Before I went to Japan in the summer of 2007, I spent the hot New Jersey days inside a now-closed Games Workshop store throwing around six-sided dice. Warhammer 40k may not have been the best investment, but it was one of the best short periods of time I had ever had with a game.
Coming to the States last year, I played a few rounds of Warmachine with a friend’s army. It was fun, but looking at the prices and knowing how much time I would get to play it in Japan, I kept it to a one day event. This year when I saw my friends, one had a copy of Summoner Wars and this quickly became the focus of the day’s gaming.
These army based games scratch that itch that I get just like how I talked about Magic yesterday. What I realized with Summoner Wars was that the way the game is played does not matter. Summoner Wars reduces its cost as compared to something like Warhammer 40k[ref]And its depth, sure, but that is another story.[/ref] by working via cards on a mat. The game core is what matters. Obvious stuff, but this was a nice refresher.
Will I be picking up Summoner Wars? Probably not, simply because I do not have a table-top gaming group going in Japan. But this strategy game was a nice reminder that a good game is in its rules.