I’ve been playing collectible card games since the early 1990’s. And I haven’t stopped yet. I started out with the notable Magic: The Gathering from Wizards of the Coast & just making a b-line for every CCG (Collectible Card Game) I could get my hands on.
After two decades of playing Magic: The Gathering I thought I would be ready to hang up the old Twenty-sided die & store all my cards away. It is fortunate for the card companies that I haven’t yet. I still break out a dead CCG or two to mess around with & I am still planeswalking.
Now I can’t say I have played every CCG out there, but I can say I have probably played more than sixty percent of the ones that have been published. With that said I was introduced about two weeks ago to a CCG published by Fleer in 2003 called, Ophidian 2350.
This is one that I missed & I can understand why. Fleer had Ophidian 2350 on the market place for only three months before it was pulled (by no fault of the game). But because Fleer was losing money due to poor sales of their main product, sports trading cards.
So gamers really didn’t have much of a chance to see what Ophidian 2350 could do in the future. That was until now. In 2013 Hack and Slash Games was able to buy the inventory for Ophidian 2350 to breathe life into a once considered dead CCG. Last year the members of Hack and Slash Games traveled the convention scene reviving the game of Ophidian 2350 & from that they have launched a Kickstarter for their ECG (Expandable Card Game) Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest .
Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest is an ECG for two to four players, ages 8 years to adult, & has a variable playing time of twenty minutes to an hour. This sequel to the original with feature the original core game play but will add new gladiators, minions, & pumps. Each card will feature new artwork from new & original artists.
In Ophidian 2360 two to four players take their Gladiators in to an arena for combat. As long as a Gladiator has the “Flow”, that Gladiator remains in control of the action. The Flow, however, can change hands many times during a single Wave. Players will also look for becoming a crowd favorite by gaining “cheer” from the spectators.
Cheer can deeply benefit any Gladiator during the gain. Different offensive attacks & different defensive moves a player gains cheer. Cheer can then be traded in after a positive action is taken to change the next move to a negative action.
During game play a Gladiator will use minions as supporting characters & cards called “Pump”. Pump cards allow for the modification of game play. Pump cards can stack & change the course of battle for either side of the arena.
After the initial setup, where players spend victory points in deciding which Gladiators they want on their team, a player will begin the first Wave. In the Wave phase a player play cards various cards to either attack or defend. When both players are finished with a Wave they will enter the Breather phase. During the breather phase players will be able to determine who has the Flow, regenerate cards, maintain cards they wish to keep in play, , promote a Gladiator up a level, & then maneuvering characters left into their various field positions. This is done until a player loses their team or until the end of the fourth Wave.
There are three ways to win at Ophidian 2360. You can go after an “Annihilation” victory, which means that a player must defeat all the Gladiators on another players team. Or a player can go for a “Point” victory. This allows a player to win by collecting 12 victory points or having the most points at the end of the fourth wave. Or a player can shoot for a “Crowd Riot” victory. This happens if a player collects fifteen cheer.
I totally missed out on the original printing of Ophidian 2350. I love CCGs but now that it is brought back into the light it has turned into an ECG where everything is “fixed”. Missing out on the original Fleer printing might have been a good thing or it could have been a bad thing. We will never know.
Check out Hack and Slash Games Kickstarter project for Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest. They have some game play videos & more in-depth information of what the various actions are during game play.
I want to thank Hack and Slash Games for re-introducing this game back to the world. Living Card Games & Expandable Card Games seem to be the new thing. Ophidian 2360 will be a great addition to the many LCGs & ECGs today.
It’s time to incite the wild spectators in the arena & game on!