Will you Return the Magic to Gaia?
Welcome to Titania Ascending
Written and Previewed by Chelsea Siaca
Titania led all the Fae out of the beautiful Gaia and took magic with her. She hid the shards of Gaia in 6 secured Sacred Citadels. As her trusty advisors, you have been tasked to lead her subjects to the correct bridges between the 2 realms to recover the Shards and bring magic back to Gaia.
During Phase 1 – the Divination Phase, divine the 6 Hallowed Units and during Phase 2 – Ascension Phase, capture the 6 Hallowed Citadels.
The game is played during 2 phases. During the Divination Phase the active player will select a Vision (a pair of a Mission Card and a Rune token), then all players draw the selected Vision on their sheet (within the lighter 6 by 6 grid). On that grid, there will be crown icons that you will want to cover with the different Fae and/or numbers. Covering a crown is called Divining a Hallowed. Once you have Divined a Hallowed you will record it on the pennant for that column. Once every player has drawn in the active player’s Vision, their turn is over and play moves on to the next player.
During this phase, you will be recruiting Aides and earning Boons. If you covered one of the hammers on the grid by a Fae, you will have that Fae as an Aide. These Aides will give you the ability to use them and they have special rules. However, you will need to earn permission from Titania, in the form of Boons to use your Aides. You earn Boons when you completely fill in a row or column on the 6X6 grid. As you use your Aides, the cost of Boons per use increases. The Divination Phase ends when you have all 6 Hallowed Units. However, you can lose in this phase if all the players have passed and you do not have all 6 Hallowed Units.
Once you have all the Hallowed Units, the Ascension Phase begins. In this phase, Titania is calling for the shards to move through the magic portals. The grid expands in this Phase and you can shade on the full grid; this includes the light and dark squares! The Mission Cards are now flipped over and what is depicted on the cards is what you will shade in on your sheet. The active player will select one of the Visions and all players shade it in. If the Rune that was part of that Vision, matches a Hallowed Unit that is available, you can send it on a raid to collect a shard and you can mark it off! This keeps going on until you have sent all the Hallowed Units on raids and collected all the shards. If all players have passed and the 6 Hallowed Units haven’t been sent out on a raid, you all lose.
Titania Ascending stormed in and took me by surprise. Initially, when I heard about a co-op flip and write, I was intrigued. It seemed new and different. But the actual experience of playing was just phenomenal. Titania Ascending isn’t your run of the mill flip and write. They took a basic mechanic and elevated it. The result is an engaging and challenging experience! It took me a minute to get the hang of it, because it wasn’t something I was familiar with; however, once I got it I loved it!!
During my first game, when we got to the Ascending Phase, I started casually shading in things here and there and then realized I couldn’t fit things so I had to pass! But we ended up winning on our last possible turn!
I think what intrigued me and I liked the most was the fact that in the first phase, the grid is smaller and then it expands in the second phase. It changes the landscape of how you play the game and how you think about placement.
The way Titania Ascending was designed and how it plays gives way to communicating without “quarterbacking” other players. Since each player has their own different sheet and during each turn only 1 crown can be marked; henceforth it encourages communication between the players.
The art and theme of this game is definitely captivating. The cards have 2 different sides and you use one side in one phase and the other in the second phase. This is a game that if I were walking through a store, the cover art would make me stop and want to check it out!
I am not a co-op fan but I love flip and writes and roll and writes! The way the co-op aspect was implemented doesn’t take away from Titania Ascending instead it enhances the gameplay. Not only is this a co-op, you can play solo and there is even a competitive mode! It has a little bit of everything!
Titania Ascending is coming to Kickstarter on Nov 2! Check out the page, you won’t regret it!