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The Meeple Guild: Epic battles with superheroes in Alpha Clash

With a hand of eight cards and a draw to nine as a turn starts, the game is rapid in nature.

YORKTON - Trading card games are not new, dating back to 1993 with the release of the collectible class Magic: The Gathering, the juggernaut that has seen annual sets released every year since.

The exact format of such games, MtG being called a CCG and others offering alternate names are all at their hearts about buying cards and from those accumulated ‘building’ what is a unique deck of cards you then play versus others who have their own ‘unique’ deck of cards.

The idea is brilliant in that the process of collecting harkens back to days of buying packs of hockey or baseball cards along with the enclosed stick of stale chewing gun trying to gather together your favourite team.

Of course some gamers have balked at this genre of games for the same reason, determining they don’t want to buy multiple packs of cards getting repeats of unwanted cards and still failing to find the elusive care desired for their deck.

Still, rummaging through a monster box of cards trying to build the unbeatable deck is a great way to wile away hours involved in the hobby between actual gaming sessions.

Whether loved, or not, CCGs and their related offerings, have been hugely popular. After MtG hit big literally dozens of games followed from Lord of the Rings to Star Trek, to Pokemon and a long list most lasting short whiles and now largely forgotten.

But, new games still pop up in the related area; one such effort being Alpha Clash.

“Alpha Clash is a superhero themed trading card game that immerses players into the Alpha Clash universe based on the novel and comic book series. Alpha Clash was expertly crafted and combines both original and popular game mechanics that offers players a familiar yet refreshing experience for players of all TCG backgrounds! The Alpha Clash franchise will continue to release new content for years to come that will fuel the TCG!,” notes the game’s website

“Alpha Clash was a project born out of the pandemic, where we came together to pursue our passions and to craft a game and a story about individuals with extraordinary abilities. The initial idea centered on placing these characters in conflicts with one another as a trading card game, but as the project developed, the team prioritized building a rich and expansive lore first, with plans to extend the story across different mediums in the future. 

“With the world in lock down, we began sketching characters and mapping out the early stages of the story. As the project progressed, so did the pool of characters and lore in the world of Alpha Clash, providing a thrilling and engaging experience for audiences across various forms of media. We chose the trading card game to be the first major product of the brand, but we have high hopes of branching out to other avenues in the future.”

So let’s start with a comment on the theme, battling with ‘superheroes’ is not a new concept, but it is a good one.

The good comes from the possibility of incorporating a myriad of neat abilities/powers into the game where those feel natural being there.

Of course it has been done before dating back at least to the 1995 release of Overpower which was a CCG highlighted by Marvel superhero characters.

Alpha Clash avoids being constrained by the often wonky and contradictory canon of well-established superhero pantheons like those of Marvel and DC and no doubt save hefty licensing fees, which makes what AC offers fresh.

At the same time without a Batman or Spiderman on the box front attracting attention, it will be more challenging.

Still, there is a story behind AC and its characters for those intrigued by more than which cards they can win with.

Again from the website; “Next with games such as AC the art is rather important. It doesn’t effect play obviously, but it is often watch first catches a new player’s eye. Here AC is a bit underwhelming. The back of the cards is graphically nice, so that’s a plus. The actual card art is consistent in look, but lacks a sharpness to really scream ‘buy me’.  In the same cards there isn’t one I’d run out to buy art wise for a game room wall.

In terms of play, which is where a game should be measured ultimately, AC firstly allows any card to be used as a resource, so no risk of not having a ‘mana’ card as in MtG. Of course, the conundrum is what card do you toss into resources and lose for its more logical use later?

From there you are basically trying to knock off the other player’s ‘champion’ sending fighters into the fray which you can bolster with weapons, or bluff in other ways, while the opponent plays cards to block and defend.

With a hand of eight cards and a draw to nine as a turn starts, the game is rapid in nature with lots going on, which means some dynamic options unfold.

The AC game and preceding graphic novel started with Ridge Kiley, a former Collegiate and International wrestler! Previously, Ridge worked as a strength and conditioning coach with World-Class athletes for a World-Renowned Circus company. Ridge is a Player and Collector of Dragon Ball Super, MtG, and Pokémon TCG'S! Ridge is taking his knowledge and experience in the card world to help build a dynamic and fun competitive card game, which came about in the midst of the Pandemic and has since then developed into the Alpha Clash Universe!

Via email Kiley said he looks to build a game with its own lore and dynamics.

When asked what players can expect, he replied, “a lore-driven, fast-pace, super powered trading card game that will feel both familiar and refreshing,” and also provides “ . . . deck building flexibility – this game allows players to create their own ‘what if’ scenario each time they play.”