Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Sunday Miscellanea - Mystic Vale (2016)

I've had the chance to play a couple of games of Mystic Vale (2016).  It's got some neat components and ideas.  Once we played with three players and once with four, as pictured.  Everything I saw before learning the game made sure to mention it has a Card Crafting System.  I wasn't sure what to make of that idea.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
A curse has been placed on the Valley of Life. Hearing the spirits of nature cry out for aid, clans of druids have arrived, determined to use their blessings to heal the land and rescue the spirits. It will require courage and also caution, as the curse can overwhelm the careless who wield too much power.
In Mystic Vale, 2 to 4 players take on the role of druidic clans trying to cleanse the curse upon the land. Each turn, you play cards into your field to gain powerful advancements and useful vale cards. Use your power wisely, or decay will end your turn prematurely. Score the most victory points to win the game!
Mystic Vale uses the innovative "Card Crafting System", which lets you not only build your deck, but build the individual cards in your deck, customizing each card's abilities to exactly the strategy you want to follow.

It is a deck building game in which you can change your cards, rather than exchange your cards.  Kinda neat on its face but the Vale area whence come the overlays can be tricky for more than a couple of players to view, in practice, unless others don't mind leaning over the cards each time a new one is added or picking them up to read them, thus tipping your hand.  Plus, because they are transparent, one can look at the draw piles and see what's coming, in some respects.  I think the game design needs a bit of refinement but shows promise.  Once all players are familiar with all of the overlays and if the draw piles could be hidden somehow, this should mitigate the flaws I see with this design.  Other than that, it's an enjoyable race for victory points which can be had a number of ways.

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