Deck-builders…my go-to games!

I like board games.

OK, I think we have established that face, eh? I will add to that statement, however, that I like ALL KINDS of different styles of board games and card games. But, a question a board gamer gets asked fairly often is “What is your favorite kind of game?”

A few short years ago, I wouldn’t have had an answer. But I do now.

If I HAD to pick a favorite kind of game, it would definitely be Deck-Builders. I couldn’t tell you exactly WHY I gravitate to deck-builders, but I do. I love discovering the different card combinations, “buying” up cards for my deck, watching to see what other people will do… I like deck-building.

Several years back I got to do some demo work for Japanime Games for Tanto Coure. Previously, I hadn’t played any deck-builders, so this was a whole new genre of game for me. Once I learned it, I liked it a lot and while demoing it, I often told players it “plays similarly to Dominion,” though at the time I had never actually played Dominion. I knew I liked Tanto Coure, I thought the art was adorable and I enjoyed the gameplay with its seemingly infinite possibilities.

Fast forward to now. I have played Dominion…and many other deck-builders. And I will say, I STILL like Tanto Coure and it DOES play similarly to Dominion. BUT, I think it takes Domion and makes it into a better, more solid game.

Around the same time that I learned Tanto Coure, I was introduced to Max Holliday (oh that fateful day…LOL). So, with my acquaintance with both Max and the family behind Mayday Games, Eaten By Zombies came into my radar. I bought it all up and was excited to play a new deck-builder (since I discovered I enjoyed Tanto Coure, I guessed I would like this style of game) with a kick-ass theme. Because who doesn’t like zombies? 

Eaten By Zombies was released before the market was saturated with zombie-themed games, and it is STILL one of the only zombie deck-builders. At the time of its Kickstarter, Eaten By Zombies was one of the 10 highest funded board/card games on Kickstarter. It made Tom Vassel’s Top 10 Card Games of 2011. It was a solid game. It still is.

Eaten By Zombies is a game that I never mind playing or teaching. The art is just the right amount of scary and funny, I love all the different swag card abilities and I STILL haven’t played with every single card in my set (probably because I have favorites I like to bring out). It remains one of my favorite deck-builders and I am both excited as I work with Max to mount the Kickstarter for the new expansion, Burn it Down.

There are a lot of great deck-builders out on the market now…and many of them just keep on cranking out expansions. I say YAY! As long as those expansions keep adding new layers of play and fun to the games I already enjoy…bring them on!

Marvel Legendary is one such deck-builder that keeps churning out those expansions…and each one adds new and exciting elements to the game. Even as recently as GenCon 2015, they released Secret Wars…which is the first chance for players to play AS the Mastermind!

If you follow comic books at all, you know the possibilities for fun new elements to Marvel Legendary are nearly endless. It is a solid game, and thus far all the expansions have been a lot of fun…adding new cards, new masterminds, new elements and new layers of enjoyability.

Of course, then Upper Deck upped the stakes and came out with Legendary Encounters. I have to admit that I have NOT played Encounters yet…as I have never seen any of the Alien movies OR Predator (as Upper Deck released the Predator version of Encounters at GenCon this year). But, I have heard nothing but good stuff about encounters, and despite not having seen the movies, I am now very eager to play the Encounters games. (And I MUST rectify this issue of not having seen the movies too).

Confession time: I own two of the DC Beck Building Game versions, and have for quite some time…but until recently I never played them. I made the mistake of listening too much to what some other people said about the game…that it was too basic, that the game didn’t go with the them…etc. So, despite owning it, I had never played. I admittedly BOUGHT the game because I had enjoyed Marvel Legendary so much, but I am not a Marvel girl. I am a DC girl and I wanted to have a deck-builder with the characters I know and love.

Fortunately, a new acquaintance I made at GenCon 2015 loved the game and had his copy with him one of the nights. He set it up and we played…with at least one expansion mixed in, but I don’t know which one it was. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and felt it did an OK enough job at going with the theme…plus I was playing characters and villains I really know and enjoy seeing. It isn’t as solid of a game as Legendary, but it is a fun enough game that I will be playing it more in the future…and am likely to pick up more of the expansions (including the Teen Titans one that was released at GenCon!).

Deck-builders also make for great mobile apps. If I am bored somewhere and need to kill time, Ascension and Star Realms are my current go-to apps to play. They are fun and designed well enough for me to even enjoy playing them on my tiny iPhone 5 screen. I intend to download more of the deck-builder apps as well, including Tanto Coure.

I own many more deck-builders…some that I haven’t had a chance to play yet, and some that I have played many, many times.  When I glance up at my board game collection, there are many styles of games….party games, kids games, euros, heavy big box games, farming games, card games…even a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Monopoly…but the ones I am always the most eager to play are those deck-builders.