Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance, Board Game Review

Thunderstone is a deck-constructing game by Mike Elliott, posted in 2009, twelve months after Dominion hit the market, developing a frenzy with the advent of a hot aggregate of recreation mechanics: deck building and card drafting. In video games the usage of FIFA55Call mechanics, gamers choose playing cards from a not unusual pool laid out at the table, and try to step by step constructed the excellent deck of cards with which they will gather the most victory factors. The theme of such games may also differ but the most important concept remains the equal. With this evaluate we are able to take a look at 2 games, the unique Thunderstone released in 2009 and the brand new Thunderstone Advance, that’s a brand new stepped forward implementation of the authentic game.

Game Overview

In Thunderstone, you’re the chief of a heroic party of adventurers arriving at Barrowsdale, near Grimhold Dungeon where the primary Thunderstone, an artifact of evil power, is saved. You are searching for to locate the Thunderstone however which will achieve this, you need to war effective monsters that guard the dungeon. You ought to construct a deck of cards, such as adventurers, weapons, magic spells, meals and other objects.

Before beginning the game, you have to setup three distinct form of decks. Remember that during each sport of Thunderstone you might not be the use of all cards available in the sport however whenever the playing cards you operate may be one of a kind:

Dungeon deck: There are eight different lessons of monsters. You pick out three or extra lessons at random, take all monsters belonging to these classes and shuffle them to form the dungeon deck. Shuffle the unique Thunderstone card with the lowest 10 playing cards of the Dungeon deck. Now you are prepared to populate the corridor that is the location where you fight the monsters, positioned next to the Dungeon deck. There are 3 ranks of monsters within the Hall Area. The card farthest from the Dungeon deck is rank 1 and the one closest is rank three. These ranks are populated with monsters from the Dungeon deck. The rank of every monster, is associated with a particular amount of Light penalty, subtracted from the heroes attack power. This detail of the sport tries to simulate a real state of affairs in a dungeon, wherein the farther you strengthen into it, the less light there may be, inhibiting you to correctly see the monsters, as a consequence reducing the strength of your assault. Each point of light penalty subtracts 2 points of power out of your attack. Monsters positioned in rank 1, supply a light penalty of one (thus attack -2), monsters in rank 2 give 2 factors of light penalty (hence assault -4) and people in rank 3 provide three factors of light penalty (hence assault -6).
Village deck. The village deck consists of Heroes, Magic spells, weapons and numerous gadgets. Those are chosen randomly whenever you play, the use of randomizer cards, simply as monster classes are selected. However there are four fundamental card sorts with a purpose to usually be present inside the village: Militia, Torch, Iron Ration and Dagger. In each recreation you’ll pick out 4 unique Heroes and eight unique Village cards to populate the village at the side of Basic cards. All these cards populate the village. Each time you select to go to the village as your motion, you may purchase considered one of them.
Starting Deck. Each player is dealt 6 Militia (6 Regulars in Thunderstone Advance), 2 daggers (Longspears in Thunderstone Advance), 2 iron rations (Thunderstone Shards in Thunderstone Advance) and a pair of torches. This is your beginning deck which you may steadily develop, filling it with playing cards from the village and monsters you defeat. You shuffle your deck and area it face down in front of you. Draw the top 6 cards of your deck and you’re ready for journey.
On your turn, you can select to do one of the following movements:

Visit the village: The playing cards you’ve got to your hand, provide you with a positive quantity of gold cash. You can use this gold to buy cards from the village as you spot appropriate. In truth that’s what you’ll specially do in your first few turns, as you wil probable now not be sturdy enough to assault monsters in the hall.
Enter the dungeon: Each hero has an assault energy, indicated on the card. The blended assault electricity of all the heroes for your hand is your general available strength to defeat monsters. Moreover a few playing cards, like the torch, give you light, for that reason reducing or even getting rid of light penalties. If you’re robust enough to defeat a monster in the Hall, taking into consideration mild consequences, you can input the dungeon, equip your heroes with weapons if available, forged spells and defeat a monster. Each monster, whilst defeated, awards you with a positive quantity of victory factors and a few experience factors which you can use to level up your heroes.
Rest. By choosing this option, you may relaxation and may spoil one card from your hand. It goes to the destroyed cards pile, no longer to the discarded pile.
At the cease of your flip, you discard all cards in your hand to the discard pile and draw six new cards. When your deck is depleted, shuffle all playing cards from the discarded pile to shape your new draw pile.

The game ends when a player collects the Thunderstone (by using defeating a monster in Rank 1 as a result causing the Thunderstone to transport to that open rank) or it enters Rank 1 because a monster wasn’t defeated. Players be counted up victory points from cards they’ve collected in the course of the game. The player with the maximum victory points is the winner.

In 2012, a brand new up to date version of Thunderstone changed into launched: Thunderstone Advance. The first set of the new version is referred to as “Towers of Ruin”. Cards from unique Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance can be mixed together. Here are the maximum crucial new capabilities of Thunderstone Advance:

Changed terminology: Light penalty is now referred to as Darkness. React is a new potential that allows gamers to act in the course of different gamers turns. Raid is a brand new effect that happens whilst monsters are first discovered within the Dungeon Hall.
Thunderstone: The Thunderstone card has been replaced via the Thunderstone bearer. Now the sport ends when a participant defeats the Thunderstone bearer or he escapes the Dungeon Hall (reaches Rank 1).
Game board: Thunderstone enhance comes with a double-sided board that serves more than one functions. The sport board facilitates to organize playing cards better as there are slots on it to area monsters and village cards. Additionally it gives a extra balanced setup, with the aid of figuring out a specific wide variety of each card type for use in the game. There are four slots for weapons, 3 slots for gadgets and 3 slots for spells. During setup village randomizer cards will be found out and matching stacks of village cards could be placed on the precise slot. If all slots of the discovered randomizer card kind were stuffed, then another randomizer card is found out. The facets of the game board offer for beginner and advanced play. The novice side is called “wilderness aspect”. Darkness rules are less complicated and there are four slots for monsters within the Dungeon Hall. Advanced aspect is known as “dungeon facet” with classic darkness rules and 3 ranks.
Monsters: Monsters now have ranges. During setup, one monster institution from every stage (1,2 and three) is selected randomly to populate the Dungeon Hall. This way monsters have balanced electricity and bizarre setups e.G. Of most monsters being overpowered are prevented.
New action: Apart from traveling the village, the dungeon or resting now players have the choice to prepare for his or her next round, by setting as many playing cards they prefer from their hand on pinnacle in their deck and discarding the relaxation.
New card kinds: Familiars are new special cards that can be won after defeating a monster. Each one of them has one or extra different capabilities that require a positive amount of XP points to be used. Each participant will have best one acquainted in the course of the sport, placed face up in the front of him. Curses have replaced accepted Disease cards.
Better graphics
New starting playing cards: Militia has been replaced with Regulars who’re leveled up less difficult and when ready with a Polearm, while inside the Dungeon, you could draw a card. Iron Rations have been replaced with Thunderstone Shards and Daggers with Longspears.
First Impressions:

Upon commencing the field of Thunderstone, you see a number of cards and some xp tokens. Artwork on the cards is stunning and particular. And then comes the tough project of reading the regulations. Although the rulebook is well written, there may be so much data in it that one needs some time to absorb it and put it into use, especially in case you by no means performed a similar game, like Dominion. But even if you have, Thunderstone affords superior mechanics along with significant terminology and may at first discourage you from playing it. Of route matters get lots higher if there’s someone willing to explain the basics to you, this way eliminating the weight to study all of the 24-page manual.Thunderstone Advance makes a better first impact by way of presenting a board (it’s also a double-sided one), which lets you easier get concerned in the sport and understand what’s going on. There are slots drawn at the board for monsters within the Dungeon Hall as well as village cards and all seems higher prepared and gamer friendly. The two-sided board serves as a way for both beginner and advanced gamers to experience the sport revel in. When you attain the point of expertise how the game works, gameplay is easy and you may soon locate yourself very engaged and captured by using the topic, striving to find the proper mixtures of cards to construct a operating, and optimistically triumphing, deck!


The components of Thunderstone are only playing cards and a few xp tokens. Cards have stunning and carefully designed art work. In Thunderstone Advance, matters get even higher. There is also a gameboard, which offers a feel of organisation and playing cards are redesigned with more range in hues, even extra targeted portraits and greater clear card format. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)


Gameplay is interesting and gets you without a doubt involved. The recreation mechanics are properly-concept, mixing the topic with recreation movements and abilities. I assume the idea of using the light / darkness element is a clearly amazing one as is the ability to degree-up your heroes with xp won from beating monsters within the Dungeon Hall. There are many greater small information that enhance gameplay like dungeon consequences and spoils, and all show that gameplay has been designed very cautiously. However, at some point of setup, it is feasible that bizarre combinations of village or monster cards will arise, making the sport difficult to overcome, or relatively uninteresting. Good information is that this hassle has been eliminated in Thunderstone Advance, which affords unique range of slots for unique village card kinds, as well as monsters of different levels. In Thunderstone boost, the more choice of “preparing” as a recreation motion, permits you to design your next hand and provides more flexibility and the capability to utilize higher your method. Moreover the alternative of Militia by way of the greater efficient Regulars is a completely important development, allowing players to enter the dungeon quicker and relatively decreasing the life of “dead cards” at some point of past due sport. The power of the game lies in growing the great strategy to win, with the aid of using the first-rate combos of playing cards and in the proper quantities. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)

Learning Curve:

The recreation has a as a substitute steep gaining knowledge of curve. The first game will final a lot more than 60 mins and also you likely will ought to cross lower back to the rulebook and look up some information at some point of the game. However, after this primary recreation, matters will run smoothly and you will probably sense satisfied for all the ones small info in the game, that make it a piece complicated however, in that manner, more exciting too. 6/10


The element of subject is dominant here, in evaluation to Dominion, and you continuously experience the urge and anxiety to reach further down the dungeon and beat the ones despicable monsters. There are many elements that make contributions to the experience of immersion just like the light/darkness element, curing illnesses/curses with Clerics and more. Eight/10


With dozens of various heroes, monsters and village playing cards, no games will be the same. Randomizer playing cards can be used all through game setup, to randomly pick heroes, monsters and village playing cards a good way to be available in the game. If you like the deck building/card drafting mechanic of the sport, you will likely spend many hours playing this sport and revel in it loads. A wide variety of expansions were released and more could be launched in the future, bring to the game more heroes, monsters and village cards as well as new card sorts, for this reason improving replayability. 8/10

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