Duel Masters

Translated and adapted by Katrina Karenine, 2019

DUEL MASTERS (Master duel) is a collecting card game in which each of the two players has five shields. The first player to destroy all the shields of his opponent, then to attack him once again, is the winner.

Masters duel: the elements of the game

In fact, the only elements of this game are the cards. They have a color, an image, a number, printing characters and a text.

The images on the Masters duel cards are of excellent quality. They represent fantastic science fiction creatures. My uncle Sherman, however, will not appear in the game of anyone, even if everyone in town agrees to say that he is the strangest man in the country ... Anyway, some creatures are simply ordinary , some are beautiful, others are really appalling but very cool, and some are simply unspeakable.

The images on the cards constitute a large part the attraction of this game. I imagine any child to discover his cards, just looking at the images one after the other. As far as I can say, none of the images is bad, they are simply strange. But for a child (or adults who have remained), everything that is strange is attractive (in comparison with the Magic game: The Gathering, where some images are rather, humm humm, quite suggestive).

Each card bears a number that is the creature's attack and defense score. There are also some small characters with special rules that can apply. For example, a creature could have the number of 4000 registered, but the short characters will indicate that it takes 6000 for the defense.

The maps are divided into five categories of civilizations: nature (green), fire (red), water (blue), light (yellow) and darkness (black). As a general rule, the details of each card are increasingly complicated as you advance in the list (nature cards are generally very simple, while black cards can become quite complicated). Notice that this is not an absolute rule, but it is true in most cases. Each civilization is divided into creatures of several breeds.

Some of the cards do not represent creatures, but rather spells that apply to players. For example, some can take a card with your opponent's hand and put it in the cemetery (where lost cards land), and replace it with a cemetery card for your hand, etc.

Assuming that a starter kit for two people is used, two game mats are included. The mats are made of exceptionally fine paper and carry the inscription "tear me down" (not literally). However, this is a minor detail, given that they will not be used for a long time. The game is simple enough for the game mats to be simply superfluous. They represent more aid for training than anything else.

DUEL MASTERS: the instruction book

The instructions are of primary importance. Hasbro, through the American game editor Wizards of the Coast, has done remarkable work (as usual). There is a basic game and a more advanced game. Wizards of the Coast has embarked on the wonderful practice of reducing the rules to the simplest for the basic game. When the advanced game is played, all the rules that players have learned from the basic game always apply. The advanced game is simply the basic game with more rules. Many examples are given, but they are not necessary.

Masters duel: Game rules

Players are allowed to assemble their game as they see fit. A part must use at least 40 cards. The players will spend their free time assembling them. This is where most card manipulations will take place.

The game begins with the mixture of cards: a player mixes the other player's package, then returns it. Each player distributes five cards, hidden fac, to be used as a shield. Each player then takes five other cards to use as a hand. Once determined, the first player draws a package from the package. The player can deposit a card of his hand to use it as a spell, then play another card in the combat zone (the area between the two players) in order to use it as a creature to attack his opponent.

The cards used for spells (mana or super-power) are more or less offside. The amount of magic powers you have indicates the power of your creatures and spells. In other words, if you establish a card to use as a super-power for five rounds in a row, you then have five super-power points. You can summon (or throw) any combination of cards up to five. For example, invoke a super-power creature at a point, a super-power creature at two points and launch a two-point spell. Either in all five super-power points. More powerful creatures and spells cost more points.

Once a creature is in the combat area, she can choose to attack. If they attack, they can either attack the creatures of the opponent, or attack the shields of the opponent. Once the five shields are destroyed and a player is attacked again, the game is over.

Duel Masters : le gameplay

The game is quite simple with regard to the series of collecting cards. We compared it to the Magic: The Gathering game and I just don't understand. It's like comparing a stick to a newspaper. It is an excellent introductory game for the genre.

It has an interesting mechanism, called the shield trigger. Some creatures and all spells can be played immediately if the card is used as a shield and the shield is destroyed. This is a random surprise for the attacker player. In addition, certain special rules of creatures can be complex enough for such a simple game.
Luck is a major determining factor. If your collection has a few killer cards, but they end up being at the bottom of the game, too bad for your killing cards.

The appeal of this game (and all collecting card games) is undoubtedly the configuration, involved long before the game. Players can procrastinate on the composition of their collections for hours. It is attractive for many. Not for me. I prefer to play the game by far. But I can understand this attraction.

In conclusion

The best series contain exactly 40 cards and just 10 to 12 different cards (for example, four copies each of 10 different cards). Thus, the player can know exactly how many cards of each type he has in his package and in his shield.

We have a basic set of two players, a half-dozen extension packs. This means that we have about 200 cards in total. I assume that this also concerns the number of types of cards available. Therefore, we only have two copies of the same card (as much for a shiny game). My son and I have so few cards in a given category that we have difficult decisions about the cards to include. We limit our cards to two categories, heavy in a category (such as fire), and use other cards simply as Mana manufacturers.

The two previous paragraphs indicate everything that makes this game attractive - it is the analysis of the game more than the game itself. This is something that can be deepened and analyzed.

The current game is quite fun, without taking too much time. A whole range of products have been offered for this game: a DM version of Monopoly, a comic strip, a television program, a video game, a DM version of Risk, McDonald toys, etc. This whole line was built around the television show. The show saturated. He was even removed from screens for a while. According to some rumors, Hasbro has half reduced the budget of the series. I would be very surprised if this range of products lasts more than two years. Therefore, if you hope to bring your child into this kind of game starting slowly, and you don't hope that the game continues for a decade, this game is for you. If you hope to have a collection card game to which you can play for years, continue to look for.

I had two starting sets for $ 10, including shipping costs. The cards that my son buys are found at Wal-Mart for $ 3.50. It is an inexpensive hobby for him. For children, I recommend the game, for adults, less.

According to an article published on the Boardgamegeek.com website

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