The Spoils: Children of the Lingamorph
Children of the Lingamorph is the first expansion for The Spoils trading card game developed by Tenacious Games and currently supported by Arcane Tinmen.
By Aaron T. Huss
If you need a filler between game sessions or to pass the time before the last players arrive, check-out The Spoils from Arcane Tinmen. With great sci-fi fantasy flavor, fantastic art, and tongue-in-cheek humor, it’s a good fit for role-players who enjoy the occasional card game.
Children of the Lingamorph, the first Seed expansion, further expands on the available cards and mechanics for regular and tournament game-play. There are a number of new characters but the unique mechanics, standard mechanics used across multiple cards and unique mechanics used across only 1 or two cards, bring extra flavor and excitement into the system. Along with these new additions, many of the cards feature limited edition artwork which not only looks great but really brings the fan-based community into the system by giving them the ability to be a part of the expansion.
Along with the trade-specific additions below, there are new resource cards brought into the game. These resource cards provide two resources and their applicable icon to your resource pool with a minor penalty of -1 influence when the card comes in to play. It’s fairly easy to overcome this influence hit, but the ability to provide two resources and icons on a single card is outstanding!
The Arcanist cards bring in a variety of new Mage (Wizards, Sorceress, Priest, etc…) and monsters into the character pool. These characters continue the trend of balance like the 1st Edition set but focus heavily on card mechanics. Many, if not all, of these cards have special mechanics to enhance the usage of the card rather than its standard STR, LIFE, and SPD stats. There are only a handful of characters that use COVERT which allows the Arcanist trade the ability to stand strong on its own as these characters can now block opponents that do not have COVERT (of course this means they can also be blocked). There are a number of new support cards as well including a location with great new options.
The Banker cards continue their collection of Mau characters with a mixture of high LIFE stats and balanced stats. Again most, if not all, of the cards focus on mechanics bringing new flavor and options into the system. These new cards continue the use of influence-based mechanics along with some other defensive and LIFE gaining mechanics. This addition sticks to the original look and feel of the Banker trade with a handful of support cards as well.
The Gearsmith cards bring in a variety of Golem characters along with a variety of new 31F (Elf) characters. These cards are split between those with standard stats and those with enhanced mechanics. This sticks to the Gearsmith appeal as the characters are open to the many support cards available for the trade. This is supported by a number of new item cards and a handful of tactics along with a location that allows non-COVERT characters to block COVERT characters. While I like these additions, a high number of the characters and items are high cost cards that may take too long to bring to the table. Without a fair number of low-cost characters and items, you may still need another trade to combo with these creative additions.
The Rogue cards bring in a number of different criminal-type characters like Outcasts, Crimelords, Outlaws, Thieves, etc… Many of these characters also focus on mechanics and stick well to the higher SPD of the Rogue trade. The new mechanics are not only creative but fun as well with things like Gamble and Hypnotize. I find the Rogue cards to be a strong addition to the trade with a good mixture of card costs including a good amount of support cards and a Gambling Den (to complete the crime ring!).
The Warlord cards bring a number of Soldier characters to the trade. These are fairly valuable to the trade as they have a higher SPD rating then many of the characters available to the Warlord trade along with some nasty mechanics like Shoot and Fire!. These characters help to balance the Warlord trade allowing them to strike at the same speed as their blocking opponents as opposed to being destroyed before getting their own chance to strike. One drawback to these characters is the high cost, but these are offset by some lower cost unique characters. A handful of support cards are also included with a couple of them carrying some more nasty mechanics to wreak havoc on your opponent.
I find an expansions value to be greatly enhanced by not only offering new characters with differing stats but bringing in a whole list of new and unique mechanics as well. This brings in many new possibilities for combo’s along with bringing more flavor into the game.
Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
The Spoils keeps with its high standard of quality with beautiful illustrations, a fantastic grouping of limited edition art, and fun flavor text that can make you smile. I especially love the fact that the illustrations follow the same full-depth details with not only an image of the character or item but a full background as well.
Mechanics: 10 out of 10
Children of the Lingamorph is a mechanics heavy expansion with lots of great new additions. Its difficult for a TCG to stay new and fresh without introducing new mechanics and flavor to the game. You need more than plain characters to hold a players interest.
Value Add: 9 out of 10
The only enhancement to this expansion I can find is the incorporation of more support cards and less character cards. While these characters have a lot of options, support cards can often turn the tide of battle when things are looking bleak. However, the new and unique mechanics help to overshadow this with much of these support options being available on the characters themselves.
Overall: 10 out of 10
A definite must have expansion for The Spoils players. There are great new options, character types, support cards, mechanics, and awesome resource cards. It’s a great direction for a solid and fun card game.