With so many new card games flooding the market and all trying to grab our attention, it can be hard to decide what you are going to dedicate your time and hard earned money to.
The Pokemon TCG offers something comforting and familiar, transforming the video game based combat into a different take on turn based strategy. Magic The Gathering is a titan among card games, running for several years now, and for many, it is their main choice for tabletop entertainment. Then there are the quirky titles created from Bushiroad, including Weiss Schwarz, Luck and Logic, as well as Buddyfight. Though for those looking for something new while having familiar mechanics to ease your introduction, Force of Will might be right up your street. This fantasy card game has been described by players as a surreal blend of MtG and Yu-Gi-Oh with an art style similar to modern popular manga.
Players have one commander of sorts known as a Ruler alongside a main deck and a magic stone deck. These stones are essentially mana which will pay the cost of your resonators, spells and additions. Five elements break up different spells and resonators and each one has their own gimmick and specialty – fire, wind, water, light and dark. The aim of matches is to deplete your opponent’s life from four thousand to zero. Not convinced by that summary? Not to worry, as there are certainly a few reasons why you should give this card game a go!
First of all, the newest chapter of Force of Will lands on September 9th. The sets are divided into different ‘clusters’ that enjoy their time before eventually being rotated out. This new chapter, Lapis Cluster, is the fourth chapter in the over all story of the game and is also a great jumping point for new players. The first set, Curse of the Frozen Casket, will be accompanied by five different starter decks to help teach new players the mechanics of the game. This newest set also brings with it a few rule changes meaning that Lapis Cluster is the best place to start learning how to play, considering that it will be implementing the new rule set! Within the New Frontiers format, players will have access to the two most recent clusters, meaning that there is a decent backlog of cards for newcomers to experiment with while they find what theme they want to work with.
Second, Force of Will is one of the few card games to have a running narrative throughout its expansions. Curse of the Frozen Casket continues on from the end of the previous cluster, the Alice Cluster. The conqueror of worlds, Gill Lapis, in his battle with Alice of Wonderland fame, has captured one world and now has his eyes set on following Alice and her group of allies. His travels will take him to the land ruled by King Grimm, master of fairy tales. All is not what it seems, though, as new enemies and old faces come to the surface. Is Lapis the real enemy of the lore, or is there someone else lurking in the shadows? Players will have the chance to learn all about the expanding story as each set of Lapis Cluster releases, making it feel like they are taking part with their own battles. The team behind Force of Will also supports the narrative through their own comics as well as story chapters that fill in the details supplied by the flavour text of the individual cards. There is even an official manga that summarizes the key events that take place with each new set. All this helps to create a connection to the characters on the cards, and new players may be surprised at how attached they become to their rulers and resonators.
For those who like a competitive edge to their card games, then worry not. There is a very big competitive scene to this card game. Throughout the year, countries around the world will host an event known as the Area Grand Prix. These are professionally run tournaments that aim to find that countries’ top players. Winners of these events can go on to play at the World level tournaments for huge prizes and the chance to win exclusive cards and promos. These events are also good for testing your own skill and meeting other people who play the game. Other prizes include exclusive winners play mats and sometimes come with cash prizes depending on ranking. Attendance for these events are quite high, so if you are looking to take this game to a competitive level, then keep an eye out for where your country’s AGP will be held for your chance to take part.
Finally, the biggest and probably best reason to jump on board this card game is the community. It is a vast network of people from across the globe, all using social media in order to keep in contact. Join any kind of group, and you will be greeted by people comparing deck lists, discussing strategies and helping others acquire the cards that they are seeking. While you can build a good bond with your local player base, the online community can provide a real helping hand when you are struggling. To support this community, the FOW team is also in the middle of preparing an online battle simulator that will open the doors to connect players even further. Soon, people will be able to battle it out from the comfort of their own homes, and they will have access to all cards regardless of whether they actually own them. This will help people build their decks and play test them before taking them to big tournaments and challenging those at AGP events.
There may be players of Force of Will in your area, so don’t be afraid to ask and see if they will help you learn how to play. It is a card game that is growing in popularity, so if your local store isn’t already stocking it, then perhaps ask if they can try and order in the starter decks to entice people to try it out. Hopefully, you can open your heart to a new card game that will test your deck building skills and your battle finesse!