Ascension – learn how to play with

By: Dennis B. B. Taylor

Welcome to Ascension

In Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, you step into the shoes of mighty warlords, fighting to unite the kingdom of Vigil against the forces of evil. As you strategize and play your cards, you’ll gain powerful runes, strength, and other special abilities to take on the menacing monsters threatening the realm of Vigil. Use your runes to acquire new cards and use your strength to defeat the monsters and earn honor and rewards. Every decision is crucial as the cards available for fighting or acquiring are always changing, requiring you to think carefully and make the best choices to protect Vigil and earn the highest honours.

Getting Started

The game board displays the layout of the cards:

  • The foundational cards like Heavy Infantry, Mystic, and Cultist are all stacked on the side. You can always purchase these cards or fight against the Cultist.
  • The six cards in the center, known as the draw pile
  • The draw pile, located on the opposite side and underneath the discard pile, called “The Void”

The remaining space on the board can be used to store honor crystals. We use a total of crystals equivalent to 30 points per player.

You and I each receive a starting deck of 10 cards (2 Militia and 8 Apprentices). We shuffle our decks and draw 5 cards each.

Let’s Play the Game

The Game Turn:

  1. First, I play cards from my hand to gain runes, strength, and honor.
  2. Next, I place all the cards I just played, as well as the remaining cards in my hand, in my discard pile.
  3. Finally, I refresh my hand by drawing 5 new cards from my deck.

Our Resources:

  • Runes (represented by gray triangles) are the main currency in the game. I can use them to recruit heroes and acquire constructs. The number of runes needed to get a card is shown in the top right corner of that card.

Strength, represented by red swords, is a special currency used in the game to fight monster cards. Unlike regular cards, these monster cards are not kept in your deck. Instead, when you defeat a monster, it immediately goes to The Void and you earn victory points and other bonuses. The top right corner of each monster card shows the number of strength points needed to defeat it.

Honour is another important currency in the game, and it represents victory points. Each hero and construct card is worth a certain number of honour points, which is indicated by the star symbol at the bottom left of the card. When you defeat a monster, you also earn honour points. These honour points are represented by honour crystals, which are taken from the stockpile at the start of the game.

Now, let’s talk about some other important rules in the game.

When it comes to playing cards, it’s important to remember that playing a card usually doesn’t cost anything. You can play as many cards as you like during your turn. It’s a great way to strategize and maximize your chances of winning.

By understanding the concepts of strength and honour, you can elevate your gameplay and increase your chances of victory. It’s important to take into account the number of strength points needed to defeat monsters and the honour points you can earn from heroes, constructs, and defeated monsters. With these factors in mind, you’ll be able to make better decisions and come up with effective strategies.

So, if you’re looking for an engaging and strategic game, you’ll love the mechanics of strength and honour in this game. Embrace the challenge and have fun!

When your draw pile is empty, you can shuffle your discard pile to create a new draw pile. This allows you to draw or reveal cards from the top of your deck at any time.

During your turn, the hero cards you play are placed in front of you and will stay there. These cards will be discarded at the end of your turn. If you have to shuffle your discard pile during your turn, the cards you played during that turn are not included in the shuffle. Purchased cards, on the other hand, go directly into your discard pile.

The resources generated by the cards you play, such as strength and runes, are available until the end of your turn. It’s important to keep track of your remaining runes and strength as you battle monsters and buy cards.

  • Constructs are cards that stick around once played. They offer different advantages, like providing a recurring bonus or allowing you to activate special effects.
  • When you have enough strength from your played cards, you can face a monster. Deduct the monster’s strength cost from your available strength, move the monster to The Void, and apply its Reward effect.
  • The Cultist is always available to confront. When you face him, his card stays in place, as if there is always another Cultist waiting to take his spot.

When a card is bought or fought and leaves the centre line, quickly replace it with a face-up card from the centre draw pile. This should be done before dealing with any other effects. The centre line should always have 6 cards whenever a player makes a decision.

If the draw pile is empty, shuffle The Void and create a new draw pile.

Now, let’s talk about banishment and destruction:

Banning a card means sending it to The Void. If you ban a card from your hand, it doesn’t count as being played, so you won’t benefit from its effect. The card will also not be discarded at the end of your turn, instead, it will remain in The Void.

Similarly, if you ban a card from the centre line, you won’t benefit from its effects. This includes not receiving rewards from monsters.

Ascension - learn how to play with

Factions and synergies

I want to talk to you about factions and synergies in this card game. The cards in the game are divided into 4 factions, each with their own unique strategies:

  • The Void faction is all about power and getting rid of cards from your hand or discard pile.
  • The Mechana faction has a lot of construct cards that can be combined for big rewards at the end of the game.
  • The Lifebound faction focuses on cards that work together to give you more runes and honor.
  • The Enlightened faction lets you draw more cards and remove cards from the center line.


Let’s talk about how the game ends. When all the honor crystals have been used up, that round is over and the game is done. But before we wrap things up, don’t forget to count up the honor points from all your deck cards, including the ones in your discard pile and hand. Add those points to your honor crystal total. Whoever has the highest total wins the game. Pretty simple, right?

Ascension - learn how to play with

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