3012 - A First Look

By Mike Rosenberg

In a world ravaged by a millennium-old apocalypse, will you and your mutated tribesman rise to the top, or bow to a superior tribe instead?

The 3012 Deck-Building Game is an epic experience, putting you at the forefront of an ongoing struggle to survive and dominate. In this game, players build up their strength, recruit allies and acquire weapons, and then take on massive beasts and horrible threats in an effort not only to stay alive, but to gain supremacy over the other tribes that you are forced to work with.

Charles Tyson, the creator of 3012, got the idea when playing some deck-building games. "The idea for 3012 came when I was at the Alliance Open House playing a deck building game with some friends. We were having a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the existing deck-building games and I just had one of those light bulb moments where a bunch of ideas all gelled at once and I decided I could come up with the deck building game I'd really like to play. So I started putting the key features I wanted into a setting that I've always loved, and that was the start."

3012 is an epic experience, with a lot of different points for interacting with opponents even when it is not your turn, one of the things that most deck-building games lack. While Tyson ran with the design concept, Cryptozoic's creative team fueled the exciting world that 3012 is based in.

"I wanted a post apocalyptic world and we were coming up on 2012 so a future based on the Mayan cataclysm seemed appropriate. Mutated or genetically modified creatures coexisting 1000 years from now created a very flexible foundation for both a game setting and a storyline. I could freely use magic, science, mysticism, super powers, and almost anything else that might be fun for card "abilities". The Cryptozoic guys took the storyline and created a much more specific society with religions based loosely on Mayan gods. The credit for the look and feel of the game is all theirs. "


In 3012, players start out with only a couple of lowly Scouts to help them in their fight for survival. Each turn, players can use Gold that they earn for playing cards like Scouts each turn in order to acquire Actions, Allies, or Weapons that can aid them when they take on nasty Encounters. Encounters are what you need to defeat in order to progress through the game, and range from the small and feeble to the large and monstrous.

As players defeat encounters, they earn honor points which let their starting hero (which determines your tribe) level up. When heroes level up, they become stronger, and you are able to take on deadlier Encounters. While you may start out battling creatures like the Kraken, it's going to take an army and a souped up hero to take out something like the Den of Thieves.

On each player's turn, they will also receive the help from Action cards. One is cheap, and the other is expensive, but both can provide useful benefits that affect the outcome of the turn, and both can be purchased by that player's Gold if they'd like to have the continuous benefit of one or both of those Actions.

Take for example, Tyson's favorite Action: Serendipity.


Play the Action and draw at least one more card. Get lucky, and draw many more. Serendipity  adds some variance to the game, and while the card will never backfire on you, there is also the chance that you will be greatly rewarded for taking the plunge.

3012 is set to be released in September 2012 (because it's 2012; you didn't expect a game called 3012 to be released in 2013, did you?). Stay glued to cryptozoic.com for more details on this upcoming game!

Rosenfloggen's picture Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg has been a long-time trading card game fan and an active freelancer in the hobby game industry since 2004. He wrote, editted, and managed web content for Cryptozoic Entertainment from March 2012 until October 2013.