Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance, Board Game Review

Thunderstone is a deck-building game through Mike Elliott, published in 2009, three hundred and sixty five days after Dominion hit the market, creating a frenzy with the creation of a hot mixture of recreation mechanics: deck building and card drafting. In games using these mechanics, gamers choose playing cards from a not unusual pool laid out on the table, and try to steadily constructed the high-quality deck of cards with which they may acquire the maximum victory factors. The subject matter of such games can also fluctuate but the principal idea stays the identical. With this evaluation we will observe 2 video games, the original Thunderstone launched in 2009 and the brand new Thunderstone Advance, which is a new progressed implementation of the unique recreation. UFA

Game Overview

In Thunderstone, you’re the leader of a heroic birthday party of adventurers arriving at Barrowsdale, close to Grimhold Dungeon where the first Thunderstone, an artifact of evil power, is stored. You are seeking to discover the Thunderstone but if you want to accomplish that, you need to warfare powerful monsters that guard the dungeon. You must construct a deck of playing cards, inclusive of adventurers, guns, magic spells, meals and different items.

Before beginning the sport, you have to setup 3 one-of-a-kind form of decks. Remember that in every game of Thunderstone you might not be the use of all cards available in the game but every time the playing cards you use may be different:

Dungeon deck: There are eight exclusive training of monsters. You choose three or greater lessons at random, take all monsters belonging to those lessons and shuffle them to shape the dungeon deck. Shuffle the unique Thunderstone card with the lowest 10 playing cards of the Dungeon deck. Now you’re ready to populate the corridor that is the vicinity where you fight the monsters, placed subsequent to the Dungeon deck. There are three ranks of monsters in the Hall Area. The card farthest from the Dungeon deck is rank 1 and the only closest is rank three. These ranks are populated with monsters from the Dungeon deck. The rank of each monster, is related to a selected amount of Light penalty, subtracted from the heroes attack strength. This element of the game attempts to simulate a real situation in a dungeon, wherein the farther you improve into it, the much less mild there may be, inhibiting you to correctly see the monsters, accordingly lowering the electricity of your attack. Each factor of mild penalty subtracts 2 points of power out of your attack. Monsters positioned in rank 1, deliver a mild penalty of one (for that reason attack -2), monsters in rank 2 supply 2 points of mild penalty (accordingly assault -four) and people in rank 3 deliver three points of light penalty (consequently assault -6).
Village deck. The village deck consists of Heroes, Magic spells, guns and diverse items. Those are chosen randomly each time you play, the use of randomizer cards, just as monster classes are chosen. However there are 4 primary card sorts with the intention to usually be present inside the village: Militia, Torch, Iron Ration and Dagger. In each game you will choose 4 one-of-a-kind Heroes and 8 unique Village playing cards to populate the village along with Basic playing cards. All those playing cards populate the village. Each time you choose to visit the village as your movement, you may purchase certainly one of them.
Starting Deck. Each participant is dealt 6 Militia (6 Regulars in Thunderstone Advance), 2 daggers (Longspears in Thunderstone Advance), 2 iron rations (Thunderstone Shards in Thunderstone Advance) and a couple of torches. This is your starting deck which you will regularly grow, filling it with playing cards from the village and monsters you defeat. You shuffle your deck and location it face down in the front of you. Draw the pinnacle 6 playing cards of your deck and you’re ready for adventure.
On your flip, you could pick out to do one of the following movements:

Visit the village: The cards you have on your hand, give you a certain amount of gold coins. You can use this gold to buy playing cards from the village as you spot suitable. In fact that’s what you will in particular do to your first few turns, as you wil in all likelihood now not be strong enough to assault monsters inside the hall.
Enter the dungeon: Each hero has an attack energy, indicated on the card. The mixed attack strength of all of the heroes in your hand is your total to be had energy to defeat monsters. Moreover some cards, like the torch, provide you with mild, for this reason lowering or maybe removing light penalties. If you’re sturdy sufficient to defeat a monster within the Hall, taking into consideration mild penalties, you may input the dungeon, equip your heroes with guns if available, solid spells and defeat a monster. Each monster, while defeated, awards you with a positive amount of victory points and a few revel in factors which you can use to level up your heroes.
Rest. By selecting this selection, you could relaxation and may wreck one card from your hand. It goes to the destroyed cards pile, now not to the discarded pile.
At the stop of your flip, you discard all cards for your hand to the discard pile and draw six new playing cards. When your deck is depleted, shuffle all cards from the discarded pile to form your new draw pile.

The sport ends while a player collects the Thunderstone (via defeating a monster in Rank 1 thus inflicting the Thunderstone to move to that open rank) or it enters Rank 1 because a monster wasn’t defeated. Players count up victory factors from cards they have got gathered during the game. The participant with the most victory factors is the winner.

In 2012, a new up to date version of Thunderstone turned into launched: Thunderstone Advance. The first set of the new version is referred to as “Towers of Ruin”. Cards from authentic Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance may be mixed together. Here are the most important new features of Thunderstone Advance:

Changed terminology: Light penalty is now known as Darkness. React is a new capacity that allows players to behave for the duration of different gamers turns. Raid is a brand new effect that occurs while monsters are first found out in the Dungeon Hall.
Thunderstone: The Thunderstone card has been replaced with the aid of the Thunderstone bearer. Now the game ends whilst a participant defeats the Thunderstone bearer or he escapes the Dungeon Hall (reaches Rank 1).
Game board: Thunderstone enhance comes with a double-sided board that serves multiple purposes. The recreation board helps to organize playing cards better as there are slots on it to area monsters and village cards. Additionally it offers a more balanced setup, via determining a particular range of each card kind for use in the sport. There are four slots for weapons, 3 slots for items and 3 slots for spells. During setup village randomizer playing cards can be discovered and matching stacks of village cards will be positioned on the proper slot. If all slots of the discovered randomizer card type have been filled, then some other randomizer card is discovered. The facets of the sport board provide for novice and advanced play. The beginner facet is called “desolate tract facet”. Darkness regulations are simpler and there are four slots for monsters inside the Dungeon Hall. Advanced side is called “dungeon facet” with traditional darkness policies and three ranks.
Monsters: Monsters now have stages. During setup, one monster institution from each stage (1,2 and 3) is chosen randomly to populate the Dungeon Hall. This manner monsters have balanced electricity and bizarre setups e.G. Of maximum monsters being overpowered are prevented.
New action: Apart from traveling the village, the dungeon or resting now gamers have the choice to prepare for their next round, by way of placing as many playing cards they prefer from their hand on top of their deck and discarding the rest.
New card types: Familiars are new unique cards that can be received after defeating a monster. Each considered one of them has one or greater special abilties that require a positive amount of XP factors for use. Each participant could have handiest one familiar in the course of the game, located face up in front of him. Curses have changed prevalent Disease playing cards.
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New beginning cards: Militia has been changed with Regulars who’re leveled up less difficult and while geared up with a Polearm, at the same time as inside the Dungeon, you could draw a card. Iron Rations were replaced with Thunderstone Shards and Daggers with Longspears.
First Impressions:

Upon beginning the container of Thunderstone, you see a number of cards and a few xp tokens. Artwork on the cards is lovely and detailed. And then comes the hard challenge of reading the policies. Although the rulebook is well written, there may be a lot information in it that one desires some time to take in it and put it into use, particularly if you never performed a similar recreation, like Dominion. But even when you have, Thunderstone affords superior mechanics along side tremendous terminology and may before everything discourage you from playing it. Of course things get a lot higher if there is someone inclined to give an explanation for the basics to you, this way doing away with the burden to examine all of the 24-page manual.Thunderstone Advance makes a higher first impact via supplying a board (it’s also a double-sided one), which helps you to easier get involved in the game and recognize what is happening. There are slots drawn on the board for monsters within the Dungeon Hall in addition to village playing cards and all appears better prepared and gamer friendly. The two-sided board serves as a way for both novice and advanced players to revel in the game experience. When you attain the factor of expertise how the sport works, gameplay is easy and you may soon find your self very engaged and captured with the aid of the subject matter, striving to find the proper combos of cards to build a operating, and optimistically prevailing, deck!


The additives of Thunderstone are simplest playing cards and some xp tokens. Cards have lovely and punctiliously designed art work. In Thunderstone Advance, things get even better. There is also a gameboard, which gives a experience of enterprise and playing cards are redesigned with more range in colorations, even greater targeted portraits and more clear card layout. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: eight/10)


Gameplay is thrilling and receives you actually worried. The game mechanics are nicely-notion, mixing the theme with game movements and competencies. I assume the concept of using the mild / darkness element is a honestly first rate one as is the potential to level-up your heroes with xp won from beating monsters within the Dungeon Hall. There are many more small info that enhance gameplay like dungeon consequences and spoils, and all prove that gameplay has been designed very cautiously. However, in the course of setup, it’s far feasible that bizarre combos of village or monster cards will come up, making the game hard to conquer, or relatively uninteresting. Good information is this hassle has been removed in Thunderstone Advance, which presents unique number of slots for one-of-a-kind village card kinds, as well as monsters of various ranges. In Thunderstone advance, the extra option of “getting ready” as a sport action, permits you to layout your subsequent hand and gives more flexibility and the ability to make use of higher your strategy. Moreover the replacement of Militia by using the extra green Regulars is a very vital improvement, permitting gamers to enter the dungeon faster and quite lowering the existence of “dead playing cards” throughout late recreation. The power of the game lies in developing the excellent method to win, via the usage of the fine combinations of playing cards and inside the right amounts. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)

Learning Curve:

The game has a alternatively steep gaining knowledge of curve. The first game will last a lot greater than 60 minutes and also you probably will should cross returned to the rulebook and look up a few details at some stage in the game. However, after this first recreation, things will run smoothly and you’ll likely feel happy for all the ones small info in the game, that make it a piece complicated however, in that way, more interesting too. 6/10


The detail of subject matter is dominant here, in comparison to Dominion, and also you constantly feel the urge and tension to reach in addition down the dungeon and beat the ones despicable monsters. There are many factors that contribute to the sense of immersion like the light/darkness element, curing sicknesses/curses with Clerics and more. 8/10


With dozens of various heroes, monsters and village cards, no two video games will be the same. Randomizer cards can be used in the course of sport setup, to randomly pick out heroes, monsters and village cards so as to be to be had in the sport. If you like the deck building/card drafting mechanic of the game, you may likely spend many hours playing this game and experience it a lot. A variety of expansions have been released and more can be released within the destiny, carry to the game more heroes, monsters and village cards in addition to new card sorts, as a result enhancing replayability. 8/10


The sport offers many thrills and can be fun, even though there is little participant interplay. Maybe an improvent in this field, ought to be blanketed in Thunderstone enhance, with village cards that would mess extra with opponent’s decks. 6/10


Nice paintings
Gameplay with depth

Minimum participant interplay
Somewhat complex rules
Overall: Thundertone: 7, Thunderstone Advance: 7.Three

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