It is crazy how some series gain unbelievable levels of popularity. It is even more amazing when spin-off products take the spotlight and earn a following of their own. Such is the case of Gwent, a card game present in The Witcher universe, and we are going to talk about it.
How to Play
This is a turn-based game between two players. If you are looking at Magic: the Gathering or Hearthstone for reference, you are close, but not quite. There is no mana here, so if you have good cards, you may already have the advantage over your opponent.
Gwent is a deck-building game, so it is more than just card collection. Furthermore, you need to have a minimum of 22 unit cards and, unlike most card games out there, you only draw 10 cards once, with the exception of 2 cards you can exchange before the beginning of the match. You need to win two out of three rounds to win the game. Each card has its own attributes.
You have three types of unit cards at your disposal: close combat, ranged, and siege. They each get their own row at the board. You also get weather cards – they diminish the power of a certain type of unit. Finally, there are leader cards, with their own unique abilities.
The game begins with a flip of a coin to determine who goes first. The game is essentially you and your opponent placing cards with a number value in their corresponding row until you run out of cards or pass a turn, which ends the round. It is then that the total points of your cards are calculated. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it gets trickier.
As mentioned before, you only get ten cards. You don’t redraw at the end of a round. Because of this, you need to put some strategy into motion. See how you can take advantage of the situation on the board without depleting your resources.
The online game has Arena Mode. Card game enthusiasts have already come across a variation of this. What happens is that both you and your opponent build your decks from random cards. The mode allows you to win additional gold cards.
The game is pretty balanced, especially when you consider its fictional origin. I like the fact that it is still an interesting game despite the fact that there is no mana. I’ve played various card games and I find that mana can sometimes hinder you, depending on how well your deck has been shuffled.
Anyway, back to the game. It is simple, straightforward, and fast-paced, so there is no need to worry that you are going to spend hours and hours playing it. Giving players 10 cards makes them use their brains to the fullest, as working with limited resources requires gall and guile. A solid game from a solid game from a solid book.