In Titania Ascending, a team of players (or a solo player) is tasked with bridging two realms and bringing Titania back to restore magic to Gaia. If you’re thinking “that’s a backstory I’ve never seen in my flip and write”, then you would be correct. Titania Ascending has a level of depth and lore that isn’t found in your average flip-and-write. This is one for the gamers out there!
Calling the Hallowed Units
The gameplay is broken into two distinct phases. In the first half of Titania Ascending, players are placing Fae and Dragon units into a 6×6 white grid on their player sheet. Since everyone will have their own player sheet, placement will be different among the players at the table.
The active player will always have 3 “visions” they can choose from. This is a card with a shape on it and a rune stone that is sitting below the card in the center of the table. Rune tokens are pulled from a bag and randomly assigned below a card. This makes it so that they are always dynamic and different. Even though only the active player chooses the “vision”, it’s helpful to talk about the options among players since everyone has to write down the chosen combination.
Visions that have a dragon symbol allow you to take the number from the rune stone below it. Visions that have Titania’s crest allow you to take the rune symbol from the stone below it. Some visions with have both or even multiple symbols in the shape. On each players sheet you’ll notice crown and hammer icons that each do something different.
Covering a crown (can only happen once per turn) gives you a hallowed unit. This is recorded in the banners in the bottom half of the player sheets. Placing a Fae unit symbol on a hammer icon will give the team an aide that will give all players a bonus on a future turn.
Placement of each shape is important to gaining boons which give the team the ability to use the aides you’ve gained. Boons are gained when a player completes a row or column in their player grid.
Once all 6 hallowed units have been chosen, players move on to phase two of Titania Ascending. If all players at the table are forced to pass without gaining the 6 units, the game would end at this point and all players would lose.
Recovering the Shards of Gaia
The second half of Titania Ascending is focused on sending the 6 hallowed units into battle. The back side of the cards are used as mission cards during this round.
The active player will choose the mission from 3 in the center of the table. They will have to obey the card rule and place the shape somewhere on their player sheet. The good part is that everyone has access to the 1 block wide grey space that is around the original 6×6 play area.
The active player can send hallowed units into battle. Choosing either the symbol or number on the rune, someone at the table must shade in one of those spaces on their player sheet. Ultimately the team must do this with all 6 of the hallowed units in order to win the game.
This process of sending units into battle is called “claiming a citadel”. Everything you did in the first half of the game is going to be crucial in this part of the game.
Flip and Write Leveled Up
There are a lot of layers to Titania Ascending. Players not only have to think about the space they have on their player sheet, but players also have to think as a team. Just because a shape or symbol works for you doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for the table. That is what’s so unique about this game.
I love when game require communication and talk at the table. We understand that co-op games aren’t for everyone. Titania Ascending definitely encourages teamplay that cannot easily be “quarterbacked”. After your initial game, you’ll see ways to be more efficient and even how the shapes on the cards could be utilized better.
Collecting boons and using the aides can really change the course of a game when things are getting tight on a players sheet. Titania Ascending definitely becomes more clear as you get a game or two under your belt.
With so many flip and write games on the market, it’s encouraging to see XYZ Game Labs approaching this game mechanic with something new.