Cooperative games have become quite popular lately. From the Arkham Horror & Lord of the Rings board games by Fantasy Flight Games, to World of Warcraft and other video games, it's been proven that sometimes it's just as much fun to play alongside your friends as it is to play against them.
As you know (if you’ve been following this blog for awhile), I originally developed Solo Adventures using elements I found in other games such as Runebound and Arkham Horror. I want to do the same for a cooperative-style game of Guardians.
Back in 1999, after I initially stopped playing Guardians, I switched over to another CCG from AEG called Warlord: Saga of the Storm. It was a great game, but probably the most unique feature at the time was the Overlord Challenge. This pitted player decks against an Overlord and his army. The Overlord had inflated stats and a special, custom deck that made defeating it very challenging. To the right is an example of an Overlord.
After a few years I moved on from Warlord, turning to Upper Deck’s World of Warcraft (WoW) CCG. I soon grew bored with this game, except for the excellent Raid Decks. These Raid Decks featured a ramped-up boss, similar to the Overlord in Warlord, except players joined forces to beat Raid Decks. In fact, Raid Decks were optimized for 4-5 players with 1 player playing the boss, so if two players faced the boss, each player used two decks to simulate 4 players! It was incredibly fun and challenging. The merging of the Warlord Overlord and WoW Raid Deck concepts have served as the inspiration for my cooperative Guardian design.
Planar Conflict is a 2-5 player variant - a cooperative game for Guardians - and is part of the Celestial Battlefield set. Players team up to challenge an Infernal on another plane of existence that represents a threat to the Mid Realms and the Guardians themselves. Like Solo Adventures, it is a departure from the base game but uses some of the same elements.
The following are new card types that are seen for the first time in the Guardians environment:
- Infernals: these villains are like Guardians, in that they are the most powerful beings in the Planar realm over which they rule. They use Glyphs and Relics, and get Vassals to do their bidding. They seek to conquer and enslave the Mid Realms, stealing the power of the Guardians. They cannot be bribed.
- Control: these are cards that describe to the players how the Infernals behave and react, and also lists stats such as card draws, etc.
- Vassals: servants of the Infernals, they are wicked and quite powerful in their own right. Glyphs increase their power. They are the front line - the players must go through them to challenge the Infernals. Some Vassals can be bribed.
- Planar: this is the “Terrain” of the Infernals; it represents the realm over which they rule. Although Planar cards benefit Infernals and Vassals, some player creatures will also benefit.
- Conflict: these cards are made up of three card sub-types: Glyphs, Relics, and Trials (see below).
- Glyphs: like permanent Spells, Glyphs remain in play and affect the combat environment. Many Vassals gain bonuses based on the number of Glyphs in play. It takes 3 Dispel Magic cards to dispel a Glyph.
- Relics: similar in concept to Magic Item Accesories, Relics are attached to an Infernal, giving it some kind of special power, boosts in stats, or acting as a weapon to enhance combat ability. Like Glyphs, it takes 3 Dispel Magic cards to dispel a Relic.
- Trials: these are similar to Event cards, and change conditions during combat. They cannot be dispelled.