Hello Ascension players! I am happy to announce the upcoming release of the next Ascension set, Delirium, on July 20th. If you’d like to make sure you can get your hands on a copy, preorder it here.
In Delirium, a new portal to the Dreamscape has opened. With it, the very fabric of reality in New Vigil is being warped into a state of chaos. Players will harness this power through Insight (icon), gaining them access to powerful tools in an effort to combat the forces of Delirium. Today, I am going to talk about the new mechanics featured in the set.
Delirium largely revolves around a returning mechanic, Insight, which was introduced in our previous expansion Dreamscape. Insight is a resource that players accumulate over the course of many turns because it doesn’t deplete at the end of your turn. The primary way to gain Insight is through Dreamborn cards. When a Dreamborn card enters the center row, all players gain one Insight. In addition, when a player acquires a Dreamborn card, that player gains one Insight. There are also card effects and Monster rewards that will grant Insight.
Now that we have gone over how Insight works, let’s talk about what you can use the resource for in Ascension: Delirium.
The Delirium Die
You read that right. In Ascension: Delirium there is a six-sided die called the Delirium Die! During a player’s turn, that player can choose to spend 5 Insight to roll the die. Each side of the die has a different output listed and the player rolling will gain the effect of the side they roll. The sides are: Banish up to 1 card, draw 2 cards, gain 3 Runes, gain 4 Power, gain 5 Honor and gain 6 Insight. You can roll the die any number of times in a turn, so keep rolling the 6!
I’d guess that many of our serious players have mixed feelings when it comes to a mechanic like this. Our experience has been both very exciting and challenging with the Delirium Die. There is absolutely luck involved with the mechanic (duh!), but there is also a surprising amount of skill involved with its use. Since Insight is a resource that can be stored from turn to turn, deciding when the right time is to roll the die is critical. One of the challenging things about tabletop games and card games is figuring out how to maximize your opportunities, given the variance that exists in the game and it’s mechanics. This mechanic is no different, so I hope that all of our fans, from the most casual to the most advanced will enjoy the Delirium die as much as we have.
Some Hero cards in Delirium have the ability to Recur. When you play a Hero with Recur, first execute the card text listed above the Recur keyword. Once that is done, you then make a decision whether you want to spend Insight to activate Recur. If you do, spend the amount of Insight listed in the card text and execute the card text listed above Recur one more time. You can only use a card’s Recur ability once when you play it.
The main goal with Recur was to make a fun and simple way to utilize your Insight. Players can pick up a Recur card like Dreamscape Dryad and have a consistent and easy way to convert their Insight into points when they play it. As players play more with Delirium, they can start to unpack the complexity around this decision. Some games, you will want to use the Dryad as much as possible, ending the game quickly. Other games, you might be better off saving your Insight for something else.
With a card like Emma Ironheart, players who are able to construct a proper deck to pair with her will be rewarded immensely with her Recur ability. This tests a different type of skill in Ascension within the same mechanic.
In Ascension: Delirium, Fate is back but in a very new way. These Fate cards will trigger an Auction. As soon as a Fate: Auction card is revealed, the game pauses and an auction begins. Auctions start with the active player and move clockwise. When it is your turn to bid, you must bid Insight higher than the previous bid (minimum one). If you don’t increase the bid, you are out of the Auction. Last person in the Auction spends the Insight they bid to gain the effect listed on the card.
Auctions are one of the most interactive mechanics we have ever had in Ascension. Taking into account the state of the game, how much Insight your opponents have, and what they can potentially do with the auction reward are all crucial to mastering this mechanic. I personally have loved the mind games involved with making bids in the mid-to-late game (even though my coworkers are getting the better of me 90% of the time!).
What about the Monsters?
While we have no special name for the mechanics within this set of Monsters, I will say that Delirium is one of our favorite expansions to date when it comes to the Monster defeating strategy. Many monsters have their own form of Insight use that allows you to increase their Rewards by paying Insight.
The Demon Pups are a great example of this. When you defeat this Monster, if you are willing to pay one Insight, you can draw an additional card. This turns an otherwise average output Monster to a great value in the right circumstance. This little bit of extra control results in players focusing primarily on Monster killing having many more options in Delirium than they would typically have.
There is much more!
One last thing I’d like to talk about before wrapping this up, is a more story-focused element to Ascension: Delirium. Some of you might notice this character seems a little bit out of her normal state…
Cetra, our Lifebound celestial Goddess, is… a Void Hero? Many of our traditional Ascension Heroes have warped their faction in Delirium. Some of their followers who were journeying with them into the Dreamscape have also been warped.
The Voidspeaker is one of these followers. As you can see with both cards, we blurred the lines between a typical Void card and their original Lifebound forms. Be on the lookout for the other pairs in other factions in the coming weeks on our Facebook page!
It has been an honor to present to you another Ascension expansion. I look forward to hearing your reactions and talking with many of you at Gen Con about it!