WTF is this? An actual update? I know, seems crazy even to me. But I could just not keep quiet about this anymore.
What is Gwent you ask? Well if you are playing Witcher 3 you should already know (and love) what Gwent is. But for those who don’t, here’s just a quick primer. Gwent is a deck-building card game that Geralt can play to pass the time in the world of Witcher 3. The rules of the game are relatively simple. Each player has a deck of cards with which they will play on a row to acquire victory points. The goal? Finish the round with more points that your opponent. Simple right? On the surface, totally… but man does it go so much deeper than that!
At the start of the game each player will draw a hand of 10 cards. These are ALL the cards you will have for the entirety of the game, which is where the deepest strategy comes in! Now this can be changed by special cards that let you draw extra cards too, but I’ll get into that later. Every card in the game has stats, mostly a strength rating and a row indicator but some will also have bonus ability. Abilities such as playing a card from your discard pile immediately or having two of the same card next to each other to grant a strength bonus. Again, there are a ton more, but we’ll cover that in the future.
Players will take turns placing cards on the appropriate rows, acquiring points. The rows are broken up into three sections: Close Combat (sword icon), Ranged (bow icon) and Siege (catapult icon). Close combat cards, from what I have seen, seem to be the weakest with strengths ranging from 1-3 or 4. Ranged cards are generally in the 4-6, and siege are 6-8. Among the character cards there are also specialty cards. These cards have no strength and aren’t played on a row but rather a “one-and-done” style card. These cards include:
Weather Cards – One type for each row. These cards will reduce the strength of all cards in the row to 1. There is also a card that will clear any weather cards on the board and return the cards to their normal state.
Decoy Cards – These cards will let you swap any card on the board back into your hand (one of the best cards in the game IMO).
Commander’s Horn – Play this card on a row of your choosing and it will double the strength of all the cards in that row.
Scorch cards – Destroys the strongest card(s) in play.
Players can also earn Hero cards featuring various famous characters from the Witcher universe such as Geralt, Vernon Roche, Triss and so on. These hero’s cards are generally SUPER powerful, usually about 10 or 15 strength and also immune to any special cards! That also means they don’t get any benefits from the good special cards either though, but their strength alone is solid.
There are four factions or decks that you can pick to play as (Northern Realms Nilfgaard, Scoia’tael or Monsters) each with their own cards specific to that faction. There are some neutral cards that can be used in every deck, but otherwise Monster cards are only in the monster deck, Northern Realm cards are only in the NR decks. Each faction also has a leader with a special ability that can be used once per game. Each leader also has four different variants, which basically just grants a different ability.
That’s about it. I’m sure I missed some things but I really just wanted to get the base rules. You can go ANYWHERE online right now and probably find way better explanation of the rules, but I know most of you come here for my charm so thanks for reading!
Joking aside, Gwent is probably one of the best meta-game activities in a larger game I have played. It ranks up there with Pazaak from Knights of the Old Republic. I love deck building table top games in real life, so this was a natural hook. I spent almost 2-3 hours the other night just running around finding people to play Gwent with, buying cards and building my deck. Like I said before, on the surface the game seems really simple, but when you get into, the strategy gets DEEP. Knowing your opponent, what kind of deck they play and how to counter it, where and when to play certain cards and even knowing when you should throw a round all comes into play every game. CD Project Red have taken something that in most other games, people would play once or twice and made it something that I actively seek to play at least once or twice every time I load up Witcher 3.
Hands down Witcher 3 is one of the best RPG’s I have ever played, and Gwent just adds to that experience so much more so. Thanks for reading and stay tuned over the next few days as I intend to get a bit deeper into the decks for each faction and my general strategies with them!