The Veil Card Game Review (Logan Gendron)


Battle heroes or villains in this straightforward -- yet strategically complex -- deck building card game. The Veil provides a total of 15 characters to choose from, each with their own character deck and with a Fate deck decided upon by their category. Players can play 1v1, 2v2, or engage in a campaign mode against a villain. In many respects, The Veil could easily become a favorite game -- unfortunately, there are couple of flaws in the way that the game was produced.

The Veil Card Game Details

Players: 1 to 5

Game Time: 30 Minutes

Age: 14+

Genre: Deck Building / Competitive

How Do You Play The Veil?

There are five categories of hero you can choose from, each with their own large deck of "Fate" cards. In each category, there are three heroes, each with their own small deck of personal starter cards. This makes for a total of 15 heroes, each of which also have their own special abilities.

All of the art in The Veil seems to be a completely different style.

At the beginning of the game, each player chooses their hero, and builds a deck with thir personal starter cards. The "Fate" cards are shuffled. Four market cards are drawn in front of each player -- each player has their own individual market deck, and players cannot play the same category of hero.

Each hero also has a certain amount of HP. 

In the world of The Veil, even the lich is a hero!

In a two player game, the first player will play four cards, and the second player will play five. From then on, players will draw five cards and play them. Apart from special actions, players will do three things: heal themselves, attack the other player(s), and purchase from their Fate/market row. Players can also use their special action once per turn.

Play ends when a hero is the last one standing.

What Makes The Veil Fun?

In terms of mechanics, The Veil is a classic deck builder. You pull five cards and play them. You use those five cards to buy additional cards, injure your enemies, or heal yourself. Cards have synergies: there are red, blue, and green cards. Playing the same color cards often leads to some spectacular effects.

Special abilities, individual starter decks, and class Fate decks cause each hero to play very differently.

Like other deck builders, there are some cards -- recruits -- that will stay out between turns and give you a boost each time. Some of these cards need to be attacked before you can attack the other player; others can be shot past. The card abilities are also familiar to anyone who has played a deck builder: you can get people to discard cards, you can trash your own cards, and you can draw extra cards.

What makes The Veil exciting to play is that each category of hero has a completely different deck. A lot of card game deck builders have people drawing from a common deck, if only for the sake of cost. The Veil lets you build a deck as though you were building your own personal deck. You are playing and managing completely different cards from your foe, and these cards vary in more than just superficial ways.

The Veil came with cards and counters that made no sense, so we just used the Hero Realms score cards.

Each hero plays dramatically differently and some heroes are definitely easier to play than others. Moreover, the strategy changes depending on which heroes are fighting whih heroes. A paladin going up against a thief is different from a paladin going up against a warlock, and a paladin going up against a warlock is different from a warlock going up against a thief. This increases replay value by great measure.

On the Other Hand... Here's a Whole List of Issues

There are several notable problems with The Veil. Some are really just me being picky, while others are more serious.

  • Score keeping is miserable. The Veil uses "point cards" like Star Realms, where you have to flip over cards and micro-manage them to display your HP. We just ended up taking the cards out of the Hero Realms box.
  • The game can be over before you realize what's happening. The Veil can be incredibly volatile, to the point where you'll go from 4 damage a turn to 23 damage a turn within a couple of rounds. This seems to get minimized as you learn to play the game, but it can make the game feel very random.
  • Cards don't fix in the box. The Veil came with a very small box. Theoretically, sleeved cards can fit into it, but only if you expand the box in a non-standard way (they had to upload a video to show people how to do it).
  • The manual isn't in the box. This part is just bizarre -- the manual is a large book that came with the box. Since this was a Kickstarter, it's anyone's guess as to what the retail distribution would look like.
  • The card art is... bizarre. It's clear that The Veil went through multiple artists because none of the art is in the same style, and some of it actually hinders the game (the icons and layout of cards can be unclear).

None of these problems really hurt the playability of the game, except perhaps the art issue -- an example, the symbol for a "recruit" is the same symbol for your HP/healing, so it's easy to confuse the two. Still, they all point to a rushed game, which can make the fact that the game can be random and unbalanced more serious. Without some intense study, it's really impossible to know whether the game could actually be very random in outcome.

The Veil actually came with sleeves that don't fit in its own box.

The Veil is a very short deck builder. A match only lasts about 30 minutes. You can run multiple match ups with different heroes in the space of a couple of hours, which is a good thing. If you love deck builders, it really is a game that you should give a chance. Unfortunately, some of its flaws might make it a little inaccessible.

The Veil Card Game Review
  • PRO: An extremely replayable deck building experience, in which players need to use multiple strategies.
  • CON: A rushed production that includes some strange design and art choices. 
  • CON: Particularly volatile gameplay that could turn off some players.