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Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin
Posted On 6/27/2012
Thunderstone Advance is a refinement of Thunderstone. The basics are the same -- recruit mages, warriors, thieves, and clerics to battle hordes of monsters to recover the Thunderstone. You recruit and equip your heroes by using in-game currency to build a customized deck from a common pool of randomized sets of cards. The player who can craft the best deck in the shortest amount of time can vanquish monsters and recover the Thunderstone.
There are numerous refinements Mike Elliott put into Thunderstone Advance. Card text and rules are clarified, and the UI and the card design and layout are redone as well. However, the most noticeable change is the starter deck. The new starter deck is as follows, deprecated cards in parentheses:
- 2 Torches
- 2 Thunderstone Shard (Iron Rations)
- 2 Longspears (Daggers)
- 6 Regulars (Militia)
Previously, many turns would be spent dumping weak cards, especially the feeble Militia. The new starter deck is much more formidable because when Regulars are combined with Longspears, they yield an extra card play, potentially setting up a synergistic combo. Furthermore, the Thunderstone Shard offers the same +2 strength bonus but gives an additional 1XP bonus. The combinations of these three new cards in the starter deck accelerates the leveling-up of heroes, which leads to better pacing.
Another obvious change is that Thunderstone Advance comes with a board. Previously, it was possible to get an awkwardly lopsided mix in the village market. The board has spots for spells, items, and weapons, to ensure an even mix of goods. Since the UI of the cards has been overhauled, the original Thunderstone has been redone and released as a free print-and-play PDF. Thunderstone Advance is also compatible with Thunderstone and all previous expansions. Finally, the verdict is that a host of little changes in Thunderstone Advance sum up to making the best deck-building game even better.