Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Phase Review

   Phase is an AEG self contained CCG that came in the 2016 Black Box.

   It plays two to five players and takes between thirty and sixty minutes to play.

   Inside of the box you will find six pre-built decks. 

   300 tarot sized phase cards. 

   150 tarot sized card sleeves.


   81 influence tokens.


   Double sided rule book.

   Everything in this game is double sided with one good side and one evil side. No two cards are exactly the same. 

   To set up, put ten good influence and ten evil influence per player into The Nexus.

   Each player chooses a deck of cards. The game comes with six pre made decks along with cards to help you build your own decks at a later time. Shuffle your cards well. You may at this time, if you so choose, take some cards and flip them over so you will draw both good and evil cards.

   Once your cards are shuffled, place them next to you in a draw deck. Draw the top three cards. When you draw your cards, you will use the face down side like when using a normal deck. Choose one of the cards in your hand to add to your barracks, which is where your warriors will come from. The other two will stay in your hand for the actions, which are located along the side of the card.

   Your are now ready to begin play. Whoever has the lowest cost on the top card of their draw deck goes first.

   Preparation Step

   On your turn, begin by unlocking any cards that were locked in your previous turn. This step is skipped in the first round since no cards have been played yet.

   Draw and Enlist. You will draw the top card, adding it to your hand. Remember, the face down side is the side you will be using. Take the card that is now on top of your deck and add it to your barracks. On this card, you will be using the side that was face up on your deck.

   Attack Step

   You may now declare if you are attacking. If the active player doesn't have any warriors out, this step is skipped. If the active player does have warriors, randomly determine who will be defending The Nexus. In a two player game, this will be the opposing player. Once this is determined, you enter the action phase. Players can now play actions on warriors. Take the cards from your hand and play them on the chosen warrior, paying any cost. You may skip your turn during this phase. Players may continue adding actions until every player has skipped their turn. If at one point you skipped your turn, then decide you want to add an action, you may do so when your turn comes around again. After every player has skipped their turn, this phase is over.

   Declaration Segment

   Next, the active player declares who they will be attacking. They can either attack The Nexus or another player. If you attack The Nexus, you will gain influence that matches the type of card you are attacking with. Good cards receive good influence, whereas evil influence will receive evil influence. If you attack another player, they will lose influence they have gained during previous play.

   Once the active player has declared who they are going to attack and assigned which warriors will be attacking, the player being attacked, or the person chosen to defend The Nexus will assign who they are defending with. Good warriors must be used to defend evil warriors and evil warriors must be used to defend good warriors. Warriors may not defend multiple warriors, but multiple warriors may defend a single warrior. 

   The warriors are now in a skirmish.

   Skirmish Segment

   The active player now chooses which skirmish they want to resolve first. No other warriors may be added to the skirmish after it has begun. Once the actions have been played, the warriors deal their damage simultaneously unless otherwise stated. If there is more than one defender, the player decides how the damage is divided up between the defending warriors. Warriors who's defense is now zero are destroyed.

   If there are any attacking warriors still in play, they have now successfully attacked either The Nexus or the opposing player. If they successfully attacked The Nexus, they receive one influence for each attack damage. For example: if the warrior was good and had three attack, the player will receive three good influence.

   If they have successfully attacked an opposing player, that player loses one influence for each attack. These influence are removed from the game, not returned to The Nexus.

   Once the skirmish has been resolved, the warrior is then phased (flipped over). This skirmish is now over. All actions played on the warriors are discarded. If a warrior is defeated, they are also discarded.

   Training Step

   After all skirmishes have been resolved, the active player can then choose to take actions and train warriors. When this is done, phase cards to pay the cost of bringing a card into play. Once the player is done training cards, you may enter another action round. Once this action round is completed, play then moves to the left.

   Game End

   Once either the good or evil influence is gone from The Nexus, you may no longer gain any influence of that type from The Nexus. This triggers the end of the game. Play continues until the last player has their final turn, making it so each player has an equal number of turns. Once this is finished, whoever has the most of any one type of influence wins the game! In this picture, my opponent has won since they have nine evil influence and I only have eight good influence.

After playing this game, I have learned one thing; I'm not very good at this game. At least not yet. There is quite a bit of strategy. Deciding when to phase cards to get out warriors and when to wait another turn or two so you have a better chance. Saving warriors in play so you can defend instead of always attacking. There are so many different choices and possibilities.

The cards are high quality and I love the fact that they provide card sleeves. The cards are bigger which makes it easier to read the cards that aren't right in front of you. The artwork on the cards is amazing and adds character and theme to the game. No two cards are exactly the same. There are multiple of each character, but they all have different characters on the other side, creating even more diversity.

And even though I'm still figuring out the odds and ends of the best strategy, I really enjoy playing Phase. Maybe some day I will even beat Hubby.


  1. The trend of playing board games is vanishing. This game look interesting and may attract interest of children. Thank you for a good review and sharing playing method.