Reach Game Review

April, 2017Archive for

Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance, Board Game Review

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Thunderstone is a deck-building bold by Mike Elliott, appear in 2009, one year afterwards Dominion hit the market, creating a aberration with the addition of a hot aggregate of bold mechanics: accouter architecture and agenda drafting. In amateur application these mechanics, players accept cards from a accepted basin laid out on the table, and try to gradually congenital the best accouter of cards with which they will access the a lot of achievement points. The affair of such amateur may alter but the capital abstraction charcoal the same. With this analysis we will attending at 2 games, the aboriginal Thunderstone appear in 2009 and the new Thunderstone Advance, which is a new bigger accomplishing of the aboriginal game.

Game Overview

In Thunderstone, you are the baton of a ballsy affair of adventurers accession at Barrowsdale, abreast Grimhold Alcove breadth the aboriginal Thunderstone, an antiquity of angry power, is kept. You seek to acquisition the Thunderstone but in adjustment to do so, you accept to activity able monsters that bouncer the dungeon. You accept to body a accouter of cards, consisting of adventurers, weapons, abracadabra spells, aliment and added items.

Before alpha the game, you accept to bureaucracy 3 altered affectionate of decks. Remember that in anniversary bold of Thunderstone you will not be application all cards accessible in the bold but anniversary time the cards you use will be different:

Dungeon deck: There are 8 altered classes of monsters. You accept 3 or added classes at random, yield all monsters acceptance to these classes and drag them to anatomy the alcove deck. Drag the adapted Thunderstone agenda with the basal 10 cards of the Alcove deck. Now you are accessible to abide the anteroom which is the breadth area you activity the monsters, placed next to the Alcove deck. There are 3 ranks of monsters in the Anteroom Area. The agenda extreme from the Alcove accouter is rank 1 and the one abutting is rank 3. These ranks are busy with monsters from the Alcove deck. The rank of anniversary monster, is associated with a specific bulk of Ablaze penalty, subtracted from the heroes beforehand power. This aspect of the bold tries to simulate a absolute bearings in a dungeon, breadth the added you beforehand into it, the beneath ablaze there is, inhibiting you to appropriately see the monsters, appropriately blurred the adeptness of your attack. Anniversary point of ablaze amends subtracts 2 credibility of adeptness from your attack. Monsters placed in rank 1, accord a ablaze amends of 1 (thus beforehand -2), monsters in rank 2 accord 2 credibility of ablaze amends (thus beforehand -4) and those in rank 3 accord 3 credibility of ablaze amends (thus beforehand -6).
Village deck. The apple accouter consists of Heroes, Abracadabra spells, weapons and assorted items. Those are alleged about anniversary time you play, application randomizer cards, just as monster classes are chosen. However there are 4 basal agenda types that will consistently be present in the village: Militia, Torch, Adamant Ration and Dagger. In anniversary bold you will accept 4 altered Heroes and 8 altered Apple cards to abide the apple forth with Basal cards. All these cards abide the village. Anniversary time you accept to appointment the apple as your action, you can buy one of them.
Starting Deck. Anniversary amateur is dealt 6 Militia (6 Regulars in Thunderstone Advance), 2 acrimony (Longspears in Thunderstone Advance), 2 adamant armament (Thunderstone Shards in Thunderstone Advance) and 2 torches. This is your starting accouter which you will gradually grow, bushing it with cards from the apple and monsters you defeat. You drag your accouter and abode it face down in foreground of you. Draw the top 6 cards of your accouter and you are accessible for adventure.

On your turn, you can accept to do one of the afterward actions:

Visit the village: The cards you accept in your hand, accord you a assertive bulk of gold coins. You can use this gold to buy cards from the apple as you see appropriate. In actuality that’s what you will mainly do in your aboriginal few turns, as you wil apparently not be able abundant to beforehand monsters in the hall.
Enter the dungeon: Anniversary hero has an beforehand power, adumbrated on the card. The accumulated beforehand adeptness of all the heroes in your duke is your absolute accessible adeptness to defeat monsters. Moreover some cards, like the torch, accord you light, appropriately abbreviation or even eliminating ablaze penalties. If you are able abundant to defeat a monster in the Hall, demography into annual ablaze penalties, you can access the dungeon, accouter your heroes with weapons if available, casting spells and defeat a monster. Anniversary monster, if defeated, awards you with a assertive bulk of achievement credibility and some acquaintance credibility which you can use to akin up your heroes.
Rest. By allotment this option, you can blow and may abort one agenda from your hand. It goes to the destroyed cards pile, not to the alone pile.

At the end of your turn, you abandon all cards in your duke to the abandon accumulation and draw six new cards. If your accouter is depleted, drag all cards from the alone accumulation to anatomy your new draw pile.

The bold ends if a amateur collects the Thunderstone (by acquisition a monster in Rank 1 appropriately causing the Thunderstone to move to that accessible rank) or it enters Rank 1 because a monster wasn’t defeated. Players calculation up achievement credibility from cards they accept calm throughout the game. The amateur with the a lot of achievement credibility is the winner.

In 2012, a new adapted adaptation of Thunderstone was released: Thunderstone Advance. The aboriginal set of the new adaptation is alleged “Towers of Ruin”. Cards from aboriginal Thunderstone and Thunderstone Beforehand can be alloyed together. Actuality are the a lot of important new appearance of Thunderstone Advance:

Changed terminology: Ablaze amends is now alleged Darkness. React is a new adeptness that enables players to act during added players turns. Raid is a new aftereffect that occurs if monsters are aboriginal appear in the Alcove Hall.
Thunderstone: The Thunderstone agenda has been replaced by the Thunderstone bearer. Now the bold ends if a amateur defeats the Thunderstone agent or he escapes the Alcove Anteroom (reaches Rank 1).
Game board: Thunderstone beforehand comes with a double-sided lath that serves added than one purposes. The bold lath helps to adapt cards bigger as there are slots on it to abode monsters and apple cards. Additionally it provides a added counterbalanced setup, by free a specific bulk of anniversary agenda blazon to be acclimated in the game. There are 4 slots for weapons, 3 slots for items and 3 slots for spells. During bureaucracy apple randomizer cards will be appear and analogous endless of apple cards will be placed on the adapted slot. If all slots of the appear randomizer agenda blazon accept been filled, again addition randomizer agenda is revealed. The two abandon of the bold lath accommodate for amateur and avant-garde play. The amateur ancillary is alleged “wilderness side”. black rules are easier and there are 4 slots for monsters in the Alcove Hall. Avant-garde ancillary is alleged “dungeon side” with archetypal black rules and 3 ranks.
Monsters: Monsters now accept levels. During setup, one monster accumulation from anniversary akin (1,2 and 3) is alleged about to abide the Alcove Hall. This way monsters accept counterbalanced adeptness and awe-inspiring setups e.g. of a lot of monsters getting baffled are avoided.
New action: Apart from visiting the village, the alcove or comatose now players accept the advantage to adapt for their next round, by agreement as abounding cards they like from their duke on top of their accouter and auctioning the rest.
New agenda types: Familiars are new adapted cards that can be acquired afterwards acquisition a monster. Anniversary one of them has one or added altered abilities that crave a assertive bulk of XP credibility to be used. Anniversary amateur can accept alone one accustomed during the game, placed face up in foreground of him. Curses accept replaced all-encompassing Disease cards.
Better graphics
New starting cards: Militia has been replaced with Regulars who are collapsed up easier and if able with a Polearm, while in the Dungeon, you may draw a card. Adamant Armament accept been replaced with Thunderstone Shards and Acrimony with Longspears.

First Impressions:

Upon aperture the box of Thunderstone, you see a bulk of cards and some xp tokens. Artwork on the cards is admirable and detailed. And again comes the difficult assignment of account the rules. Although the rulebook is able-bodied written, there is so abundant advice in it that one needs some time to blot it and put it into use, abnormally if you never played a agnate game, like Dominion. But even if you have, Thunderstone provides avant-garde mechanics forth with all-encompassing analogue and may at aboriginal abash you from arena it. Of beforehand things get a lot bigger if there is anyone accommodating to explain the basics to you, this way demography abroad the accountability to apprehend all the 24-page manual.Thunderstone Beforehand makes a bigger aboriginal consequence by accouterment a lath (it’s aswell a double-sided one), which helps you to easier get circuitous in the bold and accept what’s happening. There are slots fatigued on the lath for monsters in the Alcove Anteroom as able-bodied as apple cards and all seems bigger organized and gamer friendly. The alternate lath serves as a way for both amateur and avant-garde players to adore the bold experience. If you adeptness the point of compassionate how the bold works, gameplay is bland and you will anon acquisition yourself actual affianced and captured by the theme, appetite to acquisition the appropriate combinations of cards to body a working, and hopefully winning, deck!


The apparatus of Thunderstone are alone cards and some xp tokens. Cards accept admirable and anxiously advised artwork. In Thunderstone Advance, things get even better. There is aswell a gameboard, which gives a faculty of organisation and cards are redesigned with added array in colors, even added abundant cartoon and added bright agenda layout. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)


Gameplay is absorbing and gets you absolutely involved. The bold mechanics are well-thought, aggregate the affair with bold accomplishments and abilities. I anticipate the abstraction of application the ablaze / black aspect is a absolutely ablaze one as is the adeptness to level-up your heroes with xp won from assault monsters in the Alcove Hall. There are abounding added baby data that enhance gameplay like alcove furnishings and spoils, and all prove that gameplay has been advised actual carefully. However, during setup, it is accessible that awe-inspiring combinations of apple or monster cards will appear up, authoritative the bold harder to beat, or somewhat uninteresting. Good account is that this botheration has been alone in Thunderstone Advance, which provides specific bulk of slots for altered apple agenda types, as able-bodied as monsters of altered levels. In Thunderstone advance, the added advantage of “preparing” as a bold action, allows you to architecture your next duke and provides added adaptability and the adeptness to beforehand bigger your strategy. Moreover the backup of Militia by the added able Regulars is a actual important improvement, acceptance players to access the alcove quicker and somewhat abbreviation the actuality of “dead cards” during backward game. The adeptness of the bold lies in developing the best action to win, by application the best combinations of cards and in the appropriate amounts. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)

Learning Curve:

The bold has a rather abrupt acquirements curve. The aboriginal bold will endure a lot added than 60 account and you apparently will accept to go aback to the rulebook and attending up some data throughout the game. However, afterwards this aboriginal game, things will run calmly and you will apparently feel animated for all those baby data in the game, that accomplish it a bit circuitous but, in that way, added absorbing too. 6/10


The aspect of affair is ascendant here, in adverse to Dominion, and you consistently feel the appetite and all-overs to adeptness added down the alcove and exhausted those abject monsters. There are abounding elements that accord to the faculty of captivation like the light/darkness element, abating diseases/curses with Clerics and more. 8/10


With dozens of altered heroes, monsters and apple cards, no two amateur will be the same. Randomizer cards can be acclimated during bold setup, to about accept heroes, monsters and apple cards that will be accessible in the game. If you like the accouter building/card drafting artisan of the game, you will apparently absorb abounding hours arena this bold and adore it a lot. A bulk of expansions accept been appear and added will be appear in the future, accompany to the bold added heroes, monsters and apple cards as able-bodied as new agenda types, appropriately acceptable replayability. 8/10


The bold offers abounding thrills and can be fun, although there is little amateur interaction. Maybe an improvent in this field, should be included in Thunderstone advance, with apple cards that would blend added with opponent’s decks. 6/10


Nice artwork
Gameplay with depth


Minimum amateur interaction
Somewhat circuitous rules