What is it: You try to gather enough allies and constructs on a ever changing battlefield in order to destroy the dark god, Sameal, who has just awakened and be known as the Godslayer.
Great what does that mean: It’s a a deck building with three types of cards: allies, constructs and monsters. You start out with a deck of the weakest allies and have six random cards in front of you, as well as the weakest monster and better versions of your starting heroes to the side always available. You buy heroes and constructs using runes, the game’s money with the end goal of gaining more honor than any other opponent. The two ways to gain honor are from the honor value that every card has and through card effects that let you gain honor chips. Once the honor chips run out, the game is over and scores are tallied.
Scaling: 1-4. Solo play is a good way to pass the time. 2 is the best, 3 is still good. 4 gets miserable due to how long turns take. Important to keep in mind that the amount of Honor used in 3 and 4 players was changed in expansions to be 30 per player, it is universally recommended to follow this even with just the base game.
Production Quality: High, the cards are good quantity, the honor tokens are good quality the board is starting to show some wear after 15+ plays but it is minimal. My biggest gripe is that the storage in the box isn’t as good as it could be, but it is still functional.
What’s Good: It is a deck building game but it is very much not a derivative of Dominion. In Dominion you figure out a plan and execute it with little variation assuming that the plan in question was good. in Ascension the ever changing nature of the board means that you can’t plan out the whole game at the beginning and it keeps the game fresh time after time. If Dominion is Constructed Magic then Ascension is Limited. Stone Blade Entertainment is leaving no design space unturned and has a healthy release schedule of expansions.
What;s not so Good: Variance can be much more of a killer in this compared to Dominion. The Void deck is huge and my copy is never going to be properly shuffled in the sense of being truly random which means that clumps of monsters are likely and that tends to clog up the board and slow down the game.
Overall: 5/5*. It plays fast, no two games are the same with the cards having fun synergies with one another. It takes the basics of the deck building genre and very much does its own thing with them.
*For the purposes of being accurate I’m noting that this is a revised score, originally it was a 4/5 but having played more of it I’m