A few weeks ago my friend Ian Steadman of Magic Meeple Games contacted me to let me know that Magic Meeple Games was going to put up a new Kickstarter project, Fire of Eidolon. I got very excited because the last game Magic Meeple Games did a project for, Darkrock Ventures, was a success.
So Ian sent a long a prototype copy. I’ve received prototypes in the past & most of the time that look pretty good, but the pieces I received for Fire of Eidolon were really nice. In the pictures you will more than likely see a bunch of prototype parts. Magic Meeple Games has always done a great job with providing players with great components.
Let’s take a look at Fire of Eidolon by designer Michael Lipton. It is a game for one to six players, ages fourteen to adult, & may take anywhere from twenty to forty minutes to play. I like the fact that it can be played as a solo game. In the few times I have played Fire of Eidolon it has become one of my favorite solo games because you never have to adventure alone.
Fire of Eidolon is a modular, tile placement, dungeon crawl style game. I received twenty-six tiles, twenty ritual cards, a whole bunch of tokens, & meeples. So what do the pieces have to do with the game? Well, that is a very good question.
You see in Fire of Eidolon players will choose a number of heroes according to a graph. Two to three players can choose one to two heroes a piece & then four or more players can choose one hero each. A solo player can basically choose as many as they want. Heroes come in all the favorite fantasy flavors from Archer to Warrior.
Each hero will start off with three Action Points or AP. Each of the heroes have a few special abilities they can use during the game. Some have passive abilities, while other heroes have abilities that may be used once per turn or even an unlimited amount of times as long as they have enough AP. Each of the heroes do have an ability that can be used once per game.
Heroes also have a character chart detailing their strength, agility, & dexterity. These stats are going to be needed to pick things up during the game.
The Vestibule tile will be the first & only tile placed in play at first. This is where all the heroes will start out. Once everyone is set up in the Vestibule the game is ready to begin. The solo player or players will choose which hero will go first. Heroes will follow their turn order actions in the same order.
First a hero uses their action points by doing a number of actions. They can continue to keep using actions as long as they have AP to spend. Most actions only cost one AP to use. On the list of actions a hero may move, explore, exchange, attack a cultist, wait, challenge, skill, or destroy a relic, or take the Fire of Eidolon.
Moving & exploring are two actions that will be used most of the time. Moving costs one AP & allows a hero to move from room to room. Exploring will allow a player to revealing a new chamber tile from the chamber deck. Explored chambers can be placed in any orientation as long as the door to the new chamber match with the chamber the hero is exploring from. Exploring costs one AP & the hero exploring automatically moves into the new chamber.
As heroes move through chambers they will want to pick up Tokens of Power associated with the chambers that come out. Tokens of Power can be picked up by subtracting four from that hero’s attribute. So if the Rogue wanted to pick up one of the green key tokens then the player would subtract the three stars from four & it would cost one AP. The most it will ever cost a hero to pick up a Token of Power is three AP. Picking up Tokens of Power is part of the Challenge action.
Heroes that are on the same space may exchange any number of Tokens of Power for one AP. Skill actions cost whatever the AP is for using a hero’s particular skill. Like I mentioned above, some skills are passive so they cost zero to use.
While a hero is traveling through the chambers they will likely stumble across the Cultist that will appear during the Ritual phase of the game. They will want to take out as many Cultist as possible as they come across them because two Cultist in the same chamber will send that chamber & anything on it to the Void. Attacking a Cultist will only cost a hero one AP.
Now to win the game heroes will want to gather up six of the same Tokens of Power. Once a hero has gathered up six of one type they can then search for & try to destroy these tokens counterparts, the Relics of Darkness. Green key tokens match with the Crystal of Focus, the red picks match with the Heart of Darkness, & the blue scrolls match with the Tome of Knowledge. Once all of these relics are destroyed the heroes can then go after the Fire of Eidolon. Destroying the Relics of Darkness or capturing the Fire of Eidolon only cost one AP as long as the conditions are met to do so.
Now if there is truly nothing to do then a hero can waste an AP & wait their turn out. But once all of a hero’s AP is gone then phase two or the Ritual phase of the game begins. For each difficulty of the game there is a threat level. During the Ritual phase of the game the active player will draw a card from the ritual deck. This card will tell a player which room to place a Cultist in. Once the ritual deck is shuffled after running out of cards the threat level will go up by one. Or when the Fire of Eidolon is captured by a hero it’ll go up by one.
Once a ritual card is drawn, it’ll give a chamber name. A Cultist will be placed in that chamber if the chamber is already on the table. If the chamber isn’t there then nothing happens & the ritual card goes to the discard pile. If a second Cultist ends up in a chamber during this time, the chamber & anything on it will go to the Void. The ritual card that was drawn for that chamber will also go to the Void. The Sage is the only hero that can bring back a chamber from the Void once per game.
After the Ritual phase is the third phase, End of Turn. Now this could also be end of game depending on what happens during the Ritual phase of the game. If all heroes are on the Vestibule tile & one hero is carrying the Fire of Eidolon everyone wins.
If the hero with the Fire of Eidolon is on the Vestibule token & not all the heroes can make it back players still win but it is only a partial victory.
Or if enough tiles are removed to the Void or if two or more of the same Tokens of Power are lost to the Void then the game ends & all heroes lose.
Now it took me about thirty minutes to make a mistake that I couldn’t take back in the first game I played. None-the-less the next few games went much better. I’ve only tried the beginner’s difficulty level & plan on jumping into the extreme difficulty to see how much harder it is.
There are several reasons I like this game & will recommend it to players:
#1: It can play solo. Yes! There are a lot of solo game players out there.
#2: Setup is super simple. It takes no time to shuffle & setup the everything for game play.
#3: There is a lot of variable game play. Each game will play different from the next. Using commonsense to move through each round is key.
It took me no more than five minutes to read through the rules. Became very clear to what I needed to do to win or what I needed to avoid to lose.
Check out the Kickstarter on July 14th here: Fire of Eidolon. The game is a great deal starting at $24. There will also be a bunch of enhancements & stretch goals.
Get geared up with your party of awesome heroes & game on!