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Keyforge: Call of the Archons


…unless they’re aiming at a larger market.

A LOT of people don’t buy LGCs for the perception of buying into a money pit and the mindboggling level of variation that deckbuilding brings. If KeyForge can encourage more people to buy with this “hey, it’s not really an LCG, just buy a pack and have fun”, that could be the big ticket. Having a large casual audience is a lot more lucrative than a small niche that obsessively buys everything. Especially since this self contained deck model doesn’t really lend itself to multiple cycles (how will that even work?! Even more factions?), so they’ll likely want to get as much success as they can from this first cycle.

The game rules certainly seem to be bringing down the barrier to entry, but still the “buy a core set, than a few decks” model is probably too close to the LCG/CCG model to make casual boardgamers feel comfortable. It’ll be interesting to see how the core set is marketed. Will they try to sell it more as a standalone game without too much mention of all those decks? The box art design certainly seems more in line with the boardgame market than the CCG market.


On the topic of future cycles, I think I saw it mentioned that they are already planned and possibly feature new houses entering the mix which would mean new decks release with combinations of the original and newer houses.

I suppose potentially this means they could rotate certain houses in and out with different sets, not sure if they would keep 7 “active” houses per release or what… we’d have to wait and see.


That reminds me that I remember seeing someone say that GameStop’s computer system had KeyForge stuff listed as being sold there eventually. I could actually see the game making it into big box stores like Target and whatnot. Stick a quick-start copy of the rules in the deck packaging, and people could supply their own tokens and they’re good to go. $9ish dollars is a pretty good target for a deck.


Particularly if FFG goes down the route of allowing full online play with an app which has been hinted, as opposed to just using it for deck tracking. That means anyone can pick up a deck for $10, download the app, scan the QR code and start playing! No friends required.


What fiction? Dis fiction.


This week’s preview is on House Logos…

And the official launch date of November 15’th!

Info on Launch parties and pre-releases:


New article up, talking about some of the different OP formats of KeyForge. (Some of this info we’ve seen before, in that leaked retailer sheet.)


I think I’m most interested in the Reversal format. If you bring a deck that you can beat with everyone elses terrible decks then you are the winner. Also, I love janky decks so when you have “bad” decks up against each other I’m sure interesting things will come out of it.


Man oh man I want to like this game and I’m struggling super hard. The formats are interesting and the core conceit is intriguing. I love the idea of working with what you’re dealt.

At the same time, even if it’s from a limited standpoint, like a draft or sealed event in a trading card game, I’ve come to value decks as a means of self expression.

Part of that is that I mostly play at a kitchen table, so I can trust my friends to help craft a good player experience. I can play a Netrunner deck that with a fortress of slow, high-cost ice without worrying about non-viability in the meta. Or a deck made out of the silliest sphinx cards in MTG.

Basically, KeyForge feels like something that might get me interested in competitive play, but that’s not necessarily where I want to spend my time playing a game.


I think you can still have that lovely casual experience. If you buy a few decks, you lean towards a couple that you really enjoy playing, whenever your friends come around you can just play with those decks that you know and love. Especially if you just play the same ones against each other you’ll get to learn the combos and idosyncracies of them.

At least that’s how I envision that sort of thing going and I hope I’m right. I definitely don’t want to see a game ruined by players hunting for the perfect deck, discarding any they don’t feel are worthy of their time. I want my little janky decks that I understand and play them until decisions become second nature.


Imagine all those sneaky cheap second tier decks youll be able to get for peanuts so you can beat your mum at keyforge though.

I must admit the ideas of self expression really struck a cord with me. I know some of my most recent interest playing Orleans has been trying to do stupid stuff (try and put no trading houses down, just get money etc) have made the game feel fun to me. On the flip side I wonder if my wankish experimentation has created boring open goal games for my partner.


Oh I certainly think it is possible that it could still be my jam, I just have strong reservations.

Magic the Gathering is a game I have a lot of problems with, but something I think they hit on that’s extremely important is their player archetypes. I’d say I have Timmy and Johnny tendencies, and while keyforge seems great for the Timmy in me, it seems disastrous for the Johnny in me.

(For people who haven’t heard it before, at one point MtG’s marketing and dev teams developed archetypes for different types of players and their goals. Timmy is a player in it for big, exciting moments. Timmy is there to experience something. Johnny cares deeply about theory-crafting their own personal decks that don’t always win, but are always interesting. Johnny plays to express something. Spike is a player that will use every advantage to win. Spike is there to prove something. These players exist in different combinations and there are other ones too, but it’s a good shorthand for main player goals.)


New article up talking about how the concept and dev process of the Unique game came to be.


New preview article up, talking about House Mars.


Has anyone tried a go of the game here?


Looks like they’re doubling-up on House previews due to skipping a week. House Sanctum’s article is up now.


And there’s the Sanctum fiction:


Some information has been found regarding the app and what we can use it for (not relaeased yet I believe it came to light through the KF discord or reddit)

It’s going to be interesting what they do with Aembershards… definitely looks like they will be incentivising buying lots of decks – they’re a business though so I get it. Being able to search through all registered decks will be… something. I like the idea of seeing the interesting combinations (and deck names!!) that are out there but I think it will encourage hunting for “perfect” decks and I think that takes the fun out of randomness.


Oh, and my local store is doing a pre-launch event this weekend and I’m going to head down and help teach some games and hopefully get my hands on my very own deck!


I wanted to attend the pre-launch at the local store near me but I’ve got to attend 2x birthday parties with my daughter which basically means there’s absolutely NO WAY I can attend.