Millennium Blades: Set Rotation Review
Quick Glance - Millennium Blades: Set Rotation Expansion
- Game Type – Economic Card Game
- Number of Players – 2 – 5
- Mechanics – Set Collection, Drafting, Negotiation, Co-operative play
- Difficulty – Medium
- Release – 2016
- Publisher – Level 99
- MSRP - $40
Expands: Millennium Blades
I recently reviewed the fantastic CCG simulator Millennium Blades. Outside of an un-avoidable lengthy setup/take-down, that game is flawless and I gave it a perfect review to reflect this. With this in mind, I was very excited to play the first big Millennium Blades expansion. After all, when you have a game this good, can you even improve it? Well read on and find out if Set Rotation ends up being an Exodia, combing to smash all other card games, or a Norin the Wary, hiding in the corner of your game closet.
What it adds?
Considering that this is a Millennium Blades expansion, you may have already guessed that what you’re getting here is a big box of cards. However, in that giant pile of cards there is a lot of variety to what you get.
Most of the cards you get here are new sets and promos you can add into the base game. There are 12 sets (5 Expansion, 4 Premium, 3 Master) and 9 promos (3 Bronze, 3 Silver, 3 Gold). These cards keep the same goofy theme as the original game and add 7 new keywords.
This expansion also adds variety to the starting setup by adding new characters and starter decks. You get 6 starter decks, doubling the amount in the base game, and 4 new characters with slightly more complex abilities.
As far as gameplay, Set Rotation gives you a couple of gameplay variants, including rules of co-op and solo play! The co-op/solo mode works pretty much the same as the regular mode except everyone is working together to beat a boss deck’s score by the end of the game. There are 4 different Boss decks each of which come with powerful unique singles, deck boxes and accessories.
The last thing in the box is a little bonus mini game that you play separate from the base game. Honestly, I don’t know how often I’ll find myself playing this, but it’s a nice bonus.
How well does it fit?
All the new sets and promos are easily incorporated into the base game and none of them are overpowered. The only problem you might have incorporating them is keeping track of the new keyword. Having to reference rules can be an issue with the real-time nature of the game, but it’s not a huge problem.
The new starter decks and characters are a huge win. I’m a big fan of any game that gives you a variety of starting options, so adding such a large number of new ones is great. Because of the sheer volume of cards in both this and the base game, the new sets and promos could go unnoticed and get lost in the proverbial shuffle. However, new starter decks and character will always give the experience a different feel.
The last big addition is the co-op/solo game mode, which I was kind of lukewarm on. It’s nice to have a different way to play and I love solo gaming, but for me part of the fun of Millennium Blades is the interaction. The solo mode removes this altogether (obviously) and the co-op mode minimizes it. By removing the collection aspect and the direct competition, it takes away some of the bite of the base game. It’s still fun and I will definitely be trying the solo mode out again, but it falls a little flat.
The rules are pretty well written but they could have included an extra paragraph or two on solo play. It just kind of lumps it in under solo mode without giving any specifics about how it plays. I was happy to see that the rule book had a few pages of backstory for the new characters and sets, but clarifications on the actual gameplay would have been nice.
Just like the original game, the cards are all very good stock and seem like they’d hold up pretty well against repeated use. The art is still the same delightful mock Yu-gi-oh style and some of the card backs give me a chuckle every time I see one (I’m looking at you, elven Gordon Ramsey). It’s a small thing since I just mixed these cards into the base set box, but the box the expansion comes in is beautiful. It’s a striking black with silver inlaid letters, covered by a slipcase. Considering that most people do like I did with an expansion and throw the box in their attic, the extra effort is appreciated.
If you like Millennium Blades then you’ll definitely like this expansion. You get more variety in the starter decks and characters, a bigger card pool, and extra variants. An expansion that adds more of what works is always great, however, it doesn’t add anything revolutionary, which keeps this from being a must-buy. The base game is so good already and has a ton of variety with its huge card pool, because of this all the new cards are nice, but you could really play the base game for a long time without it getting stale. The best expansions add an element to the game that you could never see yourself playing the game without (see Lords of Waterdeep for a good example of this). That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy this though, it just keeps it from getting as good a grade as the base game. At the end of the day, Set Rotation adds even more variety to the game and was made with the same care and quality as the base game. If you’re a fan of Millennium Blades, pick this one up!