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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to the Summoner Wars system
This starter set includes 2 complete factions, a paper battle board, and some dice/markers. It's an excellent intro to the Summoner Wars game system. The two factions included are among the simplest to play (the special abilities on the cards are mostly straightforward) and so is perfect for a beginner to the game, or younger gamers. My daughter, age 7, has no problem...
Published on July 3, 2012 by Caleb N. Diffell

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic Duel Game
For how widely this has been received I was expecting a little more.

Components - The component quality is minimum bar. The cards are thin and glossy (not linen or matte) and the paper mat does not lay particularily flat. No insert in box or bags to stash cards or tokens effectively.

Gameplay - Clearly this is balanced as who's winning feels like it...
Published 11 months ago by Adam Hanson


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to the Summoner Wars system, July 3, 2012
By 
= Durability:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set (Toy)
This starter set includes 2 complete factions, a paper battle board, and some dice/markers. It's an excellent intro to the Summoner Wars game system. The two factions included are among the simplest to play (the special abilities on the cards are mostly straightforward) and so is perfect for a beginner to the game, or younger gamers. My daughter, age 7, has no problem understanding the rules to this game.

Summoner Wars is expandable but NOT collectible - you always know what you're buying in each set or expansion, and you don't to buy anything beyond this starter for a complete game that plays differently each time. But with 16 total factions to choose from that all have strengths, weaknesses, and hidden combinations, plus several expansion packs, you'll want to further explore the Summoner Wars game system.

I own all the Summoner Wars products, and really enjoy the game.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent start for an excellent game., November 24, 2012
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This review is from: Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set (Toy)
Phoenix Elves and Tundra Orcs, two of the most popular factions out of the 16. This set comes with all you need to play 1 on 1. The elves are a great faction for those of you with rotten luck, most units get a form of automatic hit. The orcs are the exact opposite, abilities function on lucky roles. Both factions are well balanced against each other as well as the other 14 out there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the master set., June 23, 2014
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This review is from: Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set (Toy)
These two factions bring some new tactics and strategy to those who have played with the master set. Well balanced and very fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A gift for big brother!, April 12, 2014
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JoPfef (St. Louis, MO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set (Toy)
He was absolutely thrilled to have this arrive at his house! Had been looking everywhere for it, and this was sent as a surprise for him. :-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two of the most enjoyable factions of Summoner Wars, April 3, 2014
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Ryan (San Jose, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set (Toy)
I bought this set for the Phoenix Elves and ended up liking the Tundra Orcs even more. The two are opposites in many ways. The theme of the Phoenix Elves is reduction of uncertainty. The ability "Precise" allows units to automatically hit. Far Shot and Blaze Step allow units to attack without risk of counter attack when used well. And the summoner can do 2 points of ranged damage without rolling dice.

Tundra Orcs, in contrast, are high damage but high variance. Fury allows Fighters and one of the champions to attack multiple times as long as a 5 or higher is rolled. When you hit a hot streak they are devastating. When you don't see any 5s or 6s, they're weak. Shamans do either 2 hits or 0. And one of the champions rolls 5 dice but only hits on 4+, which means 0 hits is more likely than normal but so is 5 hits. At first it seems difficult to plan with the Tundra Orcs. But remember that it's also difficult for your opponent to plan around your turn. Being difficult to predict is a big advantage. Enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun, January 22, 2014
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This review is from: Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set (Toy)
This set is a lot of fun. While it may initially seem like just another CCG, Summoner Wars has some great mechanics unique to card gaming. What sets this game apart from the rest is summoning - you can either discard your limited hand of cards to gain magic, or you can increase your resources by defeating enemy units. Then, summon units by draining your magic pile.The game is relatively fast paced, and it's always exciting to try to outsmart, out-maneuver, and destroy your opponent. It is a great buy for about $17.

The size of the deck, while small, shouldn't concern you: it's designed that way to make the dueling much more intense. You have a very limited reservoir from which you can gain magic, so you are forced to make difficult decisions every turn about what to discard or how to gain magic from destroying enemy units. The resource limit also helps keep the game from extending too long. The only downside of these limited decks is that there isn't much variety in the units, and the two factions may get stale after a lot of play-time. But what do you expect for $17? Plaid Hat offers expansions to each of the factions to mix it up a bit, and there is a Master Set available, which has (I think) six factions(??) and probably offers much more variety and replayability. Oh, and a much better game board, instead of the paper mat.

Verdict:
If this sounds even remotely interesting, and you don't have the money like me, pick this up. Its fun, its unique, and you'll have a great time. If you do have more money laying around (~$35 ??) pick up the master set. It's the same game but with more variety, longevity, and an actual playing board.

Also go to Shut Up & Sit Down to find out more about board games like this. That's how I encountered the realm of board-gaming, and I'm never looking back.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great!!!, November 25, 2013
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This review is from: Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set (Toy)
great game! great starter set! I have the 6 deck starter set bought this one to add to it well worth the cost.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic Duel Game, February 18, 2014
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This review is from: Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set (Toy)
For how widely this has been received I was expecting a little more.

Components - The component quality is minimum bar. The cards are thin and glossy (not linen or matte) and the paper mat does not lay particularily flat. No insert in box or bags to stash cards or tokens effectively.

Gameplay - Clearly this is balanced as who's winning feels like it flip flops several times during a game. It plays like an oversized chess game placing cards in a grid like an adult tinkertoy game. Knowing a deck very well and the odds of drawing up a specific card (or at least counting what's left) is key. Plenty of factions to choose from can make it somewhat interesting. You have to have dedicated partner(s) to play otherwise its just a shot in the dark with new players and not being competent is not fun.

Art - There are a few good pieces, but most is 2nd tier quality. Also several art pieces are over used (event cards) that don't differenciate.

Usability - Generally not too difficult once you get used to it. Watch the Watch it Played tutorial video which is 5 minutes too long, but informative, for the quickest start. The iconography is lacking on the cards. There are several numbers that are not really specificed (summoning cost, damage, etc.) which could have easily been solved with better UI design. Also several cards are not named. Couldn't there have been a "Event" title? And finally the setup card has a lettering legend which then corresponds to non-related card names. Like B = Archer, but A = Warrior. Couldnt this have been specific to each deck's units?

Cost - This could fluxuate, but at this writing it's $10 for a small cheap deck. Worth paying game designers, but still wish the art and quality were better to feel like it's worth it. The main sets are not expensive, but you pay for what you get there.

Overall - Fun if you have dedicated partners and can play over and over. Not as fun if you're expecting a deep experience, high quality, or a world visually explored and believable (a la Magic.)

Not Recommended for Most.
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Summoner Wars Phoenix Elves Tundra Orcs Starter Set
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