What is Keyforge?

Since Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) unveiled Richard Garfield’s new card game Keyforge: Call of the Archons at Gen Con this year, it has generated a respectable amount of hype and is very much in vogue in the board gaming and table top communities forums. There could be a number of reasons as to why the game has garnered so much hype, could it be attributed to the designer? As we are well aware that Garfield created Magic the Gathering, or could it be that FFG promises an experience like no other with the worlds first unique deck game? What is a unique deck game you may ask?  Well Keyforge, unlike traditional Collectible Card Games (CCG’s) such as Magic, Hearthstone and Star Wars: Destiny, doesn’t rely on booster packs or deck building, instead each deck is procedurally generated to create a unique one of a kind deck that no one else will own. How unique are we talking? Well according to lead designer Brad Andreas the procedural generator is capable of creating 104 quadrillion unique decks, so that’s pretty unique.

So, what is Keyforge?  Keyforge is a 2-player card game in which each player will race against each other to collect aember and in turn use that aember to forge keys. The first player to forge 3 keys wins the game. Players will utilise a variety of cards and actions to complete the objective of forging 3 keys.  Card types and actions include creature cards that can reap aember or battle one another, upgrade cards that improve creature abilities, artifact cards that often stay in play and offer unique abilities, finally actions are a special abilities that are present on creature cards which can be used instead of reaping or fighting. Players are also able to discard and play cards from their hand. Each card is represented by a house and each deck will contain 3 of the 7 available houses. The Keyforge lore is pretty deep and interesting, however, I will not divulge here as it is all readily available on FFG’s website and that is probably another article in itself.

So, what are my thoughts on the game?  I have been lucky enough to try the game out and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.  I have played with around 7 unique decks and have tried out all 7 of the houses. The houses feel well balanced and are very different to each other in terms of play styles and strategies.  This will mean that players will have their preferred house combinations which will probably lead to deck swapping or online markets where players will buy decks with their preferred houses, instead of buying blind and hoping for a ‘good’ combination.  Overall I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the final product on 15th of November and taking part in some local tournaments at my local game store that appear to be supporting Keyforge pretty well with pre-release events etc.. Whether or not this will take over my Star Wars: Destiny CCG addiction remains unknown but I think its in with a very good shout.

Thanks for reading.
Leigh Westwood.
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