Ascension – Valley of the Ancients drops on Digital

Hi, my name is Dave.

And I’m an Ascension addict.

Ascension - Profile
I’m sure I haven’t even played as many games as some of my friends have.

I had a sponsor who was helping me with it, but when I showed him my online profile and the number of games I’ve played, he ran away screaming.

I’m not sure how to take that.

Anyway, I was about to head to bed last night, when somebody mentioned that the latest digital expansion for Ascension, published by Playdek and Asmodee Digital (Editor – Them again?) had dropped unexpectedly.

I quickly downloaded it and devoured a couple of games.

What does this new expansion bring?

It brings a couple of new mechanics for those of you who have been thinking things were getting a little boring.

Ascension - Temple of Life
How is that tree growing out of the top of the pyramid?

First, it adds the Temples. We have the Temple of Life, Temple of Death, and the Temple of Immortality.

When you get the Life or the Death symbol and you don’t already control the appropriate temple, you get the temple that goes into your Construct area.

Ascension - Life Death mark
This one lets you choose which symbol!

If you already have the temple when you get the symbol, you do the effect that’s on the temple. If you don’t already control the Temple of Immortality, then you gain control of it. You also get either 2 Runes (Temple of Life) or you are able to banish a card from your hand or discard pile (Temple of Death).

For each temple you control at the end of the game, you get 5 Honor.

In addition to the temples, there are two new card effects.

Ascension - Serenity
I guess his comrades don’t like him. Or he likes his solitude.

Some Enlightened cards have “Serenity” effects.

Serenity means that you do the action if you have no cards in your discard pile. How many times in a deckbuilder have you played a card that interacts with your discard pile and cursed when it was empty? Now you have cards that want it to be empty.

Ascension - Echo

Then there is the Echo effect for some Void cards.

Echo effects happen when you have at least one Void card in your discard pile.

Some really interesting new mechanisms in the game, and some of them are more subtle than you would think.

Ascension - Serene Prodigy

Look at Isla, here. When you play her, you get to acquire any Hero or Construct in the center row. But she also has you shuffle your discard pile into your deck.

Handy for those Serenity cards, isn’t it?

Ascension - Hellfrost Imps

My favourite new monster is the Hellfrost Imps. Not only do you get the 2 Honor points, but you can defeat any other Hellfrost Imps in the center row (including if one comes out to replace a defeated Imp) for free. I’ve seen it twice now where three of them were defeated in a single shot.

Ascension - Valley of the Ancients
Some nice artwork there!

Here’s some of the other new cards. They’re just so neat.

One Enlightened card has you draw a card, and keep drawing until you don’t get either an Enlightened card, Heavy Infantry, or a Mystic. That could be a lot of drawing if you go heavily Enlightened!

I’ve only played a few games with all of these cards, so this isn’t a review.

I just wanted to share one of my favourite digital card game implementations and let you know that this expansion has dropped. From a first look, it’s well worth picking up.

What do you think of it? Or Ascension in general?

It was one of my first board/card games played when I came back into the hobby, and it still holds a soft spot in my heart.

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