I’ve played a few deck-building card games before, and was recently introduced to a new one (to me, at least) – Arctic Scavengers.
Apparently, according to a piece of trivia I found online, this was actually one of the earliest deck-building games developed, but its release was held back for fear of copyright claims. In Arctic Scavengers, you take the role of a tribe leader in 2097, where a cataclysmic climate shift has plunged the earth into a new ice age. The surviving humans have banded together into tribes, scavenging for food, equipment, supplies and medicine. The objective of the game is to have the biggest tribe, through hiring mercenaries and brawling in skirmishes with other tribes.
Arctic Scavengers has a good amount of variety from the games I’ve played, where you can go all-out and focus on simply recruiting more and more tribe members, or take a more offensive approach by looting weapons and beating the other player’s tribes in the skirmish, earning some rare and powerful loot in the process! The cards are nicely laid out, with some good-looking artwork and a simple structure for the abilities each mercenary can use. One particular element I like is how the ‘first player’ each turn rotates round the board – this is particularly important in the skirmish, where you have to play cards such as sniper teams and medics in reaction to other players, so going first is ideal!
It’s a fairly quick game, and very easy to pick up if you’ve played this sort of thing before. I can’t imagine that it’d be hard for a newcomer, either – you’re given three turn’s grace before the skirmishes start, which gives a nice bit of time to accumulate resources or learn the basic turn structure. It’s a fairly quick game, and the makers Rio Grande recommend that it takes around 45 minutes. I’ve picked up my own copy now, and would certainly recommend it as a quick, fun game if you see it on sale.