En Garde Reforged
A bit of a late update, as travel plans and prep for PAX Unplugged went a little sideways yesterday. If you happen to be in the Philadelphia area, come by Booth #2355 and say hey (and maybe even get a demo of En Garde Reforged while you're at it).
However, that's not what you are all here for. In today's update we're going to be exploring the ways the re-print of En Garde Reforged differ from it's original run back in 2003! With a hand full of cleaner mechanics and balance tweaks, the game is more fun than ever.
As we went into last time, The Exchange is the part of the game that sets En Garde Reforged apart from other combat card games. When we were looking at where to improve the game while keeping it's heart a few years ago, we came up with the 9-card variant of the game. In fact, we like this variant so much that we are making it the baseline version of the game.
Originally, the game had 7-card hand sizes. This meant that diving deep into an Exchange left you very exposed during later turns (because the more cards you play now, the fewer you have later). So one easy option was to just increase the hand-size, giving players more gas in the tank to stretch out Exchanges. So we played a bunch of games with a bigger handsize, and enjoyed the heck out of it. So the next step was a little bit of balancing.
Parry and Parry Riposte were originally two different cards. Parry would stop an attack from dealing damage to you. Parry Riposte would do the same, but also give you an option to attack back. This made Parry Riposte strictly more interesting than Parry, and because the additional attack play was optional, strictly more useful. So we went ahead and replaced all of the Parry cards in the deck with Parry Riposte, ensuring that players had more chances to counter their opponent's attacks.
Lunge was another "meh" card before. It hit hard, for sure, but typically, when you spend 1 Poise to hit a player for 3 Poise, when most attacks already hit for 2 Poise, it wasn't a very good trade-off. However, the card gave us an excellent opportunity to encourage players to fight back rather than stay defensive. In the updated version of the game, Lunge can be played on it's own on a player's turn, even if their are other cards in play, as long as there is no unanswered attack coming their way.
As a bit of a quality of life change, we also went through and added icons to cards wherever it made sense. We also cut the whole "Cost: No Poise" text that used to be put on all the cards that had no Poise cost.
Finally, and most controversially, we changed how the Pistol works. The Pistol fulfills a very important role in the game, breaking through stalemates, however it was also responsible for all of the game's "table flip" moments. It used to hit for 6 damage, was an Attack card, and was unstoppable. The ability to mitigate any defense using the Pistol was very important, but dealing more than half a player's damage was just way too much.
We also changed Pistol into an Item card, which thematically makes a lot more sense, but also mechanically means that using the Pistol has a cost. If you already have an Item equipped and want to use a newly drawn Pistol, you will need to discard your previously equipped item, (you can have only one Item equipped at a time). However, you can also equip it ahead of time, and NOT use it (maybe as a threat to the other players), at least until someone comes by with a Disarm.
If you are excited to see the game in action, definitely check in with us and Twist Gaming on Twitch.tv at 2:30PM ET live from PAX Unplugged! We'll be throwing down on our cliffside mountain top to see who's technique will reign supreme!