Games with built-in asymmetrical mechanics exist everywhere, from Magic: The Gathering to Overwatch. Leder Games takes this concept to the next level with their Vast games which feature asymmetric play down to including different rules for each character. Their newest installment, Vast: The Mysterious Manor, feels like four different games played on the same board.
Vast: The Mysterious Manor is an asymmetric competitive game sent in a haunted castle. The base game includes five playable characters: a spider, a paladin, a skeleton horde, the manor itself, and a warlock. Each character has different goals and different means of achieving them. For instance, the Paladin’s goal is to kill the spider while the spider’s goal is to build terror and escape the manor.
During our demonstration, I played as the spider who can shapeshift between different forms, cast spells, and otherwise generate terror using spell cards and innate abilities. The spider’s different forms provide interesting gameplay dilemmas. I was often forced to choose between casting a same spell four times as spiderlings while leaving myself vulnerable, or using my abilities as the spider sorceress to strike safely from a distance.
Meanwhile, the mechanics for the other characters are completely different. The manor’s mechanics focus on casting rituals in the house to build up seals. While the manor is not in direct conflict to the rest of the characters, the manor’s turn can completely change a player’s strategies. In our game, the manor ended up trapping the paladin because he needed a straight path for a ritual. It’s wonderful to see mechanics which are not confrontational in themselves, but still affect the other players.
All in all, I am excited to play more of Vast: The Mysterious Manor. The different mechanics with each character make for a game with a lot of variability and interesting challenges.