I was on the fence about buying 7 Wonders, but since I had 7 Wonders Duel still unopened on the shelf I started looking for similar games to fill that itch instead. In the 7 Wonders Dice Tower review, they compared it heavily to Fairy Tale. As I began to research this a bit more, Cortnie walked past me on my computer, saw the art and said ‘I like it, buy it’. Fairy Tale is a Drafting game, which I’m a big fan of, however I have yet to win a game of this style against my wife. Will her streak continue?
In Fairy Tale players collect cards with the goal of scoring the most points at the end of the game. To skip my rules explanation click [here].
BoardGameGeek.com defines card drafting games as games where players pick cards from a limited subset, such as a common pool, to gain some advantage. In this game, players draw a hand of 5 cards, choose one card from that hand and then everyone rotates hands in the same direction (depending on what round it is). After all five cards from each hand have been selected, players move into a play cards stage. This process repeats four times.
During the play cards stage of the game, each player selects a card from the cards they drafted, and places it face down on the table. Once all players have made their selection, all selected cards are revealed at once. This repeats until each player has played three of the five cards they drafted. The remaining two cards are discarded face down.
The cards played score the player points at the end of the turn. Some of them score points just for playing them. Others score based on how many of the same card you played, or in combination with other cards you played. Some cards, instead of scoring points (or even take points away from you) will let you flip your opponents cards over so they don’t score any points at all. Of course there are way to flip them back so they still score.
This game has a basic game, and an expert game. There are 30 cards that players are supposed to remove before playing their first few games. These cards are a little more involved than the other 80 cards, but still feel pretty simple to me. Skipping the basic game in Star Trek Panic went so well that I suggested skipping it here too (we lost horribly, read about it here).
The cards were dealt, and we played the first round. Cortnie seemed to be getting cards that complimented each other, while I was not. The second round went a bit better for me, but this is where the whole experience fell apart.
My first two cards of the second round allowed me to flip one of Cortnie’s cards over. When the cards are face down, they won’t score any points. She was’t expecting me to play that way. She was slightly hurt by it, but mostly angry. I felt like I kicked over her sandcastle. By the end of the game I had more than doubled her score. She didn’t have fun.
We played one more time, and I didn’t see one card that could have targeted any of hers, so there was no interaction with each others cards. This game went better, with only 5 points between us.
This game played very quickly. We played two games in under thirty minutes. While the second one went very well, it was shadowed by the first game. When I asked Cortnie what she thought, her reply was “I really like the art”.
We had so much fun with 7 Wonders Duel and Tides of Time, I thought this would be a hit, but it’s not a game for us. Most games that have us destroying each others progress don’t work for us, although there are some exceptions.
The art is still great, and the game play, although fairly basic, is well done. I’d recommend this for groups that are okay with direct ‘take that!’ mechanics. I’m not sure if I’ll keep the game around, but I’ll probably give it a couple more tries. Now that Cortnie knows what to expect, she might enjoy it more.