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$107.50

Mysthea Crystal Edition

This is the Mysthea Crystal Edition of the game, complete with all stretch goals that fulfilled during the campaign!  This means that ALL of the minis from the campaign are in there… the card stock is upgraded, and the plastic mini trays are included as well!

[Please note the plastic trays are not quite as flimsy as say, the ones from Rising Sun. But, they are also not as sturdy as standard GameTrayz inserts.  For certain, they can be easily re-used each time you pack the game away without getting frustrated that while the “trays” might have been good for packing/shipping, they fall short as a long-term storage option… Some of you know what I mean… ;-)]

I should also point out that all Mysthea board games listed as Kickstarter or Crystal Edition or whatever are the same as they produced only one version of the game during the Kickstarter campaign. So any copies of Mysthea you see out there on the market should be exactly the same as what is on offer here and vice-versa.  One notable exception is the “Collector’s” pledge; which is the exact same game with an artbook thrown in).  I mention this to be sure there’s no confusion. 🙂

This is one case where I don’t have special add-ons or promos that other people might not offer… argh! 😉

Welcome to the mist-laden planet of Icaion!

The good people over at Tabula games did a really nice job of creating a fun backstory and then staying true to that story as they wove the gameplay and artwork  into this overarching theme.  Well done!  So, what is this backstory, you ask?  Well… let me tell you.  🙂  In summary:

  • People of the planet Icaion are doing their thing.
  • Giant crystal from outer space crashes into the planet!
  • Forces of nature are torn asunder and giant chunks of terra-firma now float in the planet’s orbit.
  • You and your compatriots each represent one of the five guilds sent out to explore these strange floating lands; in an effort to impose your dominion over them.
  • Yes, to impose your DOMINION over them!  Now get going! 😉

But why Mysthea? Well, because “ever since the impact, a seemingly perennial blanket of clouds and mist engulf this strange world.”

Mist… Myst.  Potatoe…. Potato.  You get the idea.

Get on with it, Drew! How’s the gameplay?

The game plays out over 3 Eras and each Era is broken down into 3 phases; aptly titled “Beginning of an Era, During an Era, End of an Era.” 😉

The first phase is basically board reset and set-up, as each Era comes complete with its own Era deck, new monsters come out, and everyone gets to heal their Champion character. One nice thing about this game is that your Champion never dies… they simply get wounded and lose their special ability until the end of a particular Era.  I really like this aspect to the game because I am never completely wiped from the board no matter how ugly things may get!

During an Era is when the meat of the game takes place… although you have to keep an eye on what’s happening as the End of an Era phase has some interesting twists as well and board location, strength in a given area, etc. all have a role to play!

As one might imagine, the During an Era phase plays out over a number of rounds.  Here the designers incorporate a simple, but elegant, mechanism that results in variable round length (based on the event cards that come out) to add a little unpredictability to the game play.  A new event card comes out each time the round returns to the first player. There are 9 total event cards – 3 monsters, 1 storm card, and 5 region cards. Once all 5 region cards are on the Events Board the round ends.

So, round length can be anywhere from 5 to 9 cycles.

At the start of the first Era, only one of the monster cards is actually in the deck so the max number of rounds is 7 (assuming the 5thregion card is the last to come out). This first Era Events deck is comprised of the 5 region cards, the 1 active monster card, and the 1 storm card.

In the second Era, a new monster is added to the mix and now the Event Deck has 8 cards… so, maximum round length is 8 (if that 5thregion card comes out last).  In the third Era the final monster comes into play and the deck is comprised of 9 cards.  Easy.  [Admittedly I had to read that section of the rules twice to get this straight… but then again, I may have needed more caffeine at the time…]

What’s really cool is that if the round goes to 6 total event cards (or more) being played, everyone can recharge their artifact.  This artifact is involved in some of the bigger gameplay moves… so in some rounds you may have the opportunity to use this power twice!  But since you won’t know for sure if that will happen until that 5thevent card comes out and the round isn’t over (meaning you will get to that much-desired 6thround!)… you’ won’t necessarily be able to count on that second artifact discharge.  NICE!

I should note that the events deck is played face up… so technically you’ll know at the start of a given round whether or not that 5thregion card is coming out next… so you DO have a little planning time 😉

How does the During an Era phase play out?

I won’t get too deeply into the details but suffice to say that each time you take your turn during this phase you MUST complete one Standard Action, and you MAY complete one additional Special Action.  In summary, the standard actions allow you Act (play cards from your hand in a variety of ways), Develop (add cards to your hand – this requires energy), or Meditate (to gain energy, and then points for each region you have at least one unit in).

Special actions include Activating accessories, Starting a battle (requires a charged artifact), Moving one of the floating continents that make up the game board (requires a charged artifact), or facing an encounter.  Each encounter you face requires an increasing number of experience points… which are acquired by fighting monsters and completing encounters.

Encounters…

Each encounter has a “choose your own adventure” vibe where you basically look at the artwork on the card to gain an impression of what’s happening (think Scythe encounters without the subtext) and then you choose whether to “move and explore,” “collect and keep.” “talk and interpret,” or “fight and attack.” I really enjoyed this aspect of gameplay in Scythe and it works REALLY well here to!  WIN!

End of an Era

When the fifth region card is placed on the Events Board path, all players take their last turn and the Era ends.  Now the Event Cards are resolved one by one in the order they came out!

Each area on the Event Board has a point value assigned to it… and whenever a region card is resolved, players with the most strength there receive points.

The Storm card doesn’t score points, but instead each monster currently on the board moves one island clockwise.

Finally, each time a monster card is resolved, the monster depicted on that card activates and attacks all the units on the island where it is currently located!  The units fight as a whole and either win or lose the battle based on their combined strength.  So, although you might not want to battle your opponents at every turn (smile), you also might want to avoid being alone on a particular floating continent because the strength required to defeat a monster is generally more than one person is likely to have on the board. You have been warned!

Artifacts

There are 5 artifacts in the game.  At the start of the game one is randomly distributed to each player.  All artifacts are the same in terms of using them to take the” start a battle” and “move an island” actions.  However there are two notable exceptions to this sameness.

The first is that each artifact has a number used to indicate turn order for the Era.  As these are randomly distributed at the start of the first Era, there’s nothing you can do to change your luck there… haha. But, in Eras 2 and 3, artifacts are redistributed based on Glory Points.  The player with the highest point total takes the 1stplayer artifact, and on and on down to the 5thplayer in descending order of points.  But, fear not Champions!  The second difference between the artifacts is that each one has a different Glory point value that is gained when you recharge the artifact. The first player artifact only scores 3 points when recharged whereas the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5thplayer artifacts score 4, 5, 6, and 7 points respectively.  So, if you’re behind in points at the end of a given Era… it might be in your best interest to discharge and recharge that artifact!  I mean, if you discharge it and then get to the 6thround and all….

Also, each artifact automatically recharges at the start of each Era… so if you received a new artifact and the player who had it last discharged it… then you’ll score those tasty recharge points during the set-up of the next Era!  Ohhhhhh… so many levels to all of this!!!  I LOVE it!

Components… WIN!

The various game and player boards are REALLY well made.  The cards are similarly very well crafted, display gorgeous artwork, and have a linen finish.  The minis are beautiful and are begging to be painted!  If only I had some artistic talent…. Oi!  Scott Fairburn, I may need your help again!  😉

This game has  a wonderful table presence…

The orbiting islands are loaded with minis depicting competing Champions, raging monsters, newly constructed fortifications, and the like.  The game boards are replete with the mist-filled artwork central to the games dark theme.  And the “Choose your own adventure” encounter cards serve up some exciting twists and wonderful storyboard artwork.

GAME on!!

 

Ages: 14+
Players: 2 – 5
Play Time: 90 – 120 minutes
Designers:
Artist: Travis Anderson
Publisher: Tabula Games
SKU: TABULA 002
MSRP:
$125 and up on eBay (US) at the
time of this listing – MARCH 2019)
Our Price: $107.50
Link to BGG:

 

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Description

Mysthea… Land of mist and clouds.  Brought to you by Tabula Games…

Millenia ago, a planet called Icaion was hit with staggering force by a giant crystal of unknown origins that came at a great speed from the depths of space. The crystal pierced through the planet, scattering its shards everywhere, the impact so strong that the planet and forces governing it were forever altered. After the shock, large and small chunks of crust detached from the planet’s surface. Areas as large as continents separated from Icaion and began floating around it, pulled by a mysterious gravitational force generated by the Henakor.

Meanwhile, the largest chunk of crystal still remains embedded within the center of the planet. And ever since the impact, a seemingly perennial blanket of clouds and mist engulf this strange world. Over many centuries society developed in Mysthea, the region of lands floating above the clouds. These people live and prosper completely unaware of what lies beneath them. The floating islands of Mysthea, for all its inhabitants know, contain the only human presence in the universe. They are just able to see the Henakor sticking out from the perennial storm.

Throughout the centuries the inhabitants of these lands battled amongst themselves for power. Cities were built, and kingdoms went to war, while society relentlessly developed and evolved around Qoam, those shards of crystal present everywhere around the planet. The constant contact with the crystal and its mysterious properties shaped life and society. Humans are naturally able to interact with Qoam, being able to sense it and move it telekinetically. Recently humans have managed to create an artifact that is able to amplify exponentially the power they have over the crystals. One artifact for every Guild was created and talented Qoam manipulators could complete unimaginable feats using one.

One day, a Guild realized that with the aid of the artifact, they could send an explorer to the uncharted islands floating around the Crystal, a mysterious place that has remained out of reach for the entirety of their known history. The five Guilds of the Kingdom capital city are now ready to entrust a Champion with their Artifact, tasking him to guide an expedition to the five floating islands around the Henakor which they have admired from afar for their entire existence. For the first time in history, they would be able to explore those new, terrifying, and sacred places. The idea spread quickly among the population: they would finally be able to reach that place of myth and legend. They could touch the lands considered holy by some but damned by others.

What could be waiting there? What answers would they find? What treasure would they bring back?

You are a Champion of Ilvash, a title bestowed to only the most able Qoam manipulators of the Kingdom, and a Guild tasked you to explore the frightening five islands floating around the Henakor. With the aid of the Artifact you are entrusted with, you will be able to perform unimaginable feats of strength. You will discover uncharted and unlawful lands shaken by bizarre forces, where anomalies bend the laws of physics and new life has evolved in strange ways. You will face terrifying beasts and will have to find a way to survive the mysteries and perils that will get in your way. You will build and upgrade your forces, forge alliances and break them, you’ll do everything in your power to impose your dominion over these uncharted harsh lands.

Additional information
Weight 7.4 lbs
Dimensions 12.5 × 12.5 × 3.5 in
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