So I'm not a big fan of tales of tribute in ESO. It's limited in scope, and isn't very fun as just a 2 person game. You also can't really play the game properly without sinking many hours unlocking decks and card upgrades, which is fine if you really like the game, but again, I don't like it in its current version. It just doesn't work that well as a 2-player game, from an enjoyability perspective. However I believe the game has potential as a 2-8 player party game, something you could whip out at home with some friends and play over some drinks. How? Let me explain.
Edited by ZOS_Hadeostry on April 11, 2023 3:05AM
Tales is a 2-person game, but it's pretty much designed as a 4-person party game. Currently, 2 players choose 2 decks each and add them to the pool of decks, along with their patrons, to the game board. You win by having all 4 patrons favoring you, or by getting 40 prestige and then having more than your opponent by the start of your next turn. But this just sounds pretty arbitrary.
Here's how I'd change the rules to include more than 2 players:
1. For each additional player after 2, you add an additional deck to the game, along with its patron.
2. For each additional player, one coin in your had is replaced with the base card you'd start with if you had chosen the additional deck. For example, if there are 3 players and a 5th deck is added, and said deck is Duke of Crows, you lose a coin in your starting deck and gain Peck. Easy.
3. When you gain the favor of a patron, their color goes from Grey (neutral) to your associated color in an online match. For a physical game, patrons are represented with cards, and when you gain their favor, you just take the card and place it in front of you for all to see, placing it back at the center of the game space when it returns to neutral.
4. You still win if you get 4 patrons to favor you.
For a physical copy of the game, you just get all the decks and all their upgraded cards, no rigamarole to getting better cards or extra decks, it's just included in the base game package. I'd also add some base-game cards to neutral (the coin deck), which are added to the deck pool regardless of the number of players: these would be cards that can disrupt play. You pay a couple coins, and you get a card that sits i front of you, and you can use it in response to a specific action your opponent takes. For example, it could be a card that you pay 2 coins for, and when your opponent gains the favor of a patron, you can discard it and it causes the patron to remain neutral. Or one that you can discard at any time to discard a card from the Tavern and have it be replaced. Stuff like that.
Anyway, I think it could be a fun party game. better than many that already exist in the board-game space, but not the best. I'd buy it for 20-30 bucks. The main downside I can see to a physical version of this card game is having to separate the decks at the end, but there are games that make you do that already, not a big step imo.