Today, I’m going to write about the Megaman NT Warrior trading card game. This is one game that I keep coming back to again and again; for some reason it really clicked with me. This makes it a bit of a pity that it’s been out of print since 2005, card rarity decisions make it unlikely I’ll ever have a complete collection, and it’s impossible to find other players…
The game itself simulates a back-and-forth battle between two opposing NetNavis (effectively AIs) in “cyberspace”. Players alternate taking turns as attacker and defender, playing resources, which fuel events and battlechips in order to try to fully deplete their opponents energy. Sounds similar to that other TCG you’ve played? Well there are a few big differences that make the Megaman TCG stand alone.
First and foremost, energy for a player is their deck. Once their deck runs dry (for any reason!), they lose. This means you are constantly on the clock, watching your energy deplete as your opponent attacks, as you draw cards, as you power up. A constant drip, drip, drip of energy depletion keeps you thinking “Can I afford to do this action? Can I take this risk?”.
Second up are the resources. These are coloured cards (red, blue, green, or yellow) that are put into play and are required in order to play other cards. For example a Laserblast BattleChip requires a player to have 2 red resources in play in order to play it. Now these Resource cards aren’t just your MtG basic land equivalents. Each of them will have a unique ability that it can be spent to achieve. So a player can decide to take one of their resources, activate the effect written on it, and then discard it. Resources can only be spent after having been played, so the opponent will be able to see it coming. So more choice, more strategy, more risk. “I can see he has 2 red resources, that would let him play a powerful attack next turn. Should I prepare to defend it? Can I force him to spend a resource this turn instead? Does he even have that attack card?”.
Third, the “power gauge”. Resource cards are not the only requirement needed to play other cards, there is also a players power gauge. This gauge starts off empty for each player and is powered up at the start of each of their turns. To power up a player takes the top card of their deck and places it face down in their power gauge. So turn-by-turn your power is building up and you are becoming able to use your more powerful cards. But! Many cards also have a cost in power that you need to spend in order to activate them, your opponent could play cards to burn your power, or you may want to…
Blast! Once per turn a player can perform a blast. To do this they reveal a numebr of cards in their power gauge equal to their blast value and pick the destiny value from one of them to add to their strength for this turn only. “Do I burn power now to go all out on an attack? Maybe I should hold back and hope to draw that big card.”
Even while writing all that, there is a lot I haven’t touched on in detail (Blast values, destiny, BattleChips, turn order, etc. etc.). There is a surprising amount going on in this game and it should definitely appeal to TCG veterans who want to try something a little different. Yet despite that, the game is very intuitive and remarkably easy to just pick up and play! If it wasn’t completely dead, I’d recommend it to everyone.