I recently had the chance to try out Ascension Chronicle of the Godslayer a couple times, so I figured that it was about time for me to write a review.
Ascension is a deck building game that heavily utilizes some of the mechanics that are introduced in Dominion and others that were introduced in Thunderstone Advance. Ascension does, however, introduce a new features of its own.
First, in Ascension all of the different monsters and deck building cards are shuffled together, and at any given time there are 6 of them available in the middle of the board. These cards and the standard set of 4 cards are the only cards that the player is able to interact with.
Another feature that Ascension introduced was victory point counters. Instead of ending once the deck of available cards has run out or once a certain monster has been killed as in most deck building games, the game ends once all of the victory points have been collected. This means that if you are counting on the victory points in your deck being how you win (some cards are worth victory points), you better hope that someone else is killing monsters, otherwise you will be in for a long game.
One introduction that Ascension made that I must count as a plus is the concept of a perpetual monster. They have a "Cultist", which is always available. Do you have 50 extra power somehow? You can kill 25 cultists for victory points. This thankfully prevents you from being at the complete mercy of the draw.
One aspect of Ascension some people will enjoy whereas others will hate. This aspect is that the game winds up being more a game of reaction than a game of strategy. Whereas in most deck building games you have all of the cards available to you and you are able to plan out a strategy from the beginning, in Ascension you are at the mercy of what becomes available to you. Did you want to kill lots of giant monsters? If there are no giant monsters out in play, then your out of luck. Want to buy awesome new cards? Better hope that the person before you left some of them out at the end of their turn.
Another aspect of Ascension that I consider to be a definite drawback is that the number of strategies that work in the game (keeping in mind how limited having a true strategy truly is -- see previous paragraph) is quite limited. Are you the player that likes to play all of your games as the money monger that buys up all the awesome cards? You will find yourself in trouble in this game because after the deck reshuffles (once the deck of cards that goes in the middle has run out), there will be hardly any cards available for purchase, whereas there will be monsters galore for the monster slayer to slaughter mercilessly. You will also have no ability to end the game, as the end of game condition is based on running out of victory points.
Overall, this game gets a 7.0/10. I could play it, and would not be upset that I was playing it (after all most any game is better than no game, right?), but I would choose other deck building games if they were available.