Game Review: Summoner Wars

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Ages: 9+
# of players: 2
Length: 30-60 minutes
Nerd skills:

  • Hand Management
  • Tactics
  • Risk/Reward Management

Ever wanted to summon goblins from thin air to do your bidding?  How about orcs? Or magical dwarves?  Summoner Wars is the best light war game for 2 players on the market.  Nothing compares to the easy, but enthralling and internally complex gameplay.  

Summoner Wars is a fast-playing, tactical card game for 2 players in which they take on the role of the summoners. A Summoner is both mage and general, and must combine their wizardly might with clever tactics to defeat the enemy Summoner on the opposite side of the battle. One chooses from a variety of different classes: Deep Dwarves, Sand Goblins, Swamp Orcs, etc. and duke it out in a 8×6 arena in a battle to the death.

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The game is actually rather simple when compared to most other games in its genre.  First, you draw until you have 5 cards.  Then, you “summon” monsters next to your “wall” by playing cards out of your magic pile.  You get cards in your magic pile by defeating your opponent’s monsters and by discarding your own cards.  Then you can play special event cards, like freezing an opponent in place or stealing their magic!  After the event cards, the most important steps take place: moving and attacking.  You can move up to 3 of your cards up to 2 spaces and then attack with up to 3 units.  In last phase, you may discard cards in your hand directly to your magic pile, if you want. The first one to destroy the other summoner wins the game.

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Because of the limitations on movement and total overall attacks, the game is deep on a tactical level, but easy enough to learn and play in minutes.  With several factions – each with their own unique play style – this game offers a wide arrange of tactical styles and match-ups.  For a quick two-player game, this game is surprisingly deep and fulfilling.  I absolutely adore this game, and I give it a 9.5/10.

-Alex

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