How To Play Ascension
Starting The Game
Each player starts the game with a 10-card deck made up of eight Apprentices and two Militias. Apprentices provide Runes when played, which can be used to recruit Hero and Construct cards during the game. Militias provide another type of resource, Power, which is used to defeat Monsters. Honor is gained both by collecting Hero and Construct cards and defeating Monsters.
The Portal Deck & Game Setup
The game revolves around the Center Deck that contains Heroes, Constructs, and Monsters. Players take turn recruiting Heroes or Constructs for their decks, or defeating Monsters for the Honor and other bonuses. At the beginning of the game, six cards are placed in the Center Row face up. Whenever a card leaves the Center Row, it is immediately replaced with a card from the Center Deck. Players also have access to two Heroes, Mystics and Heavy Infantry, that they can recruit during their turn as well. Lastly, players may spend 2 Power at any time to defeat a Cultist, which will grant them 1 Honor.
Let’s take a closer look at the three different types of cards you’ll find:
Heroes and Constructs offer resources and special effects to aid you during the game. Constructs are different from Heroes in that they will stay in play turn after turn, meaning that you can keep getting the effect of a Construct every turn for as long as it is in play. Monsters need to be defeated to be removed from the Center Row, but grant you a reward when you kill them.
Building Your Deck
As the game progresses, you will recruit cards to your deck by placing them in your discard pile. Whenever your deck is empty and you need to draw a card, reshuffle your discard pile into your deck and continue to draw. As you recruit more cards and refresh your deck, you will gain access to the powerful cards the Center deck has to offer, and in doing so, be able to control what kind of strategy your deck will follow to win the game.
Winning the Game
The game ends when there are no more Honor Tokens remaining (the number you start the game with is determined by how many players there are). Players count the number of Honor Tokens they have, and add it to the total Honor value of the cards in their deck (denoted by the star in the lower left corner). The player with the highest Honor count is the winner!