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Heresy - Kingdom Come

Heresy8There are few surviving fans of this beautiful and ponderous collectible card game, produced by the (now-defunct) Last Unicorn Games.

For the uninitiated, Heresy took place in a complicated, cyberpunk world where somehow Heaven and Hell have been crashed to earth via the internet. What followed is an apocalyptic scramble, as all the divine and infernal powers tried to claw their way home. You take the the role of some sort of unnamed power, instructing your minions (human and supernatural) to gain enough karmic power, or Tau, to take back out of the mortal realm.

Heresy had a few things going against it. First, I'm not sure it was ever actually play-tested. Although the 'guidelines' encouraged a half hour game, a 'quick bout of Heresy' was more likely to be a four hour marathon session, using every flat surface in the house. There are also a lot of unfinished holes - combinations that seem to lack the final card. Although an expansion (Project Demiurge) was in the works, a game's basic set still should have been entirely free-standing.

The gameplay did have its advantages. The complex challenge system, in which members of the 'Host' (angels and demons) got to cast votes in combat - was a blast, especially in games with more than two players. Heresy also took place in two worlds simultaneously - the real world ('The Wilds') and the internet ('The Matrix'). This involved a lot of resource management, but was a strategic joy. A set-back in the Wilds can be off-set by progress in the Matrix and vice versa - again, an elaborate migraine, but a lot of fun.

MichaelAnd, of course, the art. Heresy used an awkward, over-sized format so they could showcase the utterly phenomenal art that Last Unicorn commissioned for the game. Brom, Tim Bradstreet, Rick Berry, Michael Kaluta and others - all turning out stunning work. (Interestingly, Brom recycled a lot of the work in his Dark Ages CCG, and now in the Dark Ages miniatures game - Golab and Lilith minis!).

Cards occasionally still come up for sale or trade as well. (If anyone has C.U.R.E., please let me know!) There are also a few remaining internet resources and websites, including a Google group (managed by yours truly).

Heresy sites:

  • Heresy Wiki on CCG Workshop 
  • Introduction on Frothers Unite!: includes a preview of Project Demiurge
  • Heresy at SFKO: includes cardlists, FAQ and background information.
  • Heresy at Pen and Paper: extensive credits list
  • Google group: includes cardlists in .txt and .xls formats
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