by Bryan Reese
When designing Torn Asunder, we had an opportunity that does not come around very often. We were able to design a stronghold that changed factions. I am of course speaking of Journey’s End Keep, the new stronghold that once belonged to the Unicorn but is now an Imperial keep. As to the “why” this changed, I will leave that to the story, but we had an opportunity and were not going to let it pass.
So the first question we had to breach was, “What would the stats be?” Given that this was once a Unicorn stronghold, we had a more difficult decision. Should the gold production remain at 5, or should it be reduced to 4? Well, we ultimately decided that the economic opportunities afforded to the Unicorn that create a 5 gold stronghold would not suddenly go away because the name on the door changed, so we decided to stay with the 5 gold production. The province strength was pretty easy to settle on, and the starting family honor stat was also easy to settle on. Imperials are more important than everyone else, and their mere presence somewhere immediately improves the honor of those they are around.
So how did we decide on the traits? Well, the clan alignment question should be pretty obvious. Next we have the rather tricky phrase, which in essence says “if the personality has an unaligned border, you do not receive a clan discount for them.” The reason for this is simple, unaligned personalities are already printed with this clan discount in mind. If a personality is to cost 7 gold, but instead of being aligned to a clan is unaligned, they will be printed with a 5 gold cost. So the second trait is just to keep the mechanical balance on a level foot. The third trait allows you to start with the imperial favor if you are the only imperial player. This should be rather self-explanatory. They are the imperials, they start with their own favor. This brings us to the last trait, the stronghold does not produce gold for personalities. Now you may be wondering, “What the heck is this about?” Well, the imperials bring a level of efficiency to Journey’s End Keep that can only be provided by the government. More serious, as a stronghold that goes first and produces 5 gold, this is another mechanical necessity.
So now you have this new stronghold, what do you do with it? Well, the beauty of this stronghold is it is really open-ended, so you have lots of options. To get you started though, here is a deck list for an honor deck.
This article concludes our Focus Series for the expansion Torn Asunder. We hope you will have fun drafting at your local release event and look forward to seeing the decks you will have designed thanks to this expansion in action during the Kotei Season!