"Edition Wars is easy to learn, easy to teach and full of laughs."
When I first flipped through the short rulebook, my impression was that the game was too simple. Then I read the Gamemaster personalities, the Swag (equipment) cards and the Critical Effect cards and couldn't stop laughing.
The card art is simple, appropriately evoking memories of 1st Edition AD&D artwork and issues of Knights of the Dinner Table. The card backs are designed by veteran RPG cartographer, Christopher West, and show a graph paper background with bullet holes and a cracked d20 impaled like a meteor strike.
On the Table
Gameplay is simple, involving the bidding of cards to steal Gamers. Each Attack card (Merch, Snark, Blog) has both a low and a high number value attacked to it. The low number is always used unless another card or GM power activates the higher number. For example, The Grognard GM (an experienced and jaded gamer) uses the higher number whenever he is Defending with Snark Cards, because whatever you throw at The Grognard, he always has a comeback. The Celebrity GM uses the higher number when Attacking with Merch cards because he has all the best toys. The Game Store Owner GM uses the higher number when Defending with Merch cards; he owns a store full of gear after all.
The attacker chooses a Gamer he wishes to steal and Makes a Threat by bidding cards FACE DOWN. Any card can be bid to attack, even cards that have no number value. The defender plays their own cards FACE UP. The attacker then reveals their cards and declares which type of Attack card (Merch, Snark, or Blog) he will use (all other cards are discarded). Playing cards FACE DOWN allows the attacker to bluff by, say, playing 2 Snark cards along with 4 other cards in order to scare the defender into giving in. Once the attacking and defending cards are determined, the GM with the higher total steals the Gamer. You might attack with Snarky words, but if the GM you're attacking has great Merch, his Gamers will stay with him.
The first GM with 6 Gamers in their group wins.
In conclusion, I loved this game. Edition Wars is easy to learn, easy to teach and full of laughs. Games are relatively quick at around 30 minutes and will probably get faster as we become more familiar with the cards. Also, with blank cards included in the basic set, you can be sure friends, NPCs and our favorite gamer gear will be making appearances.
Living in the San Diego, California area? Visit my favorite FLGS: Game Empire. You can also check out gaming organizations like the San Diego Board Games Group, the College Area Board Games Group, and Geek Girls of San Diego.
Living in the Owensboro, Kentucky area? Check out my new favorite area store: Big Bang