If this year’s E3 was anything to go by, 2015 may well prove to be the year of the collectible card game. All the big names seemed to have one, but none of them seemed to be able to tell you why theirs was the one you should play. For me, these johnny-come-latelys may have already been rather handily upstaged: none seemed to advertise anything like the ingenuity of the free-to-play Duelyst [official site], with its whip-smart mixture of card play and turnbased tactics, whereby you summon fantastical units to a gridded arena and duke it out until one general falls.
It’s in closed alpha at the moment, and I’ve been really enjoying it – though I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of the strategies that are possible. Luckily, I’ve been able to pick the ample brains of Counterplay Games’ Keith Lee about Duelyst’s six factions, their varied tactics and the long-term ambitions to use the aggregated wins and losses of players to inform an ongoing epic narrative.