My Favorite CCG – SHADOWFIST, Part 2

30 May, 2011

In part 1 of my SHADOWFIST  CCG gabfest, I talked about the conceptual background of the game which is shares with the Feng Shui RPG (published by Atlas Games).  This time I am going to talk a bit about the structure of the game itself.



The path to victory in SHADOWFIST is control of Feng Shui sites (from here on FSS), these are represented by cards and they also provide your resources in the game (a very rough analog to lands in M:tG).  In a duel (two-player game) you need six sites for victory and in multi-player games, you need five.  However, you need to take that final, winning site from an opponent.

Many FSS provide additional abilities from the way they focus Chi, some defensive, some utility and a very few offensive.   Generally, the more potent the special ability, the harder the site is to defend.  So the mix of FSS in your deck are important.  Each turn your FSS generate power which is used to purchase things, unlike some games, power can be saved from turn to turn in order to play bigger and better things.



However, most of the heavy lifting in your deck will be done by characters.  These are the heroes, villains and mooks of the action movie that SHADOWFIST is portraying (even the break up of each turn is phrased like a movie: Establishing Shot, Main Shot, End).  Generally, there are three sorts of characters:

  • Foundations, the core of your faction and the building block of mobilization.  These are the cards you play that give you access to the better cars in your faction.   Foundations are the first characters played as they give you the resources needed to play other cards.  Examples would be: Everyday Hero for the Dragons, Golden Candle Society for the Guiding Hand or Triad Punks for the Syndicate.
  • Ramps, these are cards that have useful abilities and are usually more competent than the foundation level of characters and will providing additional resources.  Examples would be: Arcanowave Researcher for the Architects, Walking Dead for the Lotus or the Simian Liberation Army for the Jammers.
  • Unique


    Uniques, these are specific, named characters and only one copy can be in play at any one time.  They usually are either very powerful combatants or provide amazing support abilities.  Examples would be: The Unspoken Name for the AscendedThe King of the Thunder Pagoda for the Monarchs or The Father of Chaos for the Purists.

Character can attack (and take for you) the sites of your rivals or they can attack other characters directly.   Their strength is measured in Fighting which is both the amount of damage they inflict and can absorb.  Damage stay unless healed but characters can turn on their owner’s turn to heal.  The game encourages attacking by having many of the special abilities of characters only work on the offense.  Action is king.

As you always draw up to your full hand size at the beginning of each of your turns, you are encouraged to play cards.  Because what is an action movie without actions?

Next time: Utility Cards -Edges, Events, Sites and States- and more game play discussion.

As always, you can find more information at the Shadowfist home page.

Notes: Card images used by permission of Inner Kingdom Games.

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