Fiend Legion overwhelms the CCG competition

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Fiend Legion returned to PAX in full force this year, after debuting in demo form last year (see here for our original impressions).  The combination of fantasy based cards and turn based, strategic combat is one of my favourite hybrid genres.

Fiend legion is a fantastic example of this crossover made by a Melbourne based developer, well worth a look for those interested in either. Easy to pick up, yet brutally punishing if you get cocky, the PvP combat is fast paced and entertaining. I had the pleasure of speaking to Jason Stubberfield at PAX, an enthusiastic and engaging member of the team.

“Fiend Legion has a library of 50+ cards currently, with a great cost curve and an array of useful skills.”

One of the biggest challenges for Collectable Card Games (CCGs) is variety in terms of  the cost and abilities of the cards at your disposal. Fiend Legion has a library of 50+ cards currently, with a great cost curve and an array of useful skills. Jason confirmed that 30+ new cards and a range of new maps are being worked on.

The starting deck of 20 cards is a great introductory set which covers everything from basic combat and haste units to healing and enfeeblement of your foes. As you gain currency you expand your library and have to plan accordingly. The more powerful the card, the greater the reduction in the maximum number of cards you can have in your deck.

I noted that there seemed to have been a change in the stats of the cards. Jason confirmed that there had been an increase in power and health across the board, and that this had impacted positively on match duration. The game has also evolved to be Hero-based, whereas previously you commanded units from a tower.

I was impressed to find out that Fiend Legion has an active player base of over 900 people, with match queue time averaging less than 5 minutes.  I’ve found some variance, but the matching against other people is satisfyingly reliable. The inspiration from games like Magic the Gathering are clear, but Fiend Legion does feel unique in its own right.

I only have one negative in relation to the game, but I  feel it is something important to take note of. While you are able to gain a certain amount of currency by facing off against other players, the grind is severe, and something I would like to see improved. The inclusion of quests/ achievements to obtain currency is a solid addition to the game, but  need to reliably reward a player’s time investment. I didn’t get this feeling from the game, and  I found the cost for unlocking additional Heroes especially prohibitive, which was disappointing.

A polished and refined offering, Fiend Legion is now in open access for Android devices and PC through Steam, with iOS support anticipated for 2019. Though I would definitely like to see some more diversity in the Hero lineup, this game is a solid addition to anyone’s “pick up and play” arsenal. Be forewarned through, this game will punish overconfidence; strategy is key and something not overtly apparent at all times.