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Thanks for clearing up those doubts. Just a suggestion with the surround cards, you could pretend the 4x4 grid is an island surrounded by water. Therefore when a card with surround is adjacent to a space off the board it counts as if it's surrounded by 1 card. However this may require buffing the stats/abilties of the surround cards, so as you said there really isn't an elegant way to add an exception.

Yes, I did play the game. I printed out the cards first in black and white to test them out. I used the first example deck and printed two copies of it. I played with my younger brother who is 12 years old, and he really enjoyed it so in terms of age groups, I definitely think this is suitable for 12+

A cool combo my bro did was he placed Dr. Steel to resurrect one man army. Then he used return trip to return Dr. Steel to his hand. Then he placed Dr. Steel again to resurrect a second one man army, leaving me helpless. So combos are a big part of this game.

It's a shame that you haven't found many playtesters because the idea is really unique and something I haven't seen before. It's also quite balanced and fun in terms of mechanics.

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That's awesome! Glad you guys enjoyed it. The water idea is interesting, but even though that makes cards with negative surrounds a bit more balanced, it makes cards with positive surrounds much easier to pull off. It's something I'll think about though.

Combos are my favorite part of any card game because they give you such a great sense of discovery when you find one on your own. My favorite two card combo is tempting apple into secret agent on turn one. Lets you set the idol of death to 2 health by turn 2, which is very powerful. Probably the most interesting pure-combo deck in the game is this deck, which I've dubbed the "Meteor Apocalypse" deck:

  • Shore of Origin X1
  • Crystal Ball X2
  • Time Capsule X5
  • Worthless Coin X4
  • Booby Trap X2
  • Meteor Shower X1

The idea of the deck is you spend most of the early game drawing and cycling cards with worthless coin and booby trap, while slowly whittling away at the idol of death. Once you get it down to 1 hp, you play meteor shower to clear the board, all 5 time capsules which gain massive attack values, and the shore of origin to restore both idols to full health, making winning impossible for the opponent. You just have to make sure you position the cards correctly so that shore of origin can actually activate. It's a very powerful deck, but can be countered easily.

*edit* just changed the Two Example Decks file to Three Example Decks, as it now includes the deck above if you want to try it. Beware, it's kind of hard to play.