Millennium Blades Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

Millennium Blades Review - Level 99 Games - $80.00
Millennium Blades Review - Cover

Game title: Millennium Blades Review

Game description: Millennium Blades is a board game about a fictional collectible card game, which is also called Millennium Blades. You begin the game on pre-release night with just your starter deck. You’ll open new packs, form collections, and sell your junk cards on the aftermarket to buy hot new cards. Trade with your friends, build up your deck, and prepare to compete at Millennium Blades Worlds for the title of World Champion!

Overall
4
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

With the recent success of the latest Millennium Blades set, Collusion, on Kickstarter, Level 99 shot me a copy of the base set to take a look at since I had not previously. Millennium Blades is a CCG simulator of sorts. Each player plays as a character who is buying/selling/trading Millenium Blades cards, creating decks, and ultimately competing in tournaments with those decks. It’s one part frantic, real-time play and another part careful execution of a well-planned deck.

Pros

Exciting, real-time gameplay

Captures to feel of the CCG metagame

Almost infinite replayability

Cons

Takes a long time to set up/break down

Feels overwhelming at first

Some may not like the real-time nature of play

Full Millennium Blades Review

With the recent success of the latest Millennium Blades set, Collusion, on Kickstarter, Level 99 shot me a copy of the base set to take a look at since I had not previously. Millennium Blades is a CCG simulator of sorts. Each player plays as a character who is buying/selling/trading Millenium Blades cards, creating decks, and ultimately competing in tournaments with those decks. It’s one part frantic, real-time play and another part careful execution of a well-planned deck.

Before I really being here, I need to talk about the Millennium Blades’ setup. It’s…not good. Before you can even think about playing you need to take the game’s giant stack of paper money and create “bundles” of it by making stacks of 10 similar bills and wrapping a sticker around it. The hole process took me about an hour to do. In the end you’ll have stacks of 1’s, 5’s, and 10’s. It’s thematically cool to be handling these wads of cash, but man if it wasn’t annoying to get put together.

Once you’ve gotten the money situation sorted you need to pick which sets of cards you want to play with. Millennium Blades comes with a ton of card sets, but you only play with X amount at a time. Sorting, shuffling, and actually setting up the game is a process, though the sheer amount of variability between set mixtures is a huge plus.

Millennium Blades Review - Cards
SO. MANY. CARDS.
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 by kalchio

Once the game is setup, you can finally enjoy! Millennium Blades takes players through a pre-release tournament all the way through a championship. Each player has a starter deck and a random few cards from the Store. A deck is comprised of a Deck Box, which determines the engine of the deck, 2 accessories, and a few singles. The game alternates between a 20 minute, real-time market phase and a tournament phase.

The market phase has players frantically spending money to buy packs of cards, buy/sell cards in an Aftermarket, trade in cards for Promo Cards, trade with other players, complete collections for extra points, and build their actual deck. It’s high-energy, chaotic, and a ton of fun. Those who don’t like real-time play will have a huge problem right here, so turn back now.

The tournament phase is much quicker, though no less entertaining. Players take turns playing one card from their deck at a time into their tableau. This is where card synergy is important. The player who can earn the most points in this phase wins the tournament. There’s plenty of card depth here. so even though you’re playing only a handful of cards.

The whole game takes around 2 -3 hours to play depending on the number of players, though I have to admit sometimes we cut the real time phase short if everyone is done doing what they feel they need to do. I really enjoy how well Millennium Blades captures the feel of a CCG and its meta game, boiling things down to their most basic and fun aspects. I especially love how decks work, using a Deck Box to define a deck’s core behavior and using several singles to manipulate points. This is certainly not a game for everyone, but it’ll hit the right buttons for most CCG or card dueling fans.

There’s a lot to love in the box
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 by kalchio

The amount of replayability from the core box is also impressive. There are so many cards and combinations of sets that can be played, even without any expansions. Of course, there are plenty of those for fans of the game, including the upcoming Collusion set. Millenium Blades is a game I can highly recommend as long as you’re not adverse to longer, crunchier games with real-time play. I have never played anything like it.

A copy of Millennium Blades was provided free for review by Level 99 Games

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