The original plan was to write a lengthy battle report showing off the capabilities of Queen Maldaria and Torgan, the second summoners for the Phoenix Elves and Tundra Orcs. You know, like we did last week for the new Guild Dwarves and Cave Goblins. Then the actual match didn’t go quite as me and Somerset hoped — as dynamic and interested as the battle had been, it didn’t feel like it would make for particularly good reading. Our rematch was similar, though inverted. That will make sense later.
Somerset then had two realizations: first, the crazy outcome of these two fights was actually a perfect example of what we both like most about Summoner Wars; and second, although I’d written about Summoner Wars over a dozen times, I’d never actually gotten around to writing a review. So that’s what this is: my unconventional review of why I love Summoner Wars, from the perspective of two matches that just didn’t want to be written as battle reports.
In about a month the first four of the second summoners will be released, which means the second phase of the Summoner Wars is beginning! To celebrate, Somerset and I have set the new Guild Dwarf and Cave Goblin decks against each other. While archenemies Oldin and Sneeks are busy wearing down their forces in frontal assaults, both have thought up a secret flanking maneuver — completely oblivious to the crucial detail that these ill-fated plans traverse the exact same route. And so Frick’s army of war cripples, runts, and braindead goblins has come to crash against Bolvi’s fortified towers and those sworn to defend them to the death. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Also fun.
A little over a month ago, my wife Somerset and I completed a tournament series of matches, deckbuild discussions, post-game commentaries, and extensive (maybe too extensive) after-action reports on our favorite board game, Summoner Wars. And just tonight, I realized that I completely forgot to index this massive undertaking. You know, for posterity and/or OCD fulfillment.
Well, I aim to set it right… aaaaand… done. Complete list of Summoner Wars Mega matches below.
We all knew this day would come — oh, you’re not sure what day I’m talking about? Well, clearly the day when Dan wouldn’t be satisfied with merely being the man behind the internet’s one and only boardgames and PC games blog. Now he’s decided to branch out into New Board Games Journalism, which he just coined earlier today. Coined and minted.
Thank goodness there was a local opportunity to flex his new investigative journalism skills. SaltCon is in town for the weekend, and Dan managed to procure exclusive coverage of the entire event. Seriously, the whole thing. And it was pretty darn awesome, with lots of cool designers showing off their newest games. Footage below.
I was going to write some flavor text about how the Fallen Kingdom has invaded the great halls of the Deep Dwarves in search of endless crypts to reanimate into skeleton and zombie fighters, but I’ve been informed by my ever-astute partner that all my pre-game flavor texts are about her factions invading my factions, and a quick fact-checking mission revealed that to be mostly true. So instead, the Deep Dwarves have invaded the massive Fallen Kingdom looking for, uh, something magical. And now their Summoners are facing off in a battle to the death. Well, more death.
Somerset and I agree that this was easily our most exciting match, a worthy conclusion to our series, and filled to the brim with all sorts of different tactics, howl-inducing rolls of the dice, and more. Epic clashes! Magic! Feints! Organized (and disorganized) retreats! Kidnapping! Possession! Dark sacrifices! All that and more, below.
The free people of Itharia declared a national holiday when they heard about the Cave Goblins’ plan to invade Swamp Orc terrain, because these are two of the most ill-intentioned factions currently in possession of summoning stones — which makes this battle something of a freebie for the side of Good no matter how it turns out.
How did it turn out? I will say it wasn’t quite the steamrolling many people assumed it would be, though to get more than that you’ll need to read on.
Today’s battle is an exercise in what happens when the greedy Guild Dwarves hear about a rich vein of gold running across the prairie where a supposedly harmless tribe of rabble lives… only to discover that these plains-dwellers are actually the Filth, who mutate from helpless peasants to tentacle monsters with some regularity, and who really don’t appreciate diminutive prospectors poking around in their territory. Which is to say, it’s on.
The question on everybody’s mind, of course, is whether Dan was able to maintain his lead or lose it to a vengeful Somerset. The one thing we’ll give away about this match is that somebody’s summoner turned out nigh-impossible to finish off. Find out if we’re talking about Oldin or the Demagogue below.
Elves and Orcs whacking at each other with blunt and sharp instruments is probably the most natural thing in the world. Except these Elves like to dart about in the night and these Orcs really like ice magic and gambling — two lifestyles that, as we all know, are absolutely incompatible. Which is probably why Selundar has decided his Shadow Elves must invade the frosty tundra of Grognack’s, er, Tundra Orcs.
As always, we had a fantastic match. What set this one apart from the rest was a laugh out loud moment that briefly interrupted the game and completely shifted the balance of power. I know you’re intrigued, so read on to discover whether the current 2-2 tie was broken in Somerset’s or Dan’s favor.
Today’s match was one that everyone knew would come eventually: the showdown between the mind-controlling Bender Empire and the nomadic nation of exiles they created, the Cloaks. As former countrymen face off in a duel of wits, it’s Itharia’s profoundest civil war yet! Only problem is that they’re double-dipping from the same bag of tricks, as both specialize in neutralizing their opponents’ abilities. So the question is: who neutralized better?
Somerset and I couldn’t have asked for a more interesting match. Or a longer, more grueling match. Emotions ran high as we undermined each other at every turn. Read on to discover which nation was swept away by the tides of change. Also the tides of mind-control and thuggery.
The outcome of today’s match should leave everyone happy, because regardless of whether the fiery Phoenix Elves or the hell-continent-dweller Sand Goblins win, a faction of evil jerks has lost — and in battle-torn Itharia, where every madman has a summoning stone nowadays, that can only be a good thing.
As always, Somerset and myself were provided with a surprisingly unique match. It lacked the early-game assassination of our first match and the stalemated battle lines of our second. Instead, it was a highly tense game in which both Summoners felt the sting of enemy blades, and both subtle trickery and brute force had their moment. Spoiler Alert: At the end of this one, our score stands at 2-1. Oh, that was obvious? You want to know which of us is now ahead? Sorry, you’ll have to read on to find out the winner.