This listing includes the "Sands of Dunestar" expansion.
Edge of Darkness is the third Card Crafting Game from Alderac Entertainment Group designed by John D. Clair. Edge of Darkness combines Card Crafting, Worker Placement, shared deck-building, and a whole new Threat Challenge system in a medium-weight euro-style boardgame of 60 to 120 minutes for 2 to 4 players.
Graphic design and primary illustrations by Alayna Lemmer-Danner.
Players are the heads of powerful guilds in the city of Aegis. Each Guild vies with the others to become the leaders of the Aegis in a desperate struggle against great evil. But the Guilds must also work together because the dangers facing the city can harm them all.
The Guilds exert their control in the city by sending Agents to various locations where they can generate resources or abilities and enable the Guild to take actions. Guilds grow in power as they maneuver their agents and loyalists into positions of importance in the districts and organizations of Aegis. Over time the Guilds can seek to create synergies between the places their agents have been assigned and the tendrils of influence the Guilds have connected to Aegis' infrastructure.
To win a Guild must have the most power in the city when the game ends. Power is gained having the allegiance of important citizens and nobles, by accumulating wealth, and by undertaking actions beneficial to the city such as defending it from external and internal threats.
Here are some highlights of the mechanics in the game:
1. Card Crafting:
Similar to the original Card Crafting System game Mystic Vale all cards are constructed of crafting slips which have game content on 1/3rd of the slip and are transparent on the other 2/3rds. During the game players will construct cards, combining (sleeving) different effects onto one card (ideally in ways that make strategic sense). Each card represents either an important citizen or a patrician of the city which may or may not bare allegiance to a guild. Each advancement in the game is linked to an important location in the city and represents an individual with sway or power over that location. By crafting cards players are giving their citizens and patricians connections to the key power brokers of the city, and thereby the influence needed to benefit from the military, economic and political institutions of the city. Power in Aegis is all about being well connected.
Unlike Mystic Vale the cards are double-sided. The back side of each citizen and patrician is its evil counterpart from the Blight: either a Dark Agent or an Archfiend. Each time you sleeve a new connection onto one of you citizens or patricians you also are adding a new threat to the back-side of the card, giving the Dark Agent or Archfiend a new minion or evil spirit to command in its sinister plot against the city.
2. Group deckbuilding using one shared deck:
Rather than having your own deck, there is a central deck that all players draw from and discard to. Different players will have the allegiance of different citizens and patricians in that deck. You may benefit from the connections of other players' guild members, but the favor comes with a price; one coin paid to that player for each connection of theirs you want to use. During the game you can claim the allegiance of more citizens and patricians in the deck by sleeving a slip into the card with your color and seal on it, meaning you now control a larger portion on the main deck.
3. Card-driven worker placement:
While your actions are card-driven, most costs in the game are in the form of opportunity cost. You don't pay a cost to sleeve an Advancement or use its ability: instead many require the use of Agents. For example, many effects require dispatching or recovering Agents to or from different city Locations. This represents the key connection of that Location granting, jobs, positions or access to your guild members. Many Locations have abilities that are powered-up or can be triggered once you have enough Agents there. Since you have a limited number of Agents to use, you will constantly have to choose which useful thing to forgo in order to do another.
4. Threat Tower: There is a Threat Tower which dictates when and who the Blight will attack. Cards leave the shared deck and enter the Tower, where they accumulate Threat Cubes on each player's turn. These cubes are color-coded, and when a threshold number of cubes accumulate on a card, that blight attacks Aegis, and player with the most of their color cubes is responsible for defending the city. Fail in your responsibility and your guild loses reputation, succeed and you guild gains reputation.
5. Modular set up:
Each game you use 10 Locations. The Agent Reward has 12, the Guildmaster Reward begins with 21 and more planned as Stretch Goals. The rules will have various recommended sets of Location to use, with each set offering multiple paths to victory and a lot of variety from game-to-game in the types of challenges you will face and the strategies you can peruse. The Locations set for a game can also be specifically selected by you or chosen randomly, making for even more variety. These Locations are comprised of a Location Board and Advancements representing the key connection at that Location. Location Boards may specify special rules for Agent placement or extend the basic rules with all new systems such as area majority, or the ability to assemble a party of heroes and hunt the Blight, or offer the possibility to actually join the "Blood Cult" and become evil yourself.
The game is designed for 2-4 players.
- Center game board and Advancement Extension Boards
- 21 Location Boards and 158 Associated Advancements
- Cardboard Influence/Goodwill, Coins, and Reputation tokens
- Cardboard 1st Player Token & Turn Order Token
- Plastic Threat Tower, Wooden Threat Cubes & Cloth Threat Bag
- 4 Guild Leader player boards and 10 x 4 cardboard Agent tokens
- 10 x 4 Player Aid Counters, 4 cardboard Defense Tracker tokens
- 7 x 4 Guild Allegiance Slips
- 4 x 4 Starting Card Advancements (3 Citizens, 1 Patrician)
- 18 Neutral Starting Advancements (12 Citizen, 6 Patrician)
- 50 Tarot Sized AEG Premium Card Sleeves
- Rulebook, Player's Handbook, Standard Game Box
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