Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mystical Empire

Oh Mystical Empire, how I love thee...

Mystical Empire is a CCG created by Northeast Games that debuted in 2005, and has been doing fairly well since then. Because it is not part of what I would consider the mainstream, I think it deserves a write up. That and because I love the game.

When it comes to the main system, one thing that people I know complain about is the lack of a resource maintenance system. Mana, resources, or whatever other games have decided to call it are just absent. I actually love that part, for a reason.

Instead of using resources, ME (that is what the cool people, or "Mysties" call it) uses "actions" to control just about everything. The player takes on the role of one of the many Characters ME has to offer (hmmm... it seems the "Hero" system of a CCG based off of a popular PC game isn't so original) and the average character has two actions. These are used to "Hire" creatures and bring items and structures (don't worry, I'll explain these later) into play. There are also spell and effect cards (yay, something familiar).

When it comes to the more unique cards like structures, and the spell casting ('cuz I know you were all freaking out because there are no resources) these are handled in a rather unique way. Structures come into play using the action of a character, but unlike everything else, they do not "Disengage" (untap) like everything else. Instead, you need to use creatures that have the ability to add "Hammer" and/or "Trowel" tokens to the structure cards. Once the proper amount of these tokens are placed on the structure, it is considered built and works from then on. Spells and effects are cast using the magic your character and creatures can provide, so I guess those can be considered resources in a manner of speaking.

And before I forget, there are a few other thing that I absolutely love about the system in ME. Some people think that not having to do anything but use and action to bring creatures into play is, well, broken. Not so. A character has a stat on its cards called "Leadership". This stat tells how many creatures that character can control, if that number of creatures is exceeded, well that is not pretty. Creatures also have a stat called "Loyalty". If this number is greater than the leadership of a character, they will try to "Abandon" that character. Creatures also do this when a player has too many creatures. In the case of loyalty, the player rolls a die and on an even roll nothing happens. But if the player rolls an odd number, the creature is shuffled back into the deck and damages the player equal to its power. If a player has too many creatures, those with the lowest loyalty automatically abandon. My other favorite is the fact that there is not a set time to attack, if your creatures have open actions just swing for the fences.

Also, the rarity of a card determines how many copies of that card can be in any one deck. Commons are four, uncommons are three, rares are two and ultrarares are one. This way, Richie Rich can’t build a deck with four copies of each ultrarare like he does in other games that I will not mention here.

To say that I enjoy this game would be an understatement. I have six good decks, and another one in the making. My friends won’t even let me use my Rogue deck anymore (but then again, when every creature I control is invisible, who can blame them). If anyone can find me and wants to play, just ask. The hard part is finding me ;) .
If you would like more information on this game, check out their main site at http://www.mysticalempire.com/ . If you would like to buy into this game, you can check one of my favorite game distributors: http://www.wholesalegaming.com/ or eBay. It is still in production and distribution so expect to pay around $50 a box at wholesale, or some guy who found them in the trunk of a car at his salvage yard could sell them on the cheap (it happened recently).

3 comments:

Topicallo said...

I have played this game, unlike some of the other games on your list. It is a bit conventional, but it goes about gameplay in an unconventional way. In other words, expect to have the same feel as a normal CCG. But, the gameplay makes for a unique cardgaming experience, in a very good way. Anyone who thinks ME is a clone hasn't given the game a fair chance. Now if I could find a store around me that plays this game weekly, I'd be in buisness.

Charon said...

I am a contracted rep for this game. I don't do as much work with them as I would like, but it is fun. When I got it started here, I retailed packs myself. That is always a way to get a new game started, and if you do this be careful that you set yourself up to take minimal loss.

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