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Fantasy Realms is an very clever take on a card drafting game, and one that should gain more attention than it does. It is based around a single deck of cards, all of which are unique. Your hand has a hard limit of seven cards so whenever you draw a card you must discard another. However, when you draw a card it can be from the deck, or from the discarded cards.
When there are 10 discarded cards on the table the round (or game) ends. At this point you score the hand you have crafted, hopefully with combos so glorious that the scoring takes as long as the round did. The cards are brilliantly woven together with some of the powerful combos costing you points unless you ‘shoot the moon’ and get all the cards you want. Yet, because you get a chance to pick up the cards the other players have discarded there’s always a chance…
Of course, when you have your perfect hand, you’ll want the round to end quickly so will draw and discard the same card trying to get to 10 cards discarded, but this runs the risk of handing your opponents cards they want, need or worse still are better than the ones in your hand.
Then there is the temptation to change your plan mid game. The other players are ignoring that potential combo on the table and seem to be waiting for a specific card, do you ditch your plan and go for bigger gains?
Fantasy Realms is a whole lot of game in a small deck of cards. It is one that rewards regular play with the same set of friends as you learn the cards and what the others might be after. It doesn’t take long to pick them up and even the first play is rewarding but it’s definitely one to bring out time and time again!