Welcome back to the Guardian! Curt Crane here to release our next group of spoilers. Unfortunately, this group of cards is out to spoil your chances at winning. Curses! It’s … curses!
So, what are curses? Curses are the new implementation of diseases–negative cards which clog your deck and ruin your chance at an effective turn.
Now, everybody hates diseases (or perhaps I should say “hates” diseases). We recognize them as a necessary evil which helps open up card design possibilities. Diseases are quite difficult to deal with–especially in multiples. I still remember fondly … *grits teeth* … yes, fondly, my first introduction to a card called Creeping Death.
Creeping Death costs 11 gold! Here is its text:
DUNGEON: All other players gain one Disease card. Reduce the Health of each Monster in the Dungeon Hall by 2. If this would reduce a Monster’s health to 0, place it in your discard pile, and refill the Hall.
I played with a group of friends and this thing sat on the board, seemingly unattainable, when one of my opponents started buying Claymores (an expensive, heavy weapon). “How the heck is he going to be able to use that?” I pondered.
Needless to say, he only bought the Claymores for their gold value to get to the Creeping Death. That spell ended up filling my deck with 9 diseases, and no clerics on the board. He put diseases into my deck faster than I could get them out.
And I Seethed.
Make no mistake, diseases are painful – and curses are diseases. What curses allow you to do, however, is outplay the pain.
I recall the design meeting in which curses were first discussed. There were a variety of complex and not-so-complex ideas for them, but they all seemed to make curses even worse than diseases, which I felt was the wrong direction to go. I shared my story of Creeping Death and offered this suggestion: “What if, instead of making curses harder to get out of your deck, we made them easier to get out? If you’re willing to take some sort of punishment, then you can get rid of a curse without having to rest them out.
Much discussion followed, and we created virtually all of our curses in that one evening. Ed Bolme later had the wonderful idea in tying our curses together with Tala’s version of the Seven Deadly Sins.
My main goal in suggesting the curses mechanic was not to address my one negative experience. Instead, I wanted to add importance to the play of the hand. I wanted a clever player to be able to get rid of a curse and still have a moderately effective turn. Or, perhaps a player could get rid of two curses in the same play, but at the cost of cancelling their original plans. In this regard, curses have certainly been fun, and I have seen some very creative plays to attempt to sidestep their effects (not always successfully).
The “-1 attack” was actually a late addition in playtesting–the original versions didn’t even have that. Turns out, a little salt in the wound is still sometimes necessary.
Now here is your question: You go to the dungeon, and see a monster worth 2 VP, and a monster worth 3 VP. You also have a curse in your hand. You can kill the monster with 3 VP outright. Or, you can activate the dungeon effect on your curse to destroy it, but then only have enough attack left to kill the 2 VP monster.
What do you do?
Hope you have an answer ready this March!