Dreams of Dystopia (Preview)
What would happen if you crossed a deck-builder like “Dominion” with the card and combat mechanics from a game like “Magic: The Gathering”? Enter “Dreams of Dystopia”, a game that’ll be launching on Kickstarter sometime in early April, 2015. In this case, each player will receive a “Master”, complete with a separate life points and fame tracker. They’re similar to the “Planeswalkers” you might find in “Magic: The Gathering”. At any rate, it’ll be your job to reduce your opponents’ Masters down to “0” whilst building up your very own deck of cards. Before I go any further, I’d like to thank Game Creator Andreas Propst for reaching out and providing me with a prototype copy for preview purposes. It’s important to stress that prototypes are not often reflective of the final product, making everything seen below (including the rules) subject to change.
“Dreams of Dystopia” is set up in a way typical of most deck builders. Each player will receive a “Master” along with a red (health counter) and blue (fame counter) 20-sided die. They’ll also get some minions, heroic deed cards, and curse cards to form their starting deck of ten cards. The minions and weapon cards that can be acquired throughout the game are placed within easy reach of all players. The heroic deed and curse cards are separated into separate decks and placed in the center of the table, alongside the other minion and weapon cards. The life point dice are set to the value indicated on the master’s card and the fame dice are set to “0”. Each player draws five cards to form their starting hand.
What’s different here is that Masters and Minions can be either “Divine” or “Demonic” (these cards are two-sided with each side representing a particular type). Players will get to choose what “affiliation” they’ll start as (Divine or Demonic) and flip their Masters and Minions to that side appropriately. The two affiliations have different abilities, allowing players to customize their starting loadout a bit. The game includes opaque sleeves (about 50 for each player) that are used for each card in a player’s deck (to help keep their hand concealed). No worries, some card abilities will allow you to flip your cards to the other affiliation, so you’re not locked in permanently to one particular personality.
A player’s turn has two phases: 1) The Main Phase and 2) The End Phase. During the main phase, a player can perform one ability, one heroic deed, and one attack in any order of their choosing. They can also buy or acquire a card from the supply, but this will automatically trigger the end phase. In other words, you’ll want to play your cards and perform your actions before you attempt to build you deck by acquiring something. Abilities are just what they sound like and are pretty varied. Different minions will have different abilities, not to mention that your affiliation (Divine or Demonic) will reveal different possibilities. Playing a heroic deed increases your fame (blue die) by one point. Fame is used as a sort of currency to buy the cards in the center of the table and buying a card of the opposite affiliation will cost you more of it.
Combat is handled somewhat similarly to “Magic: The Gathering” in that players will assign an attacker and a blocker appropriately. The difference in stats (ATK, DEF, etc.) will determine how much damage the target Master receives. Some cards list special words like “SUPPORT”, which is an ability that occurs when you send you’re about to attack or block with a different card. Essentially, it allows you to discard the card with “SUPPORT” in order to give your attacker or blocker special bonuses. For those of you who have played “Magic: The Gathering”, you may be familiar with some of these concepts. Newcomers to “Magic: The Gathering” need not worry, “Dreams of Dystopia” isn’t nearly as complicated when it comes to card abilities. Weapon cards work similarly to “SUPPORT” cards in the sense that you can discard them for added abilities/stats, though you’ll need the appropriate “skill” requirement in order to use them.
There’s more that I haven’t covered here and some of the general rules might be subject to change a bit depending on a card’s individual abilities, but the above should hopefully give you a small taste as to what you’d be in for should you decide to support this game. I have to say that the idea of cards having two different personalities or affiliations is an intriguing one and opens the door for a lot of different “builds”. While you’ll need more fame to buy cards of the opposite affiliation as your Master, players may end up finding some interesting combinations that require a mix of the two. “Dreams of Dystopia” has some really ingenious “out-of-the-box” concepts, making this project well worth your attention.
You can learn more about and support “Dreams of Dystopia” by visiting its Kickstarter page, here: