenario I recently had with a friend...

I was playing the DD and he was the GD. He had a full life Oldin, 2 champs on the board, and he'd destroyed the only two walls I had placed. On my turn, I had a wounded Tundle and 1 common, both of whom I moved back into a corner. I had about 10 magic, but nowhere to summon. On his turn, he marched his two champs forward and brought Oldin up just behind and to the side of them. It was looking very grim for the DD with only 1 common and no walls.

Then the cobra struck.

On my event phase, I placed a wall and played Summoning Surge, which lets me summon on the event phase. I summoned 2 champs and a common. One was Kynder, who moved forward 1 space, putting himself within 2 spaces of Oldin. Kynder then moved Oldin deep into enemy territory, after which, Kynder finished his movement by putting himself directly behind Oldin. The other champ and common moved in to surround him, and it was game over.

Personally, I find them a really fun faction with lots of options, but obviously, if they don't fit your play style, then so be it. Though I find Kynder and Lun lots of fun to play, with Kynder especially being a game-changer.
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