Shards of Infinite Woe

On Wednesdays, it is my plan to tell some stories — sometimes of great wins, but other times stories of gaming woe. Today, I will be telling a personal story of Woe.

A while back, my son and I had a chance to try Hero Realms. I came away from the experience very pleased and enjoying the game. My son was a little more ‘so-so’ towards it. Then, last summer, a certain hat-wearing game reviewer mentioned a new game that he had played recently — Shards of Infinity. In his review, he claimed that while Shards is like Hero Realms, he felt it was a much better game.

This had me intrigued, so I acquired the game and sat down with my son to give it a try — hoping that he might like this better than Hero Realms. After our first game, I was unfortunately the one who was ‘so-so’ about the experience. My son, though, really enjoyed the game. I wonder if that had anything to do with the sound thrashing he gave me. For some reason, in my first play, I just couldn’t get a handle on what my best moves were…what kind of engine I should be building with my deck.

In December, we got around to playing Shards of Infinity again. This time, things were going better. I had a strategy and I felt good about the deck I was starting to build. My Mastery was increasing and I was starting to deal heavy amounts of damage to my son. Annoyingly, though, he had some good healing cards and was recovering well. And then, in the blink of an eye, his deck maximized! All of a sudden, my son was announcing that he was hitting me for 54 damage. 54 DAMAGE!!! If I was at full, max health, I would only be at 50….even then, I would still die. Final score — 0 for me, 28 health for my son. Bleh.

So, while I finished this 2nd game feeling a little better about my gameplay…and having enjoyed the game more than the first play — it still stung that in the end, I had been throttled.

3rd time’s the charm, right? Last month, during Spring Break, my son and I opened up Shards of Infinity again. This time, I was determined to do even better…to finally knock my son off his winning pedestal. To help me do that — Ko Syn Wu would be my ShardBearer!

I felt good about my strategy back in December, but on this day, I felt even better. I was gaining Mastery at a lightning pace, while my son seemed to be neglecting that aspect. I was recruiting Champions and getting them in the field, helping build up a continual stream of Gems and Power. I even had a couple shields in my deck to occasionally deflect attacks against me. I was feeling good. Once again, my son had managed to get some annoying health revival in his deck. So frustrating to watch his health inch back upward after my efforts to bring him to his knees. Meanwhile, he also (just like in the first two games) had managed to quickly build combos that were allowing him to throw big attack values at me. My health was waning but I was hanging in there. My Mastery level had moved past the 20 mark and I was only a few moves from hitting the pivotal mark of 30 Mastery, which would give me Infinite Power in which to decimate my rival. Alas, that would just be a dream. Once more, my son had amassed a Power-heavy hand…and he went in for the killing blow. Final score: Good guy 0, Malevolent Son 18.

Tears.

So now, as I sit here and think about Shards of Infinity, I must say that I really am starting to enjoy this game more and more. I also have a thirst…a desire to get the game back out and finally find the Halls of Victory. Will I ever get there? I don’t know. Am I doomed to be woefully inadequate against my son’s forces? Even when I feel like I’m playing well, he seems to magically have a superior deck put together across the table. Why can’t I win this game? WHY!?!???!

Well, if I ever figure out the answer…I’ll let you know.

Do you have a game you are currently playing that has you stumped? You enjoy it, but you just can’t figure out how to get a win? Let me know!

4/27/19 update: played game #4 with my son. Once again, I go through each turn feeling like I am making optimal decisions — I’m gaining attack cards, I’m getting strong healing cards, I have a giant shield in my deck, and I’m trashing my weak cards often. Meanwhile, my son is apparently purchasing better cards left and right and he is starting to pounce on me for some serious damage. I manage to deflect a big 18-point blow with an 8-shield and only absorb 10. Then, on his next turn the score is 41-28 on the side of the naughty teenager. I have obviously not given his Champions enough consideration and he triggers a 29-point attack on me. I have no shields and I am done…kaput…blown to smithereens. Final score 41-0. And just like a 20th century Cubs fan, “There’s always next time” ::sigh::

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