Well hello there!
It’s been quite a while, but I’ve finally dusted off the old Power Armoured Beard and I shall once again don it, in order to bring you gaming reviews and other related items! Shortly, I will be reviewing the excellent cardgame mentioned in the title, but first a little explanation on the blogs absence.
I have a theory why it’s been such a long time since my last update. The blame has to nestle in the pocket of our old friend, Burnout (not the car racing videogame, I haven’t played that chestnut for years!). As a lot of you will know, last year I was working at a local gaming store, that sold boardgames, wargames and various other distracting items. People always say don’t work with your hobby and I honestly thought I could handle it. But I really think it took its toll on me. Being around stuff like that day in, day out, talking to customers and trying to keep the enthusiasm up must’ve just tired me out!
I found myself rarely, actually playing any wargames myself, and when I finally left the shop in January I barely even touched a paint brush for about three months. I have kept playing boardgames through all that time, and discovered some great games I haven’t played before, with my friends (I chose not to say “new games” because I doubt many of these games are actually new in realistic terms).
But now I think the time is right to resurrect PAB. I hope you care to join me as much as I hope to keep it regularly updated!
And now onto the game itself.
I was recently in Toronto with my girlfriend for our 10th anniversary holiday. We checked out some of their games stores including 401 Games, Hairy Tarantula, and Dueling Grounds. It was in 401 Games Epic Spell Wars Of The Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre (or ESWOTBW:D@Mt.S!!) caught my eye. My simplistic mind was captured by the bright colours it seems. But it worked, I paid closer attention and discovered I really like the art style. Very reminiscent of comic books or cartoons I’ve enjoyed in the past, not being able to name any specifics unfortunately. So already its winning points with me so far.
Lets take a look at the contents. As it states on the back of the box:
- 40 Spell Source Cards
- 40 Spell Quailty Cards
- 40 Spell Delivery Cards
- 25 Dead Wizard Cards
- 25 Treasure Cards
- 8 Wild Magic Cards
- 8 Oversized Hero Cards
- 7 Last Wizard Standing Tokens
- 4 6 Sided Dice
- 6 Skull Life Counters
- 1 Mt. Skullzfyre!
Everything here seem to be really nice quality. Nice bright artwork on the cards, any writing is very clear and even the dice are pretty nice (I’ll admit I am a bit of a dice snob). I’m mildly tempted to sleeve the cards to keep them in good condition for longer. If I do this I will have to rip the guts out of the box to fit them in however, which would be a shame because there is even nice artwork inside the box itself.
On my initial inspection of the rear of the box, the system looked like it could be easy to pick up. And I assure you it is. With a hand of eight cards, you are to make a spell to attack your opponents with. Spells may have 1 beginning, middle and end (in this case source, quality and delivery). Each part of the card has its own effect, which could be anything from simple damage to an opponent, healing yourself, or even buffing other parts of the same spell. This gives you the opportunity to potentially make up some cool combos to throw at your fellow Battle Wizards. And the goal of the game is to bash the snot out of your opponents. If you are successful you gain a “Last Wizard Standing” token. Get 3 of these and you win!
Initiative either goes off how many cards you have in your spell (maximum 3, but can be less), if players are tied they go off the initiative number printed on their delivery spell. There are wild cards present to mix things up a bit. You can replace a part of your spell with a wild card, then when it is played you cycle through the main deck until you find a card that matches the position of the one the wild card was played in place of. It adds a nice random element to the proceedings.
As for everything else, Dead Wizard cards are awarded to…. can you guess? Dead Wizards! This is to give them a bit of a head start in the next round of dueling. Through-out the game you may be awarded Treasure, which generally give you a nice permanent buff effect that lasts the round.
Two things I really like about this game are, firstly the really stupid sense of humour present. One moment you could be casting Dr Rooty-Barks Prickly Testi-Kill (and you are encouraged, nay ordered to announce your spell in your best booming wizard voice), the next you could be awarded Lady Luck’s Brassiere as a piece of loot.
The second is, the choice of which of your fellow gamers you wish to victimize with your spells is taken out of hands a lot of the time, as many of the cards tell you which players that spell will target. There are some “Foe of your choice” cards in there for you vindictive types, but the game helps alleviate the chance for someone to feel “picked on” just in case there are some sensitive types out there!
All in all I’ve really enjoyed the few games of this I’ve played so far. It’s a nice, quick, well paced game that’s silly enough to produce a good giggle when you aren’t in the mood for a 4 hour, intense boardgame epic!