I’m going to take a moment to go over the Demo Decks for the Dragon Ball Super (DBS) CCG by Bandai. I will be assessing the quality of the cards, the mechanics, and providing my opinion on the game. I’ve enjoyed the Demo Deck thoroughly since its arrival and have high hopes for this game.
The quality of the cards is well done. The card stock is crisp and the colors are vibrant. We finally have a license holder that can flex creativity with the images used. The images used are thematic to the card and its purpose. The cards are full art except for a very small border along the edge which doesn’t distract from the image and is most likely to account for bleed. The template is well done and organized for simplicity. Because keywords are used, what a card does is inherent in its type, and damage has its own space, cards without effects get a nice full art focus on the image.
Opening the Demo Decks the first thing you notice is the colorful, vibrant, and seemingly organized Rule Insert. I read the rule insert front to back and felt that I had an understanding on what to do. I played a few solitaire games to get use to the flow before attempting to teach. Taught a few people and manage to get enough games to form some thoughts about the mechanics.
1. Having a built-in mulligan that doesn’t put you at a disadvantage is nice. I never understood games that punished players for having crap for luck and it’s nice to know that luck sacks are somewhat mitigated.
2. I’m not a huge fan of resource systems that directly impact the player but every game has them to help mitigate the speed of a game. Having every card in your game double as a resource helps with deck building but the tradeoff is the skill cap needed to know when to save a card and when to toss it as energy. It appears simple at first but as you play more games you start to see the skill needed to make the decision.
3. Combos. This is where most of the complexity will come from especially when combined with using cards as energy. Cards that are used as part of a combo are discarded, even the ones you pull from the Battle Area. This will create some intense decisions as the round moves on. Throw away too many cards to attack or stop an attack and you leave yourself at a disadvantage. Timing will be everything in the competitive environment.
4. Having a simple system to go with a fluid combat and complex combo system brings it all together. There are only 3 card types; Leader Cards, Battle Cards, and Extra Cards. Timing is built into all the cards and timing is carefully explained in the CRD. Simplicity is the base of this game and will make growing a play group easier.
5. Established rulings. Bandai isn’t new to card games and have learned a thing or two. The game hits the ground running with an already established CRD based on what they know will be asked. This is also the second iteration of this engine and though there have been significant improvements making the two iterations night and day, there is still content for them to build from and they have taken the initiative.
So far, I’ve enjoyed the Demo Deck and look forward to the official release. I like the previews I’ve seen and look forward to the foils for this game. Japanese game developers know how to make something shiny and very desirable and I look forward to both collecting and playing this game. The mechanics are simple with a high skill cap in decisions making during combat. Planning and knowing when to hold them and when to fold them will be the key to victory.
My favorite card in the Demo Deck is Energy Power Gotenks. The amount of aggression this card has, especially when two are in play is amazing.
I look forward to seeing everyone at future OP events. Let me know your thoughts and your hopes for the game going forward.
Your lovably bouncy killing machine,