So this past weekend PS4 owners finally got a chance to get their hands on the standalone version of Gwent, the incredibly popular card game that was a mini-game in CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and boy was I ecstatic. I had about as much fun playing Gwent in the Witcher as I did with the actual story of the game. For those who have yet to play this card game, here is how the game works.
Players choose one of five factions and use a deck comprised of 25 cards. Each of the five factions has a different ability that coincides with it:
Skellige – Spawn 2 Clan an Craite Warrior units
Scoia’tael – Choose up to 3 cards in your hand and replace them with 3 randomly drawn cards from your deck
Monster – Create and play a unit version of Eredin
Northern Realms – Create and play a copy of a bronze unit on your side of the field. That unit keeps nay modifications to it
Nilfgaard – Choose a row on your side of the battlefield and all non-gold units in that row get their value changed to six
Once you choose your deck you can dive into the game. The way the game works is that players will draw 10 card from their deck and are allowed to redraw three of them before the game starts. After the redraw phase ends, there is a randomly generated coin flip to determine who goes first. Once this is all determined it becomes a fairly straightforward game, you play a card, then its the next person turn.
There are five different card types you will play in the game: melee, ranged, siege, special, and weather. The first three card types are combat cards and there is a row on the field of play for each of the three card types. With special cards they can do a variety of things like clear the effects of weather cards, destroy the strongest combat card on the field, or damage an entire row of enemies among other things. These are sort of like your spell cards in other card games. Finally the weather cards are cards that essentially render one of the three rows useless. They make each card in that row have a strength of 1.
The way the game is structured is fairly simple as well, first one to win two rounds is the winner. All you have to do to win the round is have more combat strength than your opponent. Now, here is where the strategy comes into the game. You do not get to draw every time its your turn, in fact, you barely get to draw any cards at all. After the first round you draw 2 cards and after the second round you draw one card.
So the strategy of the game becomes key as you do not want to over play one round because it can hurt you in others. Many of the combat cards in the game have effects that take place in the game. They range from adding strength to an ally, damaging enemies, to even resurrecting allies. This is also where having strong deck synergy comes into play because you want cards with similar effects or complimentary effects.
The Gwent Beta was a lot of fun and feels very rewarding when you play. You gain experience for winning games and can receive daily rewards based on the amount of rounds you win and what’s nice is that even if you lose the game but win one of the three rounds, it will still count toward your daily rewards. You will also earn in game currencies that will allow you to craft new cards and buy new cards as well, although in the beta for PS4 these features were disabled.
I cannot wait to dive deeper into Gwent as more technical tests come available, and we will be sure to keep you guys in the loop about upcoming tests.
Have you guys gotten your hands on the Gwent standalone yet? Let us know what you guys think in the comments below or by tweeting @TheNerdChambers. Don’t forget to like and follow us on both Facebook and Instagram as well!