Coming soon from Wizards of the Coast is a new Trading Card Game for our favorite franchise!
The TFW2005 team was able to get a hold of the initial sets courtesy of Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast, and today we are sharing our first impressions and some crispy pics of what you can expect inside these packs.
At launch, 2 products will be available: the Autobot starter set and 8–card booster packs. The Autobot Starter set comes with everything you need to have a legal–to–play deck, with 4 double–sided oversized character cards and a 40–card battle deck. The packaging for the starter set is open to be viewed from the front and back to show off the foil character cards. The booster packs come with one character card (four rarities) and 7 battle cards (three rarities, with one guaranteed rare in each booster).
Let’s get some initial thoughts on the game from TFW2005’s own Aaron (AKA “Aaron”), Vangelus (AKA “Chris”) and ADMINISTRATOR_USER_0001 (AKA “Tony Underscore Bacala”)!
Transformers Trading Card Game (TCG) First Impressions
Aaron: I’ve gotten the opportunity to play two starter decks against each other a handful of times. The rules of the game are simple with all the complications being on the card, and well explained on them. You might get to roll extra cards on offense or defense, or maybe have the opportunity to unexpectedly transform one of your characters to get an bonus activation of a skill.
Vangelus: While there are rules for playing a two-player game from one starter set, the mechanics don’t truly open up until you are running decks against each other, and messing with the rhythm of the game. Untapping tapped characters prematurely and transforming more than one character in a turn (both accomplished via the right battle cards) gives a glimpse of a much deeper system than the game presents at first glance.
Aaron: Playing later, I found after adding in some of the other character cards that I got from GenCon started to show how the game could easily evolve past the basic starter. Any card that changes the tempo in that mirror match, be it a character card or a battle card, quickly shows how a deck built around one of the themes that has shown up on previewed cards could be a lot of fun.
Vangelus: The moment you escape playing a mirror match, even more potential reveals itself. Cliffjumper and Slipstream were just the tip of the iceberg, as increasing the amount of asymmetry unlocks further metagame that’s built on a solid foundation of core rules, like the unique nature of turns 1 & 2, or the 3-of limit on a constructed 40-card battle card deck. Not to mention the part where every battle card serves a secondary purpose, providing different ratios of attack/defense/buff pips in combat! Deck construction theory is going to be multi-faceted, once more people have cards in-hand.
Aaron: In the last few weeks leading up to launch enough character and battle cards have been shown off that start to show that the designers saw more than a few ways to blend the theme of Transformers into play styles that could have different repercussions. Do you want to play with a swarm of Insecticons, or a couple of big Dinobots? Not only do the character cards support that, but there are battle cards that are only useful if you are playing one of those sub-groups. Beyond that layer you can also see where a card like Cosmos that can instantly KO an enemy if you have to reshuffle your desk could play with cards that speed up your drawing of cards, or thin out your deck. I’m sure there’s many more interesting interactions out there to be found.
Vangelus: It’s very cool to see that concepts like tribal character selection, tempo play, and rhythm-breaking/sequence-breaking are all present in this first wave of cards. The game treads an interesting line of rules-simplicity for the sake of younger players, alongside plentiful mechanics on the cards themselves. Characters are not only potentially a tribal type (cars, trucks, planes, insecticons, dinobots, etc), they also may have different attack styles in each mode (ranged, melee), or special characteristics such as ‘leader’. Battle cards from wave 1 have already demonstrated interactions with all of these extra printed tags.
Aaron: My overall thoughts on what I’ve seen for this game so far is that I’m excited to see what else is coming. Already a Metroplex Starter coming with an over-oversized card has shown that it seems that Wizards of the Coast is looking forward to other interesting interactions and themes from Transformers. (See details for Metroplex here)
Vangelus: I went in expecting, at best, a fun and shallow licensed card game. And I am very happy to have had those expectations bowled over by a legitimate TCG system that makes proper use of the talent & resources found at Wizards of the Coast. This game has legs, and further expansions show promise of pumping it with life for years to come.
Tony_Bacala: Um, yeah! What they said! I must admit, this style of gaming is not my cup of tea. That’s no diss though, I can appreciate what it is and hope fans can get some fun out of it. The cards are cool, I love the art. It seems like they are pulling from multiple sources along with some original stuff. I could see myself collecting them just like baseball cards back in the day, complete the set and scan through them every so often to enjoy the art. Maybe down the road at one of the shows I’ll pop in a game and let someone school me, but for now I’ll be watching and grabbing some boosters trying to get all them pretty cards.
We’d like to thank Hasbro and their PR team and Wizards of the Coast reps for the early look, these are hitting stores now so hit your local shop and dig in! Check out some pics of the initial sets below!
First announced in late 2017, and showcased at San Diego Comic-Con and GenCon, TRANSFORMERS Trading Card Game is now available for purchase in the United States at major retailers!
The TRANSFORMERS Trading Card Game is a fast, easy-to-learn action battling card game designed for two players. Players build a team of TRANSFORMERS character cards and power them up with a customizable deck of battle cards. TRANSFORMERS character cards are huge – character cards in the AUTOBOTS Starter Set and Booster Packs are twice the size of standard playing cards, and can be flipped from bot mode to alt mode and back – and feature premium printing treatment on one of their sides. The deck of battle cards features Action and Upgrade cards to enhance TRANSFORMERS character cards.
Starting today, Transformers fans, tabletop gaming enthusiasts and others can purchase the following:
TRANSFORMERS Trading Card Game AUTOBOTS Starter Set (MSRP $14.99, ages 8 and up) – The AUTOBOTS Starter Set contains cards for two players to begin gameplay, and features OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE, IRONHIDE and RED ALERT character cards. It is now available for purchase at retailers in the United States beginning on Sept. 28, 2018, and in certain other markets later in 2018.
TRANSFORMERS Trading Card Game Booster Packs (MSRP $3.99, ages 8 and up) – Players can add to their character card teams and battle card decks for full gameplay with Booster Packs. Each Booster Pack contains 1 TRANSFORMERS character card and 7 battle cards from a pool of 40 character cards and 81 battle cards. Starting today, Booster Packs are sold separately and available for purchase at retailers in the United States, and in certain other markets later in 2018.