Crusaders Games

Fantasy Adventure Card Games

Some of the best fantasy adventure games use card decks instead of miniatures and tiles to create its world. These often feature deckbuilding, have loads of expansions and allow more direct solo options, so I have separated these into their own section. I do not tend to keep too many of them, preferring to build up the ones i like best. Here are my personal favourites :

1. The 7th Continent – Serious Poulp (2017)

A solo or co-operative game where you investigate a strange island to solve a series of curses. This exploration game works by revealing a landscape map of cards as you move around the land, uncovering new areas, learning skills and crafting tools to help you. You will constantly be faced with decisions, which actions to take or objects to keep or use, and the game builds a storyline, with some of your decisions becoming permanent game changes. This design is amazingly clever, you can easily save your game to return later which makes it so accessible, and the rules seem smooth to learn and play with. Your life energy is a deck of action cards, which you deplete as you explore, making every decision vitally important as you never want to waste too much energy. Playing this game has made me laugh, sigh with desperation when I was sure I had the answer only to find I was missing something, and you will always be second guessing whether you should have built a certain item. There are 3 curse quests in the box, with 3 more expansions and whilst knowing the terrain may reduce replay value a little, I have enjoyed restarting and seeing how it will all unfold a second or third time as there are many random elements to change the game. This is such a clever and unique gaming experience which probably works best solo or with two players.

 

2. Lord Of The Rings LCG – Fantasy Flights (2011)

A living card game based within the Lord of the Rings fantasy setting, and features some of the best artwork seen in a card game. You embark on varied scenario quest challenges which are determined using a specific encounter deck from which locations, monsters and treachery events will emerge. To combat this you choose three hero characters to adventure with and build yourself a custom deck of allies, events and equipment to support you. The questing mechanic provides an amazing co-operative or solo game experience, as you decide each turn who to quest with and who will defend or fight for you. Now this is a relatively tough game, but many expansion player card sets will enable better deck building which improves your chances of success, and this is a key part of the game enjoyment. I play this entirely as a solo challenge with one deck, and it offers more replay value than any other game i have. You can switch your heroes, take new allies and equipment, try different quests, and its combinations feel unlimited. This is a deep adventure card game, and once you know the cards it is great fun to build up different types of support deck. My additional webpage focuses on the best quest scenarios available using a single deck solo game > Lord of the Rings

3. Gloom of Kilforth – Hall or Nothing (2017)

This card based fantasy adventure game sees heroes move around a map of 25 locations, encountering events, meeting strangers or fighting monsters, each character trying to complete their own quest line. At the end of their journey lies an ancient enemy plotting against them, and one that you must defeat, either co-operatively or competitively, to win the game. Time is precious though, as the locations are falling into gloom each night and when this takes over the whole map you will lose. The game distills a story about your hero into one game session, and as you play you will obtain new skills, items and spells, largely through encounters or competing quest stages, and each game offers up a different journey. The artwork in this game is truly amazing, the detail and effort that has gone into each card is very evident so that it is a real joy to own, and notably there are no side edge borders to reduce the view. To get the best from the game you need to use your imagination as you play to convert your encounters into a storyline, and for roleplayers this is an easy concept. This game is impressive and it works particularly well as a solo experience using one hero. Eventually i expect to need a new expansion or encounters to provide even more variety, but this debut independent release is a great game.

4. Thunderstone Advance – Alderac (2012)

An expandable competitive deckbuilding card game, where players each turn will work from a hand of six drawn cards to build a short strategy for the round. They will gradually improve their card decks by obtaining or upgrading heroes, or buying new weapons and equipment from the village in order to enter the dungeon and defeat monsters. It is similar to the popular game Dominion, but for me has a much better theme. This game has great artwork, and a number of useful expansions which provide loads of extra heroes and monster cards, so that the choices for game set up becomes huge. Whilst largely a competitive game, there are different variants you can play, customising what is available to buy or recruit, and which monsters you will face, and you can tweak the game length by increasing or reducing the monster deck, or even play epic style where all cards are randomly available to draw from. This game is easy to learn and play, but working out some killer move combinations does take more strategic thought, and as such the game works well on different ability levels. Setting up themed dungeons to play is immensely enjoyable, and I have adapted the boxed solo rules to my own version to make it more enjoyable and a little more tactical > Thunderstone Solo.

 

5. Warhammer Quest Adventure Card Game – Fantasy Flights (2015)

This co-operative card and dice game has the Warhammer Quest dungeon crawling theme and brand at its heart. There are no models in this game, but what this sets up is a neat character and player interaction, as your heroes interact and support each other to complete quests. In line with the original miniatures game, monsters will come thick and fast from the shadows, and your characters each have a set of 4 actions to use to combat the dungeon, and combining them with each other is critical. There is a light but specific storyline being told by each of the quest cards, and the mechanic of using your card actions and dice rolling works beautifully. This game also works really well for solo play, controlling two heroes and offering up tactical choices and story development, and is reasonably tough to complete. It is an excellent and relatively quick dungeon experience, but really needed more content to keep it fresh, which sadly we will not see officially as the agreement between FFG and Games Workshop has ended. I have written four custom scenarios which have become popular with game fans > Warhammer Quest Adventures

 

6. Dragonfire – Catalyst (2017)

This is a co-operative deck building game which is themed on the dungeons & dragons world and artwork. Choose from numerous different characters from four classes available to undertake your adventure, and develop new skills to take on harder monster levels as your experience increases. Each individual adventure is split into scenes, you will gradually add to your initial basic deck of attack cards improving your ability, while new scenes reveal tougher enemies. This game manages to combine a hybrid of elements from other card games i liked, and improve or simplify them – Xenoshyft with a deck building engine and player interventions, where you can directly assist your colleagues during their turn, and Pathfinder ACG which also has an ongoing campaign design. This game is designed for four co-operative players, but has adapting rules for varying numbers, and is solo friendly playing minimum two heroes, with the general difficulty level set high. It has similarities with Warhammer Quest ACG with locations to visit and fantasy monsters to defeat,  and has a deeper long term campaign system, although Quest responds with with a more interactive flowing game. Future expansion packs are planned and will hopefully improve the game further.

Other Fantasy Adventure Card Games I No Longer Own…

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Arkham Horror LCG, Xenoshyft Dreadmire.