Friday, January 10, 2014

Yes, but who gets to play Conan?

Most collectible card games follow the basic model established by Magic: the Gathering, with players cast as unseen masterminds doing battle by controlling armies of characters and support cards. The designers of the Conan Collectible Card Game, perhaps concerned about the question of who gets to play Conan, decided on something a bit different.

Rather than controlling a hoard of Elves or a crew of Starfleet officers, Conan players each control their own version of Conan when it's their turn, and attack Conan with Foes drawn from a separate deck when it's their opponent's turn. But that's not even the most interesting part of the game.

The game itself is broken down into a series of fights between Conan and his Foes. Most of the cards played are moves in the fight: the cards have different symbols representing strikes, blocks, dodges and the like spaced out along either long edge of the card. The Foe player plays his moves face down, then the Conan player plays his moves along side them. The Foe moves are flipped over, and the combat is resolved based on where the different symbols line up. Conan can even play between two Foe cards in hopes of deflecting both attacks with one move.

It's a very clever game mechanic, and it suits the Conan property well, but in the end the game is still just a series of brawls, without the sense of epic empire building that makes other CCGs so compelling.

Rating: 3 (out of 5) Not a bad game by any means, but lacking in the complexity and substance that would make us want to spend a lot of time playing it.

Date played: December 22, 2013


  1. "The game itself is broken" ??

    Context is everything! :)

    Thanks for the review!

  2. I'm not sure I understand your comment, but thanks for reading anyway. I hope you enjoyed the review.