Realms of Fantasy
August 1998

Xena: Playing Games


Games
BY ERIC T. BAKER

Xena, WebRPG, D&D, and Dragonlance offer variety for the fantasy-lover.


WIZARDS OF THE COAST HAS LAUNCHED THE LATEST IN ITS LINE OF licensed collectable card games with the Xena: Warrior Princess: rading Card Game. Based on the hit syndicated TV series, the Xena: Warrior Princess TCG uses cards inspired by the adventures of Xena, Gabrielle, and the other characters from the television show. The entire card series contains 180 cards displaying scenes from the show, some of which include famous quotes.

Xena: TCG uses WotC's new ARC system of rules. Designed as a quick-to-learn, fast-to-play. "lite" version of the original Magic: The Gathering rules, the ARC system completely succeeds in its goals. My wife, who had never never played a CCG before, learned the rules in 10 minutes and we had finished our first game in another 15. Players keep a hand of seven cards, and at each turn put down a resource card. Enough resource cards allow you to play action cards, character cards,
and combat cards. The goal of all three of these types are to make your opponent discard cards from their deck. The first person to run out of cards loses. WotC hopes to keep adding both  licensed franchises and original worlds to the ARC system, keeping each set of cards fully compatible with all the others. Thus players could use a Xena deck in a game against a Hercules deck, or even a C*23 deck

Starter decks for the Xena: TCG will contain 40 cards and retail for $5.99. Booster packs will be "themed" and contain 12 cards for $2.49. You should be able to find them in hobby, game, and comic book stores. My review deck contained a Gabrielle card, but I can't tell you if Cal listo will be showing up in starter decks or expansions. If you are a long-time CCG player, then the ARC system will probably be too much like War for you to enjoy it, but if you're new to the world of collectable card games, and particularly if you are a Xena fan, then this is a fun and fast way to see what these card games are like.


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