I don’t have a lot to say about the Return of the Fallen expansion to Ascension. I enjoyed playing it (both alone and in combination with the original set of cards), and I’m sure I went through a couple hundred games, but it didn’t have the same effect on me as the original game had. The extra Mechana Constructs got a bit mind-numbing, the other new constructs were generally quite valuable (not as much as Mechana Constructs, but almost, e.g. 4 victory points for a 5 cost construct) which reduced that difference between construct types, the new mechanism of cards that had an effect when appearing on the board didn’t do much for me, and I wasn’t impressed by the new 8-point hero and monster.
I guess the one mechanism that I realized (a hundred games in) that I should be paying more attention to is churn. E.g. there’s a one-point card called the Hectic Scribe that has you draw two cards and then discard two cards. In general, I avoided playing it, because you ultimately end up only playing four useful cards instead of five, which means that there’s a good chance that playing the card is a loss instead of a gain. What that doesn’t take into account, though, is that even if you don’t improve your current hand by playing that card, you’ll make it through your deck faster, so your discards will come back into play. And that’s presumably good, because with your purchases, your discards are on average more valuable than the current cards remaining to be drawn. Still not a great card, but it’s more valuable (or less actively harmful!) than I initially pegged it as.
Anyways: pleasant expansion, and I’m looking forward to the third expansion showing up next month. But, for better or for worse, Ascension seems not to be trying to do something as different with its expansions as Dominion does, so there’s not a huge amount of new material to grapple with here.
This post has not been revised since publication.