Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance, Board Game Review


Thunderstone is a deck-building sport by Mike Elliott, published in 2009, twelve months after Dominion hit the marketplace, growing a frenzy with the creation of a warm mixture of sport mechanics: deck building and card drafting. In video games the usage of these mechanics, players pick out cards from a commonplace pool laid out at the desk, and try to gradually constructed the nice deck of cards with which they may collect the most victory points. The subject of such video games may additionally range however the major concept stays the same. With this overview we will observe 2 online casino games, the unique Thunderstone released in 2009 and the brand new Thunderstone Advance, that’s a brand new advanced implementation of the original sport.

Game Overview

In Thunderstone, you’re the leader of a heroic birthday celebration of adventurers arriving at Barrowsdale, close to Grimhold Dungeon wherein the primary Thunderstone, an artifact of evil energy, is stored. You are trying to find to discover the Thunderstone but so that it will accomplish that, you need to war powerful monsters that shield the dungeon. You should construct a deck of cards, inclusive of adventurers, guns, magic spells, meals and different gadgets.

Before beginning the sport, you have to setup three distinct sort of decks. Remember that during each recreation of Thunderstone you might not be the use of all cards to be had in the game however each time the cards you operate will be one of a kind:

Dungeon deck: There are 8 specific lessons of monsters. You select three or more training at random, take all monsters belonging to these instructions and shuffle them to form the dungeon deck. Shuffle the special Thunderstone card with the lowest 10 cards of the Dungeon deck. Now you are prepared to populate the hall which is the vicinity in which you combat the monsters, placed next to the Dungeon deck. There are three ranks of monsters within the Hall Area. The card farthest from the Dungeon deck is rank 1 and the only closest is rank three. These ranks are populated with monsters from the Dungeon deck. The rank of each monster, is associated with a specific amount of Light penalty, subtracted from the heroes attack electricity. This detail of the game tries to simulate a actual situation in a dungeon, in which the farther you strengthen into it, the much less mild there is, inhibiting you to correctly see the monsters, consequently decreasing the strength of your assault. Each point of light penalty subtracts 2 points of electricity from your attack. Monsters positioned in rank 1, provide a mild penalty of one (for that reason attack -2), monsters in rank 2 give 2 points of mild penalty (as a result attack -four) and those in rank three supply three points of light penalty (accordingly attack -6).
Village deck. The village deck consists of Heroes, Magic spells, guns and diverse objects. Those are chosen randomly on every occasion you play, using randomizer cards, simply as monster instructions are selected. However there are four fundamental card kinds to be able to constantly be present in the village: Militia, Torch, Iron Ration and Dagger. In every sport you will choose four distinct Heroes and eight special Village cards to populate the village together with Basic cards. All those cards populate the village. Each time you select to go to the village as your movement, you may buy 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 couple of torches. This is your starting deck which you will gradually develop, filling it with 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 are equipped for journey.
On your flip, you may select to do one of the following movements:

Visit the village: The cards you’ve got on your hand, provide you with a certain quantity of gold cash. You can use this gold to buy cards from the village as you see appropriate. In truth that is what you may especially do in your first few turns, as you wil possibly not be strong enough to assault monsters inside the corridor.
Enter the dungeon: Each hero has an assault energy, indicated on the card. The blended assault strength of all the heroes on your hand is your general available strength to defeat monsters. Moreover some playing cards, like the torch, provide you with mild, for that reason reducing or maybe doing away with light penalties. If you are robust sufficient to defeat a monster within the Hall, taking into consideration light penalties, you could enter the dungeon, equip your heroes with guns if available, cast spells and defeat a monster. Each monster, whilst defeated, awards you with a certain amount of victory factors and a few revel in points which you may use to level up your heroes.
Rest. By selecting this option, you could rest and can damage one card from your hand. It goes to the destroyed cards pile, now not to the discarded pile.
At the stop of your flip, you discard all playing cards in your hand to the discard pile and draw six new playing cards. When your deck is depleted, shuffle all playing cards from the discarded pile to form your new draw pile.

The game ends while a player collects the Thunderstone (by way of defeating a monster in Rank 1 consequently causing the Thunderstone to move to that open rank) or it enters Rank 1 because a monster wasn’t defeated. Players depend up victory points from playing cards they’ve gathered at some point of the sport. The player with the most victory points is the winner.

In 2012, a new updated model of Thunderstone turned into released: Thunderstone Advance. The first set of the new version is called “Towers of Ruin”. Cards from unique Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance may be combined together. Here are the maximum critical new capabilities of Thunderstone Advance:

Changed terminology: Light penalty is now referred to as Darkness. React is a brand new capability that enables players to behave all through other gamers turns. Raid is a new effect that occurs while monsters are first discovered inside the Dungeon Hall.
Thunderstone: The Thunderstone card has been changed via the Thunderstone bearer. Now the game ends while a player defeats the Thunderstone bearer or he escapes the Dungeon Hall (reaches Rank 1).
Game board: Thunderstone advance comes with a double-sided board that serves multiple purposes. The recreation board allows to arrange playing cards better as there are slots on it to location monsters and village cards. Additionally it provides a more balanced setup, by determining a selected quantity of each card type for use in the sport. There are four slots for guns, three slots for gadgets and three slots for spells. During setup village randomizer playing cards could be found out and matching stacks of village playing cards will be located on the precise slot. If all slots of the found out randomizer card kind have been crammed, then every other randomizer card is discovered. The two sides of the game board provide for novice and superior play. The novice aspect is known as “wasteland aspect”. Darkness rules are less difficult and there are 4 slots for monsters inside the Dungeon Hall. Advanced aspect is called “dungeon side” with conventional darkness guidelines and 3 ranks.
Monsters: Monsters now have degrees. During setup, one monster institution from every level (1,2 and three) is selected randomly to populate the Dungeon Hall. This manner monsters have balanced energy and bizarre setups e.G. Of most monsters being overpowered are avoided.
New action: Apart from journeying the village, the dungeon or resting now players have the option to prepare for their next spherical, by using placing as many playing cards they prefer from their hand on pinnacle of their deck and discarding the relaxation.
New card sorts: Familiars are new special playing cards that can be won after defeating a monster. Each certainly one of them has one or more exceptional skills that require a positive amount of XP points to be used. Each player will have handiest one acquainted all through the game, placed face up in front of him. Curses have changed regularly occurring Disease playing cards.
Better pictures
New starting cards: Militia has been changed with Regulars who are leveled up simpler and while ready with a Polearm, at the same time as inside the Dungeon, you could draw a card. Iron Rations had been replaced with Thunderstone Shards and Daggers with Longspears.
First Impressions:

Upon commencing the box of Thunderstone, you notice some of playing cards and some xp tokens. Artwork on the playing cards is stunning and distinct. And then comes the tough undertaking of reading the rules. Although the rulebook is nicely written, there may be a lot information in it that one needs a while to absorb it and placed it into use, particularly in case you in no way performed a comparable sport, like Dominion. But even if you have, Thunderstone provides superior mechanics together with big terminology and can at first discourage you from playing it. Of direction things get plenty higher if there is a person willing to explain the basics to you, this manner taking away the burden to examine all of the 24-page manual.Thunderstone Advance makes a better first affect with the aid of presenting a board (it’s also a double-sided one), which lets you less difficult get concerned in the game and understand what is taking place. There are slots drawn at the board for monsters in the Dungeon Hall in addition to village cards and all appears higher prepared and gamer friendly. The -sided board serves as a way for both newbie and superior players to experience the game enjoy. When you reach the factor of information how the game works, gameplay is clean and you will soon locate your self very engaged and captured through the subject, striving to find the right combinations of playing cards to construct a operating, and hopefully triumphing, deck!


The additives of Thunderstone are most effective playing cards and some xp tokens. Cards have beautiful and thoroughly designed artwork. In Thunderstone Advance, things get even better. There is likewise a gameboard, which offers a experience of company and playing cards are redesigned with greater range in colorations, even extra detailed pics and extra clear card layout. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: eight/10)


Gameplay is thrilling and receives you genuinely concerned. The game mechanics are well-thought, blending the subject with sport actions and capabilities. I assume the concept of using the mild / darkness element is a clearly remarkable one as is the potential to degree-up your heroes with xp won from beating monsters in the Dungeon Hall. There are many extra small details that beautify gameplay like dungeon outcomes and spoils, and all show that gameplay has been designed very carefully. However, during setup, it is viable that bizarre combinations of village or monster playing cards will arise, making the sport difficult to overcome, or truly uninteresting. Good information is this trouble has been removed in Thunderstone Advance, which affords precise range of slots for specific village card kinds, in addition to monsters of different stages. In Thunderstone develop, the extra choice of “preparing” as a game movement, allows you to design your next hand and offers greater flexibility and the capacity to utilize better your method. Moreover the alternative of Militia by the more green Regulars is a totally critical improvement, permitting players to go into the dungeon quicker and particularly lowering the existence of “dead cards” all through overdue recreation. The power of the sport lies in growing the fine strategy to win, by the usage of the high-quality combos of playing cards and within the proper quantities. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: eight/10)

Learning Curve:

The sport has a as an alternative steep getting to know curve. The first game will final a lot extra than 60 mins and you possibly will should cross again to the rulebook and appearance up a few details all through the game. However, after this first game, matters will run smoothly and you will in all likelihood feel glad for all those small info in the game, that make it a piece complex but, in that manner, greater thrilling too. 6/10


The element of subject matter is dominant here, in comparison to Dominion, and also you continuously feel the urge and tension to reach similarly down the dungeon and beat the ones despicable monsters. There are many factors that make a contribution to the experience of immersion like the light/darkness detail, curing diseases/curses with Clerics and extra. 8/10


With dozens of various heroes, monsters and village playing cards, no two games might be the equal. Randomizer playing cards may be used during sport setup, to randomly choose heroes, monsters and village cards so as to be to be had in the game. If you want the deck constructing/card drafting mechanic of the game, you will probable spend many hours gambling this game and revel in it a lot. A quantity of expansions had been launched and more may be launched inside the future, convey to the sport more heroes, monsters and village cards as well as new card sorts, consequently improving replayability. Eight/10


The sport offers many thrills and may be fun, despite the fact that there is little participant interaction. Maybe an improvent in this discipline, ought to be protected in Thunderstone improve, with village playing cards that could mess more with opponent’s decks. 6/10

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