Also check out Hayden and LSV’s recent sealed collaboration!
Coming from a background of playing Magic the Gathering for over 15 years I have been fortunate to experience a lot of the history of the undisputed, original trading card game. I have travelled to play a game I love, and I have met many amazing people along the way. So it’s fair to say that I got a bit of a surprise 12 months ago when I was introduced to Flesh and Blood and was instantly hooked by this game. Flesh and Blood very quickly cemented itself as my favorite game, to the extent that I found myself playing almost nothing else!
What Is FAB and Why Should You Give It a Go?
By now you might have seen some of the amazing launch week content here on ChannelFireball for Flesh and Blood, with LSV amongst those sharing just what the Flesh and Blood TCG is. But if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to learn about the game then let me give you a brief overview.
Flesh and Blood is a game where two players square off by taking up the role of a Hero and battle it out over a best of one game. Like many other card games the goal is to reduce your opponent’s life total to 0. In order to do this each hero on their turn plays attack action cards in attempts to inflict damage to the opponent. While the other player decides if they will defend their life total from these attacks by using their cards to block some or all of the incoming damage. Players trying to maximize their hand each and every turn in a combination of attacking and defending to gain the advantage. Flesh and Blood is a game of decisions, with the majority of cards capable of both being used offensively and defensively, it is down to you the hero to choose!
Unlike many other TCGs, in Flesh and Blood each player has access to a weapon or weapons which aid in the fight, as well as a suite of equipment which augment the hero’s ability to defend, or even advance their game plan. Another quite unique feature in Flesh and Blood is that permanent cards, or cards that remain in play for periods of time to amass advantage are not a prominent feature of the game. Instead heroes unleash attacks upon one another and use their hand as a resource to defend against these attacks, while utilizing non-attack action card effects or attack reactions to help gain advantage. Almost every card in the game of Flesh and Blood has the utility of providing resources for your turn, being able to defend against an opponent’s attack and be an attack in of itself or provide an effect to help further your game plan.
The combination of design elements in this game make it truly unique, and it was clear to me rather quickly that this game has had a lot of thought put into it, thousands of hours of testing and careful consideration to create a well-balanced, fun, and challenging TCG.
I’ve been pretty enamored by this game since launch a little over 12 months ago, and I am lucky enough to live in Australia where we had access to product and events from week one. Flesh and Blood will soon be launching officially in Europe, coinciding with the release of the unlimited editions of the first two sets, which will be available across a number of countries around the world. Many players will be getting their hands on the game for the first time, and that is a very exciting prospect! Perhaps Flesh and Blood has caught your eye and you are thinking about getting into it, or maybe you have played a few games and are enjoying it enough that you want to get your friends or play group involved too. There are a number of key reasons why I think both seasoned TCG players and those who have never played a TCG before should pick this game up for the first time and give it a go!
One of my frustrations in playing TCGs over the years has come from variance, missing land drops or not drawing the pieces of a combo. Being at the mercy of the deck and losing games not due to an opponent outplaying me, but rather because I was on the wrong side of the percentages. Perhaps this was the biggest draw for me to Flesh and Blood initially, a reduction in variance.
Because of the design of the resource system in this game every card is meaningful on any given turn. The utility of your cards to be threats, resources or your defense, means you never have those truly dead draws that see the game end in often quick and disappointing fashion. Sure there is still variance of course, and personally I wouldn’t find it enjoyable if there wasn’t some variance to account for. However, the fact I never feel like I have lost a game before it has advanced more than a few turns is such a great feeling. Which also leads nicely into my next point…
Every Game Feels Winnable
With the reduced variance in comparison to a lot of other TCGs you take out that large chunk of games where you just lose to the back to back bad draws that see your opponent pull ahead through incremental development on their side. But this isn’t the only reason why the games feel close and winnable. There are many combinations of ways to play out your hand each turn cycle, from blocking with cards, to pitching one card to pay for another, you are much less susceptible to weaker draws curtailing your game. You can often always play your way out of situations, and I love this about Flesh and Blood!
Layered Game That Rewards Skill
Flesh and Blood is actually a very simple game in structure, it is pretty intuitive and picking up the basics is relatively straightforward. Many people who have never played a TCG before have found themselves in the swing of things after just a few hours of playing. The true beauty of this game though is that it doesn’t end with the basics! Once you play a few more hours you will start to learn ways to adapt your game plan and formulate more effective paths to victory by getting more out of your cards. A number of hours after that, some of the subtlety of the more finer parts of this game will start to make themselves known to you and this is enough to excite any experienced card player, or issue a real challenge to those newer to TCGs.
Art and Lore
I don’t claim to be much of a fan of lore and artwork in TCG’s, or in fact for any game. However, I find it impossible to not appreciate the high level of thought and the craft gone into the art for this game. Viserai, Rune Blood might be my favourite hero in this game simply for the amazing artwork by popular artist Steve Argyle, who is also the artist behind one of my favorite Magic the Gathering cards, Deathrite Shaman!
From the savage lands that Rhinar calls home, to Metrix known as the city of wonder and many other amazing places in between, the world of Rathe has enticing lore that is being pieced together set by set as new Heroes come to the fold. If you are a fan of art and lore in games, then I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed.
The team at Legend Story Studios has developed Flesh and Blood with the players front of mind. Weaving innovative ideas and design philosophies with the formulae of successful and beloved games before it. It is very easy to be hooked after just a few games! If you are eager to try the game and perhaps get your friends or play group involved, you will find everything you need to do so here at ChannelFireball. Have fun exploring each of the Heroes in the world of Rathe!