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Games of the Year 2021: Wheels on the accessible and tactical Summoner Wars: Second Edition

Second time's the charm.

I had a real brain melt when it came to my pick for game of the year 2021. It took me about a week to realise that my original pick of Heart: The City Beneath came out last year in June. Even to the point wherein if you watch our pre-recorded game of the year 2021 podcast special, I’m still talking about it being my game of the year.

However, in my defence, not only did no one else on the team notice, but also what the hell even was 2021? When did this year’s start? When did it end? In many ways 2021 has just felt like 2020 part two, or even 2020 second edition, which leads nicely into my actual pick for game of the year - the newly released second edition of one of my favourite tabletop titles of all time, Summoner Wars.

I’ve spoken about the original Summoner Wars at length on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel. For the most part, I’m just very upset that it didn’t get the love it deserved as one of the best tactical card games on the market. So, imagine how over the moon I was when I learned that the newly independent Plaid Hat Games were making a second edition of the game that included a brand new big box, all new art, and a genuinely very good online edition of the game as well.

I promise I’m not just a fanboy, Summoner Wars: Second Edition genuinely lives up to the hype. It’s tight, tactical, beautiful and so very easy to play. The factions all interact with each other in really interesting ways and the game’s got a great set of plans for post launch support ahead of it. It is an absolutely fantastic time to be a Summoner Wars fan. For all of you out there that haven’t given this game a go yet I’m pleased to say that there is no better time to get involved.

It’s not like your average card game where you’ll fall behind if you don’t keep up with releases, as decks are prebuilt, factions are all balanced against each other and you can even try each deck out before you buy them by using the online digital version of Summoner Wars: Second Edition to play against an AI, or other players, for an absurdly cheap price that’s cancellable at any time and runs directly in your browser.

This is probably one of the best two player strategy card games ever made and to see it given a new lease of life in a much tidier and prettier package has left me jumping for joy. Also, a fun fact, I thought that Summoner Wars: Second Edition had been released in 2020, proving that my perception of time has melted twice in one sitting. Just wait until I find out it’s going to be 2022 in a matter of weeks!


About the Author

Michael Whelan avatar

Michael Whelan

Head of Video

Michael "Wheels" Whelan started life in the video game industry working as a community manager and content producer on titles such as the Total War franchise and Sorcery! 4. He was able to integrate his lifelong enthusiasm for tabletop into his job by starting a new series of tabletop livestreams on Total War's marketing channels, before becoming the second talented member of Dicebreaker’s video team in mid-2019.

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