Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 2 (3 or 4 with an additional board)
Amount of time to play: 30 min
Age requirements: 9+
Set-up time: 5 minutes
Summoner Wars Master Set is a skirmish game played with cards. You must summon minions and command them on the battlefield to defeat your opponent’s summoner. Should you summon this game into your collection?
Summoner Wars Master Set comes with six faction decks: the Swamp Orcs, Shadow Elves, Sand Goblins, Mountain Vargath, Deep Dwarves and Benders. Each faction plays differently and you’ll want to try them all. Each faction includes 3 types of cards: units, walls and events.
You have a card that shows your starting units and where they begin on the battlefield. On the other side of the card are the six phases of your turn.
1. Draw (up to 5 cards)
2. Summon units from your hand by discarding cards from your Magic pile. They must be placed next to one of your walls.
3. Play event cards or place walls.
4. Move up to 3 units (each unit moves up to 2 squares)
5. Attack with up to 3 units. Units are wounded on rolls of 3 or more. And once you kill a unit it is added to your Magic pile.
6. Build Magic (by adding cards from your hand to your Magic pile)
You can see this game is offensively-minded. You have good odds of hitting your enemies. Also killing units enables you to add magic which allows you to summon more units.
Some units may attack at range and others are melee only. All units also possess a special ability and each faction has champion units. Champion units cost more magic to deploy but can take and give more damage than common units.
You only play through your deck once. After all your draw pile runs out you must finish the game with what you have. You don’t reshuffle the deck.
If you manage your magic and units correctly and with a bit of luck you can kill your opponent’s summoner and win the game.
Summoner Wars Master Set is simple and has a great blend of resource management, skirmish tactics and luck. There is great variety and replayability with the six different factions. Each faction is unique and fun to play.
The rules and components for Summoner Wars Master Set are excellent. Everything is easy to understand, looks good and made well.
Some people may not like that bad luck can put you at a disadvantage. If you miss too many attacks or are unable to get champions onto the battlefield until late in the game, winning is definitely harder.
Summoner Wars is a tight game that will usually come down to the end of your deck. And the way that summoning, attacking, and magic use interact is great. You really need to pay attention to what cards you want to use to build magic or if you even want to use your cards to build magic at all.
If you have looking for a fun, easy and quick skirmish game with variety, depth and tactics then pick up Summoner Wars Master Set. It has everything you need for hours of fun.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 4 out of 6
Luck 5 out of 6
Player Interaction 6
Replay Value 5 out of 6
Complexity 2 out of 6
Fun 5 out of 6
Overall 5 out of 6
Want a second opinion? Check out this review of Summoner Wars at Board Game Reviews by Josh.