Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, designed by Isaac Vega, and published by Plaid Hat Games, is a deep expandable card game that’s full of strategy and has amazing art.
In Ashes, the Phoenixborn are demi-gods who have a piece of an old god inside of them. They are at war, trying to kill each other, so that they can absorb all the pieces and become the one new god. Gameplay is comparable to other card games like Android Netrunner or Magic the Gathering, though unique enough that it doesn’t feel like a re-hash of what’s come before it.
A lot of game comes inside the box. There are forty custom dice, wound tokens, status tokens, exhaust tokens, and over 240 cards! You can play in head to head matches with pre-built decks, build your own decks, or hold a draft. We’ve had the game almost two weeks and after playing our second match, Lisa requested that I get a second copy because she wants to be able to construct her own decks.
The dice are my favorite thing in the game, because I’m a sucker for custom dice, but its important to note that Ashes really isn’t a dice rolling game. Yes, you roll the dice, but they represent magic/mana/energy and have nothing to do with rolling to see who wins a battle like in HeroScape or Summoner Wars. Plus there are also ways that you can mitigate rolls, so you never feel restricted or stuck with them.
Ashes comes with six Phoenixborn characters and a seventh promo character if you picked it up at GenCon or order it through the Plaid Hat website. Each Phoenixborn has a unique ability that can sometimes be used once a round like hero-powers in Hearthstone while others have a power than can be used a bunch of times. In every round of the game the players have to make meaningful decisions and there is always something that you can do. You never feel stuck or are frustrated cause you don’t have the right kind of mana or enough energy.
If you like CCG’s or expandable card games then Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is worth checking out. If you are still on the fence, scan the additional photos I have below and take note of Fernanda Suarez’s artwork. She did a fantastic job and Plaid Hat made sure that the graphic design was simple so that the art could be the star.
You can order Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn from The Plaid Hat Store!
In the short time we’ve had Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn we’ve become big fans. I’ve enjoyed not only the game, but the lore itself. Between the flavor text and few paragraphs in the rules book, much of the mythos is unknown to the general public, though I know Isaac knows it all.
Wanting more, I ended up writing a short story, called “Burning Ashes.” It’s pure fan fiction, clocking in at just under 6,000 words, and takes place more than 40 years before Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. If you want to read it on your computer you can simply open the .pdf below or use the .epub or .mobi file and copy it to your favorite ebook reading device.
The Phoenixborn and their world is fascinating. Fingers crossed we will get some REAL stories about them. Until then, enjoy what I came up with…
To download the book for Kindle (mobi format) click the link below:
To download the book for Nook, iTunes, Android, or Kobo (epub format) click the link below:
To download the book in PDF format, click the link below:
If you’re using an apple device, click the download link above, then select “open in Kindle” or “open in iBooks”.
*** For iPad and iPhone, you might have to tap the download link twice. ***
If you’re using a different device, you may need to use a computer to download the file, then transfer to your reading app.
More instructions on how to do this can be found here:
- For Devices using the Kindle app: http://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle
- For the Nook app: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/faqs/load-epub-nook/
- For Kobo: http://www.ucg.org/help/how-add-ebook-epub-or-pdf-kobo-ereader/
If you are still having trouble getting the files onto your e-readers, eBooksBridge is a great resource that has instructions for specific ereaders.