Review – Epic Card Game
A hand management, combat game.
Title: Epic Card Game
Year Published: 2015
Designer: Robert Dougherty , Darwin Kastle
Publisher: White Wizard Games
Game Time: ~20 Mins
Set-up Time: >1 Mins
Mechanic: Hand Management, Combat
How to win: Defeat your Opponent(s).
In Epic, you take on the role of an elder god, in conflict with other elder gods. The cards in your deck are your champions, who fight for you, and events, which represent your will imposed on the mortal realm.
Set-up varies depending on which game mode you play. For this review I’m playing as if the players selected a random selection of 30 cards from all of those available. (Which works pretty well) It’s also a 1 vs 1 game and you start with 30 life.
Before we begin, let’s look at the two types of cards…
Events – Can be played on any turn. You can only play cards on other players turns when you’re attacked, if you’ve blocked or your opponent declares the end of their turn.
Champions – Can only be played on your turn. They have Attack on the left and Defence on the right in the middle of the card.
Top right is cost, this is either 1 or 0. You have 1 gold per turn and can play as many 0 costs cards as you like and you can spend your available Gold to play a card costing 1. Top left is the cards alignment which can have effects depending on your other cards.
A game is played over 4 steps…
Step 1 – Gold. Both players lose all their Gold, and gain 1 Gold. This is to ensure there are no loopholes where players are carrying Gold over turn to turn.
Step 2 – (Skipped on the start players first turn) Draw a Card, Prepare your Champions (Untap) and Trigger any ‘at start of turn’ Abilities.
Step 3– Play Cards and Attack. You can do this in any order. You can attack with any or Champions, play an Event, Attack again etc it’s up to you.
The Battle Phase is broken down into several simple steps…
A – Declare Attackers – Only prepared Champions may attack and those deployed (Played this turn) can’t attack this turn. Attackers are rotated 90 degrees to show they have attacked this turn.
B – Attacker plays Powers and Events and then must Pass
C – The Defender plays Powers and Events then passes. If they did, go back to step B to give the attacker a chance to react.
D – Choose Blockers – Only prepared Champions may block and are rotated 180 degrees to show they have blocked this turn.
If any single attacker is blocked, the whole attack is blocked.
E – Attacker has the chance to play more Powers and Events and then Pass
F – Defender plays Powers and Events then passes. If they did, go back to step E, again, to let the attacker respond.
Champions deal damage to each other simultaneously. Broken Champions (who have taken more damage than their Defence value) are put in the discard pile.
Unblocked Champions deal damage to the player. Then any abilities on Broken or unblocked Champions resolve followed by any ‘End of Combat’ abilities.
The attacker resumes Step 3 of their turn, and may attack again
Step 4 – End of Turn
If your opponent plays a card when you announce the end of your turn, go back to Step 3
If not, activate any “end of turn” abilities and the activate player discards down to 7 cards.
All damage is removed from Champions and flipped Champions are prepared.
Then, the next player goes back to Step 1 for a new round.
If a player has 0 life or can’t draw from their deck, they lose. Usually, you need to be the last player standing.
This is a very simple card game really and if you’ve played Magic the Gathering already the rules will be VERY similar. It’s like playing Magic, but starting on Turn 4 where you already have enough mana to play those big stompy creatures and powerful spells from your hand.
The Gold system works well. You can play one REALLY good card and as many pretty good cards as you like. This restriction, while seemingly small, is massive! You, generally, can’t kill your opponents creatures AND play a really good one yourself.
There are only 15 keywords to remember for abilities… There is also a bit of in game terminology to remember such as Prepare and Break but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
It can be swingy and one sided but so can most PvP card games so I’m not worried about that. The art is amazing, the limited card pool is wide enough to be varied and small enough to be budget friendly.
A deck is set, no randomised packs, it costs about £10 and 3 of them gives you everything you’ll ever need. This will allow you to play several different formats up to 8 players and have enough cards to play a proper Constructed tournament .
Having the ‘Grab 30 cards and start playing’ way to start the game makes this an excellent filler for 2-8 players, but has enough that you can do other formats for larger Tournament play successfully.
A very simple version of a CCG game without the expensive CCG element.
I give it 6/10