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Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Anyone following Ashes? I saw it being played last week and it looks fairly interesting. LCG style with every card you need in a single core set. I’m looking forward to giving it a try. It is on Tabletop Simulator if anyone wants to give it a go with me.

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I pre-ordered it and have been playing around with the pre-constructed decks.

It’s ok. This is a pretty bold unqualified statement to make at such an early stage, but it doesn’t feel like it’s something that will ever have the depth of your Netrunners or Game of Thrones or Doomtown: Reloadeds. I’ve seen it described as an LCG-type game for boardgamers rather than card gamers, and I’m inclined to agree.

Despite damning it with such faint praise, I do enjoy it, and will likely keep up with the (supposedly pretty infrequent) releases.

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I seriously thought this was going to be about cricket, and was scratching my head over “rise of the phoenixborn” :smile:


The cards are embarrassingly ugly. Art quality is a huge deal for me (it helps me justify buying so much cardboard), and this game is a stinker

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Maybe this is just indicative of the more partisan places I’ve been reading about this game, but that’s the complete opposite to basically every other opinion on the art I’ve seen. There has been a lot of praise for it in BGG, Reddit etc.

I’m generally not too fussed about art (the only thing I think I’ve seen that I strongly dislike is the “old style” Doomtown: Reloaded art, that’s used for some of the alt arts) so I’m a poor judge.

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This game has been really fun for me thus far. I purchased a copy at GenCon without any prior information, and I’ve yet to have a poor play experience. There seems to be plenty of play to the game.

Well to be more clear, the art itself is fine if slightly uninspiring, but the whole aesthetic appeal of the cards is terrible, in my opinion. The template, the symbols, the fonts, combined with the generic art and white wash fuzzy effect applied to everything… yeck :confused:

Looks interesting. At the moment, I’m thinking about getting either this or Summoner Wars. Has anyone here played both? I like the 3-4 player support in Ashes, but I also like the way the board layout works in Summoner Wars, so I’m torn.

I’ve tried Summoner Wars one time and didn’t like it. Have you tried Mage Wars? It has a similar board / tactical system and is awesome!

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I think for the niche that I’m filling in my games library, either Summoner Wars or Ashes is going to have a better single-box experience.

It’s solid; at first it seems like a basic monster-n-spell battle board, but there a bit more going on than that. There’s some really interesting things going on with the pacing and the way turns play out as you spend (or strategically don’t spend) your dice. Overall I’d say worth playing but I’m not holding my breath for it to take over my time like netrunner.

w/r/t the art, it’s top notch. The themeing is a bit ho-hum (fantasy bleh), but that’s not at all the fault of the artist. If you’re into some swords n’ sorcery you’ve got some great looking cards. The game parts of the cards are well designed; easy to read and remember what they mean and do.


I haven’t heard of this game, what LCG is it most like? Does anyone have a link to any info about it? It is released?

http://www.plaidhatgames.com/games/ashes is the offcial site.
looks most similar to a simplified mage wars game as far as LCG are concerned.
Also appears to be shipping out at the moment will probably be a while before it hits our shores.

Full rules: http://www.plaidhatgames.com/images/games/ashes/rules.pdf

I’d say this is a decent assesment. if you liked mage wars there’s a good chance you’d enjoy ashes. It’s true that on the surface, it’s a bit simplified, but there’s a decent amount beneath the surface that’s worth exploring. It’s also much friendlier to larger formats- personally, I’ve been having a blast with the “emperor” 3v3 format from MtG which works quite well.

Watch it played had a run through of a game. Seems quite fun. But I also see it more as a board game than an lcg. Might be good with non-netrunners.

I disagree with the Mage Wars comparison (probably because I hated Mage Wars and enjoy Ashes).

For me, Mage Wars is defined by the spatial stuff, the access to all cards at once, and rolling dice to determine combat.

The dice resources in Ashes feel nothing like that, not least because of the mechanisms to change their facing. There’s no spatial stuff, and beyond choosing your opening hand it’s still dependent on drawing cards.

I think the main similarities are the main action/side action thing, and sort of (but not really) the exhaustion mechanic.

I think it’s closer to Hearthstone than anything else, but that’s obviously not an LCG. Perhaps GoT…?

I bought it from a friend who got it early. It’s a good game, even if it boils down to MTG with dice instead of lands. I love the dice-building aspect and the way that affects which cards can go in decks. It’s a great foundation for the game and one of its biggest selling points. The biggest problem with the game, IMO, is the cardpool.

The core set comes with a decent amount of cards, but almost all of them are highly focused around specific synergies. For example, if you’re not building a mill deck, there is basically no reason to use half of the cards from the prebuilt mill deck. Other cards have prebuilt synergies that aren’t flexible (eg, Bring Forth and False Demon). What this means is that optimized decks will just be better versions of the starter decks, I don’t see a lot of room for new archetypes. Since the release plan is comparatively slow (I heard 10-20 cards per quarter), the meta might stagnate.

The other consideration is that these kinds of lifestyle games are competing for a similar pool of players. Most people can’t afford the time or money to play more than one or two. We already have Netrunner, Conquest, Thrones 2.0, Star Wars LCG, Xwing, Doomtown, and Magic.

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But is it really comparable to those games? This feels more like a board game than all the others. The base set feels much more complete than all of them, so it doesn’t feel like they are trying to be a lifestyle game.

I didn’t get that vibe at all. The exhaustion mechanic behind much of the game is almost identical to MTG. The combat is also very similar. There aren’t any board elements beyond a typical card game. Doomtown is much more a board game than Ashes.