Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin - Board Game Box Shot

Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin

An epic deck building, dungeon exploring, monster defeating adventure! Thunderstone Advance makes a great game even better.

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Overview

Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin is a refined stand-alone expansion to a franchise that has been very successful and seen many expansions over the past years. Though it is compatible with all of the cards from previous expansions we actually recommend anyone new to the game start with Thunderstone Advance. It is a much improved game than its predecessors, and the game’s publisher, AEG, highly supports this franchise. There is no doubt that there will be much to look forward to in terms of future expansions and support.

Another reason this is the perfect time to get into Thunderstone is because AEG has made the game much more accessible to casual gamers. The rules have been refined, the card text has been made much clearer, and they’ve even created a tutorial style introduction to get you right into the game without having to read the full rulebook.

Thunderstone Advance game in play and components

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Gameplay

This is a deck building game at its core. Players start with their own small deck with 12 basic cards, and through the game work on their own to gradually acquire more cards to add to their deck. At the end of your turn you discard the cards you had in your hand that turn, and draw six new cards. When your draw deck is empty, you will shuffle all your discarded and newly acquired cards to create a new draw deck and draw six new cards. The end goal is to create powerful card combinations that give them the ability to defeat monsters and gain victory points.

In this game you are a leader recruiting heroes and acquiring equipment, weapons, spells and more to defeat creatures and ultimately defeat the Thunderstone Bearer. The Thunderstone Bearer is a final boss that is more powerful than the other monsters in the game.

On your turn you can do one of four things:
• Visit the village to acquire new cards and level up your heroes.
• Go to the Dungeon to attack the monsters that lie within.
• Prepare for your next turn by discarding cards from your hand you don’t want and putting the rest back on your deck to draw for your next turn.
• Remove one card in your hand from the game.

Each player is building their own deck, trying to acquire cards that create powerful attack combinations to be able to defeat monsters. Monsters gain you victory points, and it is the player with the most victory points after the Thunderstone Bearer is defeated that will win the game.

Hero Cards
What has always been the draw for us with Thunderstone is the fact that the hero cards you acquire can be upgraded with the experience points (XP) you gain as you defeat monsters. It’s a fun RPG element that rewards you through the entire game.

Each hero has three levels, and you typically acquire them at level one. Below is an example of the three levels of a hero. Notice that as he levels up he becomes more powerful and his abilities become much more effective.

Thunderstone Advance hero leveling

Example of Hero Leveling

Other New Cards
In previous releases of Thunderstone, it would usually take many turns before you could enter the dungeon with enough attack power to defeat a monster. It was also common to have an excess of experience points later in the game with nothing to spend them on. These next three cards have taken large strides in eliminating those issues.

Thunderstone Advance new regular shard and familiar cards

New Regular, Thunderstone Shard and Familiar cards

Regulars & Thunderstone Shards: At the start of the game, among the 12 cards you start with are six regulars and two thunderstone shards. These go a long way in making your deck stronger faster, as well as giving you extra XP to level your heroes up more quickly. (Regulars take the place of Militia and Thunderstone Shards take the place of Iron Rations from the previous Thunderstone games)

Familiars: Once per game each player may acquire one random familiar card. This card can be used multiple times during the game. It has up to three abilities that it can perform, depending on the number of XP you have in your resource pool. The more XP you’ve collected and not spent, the more powerful these cards are.

Single Player Variant
Another big draw for this game is that it includes a single player option that is in ways more challenging than playing with others. The rules are altered slightly, and give the game a sense of urgency which is a lot of fun. Monsters are constantly being revealed almost every turn, and for the turns you don’t defeat a monster, one of them will escape. The game ends when the Thunderstone Bearer has either been defeated or has escaped. To win you must have gained more victory points by defeating monsters, than the collective victory points of the monsters that have escaped.

Thunderstone Advance box interior

Components

The interior of the box has plenty of room to hold and organize the included cards, as well as expansions to come. There are card dividers for all the cards, making it easier to find the specific cards you need when laying out the game. Like many deck building games, you won’t use all the cards for each game. Whether you are following a pre-made scenario, or using the randomizer cards, you’ll be pulling out three types of monsters, four different heroes and a variety of villager, weapon, item and spell cards.

This leads to the other great addition to this game… the board! The board has two sides; a dungeon side and a wilderness side. The dungeon side is for the standard game, but makes the monsters more difficult to defeat. The wilderness side is new to Thunderstone and makes defeating monsters easier. Both sides have a limited number of spaces for each type of card, to make sure your randomized games are always balanced. Another nice touch with the board is that it gives you a better sense of what you’re doing during your turn. There is a section for the dungeon/wilderness, and another section for the village, with spaces for the basic, weapon, item, spell villager and familiar cards. Though you don’t have to use the board, it is a great addition that you will want to use each time you play.

Learning Curve

If you’ve never played a deck building game, the full rulebook could be a bit intimidating. Like we stated earlier, there is a four page “Learn To Play” booklet that will take you step by step from setting up the game to defeating monsters. It will even allow you and others to play a quick game all the way through. After that you can dig in deeper and enjoy the depth of the full game. One suggestion we have is to first unpack the box and put all the card sets with their dividers so it will be easier to find the cards you need.

Because you can play this as a single player game, you can also learn the ropes on your own and then teach others to play once you’ve got things down. Just know that the rules are slightly different between the single player and multiplayer games.

Who would enjoy this?

Family Gamer {no}
The rules are a bit advanced for your typical family game. Also, this release has a bit of a darker tone with most of the monsters being undead creatures. If you have teenagers and your family enjoys games, this could be for you.
Strategy Gamer {maybe}
If you don’t mind the luck aspect of drawing from a deck of cards, there is a lot of strategy involved in what cards you acquire to build your deck.
Casual Gamer {yes}
Thunderstone Advance goes out of its way to make a game with fairly complex rules very easy to get into. There is a separate set of rules that introduce you to deck building and the basics of the game, and the full sized board makes laying out the game easier than ever. This game opens its arms to casual gamers looking for a deck building game with more depth.
Avid Gamer {yes}
Because of the accessibility of this game to casual, avid and power gamers, this is a game you can pull out for many occasions. What especially makes this a must have game is the fact that the single player version is very challenging and fun. If you’re bored with other deck building games and looking for one with more depth, challenge and a fantasy theme you should definitely get this.
Power Gamer {maybe}
This game might be on the fence for power gamers. It has more depth than a game like Dominion, but it isn’t as deep or story driven as a game like Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. If you’re a power gamer that is wanting something lighter and that you can play with avid or casual gamers, this is worth checking out.

Final Thoughts

AEG has made this game better from every angle. If you like Thunderstone, this is a must have. If you’re a fan of deck building games but haven’t tried previous releases of Thunderstone, there is no better time than now to start! This is also a great game to try out if you’ve never played a deck building game, but you enjoy games with a fantasy theme.

Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin is the best release to date for Thunderstone. We’ve been fans since the first game in the franchise was released. Knowing that this marks a new direction for the franchise, we couldn’t be more excited.

Disclaimer: BoardGaming.com received a complimentary review copy of this game

User Reviews (10)

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9
USA
I play blue
Paladin
Master Grader
8
87 of 94 gamers found this helpful
“Thunder and Lightening”

Though experiencing some unavoidable backlash after years of “hotness,” deck-builders continue to generate plenty of interest in the boardgaming community. While Dominion is the dominant player in the market, AEG’s Thunderstone is perhaps the second most popular in this genre. Thunderstone Advance is the latest expansion of this franchise and more importantly is really a re-launch of the title. If you are new to Thunderstone, this is the place to start.

I am not the most experienced with the deck-builders but the important facts are not disputed with Thunderstone Advance. With this re-launch AEG fixed some of the minor quibbles people had with the earlier Thunderstone which included standardizing keywords and improving some iconography as well as adding a few features like familiars. Importantly, Thunderstone Advance now comes with a high-quality two sided board to organize your gameplay.

The Advance cards are usable with old sets but again if you are starting new, start here and it probably isn’t going to be worth trying to translate old cards into this new and improved format. Not to worry though, Thunderstone is a cornerstone franchise of AEG and expansions for Thunderstone Advance are on the way.

The Game:

The premise is simple but engrossing. Starting with a deck of twelve basic cards representing a new party of adventurers you draw up a hand of six cards and then choose to either 1) Go to the village to purchase improvements for your party; 2) Attack into the dungeon; 3) Rest (i.e. permanently discard a card you don’t want in your deck); or 4) Prepare (keep a few cards in your hand while discarding the rest so that you can draw up a monster hand to accomplish your current goal). Each turn you draw a new six cards and decide which of these you want to do before you discard the lot of them. Through this process, you steadily improve the power of your deck while your opponents all do the same thing. The dungeon is housing progressively challenging villains and when the Thunderstone Bearer appears and is defeated the game ends. At game end, each player tallies up the victory points he has earned which come from the possession of certain cards (primarily monsters that you have defeated along with high-powered adventurers you have leveled up or hired) and the person with the highest score wins.

The mechanics of the game are ultimately very similar to Dominion so if you have a strong opinion of Dominion it will probably carry over. My understanding is that the number one complaint against Dominion is a lack of theme so here Thunderstone really shines. The theme drips from this game and the components are fantastic with tremendous artwork for all the cards.

The theme is what drew me to this game but while I wanted to love this game I was surprised to find I just didn’t. While I liked it, I did unfortunately find it a bit of multi-player solitaire, the choices of cards to put in the deck seemed limited, and the game goes on for a LONG time. However, this game was saved for me by trying the “epic” variant designed by Richard Launius and Tom Vasel. In this version, instead of using just a few groups of cards, all the cards are played with in each game by mixing them in large stacks. Thereby, variety rules the day and you really get the sense you are constructing a party giving your deck a unique feel. In addition, because you don’t know what is going to pop up for sale in the village, you have to monitor what your opponents are doing and what is available to them as you may want to block their efforts. This adds a level of interaction and strategy missing from the standard rules and ends that sense of multi-player solitaire. The game still takes a surprisingly long time to complete but I think this can easily be adjusted by tinkering with how many monsters one puts in the dungeon. Regardless, there is always plenty going on so it isn’t like you are sitting with nothing to do.

Especially with the epic variant addressing my only complaints (and the rules for the variant are included with the game), I don’t hesitate to say that if you are looking to delve into the deck-building genre (or add another option to your library of deck-builders) and you like the fantasy theme this is THE place to go.

Summary:

Pros:
Components – Artwork & Great Two-sided Board
Theme
Refined version of a top-selling game
Epic Variant to put it over the top!

Cons:
A bit long for what it is
I hope you like to shuffle

Recommendation:

If you are looking for a deck-builder and/or love fantasy themed games, Thunderstone Advance is lightening in a bottle…er…box.

 
Player Avatar
3
Went to Gen Con 2012
Arrowhead
8
87 of 94 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“Great Deck Building Game”

For those who don’t know, a deck building game like Thunderstone, Dominion, Ascension, etc. is a game where you start with a small amount of cards available in your deck. As you draw these cards you can use them to purchase other cards available in a “market” of some sort or use them to defeat enemies to gain more cards. These cards are then shuffled into the deck you started with and are available to use later when you draw them. By doing this a deck of 12 cards can become a deck of 60. The strategy in this is what cards to add to your deck as your playing to make your deck as efficient as possible. Not enough cards and you cant progress as quickly as needed in the game. Too many cards and your chances of getting the card or cards you need is slim. You have to find the best balance for your strategy.

Thunderstone Advance is a jumping off point for new Thunderstone players. This is actually a continuation / redo of the original Thunderstone and its’ expansions. The story continues, but very few new elements are changes. This allows easy conversion of the original Thunderstone sets.

Those familiar with Dominion will find the Village aspect of the game very familiar as it plays almost identical to Dominion. You draw a six cards and use there gold value ( and any special powers ) to purchase other cards that increase your overall power in the game. These cards can give you more money, increase your hero’s power ( more on that in a second ) and affect the game in different ways. You can also buy heroes in the village. At this point the similarity between Dominion ends as the reason for the herons is to venture into a dungeon full of monster and defeat them to gain experience points and Victory points.

The dungeon is a deck of monster cards built at the start of the game. As the monsters are revealed they move farther up the dungeon making room for new monsters to appear. Your goal is to defeat the monsters until you reveal the Thunderstone bearer and defeat him. All the monster cards have special powers that can help / hinder at different time and there is always the darkness of the dungeon to make your fight even harder.

This game can take a bit to learn, but once the concepts are understood it moves very fluidly and usually quickly. The setup does take a while, but using the system allows unlimited re-playability.

Very fun, gives you the feel of a dungeon crawl without a board or pen an paper, and at a much quicker pace. For Dominion/Ascension players a must play. For everyone else, a must try. Enjoy.

 
Player Avatar
5
AEG fan
10
87 of 96 gamers found this helpful
“Most Thematic Deckbuilding Game”

In an effort to avoid duplicating other reviews, I think my title sums up my main take on this game and why it is one of my favorites: For me, Thunderstone does the best job of and deckbuilding game I’ve played of truly wedding theme with the deckbuilding mechanic. The result is a really fun dungeon-crawling game which reminds me of what first drew me to D&D. When I play other games like Dominion (which I love) I feel like I’m gaming the numbers, while in Thunderstone I’m truly debating whether I want to expand my party by visiting the village, prepare to enter the dungeon (using prepare or rest), or head down into the dungeon to tackle some monsters! Simply put, I’m a huge fan. Now, for some quick comparisons to help you think about Thunderstone because that’s what I find helpful:

Complexity: Middle of the road. Takes a lot more time to setup then Smash Up, a bit more time to setup then Dominion, but less then Nightfall. The rules are mostly straightforward, and like other deck-builders, once you have the basics you can focus on what the cards say.

Replayability: Is fantastic. Out of the box you have some really nice depth and complexity. With expansions, you have more combinations then you are likely to ever hit. Unlike some games I’ve had (e.g., Quarriors) where I find you need an expansion by the end of the first day, this has some nice depth and you might never need one. Though I want them all! The double-sided board also adds an nice additional option, though its not terribly huge / necessary. But a nice bonus.

Theme: It’s a fantasy theme, which I love. They’ve done an OK job of trying to build this up even further using some short stories on the website that frankly didn’t add much for me. But within the game, it’s outstanding and much better integrated than most other games I’ve seen. I really do feel like I’m prepping my team for the dungeon.

Compared to Thunderstone: This is an extension / reboot. The learning that occurred from the original really shows as Thunderstone Advance is tighter, faster, cleaner and generally a better experience. Some folks complain about the artwork and whatnot, but I generally find its a great reboot and you don’t need the original. Having said that, I’ve got a few earlier sets and I find they fit in just fine and let you play with even more cards which is nice. I’ll likely keep them, though if you are new I’d stick with the new expansions until you feel like you’ve got the rules down solid.

Overall, one of my favorite games.

 
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3
I play blue
9
96 of 106 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“The Theme is Richer than the Mechanics”

Ever since Final Fantasy for the original 8-bit Nintendo was the single video game gift I opened on Christmas morning so many years ago, I have had this constant itch for Fantasy. It’s also a fact that books like The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia helped the itch too. I remember playing Dragon Warrior 3 for hours on end until my eyes were completely dried out. Recently I read the entire Inheritance Cycle [Eragon] and finished A Game of Thrones. My itch continues. Having fantastical board games only keeps me itching. Games like Runebound, Lords of Waterdeep, and Thunderstone Advance all bring to mind those experiences as a kid and how much I really enjoy the theme.

Oddly enough, I don’t have many Fantasy board games. Of the 80 or so games I own, I’ll bet only 8 or 9 are actual Fantasy themed. Wow. Less than 10%. It literally just hit me as I was typing that out. Why so few then, if it’s a theme I really like? Well, just like any other theme I suppose, it can get tired and repetitive. Elves and dwarves and dragons and wizards. It kinda all bleeds together sometimes, and the theme gets missed quite often. And if it’s a theme I really like, what makes this stand out among other fantasy themed games? How well does the theme hold up? Let’s answer those questions among others in this review…read on…

I’ve never actually played the original Thunderstone. I had my mitts on a copy of it to buy it, but a kind fellow at the game store said “Ummm…there’s a new one coming soon I hear…”. Obviously, that was earlier this year. So I waited patiently, and apparently that was a great move. I know a lot of reviewers out there have spoken highly of the series, and I’m glad I didn’t wait too long to get on the train with this game [the new version, that is]. I’ve had the game for some time now, just haven’t had a chance to get a good review in until now. So what is Thunderstone Advance anyway? It’s deck builder. Plain and simple, it’s a deck builder. But you’re not building a deck to score points, oh no no no…you’re building a deck, essentially, a team with an arsenal, to defeat the baddies in the dungeon or wilderness. This game, in addition to being a deck-builder like the grandfather of them all, Dominion, is also a dungeon crawling adventure. You can hire mercs in the village, buy up weapons and special abilities, hire some expendables, and kill of the creeps in the Dungeon/Wilderness that threaten the lives of the villagers. The expendables you hire can level up…and this is necessary..because the baddies in the deeper parts of the dungeon are only going to get stronger. You need your guys to level up so that you can have them carry bigger and better weapons, wield stronger spells, and pack stronger punches. The goal of the game is to defeat the Thunderstone bearer that resides deep within the dungeon. This has most of the elements of a solid RPG, and yet it keeps it within the confines of a deck-building game. So…let’s look at what the box offers:

1. The Cards

Duh…it’s a deckbuilder. And that means that there’s a lot of cards in this box. Like..a ******** of cards. Enough cards that if played by the basic rules, no two games will be alike, unless you play this game a few hundred times. Me? I play the best way I know how: The Epic Variant. Popularized by Tom Vasel and Richard Launius [even credited them in the rulebook], the epic variant basically makes use of ALL of the freaking cards. The upside? Having a crazy epic game, with a mystery around every corner. The downside? Reorganizing the dang cards again. The box comes with a great insert, along with dividers, to keep your game ready and clean and organized…just like I like it. If I can’t keep it well organized in it, then darlin’, we’ve got a problem. Needless to say, I had a bit of a fit when I did the epic variant. Easy to set up and play…just flipped me out when I went to stow it back in the box. Took as long to reorganize it as it did when I just threw all of it together and played the game. In any case, the artwork on the cards is gorgeous and pretty well keeps the theme intact without being crazy over-the-top [Ascension, while has creepily great artwork, I think it’s heavy and dark fantasy just for the sake of being so]. Thunderstone Advance’s artwork is right in line with what one would expect going into a fantasy themed game. Brilliant and Beautiful.

2. The Board

Yep…there’s a board in this here card game. While not necessary, it’s definitely got some amazing visual appeal to it. And it’s a full on legitimate board, not some flimsy thin sheet or ****** cardboard. No kids, this is a thick stock of a card board. Like I said, it isn’t necessary to even have. But it has spots laid and filled out where each stack of cards should be stowed, again, with some remarkable visual appeal. And seeing where the village is in relation to the wilderness or dungeon? Yes please.

3. The Thundstones

There’s a set of plastic bits acting as the thunderstones themselves. These are used in exchange for leveling up your heroes. The publisher [AEG] could have done themselves a favor by just putting in a punch board of bits to use but NO, dang it…they did US a favor and added these pretty sweet plastic bits. I haven’t swallowed any yet, but then again, I don’t actually plan to.

4. The box insert

I learned some time ago that I need to get past the idea that all box inserts are good to keep. Most of the Fantasy Flight games I own I take the card board insert out, and do some sort of ritualistic ceremony when I toss it in the recycle bin. It just isn’t necessary. I don’t see the benefit for long term storage, but it makes sense in delivering and shipping the game itself. I’m seeing that in a lot of my games. The insert for Lords of Vegas? Not even the right insert. Should have been for some other game. But where does Thunderstone Advance fit in? The game came with some fancy divider cards, along with some foam inserts to keep the cards organized, in tact, and unmovable. Right now, I have this game sitting vertically on the shelf, and not one card has budged. AEG did a fabulous job with this insert. Plenty of room to grow in the box, too, if you know what I mean.

The bottom line is that this is a fabulous game. While it is a card game, it doesn’t feel strictly as a card game. The theme is engaging enough that you don’t feel so compelled to grab up victory points, rather you seek out your victory by wiping out the monsters that are constantly coming your way. Being able to grab up delicious loot and formidable companions keeps the theme alive. Now that there are two expansions out for Thunderstone Advance, you can be certain that these will make it to my shelf and eventually, my table. If you like Fantasy and card games, this is a no brainier…get it. If you’re looking for something tactical, look towards Rune Age. Thunderstone Advance doesn’t have the tactical strategies you might think it should have. It is after all, a deck builder. And it incorporates that “do I have enough to get this sword” economic strategy, much better than other deck builders I’ve played.

 
Player Avatar
6
AEG fan
Miniature Painter
US Army Service
8
94 of 105 gamers found this helpful
“Thunderstoned”

Thunderstone Advance is a thematic deck building game with good solitaire support. It is not especially hard to learn, but has enough variety in cards and situations that every game will play out a bit differently – sometimes VERY differently – than previous games.

One thing that I like about Thunderstone Advance is that it is part of very well considered and constructed line of games and it shows in the balance and general smoothness of game play and the rules. This is the second generation of the product (Advance) and as such you benefit from the lessons learned from the original product. Overall, it is a very refined and hardy game system that plays nicely.

If there is an initial obstacle, it is usually a question of where or how do I start – what product do I purchase first? Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin is a good starting point. You can later augment the set with Caverns of Bane, Into the Abyss, and Root of Corruption should you feel the need. Those expansions are all considered to belong to the same family / story arc which began with Towers of Ruin and getting them will simply add more variety and depth to Thunderstone Advance.

In terms of ownership, the first step of owning the game is to organize it. The box that I received had cards in fairly logical, lengthy runs and it was easy enough to organize. Then I decided to alter the order of the groups. Then I discovered that I had the cards on the wrong side of the divider. Anyhow, you can tweak and adjust and make it just like you want it – and the benefit to getting it right is that subsequent games will setup faster or slower depending on how well you’ve done organizing the game. The manual has card groups and an order which I suggest that you follow at first.

Once you’ve got it organized, now it is time to learn the game. You can follow the steps in the manual, watch some game play videos online, or mix and match as needed. I personally watched someone else play it and that gave me a better grasp of things so the rules read much more easily.

Game play is pretty simple. You have a hand of six cards. You can go to the dungeon and battle or you can go to the village and shop with them. Much less frequently you can take advantage of two other options, you can rest (remove a card from the game and discard your hand) or you can prepare (put as many cards from your hand as you wish on top of the deck and discard what you don’t need) which is often needed for the final fight.

You initially start with with just 12 cards and your hand is quite weak. The initial portion of the game is about strengthening your hand and you will spend the bulk of your time in the village while you find better heroes and arm them.

Eventually you will get a hand that is strong enough to pummel some hapless monster in the dungeon and you will then slowly start to flood your deck with defeated enemies. As the game goes on, you get more and defeated enemies in your deck and this acts as a throttle of sorts. By the time the Thunderstone bearer arrives, you might have to use the prepare options several times in order to rally enough strength to be victorious.

The game system keep constant pressure on you and the tension grows as the Thunderstone bearer approaches. I’ve had 20+ points leads slide away in the last 5 turns and I’ve had stunning successes. I’ve also had narrow losses, the kind where you go back and review how you managed to end up on the wrong side of the line.

For me, a very important aspect of the game is solitaire game play, and Thunderstone does a very, very good job here. It is now one of my favorite solitaire titles and I doubt if that will change any time soon.

 
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6
Arrowhead
Knight-errant
Time Well Spent - Games
10
88 of 101 gamers found this helpful
“Excellent new edition of a great deck-builder.”

Thunderstone is probably my favorite game to play right now. I learned to play online at yucata.de and have loved it ever since. This new version of the game is really fantastic. Others have already explained how to play, so I will focus on why this edition is better than the original.

The rule book is much improved. The rules are better explained, and it goes through a game, step by step, and explains things well. I do wish the glossary was longer, discussing each card group in the set, but that is a minor concern.

The new basic deck is a vast improvement. The Regular replaces the Militia and the Thunderstone shard replaces the Iron Ration. These cards are more interesting than their older counterparts and help speed up the game. The old basic deck was filled with things players were just trying to get rid of, but now these cards will stick around to the end.

Familiars and the different Curses are new additions that make the game more interesting (and only a little more complicated).

The board helps organize things better, and has another variant for the dungeon set-up. Its a good way to start playing the game in the new “wilderness” board, rather than the unforgiving “dungeon” board. I like it.

Lastly, the quick start rules help someone just jump right in and play the game. My friends and I used it and really enjoyed being able to get right into the game.

If you have not given Thunderstone a try, and are willing to get into a more complex deck builder, this is the one for you.

 
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3
Filth - Summoner Wars
8
88 of 102 gamers found this helpful
“Great deckbuilding game, just a little too long”

I bought this game because I didn’t had any deckbuilding games in my collection and after some research this seemed as the best option.
Even though I like it very much, it tends to be a little too long. It always takes us around 2 hours to finish the game and people at some point tend to be bored and not interested in the game anymore. Maybe this can be changed by adding less monsters in the dungeon deck.

The good
1. Nice theme.
2. Lots of cards.
3. Interesting scenarios in the rule book
4. Good quality
4. The idea of going to either the dungeon to fight or the village to buy/hire is really nice

The bad
1. It takes too long and people easily get bored with it.
2. Some elements of surprise missing.

The conclusion
All in all is a really nice game, is worth it if you have friends interested in boardgames and deckbuilders. However, if you are playing with new people it might bore them and you might not finish the game.
Me, personally I like it and don’t regret buying it 🙂

 
Player Avatar
6
Went to Gen Con 2012
Gamer - Level 6
8
88 of 125 gamers found this helpful
“A "new" twist on the deck builder”

I was able to play this game this past weekend at GenCon. Having not played Thunderstone, I was not certain what to expect other than “another deckbuiling game”. I was pleasently superised to find that the added element of defeating monsters using the deck you built made the game feel much different from almost any deck builder I’ve played.

Most of what I have to say is already writen in the BG Review above, but I would like to add how quickly it was for me to pick up the additional rules to make the transition from Dominion to Thunderstone Advance. by about the fourth turn in a four player game we were moving along quite nicely. We did not use the familiars in this session, and we seem to have been missing a monster type which shortened the game quite a bit. Other than that it was a lot of fun and I’m adding it to my “I Want” list.

 
Player Avatar
2
Went to Gen Con 2012
8
74 of 128 gamers found this helpful
“Great Deck Building Game”

This is a fun deck building game that revolves around fighting rather than building up a bureaucracy (Dominion) or flailing hoping that the right card shows up on your turn and not another player’s (Ascension). It takes strategy and thought to build up a good army. The aspect of light in the dungeon is very interesting and a fun twist.

The only downside is that there is little interaction between players. However, this seems to be the norm for deck building type games.

 
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3
Gamer - Level 3
Rated 25 Games
8
79 of 137 gamers found this helpful
“A new look at an old favorite”

At Gencon 2012 I got to play Thunderstone Advance. I had played the older version of Thunderstone and had always had fun with it, but it had never become a favorite. This revamped version of the game has made me look at it all over again. The mechanics have been cleaned up and the system plays much faster and smoother than before. I even went so far as to buy a copy for me to teach my friends. Thank goodness for the new plastic EX chits. The old card system kind of sucked..

Great revamp and a must play again.

 

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