The winners, in no particular order.
Joe Frazier – Livermore, CA
Village Name – Speed of Steel
Heroes: Clan, Dwarf, Toryn, Outlands
Village: Arcane Energies, Foresight Elixe, Doomgate Squire, Fortune Teller, Short Sword, Claymore, Polearm, Flaming Sword
Village Description: Our aim with this deck was resource acceleration and high attack. Doomgate Squire and Fortune Teller draw additional cards in both the Village and the Dungeon, while Foresight Elixer draws additional dungeon cards. The deck is fairly simple otherwise, you draw a massive amount of cards and throw very large weapons on very large beefy dudes. Foresight Elixer deals with traps and Arcane Energies deals with the eventuality that enemies are Magic Attack only. Draw your entire deck. Win the game.
Tom Schmidt – Coon Rapids, MN
Village Name – Everyone Armed?
Heroes: Sidhe, Dwarf, Outlands, Runespawn
Village: Amulet of Power, Claymore, Blacksmith, Short Sword, Polearm, Pawn Broker, Blessed Hammer, Greed Blade
Village Description: This set is one inspired by an actual set up we had one evening while playing. I can’t recall the last time I had so much fun playing so I removed cards we found to be very limited in their use and replaced them with cards we used more. There is magic attack and loads of high strength weapons. The Amulet of Power item and Runespawn hero help everyone to be able to equip weapons. The pawn broker and blacksmith are there for when you only have a couple gold and also help to put militia to a good use. This set up is perfect for using high powered weapons and the rest of the village is set up to support them. A very fun set up to play with.
Jason Melenberg – Fredericton, NB, Canada
Village Name – Sysiphiss
Heroes: Selurin, Sidhe, Chalice, Slynn
Village: Shortsword, Short Bow, Spear, Sage, Spirit Hunter, Spirit Blast, Cyclone, Soul Jar
Village Description: Stupefied citizens have stifled their senses due to the sinister sentinels so near the city Sysiphiss. Several sports are surrendering themselves to save said city: Soaring Sidhe, Somber Chalice, Slippery Slynn, and the Stupendous Selurin. Such heroes seek to stop the stalking savages with spiritual surrender to the Spirit Hunter, possessor of the sacred Soul Jar and to the Sage of the Spirit Blast. Stout hearts survive on simplicity and solidarity, and so, a Spear, Shortsword and Short Bow shall be sent along with the sole spell Cyclone. Sysiphiss shall be saved by such souls or be suffocated by the stench of sour surrender. The citizens shout this: “Slay six! Slay seven! Slay several ’til the savage’s sanguine is spilt!”
Josh VanLindenberg – Calgary, AB, Canada
Village Name – Laziness?
Heroes: Elf, Sidhe, Diin, Drunari
Village: Barkeeper, Pawnbroker, Town Guard, Spirit Hunter, Blacksmith, Arcane Energy, Flask of Oil, Magi Staff
Village Description: The weakest and cheapest have come together. This makeshift town might as well have been named Laziness, but they didn’t have enough energy to bother getting around to naming it. Given the fact that monsters are on the loose and no one much wants to do anything about it, the town may not be around much longer anyway. Shoulder shrugs accompany greetings of “Oh well” and “Whatever,” if residents muster the gumption for one. This band of sluggish louts is getting out of bed late, but they will fight if they have to save their own sorry asses, it just won’t happen before noon.
The heroes are some of the weakest (strength wise) and the cards are some of the cheapest (no card cost over 4 gold). This will likely be the most mundane game of Thunderstone ever played, but at least you got through it, so that you never have to again.
Guy Larocque – Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Village Name – Gauntlet
Heroes: Outlands, Feayn, Selurin, Chalice
Village: Flaming Sword, Short Bow, Magic Missile, Hatchet, Feast, Glowberries, Arcane Energies, Tavern Brawl
Village Description: In a past age, in the year 1983 AD, a castle was besieged by all manner of dark beasts. They made the dungeons in the nearby castle their lair and set about terrorizing the neighbouring village of Gauntlet.
Only 4 brave heros were daring enough to take on these vile creatures and save the village from destruction. They were Thor (the Warrior), Questor (the Elf), Merlin (the Wizard) and Thyra (the Valkyrie). Each hero brought their own strength to the group: Thor, was a great fighter and adept with an axe; Questor was fast and relentless with a bow; Merlin used magic bolts with deadly skill; and Thyra was very well armored and deadly with a sword.
To aid in their quest, the village of Gauntlet made sure they kept stocks of provisions that would be required by the valiant heros. In addition to their weapon (or spell) of choice, they also stocked vast quantities of food for healing. (“Valkyrie is about to die”…. meant only one thing…find food or die!) But they also secured the rare glowberries, food that not only nourishes but also provides light which is extremely important for the heroes as they go deeper and deeper into the dungeon. It seems these monsters have developed a keen sense of natural night vision to the detriment of our adventurers.
Together they took on these beasts, level after level they cleared the dungeon as they sought their prize, the Thunderstone, which would rid the monster threat forever, if only they could get it. Do you have what it takes? Can you join this party and thwart the menace? We will see.
Ben Moy – Chapel Hill, NC
Village Name -The Lusters of Gold
Heroes: Drunari, Lorigg, Diin, Runespawn
Village: Barkeep, Town Guard, Pawnbroker, Border Guard, Feast, Lightstone Gem, Greed Blade, Polearm
Village Description: When the land is rich with wealthy foes, fortune and not fame will decide both village and heroes. When Pawnbroker, Barkeep, and Town Guard obsess to outfit every party for extravagant success, bountiful Feasts, brilliant Lightstone Gems, ornate Polearms, and thirsty Greed Blades should every adventurer possess. And if they want to enjoy riches guarded by dragons’ fire, the villagers are quick to suggest the Border Guards for hire. But should some trophies fail Vagabond thinking, the Pawnbroker will happily exchange with coins clinking. A word of warning to those of riches, the thieves are ever nimble with bulging purse stitches.
-The monsters are picked to be A) high in $ value with multiple monsters over $3 in worth, B) thematic to classic mythology, and C) varying in easy to hard difficulty to pit quick and long strategies against each other.
-The Border Guard is excellent against dragons and useful for filtering needed for the Drunari Vagabond and strength or coins necessary for the Greedblade.
-41 $3+ cards make the Drunari Vagabond and Greed Blade very relevant.
Piotr Szaniawski – Uppsala, Sweden
Village Name: Tricky Choices
Heroes: Blind, Drunari, Dwarf, Sidhe
Village: Amulet of Power, Blacksmith, Cursed Mace, Flask of Oil, Illusory Blade, Magical Aura, Spirit Blast, Town Guard
Village Description: This village is all about giving the players a headache while they’re trying to figure out how to build their decks. There are no all-in-one cards and it’s even difficult to find any obvious two-card combos.
The usually powerful Dwarf has to satisfy himself with Daggers as the only edged weapon, and other heroes are initially too weak to carry Cursed Maces. Apart from Iron Rations there are, however, two cards that can compensate for what the heroes lack in Strength: Amulet of Power, which also provides a Light bonus and at the same time can be utilized to give Blind additional magic attack; and Magical Aura, with a higher gold value, which is a rarity in this otherwise gold-scarce setup, plus the card drawing power, which indirectly compensates for its lack of any attack bonus in the dungeon.
Speaking of gold, the Town Guard can help with getting some additional funds, even if at the cost of being destroyed himself. The Drunari thieves can also be used as a source of additional gold, but one has to remember that their level 2 fighting ability is somewhat handicapped by the lack of 3-gold cards in the village. Some of the monster trophies can possibly remedy that, though. Moreover, scarcity of gold makes using Blacksmith a bit of a gamble, as it might be difficult to get enough funds to buy two cards… unless you’re buying Daggers for your Dwarf, of course
With no great weapon choices, Illusory Blade comes out as a very universal card, allowing specific heroes to equip the right weapon under given circumstances; e.g. giving a strengthened Sidhe a Cursed Mace and then happily putting a disease in another player’s discard pile.
While not that great an investment, since in most cases it needs to be destroyed for full effectivness, Flask of Oil can also be a very versatile choice with this setup, giving the option to get solid light and attack bonuses and synergizing well with Blind.
If there aren’t too many magic immune monsters, Spirit Blast might be a good late-game investment, giving a significant attack bonus even to the weakest of heroes, provided the player has saved up some experience points.
For a particularly evil combination the dungeon can be populated with Undead – Doom (diseases + spell destruction), Undead – Stormwraith (magic immunity) and Elemental – Pain (nasty breaching effects + some magic only).
Simeon Pang – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Village Name – The Women of Thunderstone
Heroes: Amazon, Lorigg, Sidhe, Ganglands
Village: Arcane Energy, Lightstone Gem, Hatchet, Amulet of Power, Fortune Teller, Pious Chaplain, Spirit Hunter, Trainer
Village Description: In all times and places men are prone to the same fault: overlooking their women. In the current age of the strange powers of the Thunderstone, this is no exception, but that the stakes are higher with great dragons on the loose and evil Guardians about. Both men and women need to be strong in this time if they are to survive and must be willing to fight. Normally, the women could care less about broader implications outside the home, but many men are being defeated by a growing apathy. They don’t try to understood their women, who only want a sense of safety, a little pampering and some bling.
Fed up, four women are seeing their personal Trainer and taking on pseudonyms: Amazon, Lorigg, Gangland, and Sidhe. They are also consulting various female spiritual leaders for wisdom, such as the Pious Chaplain, Spirit Hunters, and Fortune Tellers. They have come to the conclusion that they must act and strongly if they are to save themselves from the evils lurking not far away. Luckily enough for their lazy slob husbands, the pent-up female aggression is being released on ugly and fashionless dungeon dwellers. And in the process they plan on grabbing some bling like the Lightstone Gem and Amulet of Power. To save the day and come away with a prize is nothing extraordinary: they are women after all and have been saving men’s lives since the beginning of time.
Alfreda Wong – Burnaby, BC, Canada
Village Name – Askada
Heroes: Faeyn, Runesawn, Selurin, Outlands
Village: Sage, Trainer, Cursed Mace, Banish, Cyclone, Magic Missile, Spirit Blast, Creeping Death
Village Description: Resources are scarce: not a surprise in the once bustling Askada, ruined by the hefty kingdom taxes levied against anything marketable. This is the fault of the King, who has been consumed by an unquenchable greed. Strangely, he has made the promise that should he be presented with the Stone of Avarice, which he longs for more than anything, that he will lift the heavy dues. So far, no one has dared risk the capture of this Thunderstone: either for mistrust in the King or because the way to it is blocked by the vile and indomitable Guardian of Askada’s Doomed Depths, a terrible cavern with evil brooding things.
An exodus from the kingdom has begun; everyone is leaving for better more profitable employment in other lands. As such, food is virtually unattainable, and the only weapon available to heroes to buy is the Cursed Mace, left to a diseased merchant. There are some who have stayed behind in hopes of being useful: Sages with access to a host of spells and Trainers to help any hero with enough optimism to fight. Some heroes have stayed and are willing, but not unless handsomely paid. In this turbulent and tight fisted economic time, only a savvy overseer will claim the Stone of Avarice and hold it ransom until the King restores justice!
A note on play: This set-up has the most expensive heroes for sale, either 7 or 8 to start, and none of the village cards has any gold value on them. This will force players to head into the dungeon as early as possible, or to buy more iron rations, torches, and daggers, in order to access the expensive heroes and cards. However, buying anything other than those base three cards with a gold value also means having decreased buying power. Managing resources well will be the special challenge in this game.
Nathaniel Robb – Charlottesville, Virginia
Village Name – Black Water
Heroes: Deep, Divine, Runespawn, Selurin
Village: Feast, Ambrosia, Flask of Oil, Spirit Blast, Trainer, Fortune Teller, Spirit Hunter, Polearm
Village Description: Black Water is a town founded and operated by mercenaries. Mostly ex-soldiers sick of war that are trying to build a place where they can live in peace. It is an true democratic town where everyone gets a vote in town affairs. Black Water gets its name from the Murk water river that runs by the town. The river, a slow moving deep river provides everything the town needs. From the boats that travel up and down its length providing trade, to the fish that are caught for food. Once a place of trade and commerce till most of its people fled the terrible monster pouring out of the dungeon. Its remaining people hope that it will be again be when the monsters have been driven off. To this end they have courted the finest heroes in the land with offerings of wonderful food, powerful weapons, deadly magic and even there own sword arms.
Mechanically I have included the best combo’s in the game. With the deep gaining extra benefit from the mercenaries which in turn let you draw more card for more mercenaries and more attack on top of that feast and ambrosia that turn even the weakest militia into a force to be reckoned with. Not that I recommend hanging on to your militia one second longer than you have to. That is why I have included a trainer to allow you get rid of your militia for xp that then leads into the next combo. With all the xp you gather removing your militia from your deck you can not only level up your heroes but use it to power spirit blast that is then doubled by your second and higher level Selurin mages. The third combo I have included is Runespawns and pole arms. Simple put the Runespawn, feast and ambrosia insure that even the weakest mage can wield a pole arm to full effect. The only short coming in this village is a slight lack of light witch may hurt early on but once you get your combos up and running can just be powered through. I have included flask of oil which should over come that problem and then can be destroyed when no longer needed.
Adam Perry – Bellevue, WA
Village Name – Party Time!
Hero: Gangland, Diin, Verdan, Drunari
Village: Barkeep, Feast, Tavern Brawl, Town Guard, Fortune Teller, Glow Berries, Goodberries, Banish
Village Description: It’s party time in Barrowsdale! Forget about the dungeon, because all the action is in the village this time around. This village deck puts the “party” into your adventuring party. If you’ve ever had one of those games where you just couldn’t kill any monsters, take it easy. Kick back and relax with this deck. Let someone else worry about monster slaying.
Diin is a lot of fun at parties. Verdan provides the music. Gangland and Drunari love parties and are along for the ride.
Plenty of food for everyone at the Feast! The Barkeep is running an open bar. Just don’t start a Tavern Brawl or the Town Guard will Banish you. For your entertainment, we’ve hired a Fortune Teller. Our wilder partygoers will definitely want to check out our psychedelic Glow Berries, but if that’s not your taste, then you might want to stick to the Goodberries. There’s something for everyone at Barrowsdalefest ’11!
Bobby Warren – Glendale, AZ
Village Name – Balance
Heroes: Diin, Feayn, Lorigg, Regian
Village: Ambrosia, Arcane Energies, Blacksmith, Doomgate Squire, Lantern, Magi Staff, Short Sword, Warhammer
Village Description: Balance is a good thing. Nothing costs too much. Some of it is very affordable. The heroes aren’t too powerful, and some might say they are weak. But weak they are not. If they are careful, the heroes will be triumphant in any endeavor to find the Thunderstones.
(It’s also a good thing to use cards that players consider useless. Feayn archers? You betcha they are useful! Magi Staff? It’s a magic attack and can be used to discard a monster. Suck it up! Explore the items and heroes some scoff at and learn to master them to defeat the unwise who would laugh at these heroes and items!)
Morgan Robertson – San Antonio, TX
Village Name – The Gygax
Heroes: Dwarf (Guardian), Elf (Wizard), Lorrig (Thief), Divine (Healer)
Village: Fireball, Magic Missile, Flask of Oil, Lantern, Polearm, Warhammer, Short Sword, Blacksmith
Village Description: HARKEN-BACK LADIES AND GENTS, to your first Basic D&D Dungeon Crawl. Grab your torches and 50 foot pole (Polearm). Arm yourselves with the best equipment and deadliest spells! Dwarves, Elves, and Spellslingers abound, with each of the four iconic slots (Fighting-Man, Thief, Cleric, Wizard) showing up for the delve! Our monster choice are, of course, Slimes, Humanoids (pesky goblins!), and Dragons, with some death traps to boot! If you bought the DM pizza tonight, he might even be obliged to add in Ulbrics Armor to those guarded treasure chests. Under equipped and overwhelmed, delve deep into the horrifying depths to gain levels, and of course, the world changing artifact, the THUNDERSTONE!
Ian Toltz – Revere, MA
Village Name: The Militia’s Revenge
Heroes: Clan, Diin, Regian, Thyrian
Village: Barkeep, Battle Fury, Divine Staff, Feast, Flask of Oil, Lightstone Gem, Sage, Polearm
Village Description: Designed to encourage and reward keeping militia in your deck. Most heroes provide benefits to militia directly or indirectly (e.g. Clan rewards other equipped heroes and all weapons are wieldable my militia). Regian provides disease removal and draws extra cards.
Village cards include weapons militia can equip, lightstone gem so you can keep the bare minimum of light sources, sage to aggressively thin deck of non-heroes, food and spells that reward having many heroes in hand, and the barkeep so you can buy a spare militia without wasting your turn.
Aaron Sebastian – Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Village Name – Rogue’s Forest
Heroes: Gangland, Lorigg, Redblade, Runespawn
Village: Ambrosia, Barkeep, Short Sword, Claymore, Foresight Elixir, Magical Aura, Tavern Brawl, Tax Collector
Village Description: This village is basically a thief free-for-all, with lots of interaction to spice things up. Barkeep, Tax Collector and Tavern brawl were used as ways to backstab other players or get more for their money (or just more money). The foresight elixir is something that no good thief should be without, to avoid traps is something well worth having. As for weapons, the Claymore is there to obliterate enemies, and essentially steal a couple of extra victory points without any extra effort. Having the magical aura in tandem ensures someone can always wield it. Alternatively, the short sword is there for those wanting to be a little more stealthy and not so weighted down. Ambrosia is included for some quick victory points, some extra strength and attack bonuses, and not having to destroy characters in battle is a sweet bonus to the deal.
This village creates a perfect atmosphere for sneaky, conniving, cut-throat bandits who can pillage, steal, and back-stab their opponents to their hearts delight, but can still plunder the dungeon with relative success. This village is perfect for thieves who want it all and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you all who entered. Thank you for supporting Thunderstone and we hope you enjoy Dragonspire and our future releases!