Ophidian first hit the scene over 10 years ago with Ophidian 2350, a CCG from Ophidian Games and Fleer. A few years back one Small Cave Games released a stand-alone, non-collectible version called Ophidian Wars. Now Hack & Slash games have created Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest, a Expandable Card Game with an all-new look. 2360 is fully compatible with 2350, though there are some things you will need to keep in mind with older cards (this will be covered in an embedded video below).
Ophidian starts you off by having you choose up to 4 Gladiators worth up to a total of 10 Victory Points, then constructing a deck from the various Minions, Pumps, etc… available. There are several 2-player pre-constructed decks for sale that pretty much let you just setup and play the game.
There are several ways to win Ophidian:
- Have the most Victory Points at the end of the 4th wave.
- Be the last player with Gladiators in play.
- Be the first player to earn 12 Victory Points
- Be the first player to gather 15 Cheer.
The flow of gameplay is rather unique. Players can continue to play cards and take actions as long as they’re playing “+” cards or taking “+” actions. Any card or actions that are “-“ cause the player’s turn to end. This makes for some interesting combos that can be played over the course of the game.
After a wave is complete there’s a Breather phase where cards are refreshed, Gladiators can level up, and more. To get a full idea of the rules and how to play, check out the videos below:
While I’ve never owned any Ophidian 2350 cards, I have seen some. Ophidian 2360 has completely overhauled the artwork and layout of the cards and they completely blow away the older sets. The card feel is comparable to other ECGs on the market.
I was also sent a set of acrylic Rage Tokens for the game as well as the neoprene play mats. Both take the game to the next level. The tokens are translucent purple, thick, and expertly cut. The mats are gigantic, covered in game artwork, and have everything to you need to keep track of cards, victory points, and cheer.
Ophidian 2360 took me and my oldest son a bit of time to learn and play properly. The rules sheet that comes with the 2-player sets doesn’t really help much. Reading the full rules and watching the videos above really helped. Once we had the game down pat we really enjoyed it.
We’ve played a lot of card battle games. Other than deck builders they’re my oldest’s favorite type of games. The fact that Ophidian kept his attention says a lot. As soon as we finished our first game he was ready to go again.
I should also mention that my initial reaction to the game wasn’t as favorable. It felt too hard to get Gladiators’ levels up so I could play cards I had in my hand. This made the game feel a bit slow and clunky to me. About a week after we first played a new edition of the rules came out that allow multiple Gladiators to level up during a Breather, among other rule clarifications and tweaks, that pretty much fixed all the issues I had with the game.
Ophidian 2360 is now a game both my son and I can enjoy together on a regular basis. I’m actually looking forward to the release of more cards so we can really dig into building decks and master flow combos. Ophidian is fresh, interesting, and a bit of a departure from your standard ECGs.
Copies of the Ophidian 2360 Mental Block vs. Warrior’s Resolve pack and War Machine vs. Bio-Hazard pack were provided by Hack & Slash games for review.
Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest at Hack & Slash Games
Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest (Art of War vs. Otherworld Allies Pack) at BGG
Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest (Mental Block vs. Warrior’s Resolve Pack) at BGG
Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest (War Machine vs. Bio-Hazard Pack) at BGG
Purchase Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest (War Machine vs. Bio-Hazard Pack)
Purchase Ophidian 2360: Survival of the Fittest (Art of War vs. Otherworld Allies Pack)
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
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