In The Vale of Eternity, various mythical creatures come together to live in harmony in each other’s company. Unfortunately, there are a bunch of evil players who do not give the mythical creatures any peace and hunt and poach them to sell them for magic stones or to tame them for their special properties. You are one of those vile players. Poaching never felt so good.
In this fast paced and colorful card game as published by Mandoo Games, players try to get the most points in up to 10 rounds or be the first to earn (more than) 60 points. They earn those points with the creatures that live in The Vale of Eternity.
In The Vale of Eternity, players take on the roles of hunters, poachers and tamers who hunt various monsters, ghouls, beasts and other creatures. The game contains 70 cards featuring all sorts of different creatures from various folklore, stories and myths from around the world. For example, think of the Kappa, a kami (a type of monstrous deity) from Japanese folklore and lover of cucumbers and luring children. anpther example is Behemoth, an immense creature mentioned in the Bible. Finally, consider dragons, the most mythical of all creatures and also the most valuable. The most special dragon is Eternity – she occupies a central place on the cover of the game box and is also an important playing piece (but more on that later).
Setup and gameplay
At the beginning of the game, players lay out the two game boards. Around one board, the cards that players will hunt are placed during the game each time. On the other board, players keep score and rounds. Each player receives two wooden discs in their player color and a cardboard chit to indicate points in excess of 60 (and also as a handy reminder of your player color).
Earlier I mentioned Eternity and its playing piece. In fact, the game includes a cardboard playing piece of this imposing dragon. You can add this, if you wish, to the board where the cards are placed. It is not necessary, but as the rules of the game indicate: it is nice for pictures and because of this obviously indispensable. At least the publisher has enough humor and I can appreciate that. By the way, don’t forget to shuffle all the cards to form a big draw pile and also make a supply of the magic stones. The starting player gets a wooden rune.
The game is played in up to 10 rounds and each round has three phases: the hunting phase, the action phase and the resolution phase.
Players draw twice as many cards as the amount of players and place them in the appropriate areas around the board. Each card belongs to a particular “family” (color). Starting with the starting player, each player in turn chooses a card and then starting with the last player and moving counterclockwise, each player chooses a second card. On a chosen card a player places one of his wooden discs and in this way each player thus chooses two cards from the game board.
Starting with the starting player of the round, each player performs as many actions as that player wants or is able during their turn. Players can take several actions, including selling cards that the player hunted the next round, taming one of the two hunted cards or summoning cards.
When players sell a hunted card, they get as many magic stones as indicated on the board. Magic stones are the currency in The Vale of Eternity. These stones have different values (1, 3 or 6) and you may only have a total of 4 stones. In principle, you cannot exchange stones for higher or lower values and you do not get change when you use stones. So pay close attention to the limited space in your wallet.
Players can also take a card in hand, and cards that players have in hand can be tamed by paying a minimum value of magic stones. Tamed cards are placed in front of a player, but a player may only have as many cards in front of them as the current round’s number. Tamed cards provide immediate effects, ongoing effects or effects during the resolution phase. Effects allow players to manipulate their cards, earn points or magic stones, link effects and so on. All cards have special effects and you can create fun combinations as a result.
Players are only allowed to have a limited number of cards in front of them, so some cards take a coveted spot, but have actually already done their job. Players must pay if they want to remove a card.
At the end of a round, all players may use the resolution phase effects of their cards in an order of their choice.
A maximum of 10 rounds are played and the game ends after the 10th round or as soon as a player has 60 or more points at the end of a round. The player with the most points wins.
The Vale of Eternity is a smooth and beautifully designed card game. The cards and their effects are unique which creates not only a dynamic look, but also dynamic gameplay as many different types of effects and combinations are possible.
Basically, The Vale of Eternity is a fairly simple game that requires players to draw cards, but the way cards are obtained and used is very refreshing. Players must therefore assess whether they want to obtain cards to use later to build their engine or sell cards for magic stones. Because players can only keep a limited number of stones and also only place a limited number of cards in front of them, they are concerned with resource management each time. The effects of cards are all very useful, but some combinations work better than others. Due to the large amount of cards, a little bit of luck does play a role in the drawing of cards from the draw pile. You may find that I some rounds no cards have been drawn that you would like to use, but this little bit of luck does provide dynamism and variety.
The Vale of Eternity is a delightful and smooth card game with refreshing gameplay.