Cybermancy: Virtual Arena Preview



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Cybermancy: Virtual Arena
Designer: Carl Dean Cox
Publisher: See Forever Games
Year Published: 2020
No. of Players: 2 (2-4)
Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 20–30 minutes
Find
more info on BoardGameGeek.com
Review
War
has moved to cyberspace, or to be more specific to a virtual arena. Lives once
risked are now safe as elite programmers, cybromancers, work their binary magic
to create forces to enter the arena and battle. The objective is to get past
the summoned to get to the real opponent and deal damage directly to them,
making them withdraw from the battlefield with the creatures they’ve created.
Cybermancy:
Virtual Arena is a card game pitting opponents against each other for a winner
take all battle. Each player has an initial deck created from the cards
provided, along with the use of two resources CPU and RAM to bring their forces
to life in the electronic combat arena.
The
use of CPU and RAM and their controlled escalation during game progression
creates a need to do some resource management within a round and between
rounds.  The level of the two resources
limits the strength of the forces called into battle each round. Along with
limiting the strength of the individual force, you spend resources to bring
them, and those forces must be available within your hand.
We
played a preview copy of Cybermancy, using suggested predetermined 30 card
decks, humans and undead. It was a one-on-one battle. Cybermancy was easy to
learn. It was enjoyable with base tactics of calling forth your creatures for
direct battle. Strategy develops with the special qualities listed on the cards
for the different forces.
CPU and RAM
Setup
Ours
consisted of using the 30 cards identified for each player from the 100
provided (50 each for humans and undead). The game is listed for 2–4 players
and the rules state each player needs a 30 card deck.
You
need to know a little of how the cards work before continuing. Each card has a
CPU cost in the upper left corner and a RAM cost in the upper right corner. You
need to spend those costs to bring the card into play. Furthermore, the first
round starts with a capacity of 1 CPU and 1 RAM, so during the first round, only
cards with a cost of 1 and 1 can enter play. The last phase of the round is to
advance the power marker. The player decides to advance one or the other, CPU
or RAM. On the second round of play, you will be limited to those cards which
are within the limit you set, either 1 CPU and 2 RAM or 2 CPU and 1 RAM.
Continuing
with setup. Draw seven creature cards to create a hand. You can keep or redraw
any number of the seven original cards once. Discard the cards you want to
return to your draw pile and draw that many replacement cards. The discarded
cards are shuffled back into the draw deck.
Draw
five of each of the Power cards (CPU and RAM). You can also redraw one time for
these cards. The deck is then reshuffled. The drawn and kept power cards are
set in a pile face up so players can see the capacity each has.
Place
the markers on your power tracking at one for both CPU and RAM. Mark your
health at maximum, 30 points.
The
first player is ready to start.
Tracking
Gameplay
Each
game round is divided into five phases.
PHASE
ONE: Main
Players
summon new creatures and attack with any available forces. This continues in a
back and forth manner until neither player has any more moves or chooses to
pass. Most creatures are brought in to play buffered and are unable to attack.
Some have the ability to attack the same round they are summoned.
All
creatures brought into play must be within the limits as noted on the power
card and the player needs to have reserve Power to bring them in. More than one
creature can be brought in during this phase and they can use the same source
of Power until it is depleted.
PHASE
TWO: Discard
All
used Power cards and defeated creatures are removed from play.
PHASE
THREE: Draw
Players
draw one card from each of the three decks: a Creature card for their hand and
a CPU and a RAM to add to their stacks on the table.
PHASE
FOUR: Refresh
All
buffered creatures are refreshed for the next round.
PHASE
FIVE: Advance Power Marker
Player
can advance their Power by one step. They can choose to advance CPU or RAM, but
not both. Be careful to check what you have in your hand for determining your
strategy for the upcoming rounds.
The
player who didn’t make the last attack starts the next round.
Theme
and Mechanics
The
theme of a computer-based virtual realm for where the combat takes place allows
for an easy transition of the mechanics of using CPU and RAM. Having two
limiting functions and using those in two different levels provides a higher
complexity of strategy.
The
creation of the deck, or in our case using the predetermined deck is along the
same lines as other games using a managed deck. The combat is a straight
forward comparison between the cards. The limitation of the power levels on
each round for the strength of the creature you can bring into battle adds a different
factor of planning for your actions in the current and following rounds.
Undead
Artwork
and Components
The artwork is quite fantastical, which is fitting for the theme and the setting of
the game.
The
Good
  • Quick
    to learn the basics
  • Replay-ability

Final
Thoughts
Cybermancy
was fun and compelling. The additional limitation of provided another element
of strategy and planning.
Variations
are included in the rules to allow team play and drafting. These would allow players who become savvier with the strategy to add more complexity to
the game.
Players
Who Like
  • Deck
    management combat

Humans

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Daniel Yocom – Reviewer

Daniel Yocom does geeky things by night because his day job won’t let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He’s written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines along with stories, after extensive research. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join in the geeky fun at guildmastergaming@blogspot.com.


See Daniel’s reviews HERE.

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