Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance, Board Game Review

Thunderstone is a deck-building recreation by Mike Elliott, printed in 2009, one yr after Dominion hit the market, making a frenzy with the introduction of a sizzling mixture of recreation mechanics: deck constructing and card drafting. In video games utilizing these mechanics, gamers select playing cards from a standard pool laid out on the desk, and attempt to steadily constructed the most effective deck of playing cards with which they may purchase essentially the most victory factors. The theme of such video games might differ however the primary concept stays the identical. With this assessment we’ll have a look at 2 video games, the unique Thunderstone launched in 2009 and the brand new Thunderstone Advance, which is a brand new improved implementation of the unique recreation.

Recreation Overview

In Thunderstone, you’re the chief of a heroic get together of adventurers arriving at Barrowsdale, close to Grimhold Dungeon the place the primary Thunderstone, an artifact of evil energy, is saved. You search to seek out the Thunderstone however so as to take action, you need to battle highly effective monsters that guard the dungeon. You should construct a deck of playing cards, consisting of adventurers, weapons, magic spells, meals and different gadgets.

Earlier than starting the sport, you need to setup 3 completely different type of decks. Do not forget that in every recreation of Thunderstone you will not be utilizing all playing cards out there within the recreation however every time the playing cards you utilize shall be completely different:


  • Dungeon deck: There are 8 completely different lessons of monsters. You select 3 or extra lessons at random, take all monsters belonging to those lessons and shuffle them to type the dungeon deck. Shuffle the particular Thunderstone card with the underside 10 playing cards of the Dungeon deck. Now you’re able to populate the corridor which is the realm the place you battle the monsters, positioned subsequent to the Dungeon deck. There are 3 ranks of monsters within the Corridor Space. The cardboard farthest from the Dungeon deck is rank 1 and the one closest is rank 3. These ranks are populated with monsters from the Dungeon deck. The rank of every monster, is related to a certain amount of Mild penalty, subtracted from the heroes assault energy. This aspect of the sport tries to simulate an actual state of affairs in a dungeon, the place the farther you advance into it, the much less mild there may be, inhibiting you to correctly see the monsters, thus decreasing the facility of your assault. Every level of sunshine penalty subtracts 2 factors of energy out of your assault. Monsters positioned in rank 1, give a lightweight penalty of 1 (thus assault -2), monsters in rank 2 give 2 factors of sunshine penalty (thus assault -4) and people in rank 3 give 3 factors of sunshine penalty (thus assault -6).
  • Village deck. The village deck consists of Heroes, Magic spells, weapons and varied gadgets. These are chosen randomly every time you play, utilizing randomizer playing cards, simply as monster lessons are chosen. Nevertheless there are 4 primary card sorts that can all the time be current within the village: Militia, Torch, Iron Ration and Dagger. In every recreation you’ll select 4 completely different Heroes and eight completely different Village playing cards to populate the village together with Primary playing cards. All these playing cards populate the village. Every time you select to go to the village as your motion, you should purchase considered one of them.
  • Beginning Deck. Every participant is dealt 6 Militia (6 Regulars in Thunderstone Advance), 2 daggers (Longspears in Thunderstone Advance), 2 iron rations (Thunderstone Shards in Thunderstone Advance) and a couple of torches. That is your beginning deck which you’ll steadily develop, filling it with playing cards from the village and monsters you defeat. You shuffle your deck and place it face down in entrance of you. Draw the highest 6 playing cards of your deck and you’re prepared for journey.


In your flip, you may select to do one of many following actions:


  • Go to the village: The playing cards you could have in your hand, provide you with a certain quantity of gold cash. You should use this gold to purchase playing cards from the village as you see acceptable. The truth is that is what you’ll primarily do in your first few turns, as you wil most likely not be sturdy sufficient to assault monsters within the corridor.
  • Enter the dungeon: Every hero has an assault energy, indicated on the cardboard. The mixed assault energy of all of the heroes in your hand is your complete out there energy to defeat monsters. Furthermore some playing cards, just like the torch, provide you with mild, thus lowering and even eliminating mild penalties. If you’re sturdy sufficient to defeat a monster within the Corridor, making an allowance for mild penalties, you may enter the dungeon, equip your heroes with weapons if out there, solid spells and defeat a monster. Every monster, when defeated, awards you with a certain quantity of victory factors and a few expertise factors which you should utilize to degree up your heroes.
  • Relaxation. By selecting this feature, you may relaxation and will destroy one card out of your hand. It goes to the destroyed playing cards pile, to not the discarded pile.


On the finish of your flip, you discard all playing cards in your hand to the discard pile and draw six new playing cards. When your deck is depleted, shuffle all playing cards from the discarded pile to type your new draw pile.

The sport ends when a participant collects the Thunderstone (by defeating a monster in Rank 1 thus inflicting the Thunderstone to maneuver to that open rank) or it enters Rank 1 as a result of a monster wasn’t defeated. Gamers depend up victory factors from playing cards they’ve collected all through the sport. The participant with essentially the most victory factors is the winner.

In 2012, a brand new up to date model of Thunderstone was launched: Thunderstone Advance. The primary set of the brand new model known as “Towers of Damage”. Playing cards from unique Thunderstone and Thunderstone Advance may be blended collectively. Listed below are crucial new options of Thunderstone Advance:


  • Modified terminology: Mild penalty is now known as Darkness. React is a brand new capacity that permits gamers to behave throughout different gamers turns. Raid is a brand new impact that happens when monsters are first revealed within the Dungeon Corridor.
  • Thunderstone: The Thunderstone card has been changed by the Thunderstone bearer. Now the sport ends when a participant defeats the Thunderstone bearer or he escapes the Dungeon Corridor (reaches Rank 1).
  • Recreation board: Thunderstone advance comes with a double-sided board that serves multiple functions. The sport board helps to arrange playing cards higher as there are slots on it to put monsters and village playing cards. Moreover it offers a extra balanced setup, by figuring out a selected variety of every card kind for use within the recreation. There are 4 slots for weapons, 3 slots for gadgets and three slots for spells. Throughout setup village randomizer playing cards shall be revealed and matching stacks of village playing cards shall be positioned on the suitable slot. If all slots of the revealed randomizer card kind have been stuffed, then one other randomizer card is revealed. The 2 sides of the sport board present for novice and superior play. The novice aspect known as “wilderness aspect”. darkness guidelines are simpler and there are 4 slots for monsters within the Dungeon Corridor. Superior aspect known as “dungeon aspect” with basic darkness guidelines and three ranks.
  • Monsters: Monsters now have ranges. Throughout setup, one monster group from every degree (1,2 and three) is chosen randomly to populate the Dungeon Corridor. This manner monsters have balanced energy and bizarre setups e.g. of most monsters being overpowered are prevented.
  • New motion: Other than visiting the village, the dungeon or resting now gamers have the choice to organize for his or her subsequent spherical, by putting as many playing cards they like from their hand on prime of their deck and discarding the remaining.
  • New card sorts: Familiars are new particular playing cards that may be gained after defeating a monster. Every considered one of them has a number of completely different talents that require a certain quantity of XP factors for use. Every participant can have just one acquainted throughout the recreation, positioned face up in entrance of him. Curses have changed generic Illness playing cards.
  • Higher graphics
  • New beginning playing cards: Militia has been changed with Regulars who’re leveled up simpler and when geared up with a Polearm, whereas within the Dungeon, chances are you’ll draw a card. Iron Rations have been changed with Thunderstone Shards and Daggers with Longspears.


First Impressions:

Upon opening the field of Thunderstone, you see a variety of playing cards and a few xp tokens. Paintings on the playing cards is gorgeous and detailed. After which comes the tough job of studying the principles. Though the rulebook is properly written, there may be a lot info in it that one wants a while to soak up it and put it into use, particularly should you by no means performed an analogous recreation, like Dominion. However even when you’ve got, Thunderstone offers superior mechanics together with intensive terminology and will at first discourage you from enjoying it. After all issues get so much higher if there may be somebody prepared to clarify the fundamentals to you, this manner taking away the burden to learn all of the 24-page handbook.Thunderstone Advance makes a greater first impression by offering a board (it is also a double-sided one), which lets you simpler get entangled within the recreation and perceive what’s occurring. There are slots drawn on the board for monsters within the Dungeon Corridor in addition to village playing cards and all appears higher organized and gamer pleasant. The 2-sided board serves as a method for each novice and superior gamers to benefit from the recreation expertise. Whenever you attain the purpose of understanding how the sport works, gameplay is easy and you’ll quickly end up very engaged and captured by the theme, striving to seek out the suitable mixtures of playing cards to construct a working, and hopefully successful, deck!


The parts of Thunderstone are solely playing cards and a few xp tokens. Playing cards have lovely and punctiliously designed paintings. In Thunderstone Advance, issues get even higher. There’s additionally a gameboard, which supplies a way of organisation and playing cards are redesigned with extra selection in colours, much more detailed graphics and extra clear card format. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)


Gameplay is fascinating and will get you actually concerned. The sport mechanics are well-thought, mixing the theme with recreation actions and skills. I believe the concept of utilizing the sunshine / darkness aspect is a very sensible one as is the flexibility to level-up your heroes with xp received from beating monsters within the Dungeon Corridor. There are a lot of extra small particulars that improve gameplay like dungeon results and spoils, and all show that destiny 2 trials carry gameplay has been designed very fastidiously. Nevertheless, throughout setup, it’s doable that bizarre mixtures of village or monster playing cards will come up, making the sport exhausting to beat, or considerably uninteresting. Excellent news is that this drawback has been eradicated in Thunderstone Advance, which offers particular variety of slots for various village card sorts, in addition to monsters of various ranges. In Thunderstone advance, the additional possibility of “making ready” as a recreation motion, means that you can design your subsequent hand and offers extra flexibility and the flexibility to make the most of higher your technique. Furthermore the substitute of Militia by the extra environment friendly Regulars is an important enchancment, permitting gamers to enter the dungeon faster and considerably lowering the existence of “useless playing cards” throughout late recreation. The ability of the sport lies in creating the most effective technique to win, by utilizing the most effective mixtures of playing cards and in the suitable quantities. (Thunderstone: 7/10, Thunderstone Advance: 8/10)

Studying Curve:

The sport has a somewhat steep studying curve. The primary recreation will final much more than 60 minutes and also you most likely must return to the rulebook and search for some particulars all through the sport. Nevertheless, after this primary recreation, issues will run easily and you’ll most likely really feel glad for all these small particulars within the recreation, that make it a bit complicated however, in that method, extra fascinating too. 6/10

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