Taro Lachéra ,
Dietrich Limper ,
Thomas Römer ,
Robert Simon ,
|publishing company||Schmidt Games|
|Art||Trading card game|
|Age||from 12 years|
Dark Force is the first purely German-language trading card game . It was published by Schmidt Spiele in 1994 and is based on the well-known German role-playing game system " Das Schwarze Auge " (DSA). Werner Fuchs was the project manager for the development.
The two players slip into the role of two rival princes who struggle for domination using armies, creatures, heroes, magic and divine intervention. For this purpose, each player puts together a certain pile of cards (so-called deck).
Production was stopped in 1997 after Schmidt Spiele went bankrupt . There are a total of 495 different cards from 11 different categories. The cards have different degrees of rarity:
- A: Very common (a large number in each pack)
- B: Frequently (a medium number in each pack)
- C: Rare (a small number in each pack)
- D: Very rare (maximum of one card per pack)
In practice, you could sometimes see clear differences in rarity within a category, especially in categories B and C. Some B cards were quite rare, while certain C cards were still relatively common. Some C cards, on the other hand, were so rare that they could easily have been assigned to category D in collecting practice.
The first edition (cards 001–297)
The first edition appeared in 1994 and consisted of two different packs: The so-called Master Pack consisted of 60 cards and instructions for use. The Master Pack was intended as an introductory pack to provide the player with the most important cards. Therefore a good part of the cards consisted of terrains and extensions of the category A. In regular master packs there were only cards of rarity A, B and C. In the master packs, which came from the bankruptcy estate of Schmidt Spiele , you could certainly find treasures how to find multiple D cards or promo cards.
The other pack of the first edition was the so-called Power Pack . Just like the Master Pack, it was dark blue in color. In contrast to the Master Pack, which came in the form of a cardboard box, the Power Pack was made of foil. It contained 16 cards each. These packs, which were designed to complement the Master Pack, contained cards from all categories. The probability of finding one of the 12 D cards from the first edition in a pack was very slim. There was no guarantee of at least one D-card per pack, as was the case with Magic: The Gathering . (Critics see this as one of the many reasons for the failure of Dark Force). In practice it could happen that 10–20 power packs did not have a D card. Accordingly, the cards were considered valuable if you could get hold of one.
The first edition was printed in two editions. The cards of the two editions are not completely identical: If the card number is in the lower left corner of the card in front of the name of the graphic designer, it is a card from the first edition. If, on the other hand, the number is after the name, then you have a second edition card in front of you.
The second edition is considered to be of lower quality among collectors, because if you look closely you can see a "disturbing pattern" that is on the cards. For this reason, D cards of the first edition are particularly valuable.
The second edition (cards 298–369)
The second edition appeared in 1995 in the form of the so-called Attack Packs . These were designed similarly to the Power Packs, only this time they were wine-red in color. The second edition was intended to complement the first edition with specialized, sometimes powerful cards. Although only around a quarter as extensive as the first edition, the second edition contains 18 more D cards than the first edition. This is mainly due to the fact that almost all cards in the Wunder category are D cards. In addition, with the second edition, the personalities in the game were introduced (or expanded, since the promo cards already contained personalities in 1994 ). Personalities are cards that can only be used once per player. Accordingly, the designers also used personalities from the role-play template from DSA for the personalities. So you could get Haffax , Orkfresser or Rohezahl vom Amboss helmets in the attack packs , well-known names in the role-playing world of DSA. In contrast to the Power Packs, the Attack Packs only contained 13 cards - possibly to make more profit.
The third edition (cards 370–491)
In 1996 , Schmidt Spiele finally brought the third and final edition onto the market. With over 100 cards, this was more extensive than the second, but did not come close to the almost 300 cards of the first edition. With the third edition some innovations were introduced. The card game has been expanded to include sea battles and coastal areas. The purple-colored packs of this edition were given the name Captain's Pack . These contained 13 cards, as well as an extension of the rules relating to sea battles.
With the third edition, the new category ships was introduced. But there was also something new to discover in the well-tried categories, such as numerous oceans and islands in the terrain maps and many corresponding wonders, creatures and magic, all of which are geared towards the theme of coast, sea and shipping . The third edition also featured personalities, of course, among others famous admirals and privateers of the Aventurian seas did the honors.
The promo cards (cards H001-H004)
In 1994 , in addition to the card game Dark Force, the first novels from the DSA game world were published. Schmidt Spiele organized an advertising campaign for this purpose: in some of the early novels there were vouchers that could be sent to the company. A special card from the Dark Force card game was then sent to you. These cards are named after the first four novels:
- H001: The Charlatan
- H002: Tuan the Wanderer
- H003: Thalionmel's victim
- H004: Time of the Graves
Although they could be used in the regular game, the promo cards could not be found in any of the packs that were regularly on the market. However, collectors do not consider them to be more valuable than “normal” D cards.
Note: There is at least one extremely rare case where a Master Pack purchased on October 20, 2006 contained all 4 promo cards.
Design of the cards
All cards can be assigned to a specific category and edition based on their color. The edge of each card has a certain color depending on the category (with several categories sharing one color):
- Terrain, extensions: brown
- Spells, spell creatures: red
- Armies, heroes, creatures: green
- Objects, events: blue
- Miracle: purple
- Ships: yellow
In addition, the edition of a card can be recognized by the background color of the text field:
- First edition: beige
- Second edition: orange
- Third edition: light blue
- Promo Edition: Purple
- Credits from Dark Force at darkforceweb.de