Thunderstone Advance

While Jan ran a game of Monster of the Week, I played Thunderstone Advance and watched the World Cup Final. Happily, our game was more interesting than the one on TV. We have old school Thunderstone at home, but this was the first time I got to try the Advance version. It was pretty cool! I kind of regret getting the basic version now. Time to convert that shit.

The thing that impressed me most about TA was that there was a lot more combo material. In our normal Thunderstone it’s just a matter of identifying the good cards and putting a lot of them in your deck. But in this game of TA, you could really decide to go for one or two heroes, and then pick the items, villagers and weapons that in themselves might not even be very good, but excellent as a combo.


What impressed me even more was that all three players had a completely different deck going on. Peter had a kind of release the hounds deck that worked well, Stan had a lvl 3 beserker that had killed all his other heroes but kicked ass. I had the weakest strength with my spellwarriors that got bonuses for magical items, but I had augurs to manipulate my deck and get me what I wanted. All three very different strategies worked pretty well.

Another change from the original game is that it seems to be a lot more about playing the odds. There’s just a bigger luck factor in general, because there are still quite a few things you can do in the dungeon to help yourself out and eek out a possible win. This makes the game a bit more exciting and tense, and it really needed some exciting and tense.

The only downside is that with all the combo’s, the dungeon possibilities and the different and often flexible cards counting up your final attack and light value is a real chore. Halfway through the game I went to steal some d10s from the roleplayers so I could use them to keep track of my totals. That’s not even a minor gripe, though. This edition has resurrected my love for this game!




4 thoughts on “Thunderstone Advance

  1. It’s a revamped version of Thunderstone, but it’s essentially the same game. There’s a compatability guide out there to convert your old TS game, and it doesn’t look like a lot of work. I’m so excited to play this again 🙂


    • Thanks. I played TS about 10 times (the basic game). I love the mechanics, but our problem was if you random the deck on the table, usually one OP combination is apparent, and none other. It feels like all weapons are edged, and dwarfs are so strong with edged weapons. If you allow that one sorcerer class that multiplies magic damage, that’s the only combo to go for. Etc. We had a few funny side strategies (that one with peasants, food, and that one hero that buffs both), but apart from that, usually only 1 strategy makes sense.

      Our second problem was that the game is not really interaction. It feels a bit like playing against a computer. The other players do their things in their turns, but the only thing that can really affect you is if they play the hero that makes you lose 2 cards.

      How does TS_advance deal with those things? I love the game itself, but these were pretty big turnoffs for us.


      • Well, the first complaint seems completely fixed: there were a lot of possible stategies and it was really fun to all take a different one. Then again, I only played it once, and perhaps we were lucky with our random picks.

        The second is still there, you are still just playing solitaire together. Which means it’ll never be a very exciting game, but great to play while you’re also watching the World Cup 🙂


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