Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Impressions (Beta)

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Impressions (Beta)

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free online TCG that is currently in closed beta. I’ve always been a video gamer, and so now with Hearthstone, I get to combine what I’ve always loved with my new growing passion.

I figure I should start this off with a little back story. If you’re a regular reader of Awkward Geeks, you know that it’s only been within the last year that my interest in tabletop gaming has been growing. Because of that, I have no experience with TCG’s such as Magic the Gathering, and while I do have a TON of World of Warcraft TCG cards, I’ve never actually played the game. I never could seem to wrap my head around it, and so I just collected cards because I love Warcraft.

Hearthstone game board

Diving into the Hearthstone beta, it’s plain to see that Blizzard has brought their usual game style to this. What I mean by that is, the game is easy to pick up and learn, but gets difficult to master. That’s something I love about Blizzard games. The other thing is, I finally somewhat understand how a TCG game works now.

A simple game, or is it?

So in Hearthstone, the game is simple. You have a deck of 30 cards, with various costs in Mana Crystals. You gain one mana crystal per turn, and they regenerate each turn. So turn one, you have one crystal, turn two you’ll have two crystals to spend, etc, up to ten mana crystals. The idea is to play your cards, which include, various Minions, Spells, etc, and kill the other players’ hero character. Simple right?

Truesilver Champion flavor text

Blizzard sure loves their funny flavor text.

Well, not so much. Sure, the general gameplay is simple, but you can dig much deeper, and create some amazing strategy in this game. Cards synergize with each other, making certain combos devastating. Keeping your opponent at bay with taunts, smashing them in the face with charge creatures that attack the same turn they are placed on the board, or just direct damage spells. All things that one must do and anticipate as they play through the game.

Starting to sound like there’s a lot to it? Well there kinda is. That’s why there’s some awesome resources to watch and listen to. Here’s some of my favorites:

  • Trump’s Twitch stream
    Trump is one of the top Hearthstone players, and also the first to get sponsored. One of the things I like about his stream is he tends to explain what’s going on and why he’s playing what he’s playing.
  • TotalBiscuit’s “Lord of the Arena” YouTube videos
    TotalBiscuit is a popular YouTuber, and his Hearthstone videos are fun to watch, and also informative. He’s also very good at explaining what’s happening on the board and showing his thought process as he plays the game.
  • The Angry Chicken podcast
    Hosted by Garrett Weinzierl (StarCast), William “Dills” Gregory (The Instance), and Jocelyn Moffett (The Gamers’ Inn), this podcast is a great resource for Hearthstone news, strategy, and other such talk.

And if you are so inclined, we are planning on doing some videos of our own Hearthstone adventures. The first video of me playing in Play mode is up now, see below. I apologize for the sound levels, I screwed something up and so there are times when it’s hard to hear me talking.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I’m more than a bit addicted to this game. It’s a lot of fun, it’s easy to pick up, but there can also be a lot of strategy and it can be quite challenging depending on who you’re playing. Open beta starts next month, and I would say go for it for sure. Even if you don’t spend any money on card packs, you’re going to have fun, and it’s free!

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