Deck building games always make me think about video game RPGs. You start out with next to nothing, but an old sword and a couple of cents to your name. With every turn, you’re buying better cards the same way players pick up new skills. The deck takes on a personality of its own with each card, pivoting from thrifty buyer to unstoppable powerhouse as the engine goes online with the hand full of cards you previously bought finally take effect. But with most deck builders, that huddling fist of raw fury explodes into points rather into the face of a huge boss.
That’s where Hand of Fate: Ordeals steps in, hands you a rusty axe, points at the Skeleton King, and whispers in your ear, “Kill him.”
This board game just hitting Kickstarter right now takes many of the lessons learned from its digital predecessor and combines them with modern board gaming aaesthetics It doesn’t hurt that the digital version plays like a board game with cards representing everything from items to enemies. You explore a world of face down cards as you add better equipment to your hero. Ordeals takes many of the same cues as the digital version along with a slight twist, you’ll be up against other heroes to find the best loot, kill the best enemies, and bring home the most honor.
Players start out with their own deck of cards, letting you gather resources, spend a little effort on newer and better cards. Journeying out of town or from space to space will cost you a little food. (Walking makes heroes hungry, you know.) You can pay a resource of go a little hungry for one health. Spaces allow for different actions such as earning shards, turning those shards into other goodies, or start swinging at enemies. Start running, since players can only activate them a certain number of times. Fail to have the right items for the event and you’ll give your opponent the chance to swoop in for the win.
Combat is rather straightforward since you hit with every swing. How hard you’ll hit is a different answer. Your base weapon along with needed armor sits on your character sheet so you’ll never be without shield in sword in combat. Combat tricks to give you a little extra slice to your dice will need to be played from your hand. Some weapons allow for players to draw extra cards for an attack so if you are running a little short, you can push your luck with your top card. Resources can be gobbled us as well if you need to make it through the fight. Win and you receive more renown for the end of the game scoring. Lose and you’ll take more than a couple of hits on your HP.
If anything, Ordeals keeps you scrambling in all directions to build the better hero. Focus on your deck and you’ll miss all the equipment you need to slay your opponents. Buy all the pointy things and your deck won’t have enough steam to swing your new sword or buy a better one later on. If you wait to see what other people uncover, you get a better idea on where to go without wasting resources, but you’ll be taking second helping if the location is still available. And these undead skeletons, they’re not going to just kill themselves – again.
Ordeals pits you against other players to see who will be the best and most efficient hero of the land. If you are interested in checking out the game, head over to their KickStarter page right now.