7 things about life I learned from the game Ascension – Part 5

29 01 2013

5. Know when to save and when to spend big

There are several kinds of cards that have a one-shot usage available after they are played or acquired, such as trophy monsters and certain constructs. Expendable assets that roll over from turn to turn can be much more effective when held in reserve than spent at the earliest opportunity. Knowing when to cash in these cards for a boost to your current turn can turn a good turn into a winning turn.

Most of the advice on getting “free” information on your turn (part 4) and paying attention to what’s going on in the game (part 2) applies to this as well; this is simply another consideration that needs to be at the front of your mind when you are weighing your options in a given turn. Having that awareness will determine if and how you “go nova” that turn.

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A few examples of cards that remain in front of the player and can be expended at discretion.

The most obvious instance to call your expendable assets into play is when there is a critical purchase or especially potent monster in the center row. If it seems like a very powerful card is just out of reach it is usually worth it to try and push to grab it. This is especially true if the particular card is also very beneficial to an opponent’s strategy; you had better give yourself the best chance to acquire it before it ends up in the wrong hands (no pun intended). As far as monsters go, it is sometimes worth making an effort to kill a monster if leaving that monster in the center row may be hazardous to your plans, such as an Acidic Crawler or Polaris Demon.

polaris-demon1 acidic-crawler

If there is a monster in the center row that threatens your current strategy you would do well to make an effort to get rid of it…before someone else does.

Another thing to watch out for is when you may be able to trigger the end of the game with an exceptional turn. Remember that the end of the game is triggered by the emptying honor crystals, so this is typically done with power cards and killing several monsters. Because of the fact that in Ascension every player gets the same amount of turns in the game, it is usually best if you can end the game on your own terms and wrap up on a strong note, especially when opponents are unprepared to get the maximum potential out of their final turn.

And, on a related note, if you know that a given turn will definitely be your last, always burn all of your expendable resources. There’s no reason not to.

Resources that are a one-time expenditure must be used carefully for maximum effect. The players who know when to hold their reserves and when to throw everything in will reap the best rewards.



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