Ascension X-War of Shadows, a Boardgame for 1-4 players, by Stoneblade Games (2016)

It has been a while since I last did a boardgame review, and with the release of a new set for Ascension, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity. Ascension X-War of Shadows, is the tenth expansion for the Ascension deckbuilding game. Ascension is a fantastic deckbuilder, but in the past was accused of having poor artwork. That is definitely a thing of the past now, as the art on every card is simply gorgeous to look at.

Components

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Inside this tenth expansion you will find a total of 177 cards. As always there are the standard cards, which you find in every Ascension box, but there also 96 new cards, that make up the new set. There is also a very cool looking new gameboard, and as everyone who knows Ascension is used to a total of 50 Deluxe Honor Tokens. The rulebook rounds out the set, and is printed in a precise and clear manner. As mentioned above, the artwork on the new cards is amazing, and anyone who used to be negative about it, should truly be happy with the art pictured on the cards.

Game overview

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The fun thing about Ascension is that every set released can either be played on it’s own, or combined with other sets. When a new set is released there is always something new that is exclusive for that set alone, and ofcourse War of Shadows is no exception to this.

The coolest new feature of Ascension X is the Day and Night cycle. Each card in this set is either a Night or Day card. Depending on the number of cards in the centre row, it is either Night or Day. Most of these new cards have a special power that only activates on Day or Night respectively. This makes for some very interesting gameplay aspects. You might have a very cool Daylight powercard in your hand, but when it is Night, you can’t use it’s power. As the game progresses, the Day and Night cycle continually shifts, making for some exiting games.

The other thing that is new, is dual cost Heroes and Constructs, which means when you want to buy these, you have to use both resources of the game to acquire them. If you do however, there are some truly powerful cards in this set, that make the often steep cost worth it.

Difficulty

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As mentioned above the fun thing about Ascension is that each set can be played on it’s own. The game doesn’t have a steep learning curve and can be taught to new players in about 5 minutes. For the experienced Ascension player, it is only the matter of learning the new rules of the set, and you are ready to begin play. And that is another thing I just love about this deckbuilder, you don’t get bogged down by an enormous amount of rules. It’s all very easy to learn, and it plays enormously fast.

The verdict

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Ascension just keeps getting better and better. With every set, the game truly grows, and the new rules mechanics introduced with this set, are a joy to play with. With so many new cool card it is hard to pick any favorites, and i am not going to do that, since that would spoil the surprises this set holds. If you loved Ascension to begin with, or are a fan of deckbuilding games but have yet to discover this one, i highly recommend Ascension X-War of Shadows.

The one downside of every set being able to be played on it’s own, is ofcourse the amount of standard cards you get. But that is a minor gripe, as this game simply rocks.

I give Ascension X-War of Shadows a 9 out of 10 score.

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