Well, I finally got to play the damned thing, after failing to pick up a demo pack at Origins for some reason and failing to tell Allan to get one at Gen Con. The demo is a fairly limited and controlled play environment… which may be why I enjoyed playing it more than I enjoyed Sack Armies. See, all the creatures (sorry, that’s minions – Vortex is extremely Magic-like) have relatively limited movement and range in the Vortex demo, as opposed to our full playtest set of Sack Armies, in which guys could swoop in on you from anywhere, making the positional side of the game feel less consequential. Whether the full Vortex set will end up having this same range problem remains to be seen. But I definitely like that combat resolution in Vortex has no luck in it, that the order of play feels more graspable, and the game goal is a little more elegant and cutthroat.
I played two games, with the same player playing the same deck each game, but switching off taking the first turn. The person who went first won each time, but we agreed that this had more to do with when we drew which tiles, than with tempo. So yeah, you can get tile-screwed, like in Magic, and there’s things that kinda work like land does in Magic, but the land is intimately tied into the positional game, so you can just send people over to attack it… I could go on, but I’ll just say I’m very optimistic about this game and look forward to the full set.