Update: Heroes of Thargos - The Cursed Empire Card Game is live on Kickstarter and the campaign will run for 34 days. You may pledge for the Core set only (and choose to have your name in the rulebook credits), or combine it with a graphic novel. You may also design your own character and/or lasting card, and even get the chance to spend a day with the creators and work with them on the upcoming expansion.
Our preview post below was published on May 30.
Heroes of Thargos - The Cursed Empire Card Game is a 1-2 player card-driven game set in the world of the Cursed Empire RPG. It will launch on Kickstarter on May 31.
There are 4 types of cards in Heroes of Thargos: Mission, Action, Lasting, and Character. You start the game by selecting four Characters to form your party of heroes. Each Character has a point value on their card. To win the game, you must beat the total number of points your party has. This means that, if you choose strong characters, you may go through the missions more easily, but you may have a harder time winning the game in the end.
In the 2-player mode, each player shuffles their battle deck (consisting of 60 cards), and draws a card: the highest value goes first. Then, they place down their Character cards and their Mission cards, and draw a hand of 6 cards. A player can play a Lasting card from their hand onto one of the Mission tracks below one of their Characters. Every card they play will be placed partially under the previously played card, so the number values of Might, Mind, and Mysticism are showing. Then, the player either plays an Action card by executing its instructions, or tries to fulfill a Mission card. When trying to fulfill a Mission, the opposing player can defend by playing modifier values from their hand and possibly injure the active Character (it gets flipped to its reverse). At the end of their turn, players proceed to scoring. As mentioned, if a player's points exceed the total value of their Characters, they win the game. If a player's battle deck ever runs out mid-game, they lose.
In the solo mode, you will use two battle decks: one for yourself and one for your opponent. You first shuffle them, and then roll a D6 to determine the opponent's "attitude": 1-2 means they are aggressive, 3-4 is wary, and 5-6 is defensive. The attitude affects the opponent's Attack or Guard cache size: aggressive is 4 Attack and 2 Guard cards, wary is 3 Attack and 3 Guard, and defensive is 2 Attack and 4 Guard. You also set your opponent's Infamy to zero. If their battle deck runs out, they will shuffle the discards to form a new deck, and raise their Infamy by 1.
Like in the 2-player game, you will form a grid of Characters and Missions. You randomly pick a Character for the AI, place it down, and then select one for yourself and add it to the grid. You repeat until there are 4 Characters on each side. Then you draw a hand of 6 cards, 2 of which must be Missions, and place a Mission card in the grid. The AI does the same as soon as they draw a Mission card from their battle deck.
On your turn, you will follow the 2-player structure and play Lasting cards, Action cards, and try to complete a Mission. When the AI opposes your Mission fulfillment, it will play cards according to its attitude (all their Guard cards, plus as many cards from its deck as its Infamy value). On the AI's turn, you draw cards from their deck until you get a Lasting card, and play it on their part. To determine where it will be played, you roll a die. Instead of Actions, the AI will try to fulfill Missions. To do that, they use their Attack cards plus any they get from their Infamy value.
Besides this standard game mode, you can also choose to play in Story mode. You will pick a Location (provided by the campaign map), place a series of Mission cards in front of you to form a path (you don't arrange them in a grid anymore), and embark on side quests and secret missions, making sure that the victory point total of the story is possible to reach by your party of heroes. This mode allows you to decide the order in which the Missions can be fulfilled, and, most importantly, design your own adventures.