Welcome to Frenzy, the real-time fantasy battle card game!
Frenzy. Name of the game sounds pretty good, right? Must be something exciting, something fast & furious. It’s a card game, OK, fine, that is right in our alley, up until now every game I reviewed was a card game, so again, nothing unusual there. It’s apparently some kind of fantasy battle as well – sure, most of the games are settled in some fantasy World one way or another, and vast majority of them depict battle/war of some sort.
But wait, what’s that right there…. Real-time?! What do you mean, real-time? We know what RTS or real-time strategies on PC are, but how could a card game be real-time? Let’s dig deeper.
Because the game is played in real time, you can play cards as fast as you want without having to wait your turn.
Yep, that’s correct, you can play cards from your hand at your will, as fast as you want to, there’s absolutely no need to wait for your opponent! I’m pretty sure this concept looks intimidating if not terrifying (but amazing at the same time) for a player who never stumbled across this kind of game before, so I’m going to explain every last detail of this concept in this article.
Drums are pounding like the feet of a thousand soldiers. Swords and armor glisten across the horizon. War cries rise all around, the pulse quickens, adrenaline flows, and the frenzy is upon you!
First of all, Frenzy is a game for 2 players, and can be played in 5-10 minutes. There are 4 different Frenzy decks: Knights, Orcs, Dwarves and Undead. Mechanically, they are very similar with the difference of one special character in every deck (read on).
Each player have a starting deck of 40 cards at his disposal. Starting deck looks something like this:
Every one of the 4 decks looks closely similar to this. There are cards with numbers 1 – 4 and cards with knife and fire symbol in all of them (both called Heroes). Number of those may vary from deck to deck, and only one big difference is special character card (on this picture that’s a card with horse head). Every special card has a unique ability I’ll explain a bit later. They are also considered a heroes.
So, how is it played? The most important thing in Frenzy are the battle lines. Take a look at this example:
There are 3 battlefields on which you’re fighting against your opponent. On each of them every player has it’s Battle line and Supply line. Your playing area is divided into 7 regions. During a round of Frenzy, you may play cards into any of these regions. There are 6 battle regions (battle + supply line) and Headquarters. You may place any card in battle regions, but only heroes at the headquarters.
At the end of the turn, highest number in any of the three battle lines wins battle in that line and he takes both cards from supply lines that supply that battle lines. So, if you have number 3, and I have number 4 in my battle line, I’ll take both cards from supply lines. Highest number always win, with this exception: Assassin (Hero card with knife mark on it) kills number 4, but loses to all other cards.
Wizard(Hero with fire mark) can also be places in battle line but his strength is always 0. Power of a wizard comes when you place him in your supply line. If an opponent wins a battle with a wizard in your supply line, you get to discard any card from your opponents score pile and remove it from the game.
Round ends when either:
* 3 Hero cards are placed in any Headquarters
* Any players deck is depleted.
When that happens, all the battle lines are resolved and supply lines are scored. After all 3 Battlefields have been resolved, any cards in your Headquarters are removed from the game. All remaining cards in your Battle Lines and Supply Lines are shuffled back into your deck. Then, round 2 can start.
The game ends at the end of 3 rounds. Both players count up the total number of points in their respective score piles. The player with the most total points wins. If there is a tie for most total points, the player with the most cards in his score pile wins. If even this is a tie, then the game ends in a stalemate.
And don’t forget – during all of this, you can play cards from your deck as fast as you want to. Just turn them and play them, turn them, play them!!! Avoid Wizards in opponents battle lines (lose those battles), kill opponents 4′s with Assassins, and try to end the round when that suits you!
It is recommended for the beginners to play this game with only 8 hero cards (4 Assassins and 4 Wizards), and add additional 3 Heroes later on when you master the game and want to add something new.
Every one of those 4 Heroes is different:
Knight(humans): When played in your Battle Line, the Knight wins against all other Heroes (it ties against another Knight or the Undead’s Lich) and loses to all Warriors. If your Knight wins a Battlefield, you score the top two cards of each Supply Line pile in that Battlefield (instead of just the top card). A Knight in your score pile is worth 0 points.
Ogre(orcs): When played in your Battle Line, the Ogre wins against all Warriors, and loses to all Heroes (including the Assassin and the Wizard). An Ogre in your score pile is worth 0 points.
Bodyguard(dwarves): When played in your Battle Line, the Bodyguard duplicates any other card in your Battle Line. When the round is over, before a Battlefield with a Bodyguard in it is resolved, you must choose which of your other cards in the Battle Line the Bodyguard is duplicating.
Lich(undead): When played in your Battle Line, the Lich wins against all other Heroes (it ties against another Lich or the Human’s Knight) and loses to all Warriors. If your Lich wins a Battlefield, any Wizards you score in that Battlefield are removed from the game and have no effect.
And that is the game of Frenzy. When I look at this game, and after I played it couple of times, I have to say one thing. I may have used term “dynamic and fast paced game” describing some other games too lightly before. They all pale in comparison to Franzy. If you want to try out something REALLY dynamic, this game is truly second to none!