By Raymond "DuMeeple" Dumee on September 26, 2018
Legends tell of a disastrous event on the Night of Doom, which started a dark and grim era for Blue Moon City and her inhabitants. The Golden Dragon has fallen, their god Blue Moon has abandoned them, the King is dead, Blue Moon City is ruined and their Holy Crystal of Psi is shattered into a pile of small crystal fragments. This place has seen so much shit that even Bruce Willis would have said "Yippee-Ki-Yay motherfucker, I am getting the hell out of here!" and would have retired immediately (while, at the same time, staying extremely dangerous, of course).
Will no one save this suffering kingdom? Where's divine guidance when you need it most?! The only divine creatures left in this godforsaken world are three ethereal dragons, guarding what is left of the Holy Crystal of Psi and awaiting a new leader to rise. Maybe it's you they have been waiting for? One can never be certain, but maybe. just maybe. In any case; welcome brave traveler, to Blue Moon!
The fantasy world of Blue Moon is created by Reiner Knizia and the game puts the player in charge of his or her very own faction of Blue Moon inhabitants. The game's box holds: one rulebook, two decks of game cards, the three dragons, a game board and two overview cards. The game is designed for two players, which explains the two card decks in the base game. Both these decks contain characters from two races that inhabit the world of Blue Moon. One of these decks represents the Vulca people, while the other one represents the Hoax people. You can add more decks separately and use them as expansions for the game, but Blue Moon is, and stays, a two-player game. Other decks we used in our play-through were the Mimix People deck and the Flit People deck. Each deck contains thirty playing cards and one leader card.
Each player chooses their deck and tries to gain the favor of the three dragons by severely kicking the behind of their opponent. The decks are fixed, you play with your race's deck, which are exactly the same for every copy of the game. The available expansions are also complete race decks. There is the possibility to build your very own deck by using multiple race decks, but we didn't quite get to that. The game board shows where the draw pile for your playing cards and the leader card are supposed to be placed, where the battlefield is located and where the discard pile should be. The battlefield exists of two separate sections; the battle area and a support area.
The battle is fought by placing a character from your hand onto the battlefield. You can also play additional booster or support cards in the support section of the board. Your hand consists of five cards and is topped up at the end of your turn. You can make use of a plethora of special abilities, which are printed on the playing cards and are, more often than not, very specific to the race you chose at the start of the game. The starting player chooses the element in which the coming battle will be fought and places the card or cards he or she chooses to use. The cards played have a combined strength, which is the force of your attack. Now, the opposite player must launch a counterstrike with a higher strength. If one of the players fails to surpass the previously played strength, the other wins the round!
The game is beautifully illustrated by different artists. The decks consist of numerous wonderful cards and the game itself plays really nice. Blue Moon is not one of those collectable card games where you can (and often need to) buy a huge number of separate card packs in order to be able to play it. This makes Blue Moon a very well-balanced game to play. You can get right into the action, without the hassle of sorting and picking out the right cards to create your ultimate deck and, in the end, be killed by some bloody teen who just happen to buy the latest and strongest card pack. The game relies heavily on tactics and each deck is equal in strength. So, if you like tactical card games (and you're not only interested in them because you get to endlessly collect cards and create about a gazillion card decks), Blue Moon is definitely a game for you.
When you manage to gain the favor of all three dragons, you are given all the crystal shards they were guarding. So, hero; it is time to return the Holy Crystal of Psi to its old splendor. Incidentally, it is also time for you to take up your rightful place as the leader of Blue Moon City. The people of every race will be peacefully reunited once again, Blue Moon City will be rebuilt and its inhabitants will live in peace forever and ever. Yippee!
999 Games (website in Dutch) & Kosmos (website in German) & Fantasy Flight Games
Designer: Reiner Knizia
Artist: Vohwinkel & John Matson (for the base game). Many more for the expansions.
Players: 2 players, ages 12 & up
Playtime: approx. 30 minutes