Those who were able to find the little Cryptozoic store tucked away about a half mile from the convention center at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend had a few pretty nice little benefits. For one, you got to meet Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, without waiting in a huge line.
I took advantage of both opportunities, and so was able to get in a quick play of the DC DB Game. The game is for 2-5 players and took about 35 minutes to play, including explaining the rules. If you are familiar with deck building games, then the rules should come pretty easily to you.
As you would suspect, the game begins with each player selecting one of the oversized hero cards. The ones I saw were Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Cyborg. Each Super Hero has a special power that will give you an advantage during play that is thematic to their character. For example, I chose Batman (of course) and my special ability was that I gain +1 power for each equipment card that I have in play.
There is a deck of Super Villain cards which is what the players must defeat in order to end the game. I believe the amount of cards in the super villain deck depends upon the number of players. Once the final super villain is defeated, the players count up all of their victory points from their deck and the highest score wins.
There is also a deck of weakness cards, which did not some into play during our game, and a deck of “Kick” cards. These were basic +2 Power cards, and come in handy when you cant afford anything on the table.
Speaking of the table, each player begins with a standard deck of 10 cards. Seven “Punch” cards (+1 Power) and three Vulnerability cards, the only purpose of which is to give you some starting cards which are useless, similar to the starting hand in Dominion. The currency of the game is power, so you’ll be buying cards with power and defeating villains with power. Additionally, some cards have victory points, and these are what you will use to determine the winner of the game at the end.
All of the other cards are shuffled and placed in a stack in the center of the table. The first five cards are flipped up and laid down in a line next to the deck. This is the pool of cards that the players have available for purchase, and it is replenished at the end of every player’s turn.
There are five card types: Villains, Heroes, Equipment, Super Powers, and Locations. There are many combos that you can put together that can really be a big help if you can pull it off. For Batman, I concentrated on picking up equipment to take advantage of Batman’s special ability. I was also able to pick up Robin, but ended up having to get rid of him by a super villain’s horrendous attack.
You see, when a player defeats one of the super villains, and this is done by spending power just like anything else, then a new super villain is flipped up and it immediately has an effect that is triggered on all players. These effects are typically bad of course. You can defend against these attacks if you have a defense card in your hand that you can play, otherwise you have no choice than to follow the instructions on the super villain card. The player that defeated the super villain places the bad guy’s card in their deck, and it is worth a tidy number of victory points at the end of the game.
Play continues with each player buying cards, defeating villains, and building their decks until the last super villain is defeated. Then the game ends, the players total up their victory points listed on their cards, and the player with the most points wins. I ended up coming in second by one point. So close.
There you have it, a sneak peek at the game, we’ll have a full review sometime in the future.
One additional note, I really liked the Cryptozoic card sleeves. You’ll see them in the pics.
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