The first day back at work after a month off is always going to be hard. I wouldn’t know normally because I’ve never done it until this month.
While it wasn’t too hard to get back into the swing of things, it was kind of depressing to be going back to it after enjoying myself for so long.
What could make a day like that better?
Ascension: Delerium is a new set for the digital Ascension app (it came out on tabletop in 2018) and while I’ve only played it a couple of times so far, it adds some interesting wrinkles.
Delerium brings the Insight mechanic back to the Ascension world, but with a twist. You are not trying to buy unique cards from your Dreamscape like you are doing in…well…Dreamscape.
Instead, you are using Insight to gain access to new and powerful abilities that are on the cards themselves.
A new keyword introduced in Delerium is Recur and it uses that Insight mechanic to let you duplicate the power of a card you’ve played.
In Evvy, Ogo’s Gift you can acquire a Hero from the center row. But you can also pay 3 Insight to do it again (only one time, though, no matter how much Insight you have).
It’s an interesting mechanic and you have to get out of the mindset that you must save Insight for things like getting Dreamscape characters (unless you’re playing with that expansion too, which might be interesting). My first couple of games, I was a bit reluctant to spend Insight, but you do end up getting it fairly easily depending on the cards you get.
Delerium also brings back two keywords from the last expansion, Echo and Serenity.
Echo gives you a bit more power if you have a Void card in your discard pile when you play the card.
Serenity gives you a neat effect if your discard pile is empty when you play it. I think there is only one or two cards with Serenity, so I’m not sure how much that’s going to come into play, however.
There are two new mechanics that really add to the expansion, though.
If you’re familiar with Ascension and some of its expansions, you’re familiar with the Fate mechanic (where something happens when the card enters the center row).
In Delerium, you get to use some of that Insight when Fate happens!
Some cards have a Fate effect of an auction. Players will bid Insight to get the ability of the card as an immediate effect.
This is super cool, though sometimes it’s just not worth it. Why bid to get an effect that only helps you if you have two constructs, for example?
Finally, there’s something that’s totally strange to the Ascension universe: the Delerium Die (no, this isn’t out of The Princess Bride, though it sounds like something Miracle Max would create).
You can spend 5 Insight to roll the six-sided die. Also, a few cards give you the ability to roll it for free.
You can essentially get the following results: Banish one card, Draw two cards, earn three runes, earn four fight, earn five glory stars, or get six Insight.
You think previous versions of Ascension were random?
You ain’t seen nothing yet.
That’s the one knock I would have (so far) against this expansion: it just multiplies the randomness that’s already in the game.
As far as the app version of Ascension goes, I don’t really care about that. Games take minutes to play and they’re just a romp. If I get blown out 150-42, who cares? Just play again.
Or don’t. Whatever.
I might have more of a problem with it if I had to take the time to shuffle the cards, deal them out, set up the board, count out the glory crystals, etc.
A game that takes 45-60 minutes? I might be a bit put-out that the game has become even more random than it already was.
But the app?
Give me more of that Ascension goodness!!!!
Ascension: Delerium gets wild and woolly, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The expansion is $4.99 US (I think, it was $5.49 in Canada so maybe $3.99 considering our horrible exchange rate?) and should be available on all platforms (Steam, iOS, and Android).
I am probably speaking to the choir, though. If you already love Ascension, you downloaded this before even reading this post.
If you don’t already?
I’m not sure if this one will change your mind.
But give it a try! The base game is free and then you can pick an expansion you want to try out.
Let me know what you think in the comments.