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Page history last edited by Roman F 3 years, 9 months ago

This page is to discuss the game Unmatched from Restoration Games, a restoration of Epic Duels by Rob Daviau, the original designer of Epic Duels.  If you have been hoping for a new version of Epic Duels since the original came out in 2002, this is likely as close as we're ever going to get.


Thus far they have 5 releases and have announced a 6th:



Like Epic Duels, fans can make their own Unmatched decks.  Decks are 30 cards and while the typical setup is 18 special cards and 12 basics, and either a major with a single strong sidekick or a major with 3 weak (1 HP) sidekicks, Unmatched embraces being flexible.  There are more character set types, more card configurations, special abilities and more.


If you're interested in learning more about the game or creating fan-made decks for Star Wars, Marvel or anything else:


Geektopia Unmatched page


Comments (35)

umondy said

at 3:40 am on Mar 16, 2019

Did I miss something? What is that game? Do you have a game link?

Roman F said

at 8:12 am on Mar 18, 2019

So, Rob Daviau and Justin Jacobson talked about this on the Rolling Dice & Taking Names podcast. I'll have a write-up of the highlights up on Geektopia later this week but the most significant thing for this group, is that Rob & Restoration know about us, are designing this game for us, and are expecting us to create content based on the new game. Around 56:00 Rob says, "I'm hoping that the Epic Duels community finds this and likes it, and maybe they'll port some cards over from the old one and kind of revamp them."

"Is there an Epic Duels community?" asks the host.

"Yeah the game really sort of took off among a certain group of people," says Justin Jacobson of Restoration Games, "who were excited by the idea that we were excited about, the idea that, it came with a bunch of characters and you could pick any 2 of them and fight them... and so people would make their own decks for heroes and characters from other IPs. And, in a way, finding that community was like, 'hey, we can sort of build that into the game.'"

So this game was created with US in mind, and they are hoping we like it!


JAG18 said

at 12:28 pm on Mar 18, 2019

Wow! That's pretty cool. I've been part of many, many internet groups devoted to canceled games, TV shows, and other properties and usually these groups are rarely rewarded for their persistence and refusal to, "Move on." And if they are rewarded with their favorite thing coming back then it's usually not catered for them. I think that's a pretty good testament to the devotion of this community over the last decade-and-a-half.

Roman F said

at 1:17 pm on Mar 18, 2019

Now I just need to interview Joss Whedon about Firefly...

JAG18 said

at 1:24 pm on Mar 18, 2019

Ha, now that is funny. XD

Roman F said

at 7:58 am on Mar 20, 2019

I encourage everyone in this community -- everyone -- to read today's post, linked above as "Here are more details" but I'll include it in this comment as well. Epic Duels is being restored, and all of you have a lot to do with that.

JAG18 said

at 11:01 am on Mar 20, 2019

Good stuff, good stuff.

It's weird how fan feedback will affect future characters and expansions. Back in my day, we got a base set of 12 character and it was up to us to make decks for another 200.

Did you say Bigfoot and JACKALOPE? That just screams like a move to avoid single characters (which I can understand) or maybe it's like Greedo in the original you know? Comic relief and all. Of course, if they are avoiding single characters then who is/are Bruce Lee's minors going to be?

I'm a little bummed that all the minors are disks, but hey the guys have a price point I'm sure. Still, this deprives us all of the chance to see a little Jackalope miniature hopping around the board. I guess the rest of the production quality more than makes up for it.

Can't wait for more details!

Roman F said

at 11:17 am on Mar 20, 2019

They did say that some characters won't have sidekicks, and during the interview Rob said that Bigfoot didn't need a sidekick, then said, but wait, he does have one! So I'm not sure what the motivation was there -- perhaps they don't want single characters after all?

Agree about the discs. Since the game's victory conditions are to eliminate the major(s), there's a game purpose behind using discs for the sidekicks. Nonetheless: Boo that. I think it's a price point thing as well. It's a wonder that Hasbro was able to produce a batch of solid quality painted plastic miniatures (the paint job on Maul would actually be a challenge to replicate) to go along with the cards and board for just $20 (or even $25-30 today).

I read the rule book and will likely post on it this week. Also great to see such activity around Epic Duels at the same time. I think we either convert all of our stuff over to Unmatched OR convert Unmatched stuff over to Epic Duels. We'll see which system we like better.

JAG18 said

at 6:42 pm on Mar 20, 2019

Its nice that there has been a resurgence in interest in Epic Duels recently, but I'm wondering if it will go up after Unmatched comes out. This new game might be a gateway to our community for some people or maybe new sites will be created for the game and we'll all be left behind.

I was thinking we'd make a kind of "greatest hits" expansion for Unmatched; the best decks from all expansions converted for Unmatched and then after that just focus on making new decks for new characters (Headless Horseman, Loch Ness Monster, Cthulhu, etc.)

Roman F said

at 9:32 pm on Mar 20, 2019

I like the Greatest Hits idea, but you'd need to release batches of 4 or more, IMO. So you do at least 4 Star Wars, 4 or more Marvel/DC, 4 GOT, etc.

There will likely be some renewed interest in Epic Duels. I agree that it's hard to say how Unmatched will do but I think there will probably be a new audience for it.

umondy said

at 3:35 pm on Mar 20, 2019

Hm, my question always is, why do I need another ED when I already have mine that is already awesome, has about 200 playable decks and has me invested hundreds of dollars in it? If my group deceides to play another game once in a while, we would choose something that plays completely different otherwise we can just pull out our ED.

I hate that todays games all have unpainted minis. I don't have the time, skill nor do I want to paint any minis. I know that this is common these days but still does't mean I have to like it. Minors as discs is an absolut no go, could it be that they plan to sell minis seperately like FF does with IA? Where you can buy the minis and exchange them for the discs/tokens?

Roman F said

at 9:24 pm on Mar 20, 2019

"Who needs [them]? We are capable of producing decks with similar image quality and often superior playability" -- Roman F, 2007 in response to Scott Hagarty's petition to Hasbro for a sequel.

Even at that point, we had multiple sequels to the game and they were tried and tested and often the result of group efforts. In my case, our stuff was designed over time to be exactly the decks my friends and I wanted to play with. That's even more true in 2019. I can also tell you that it’s extremely unlikely that I’ll prefer Unmatched to Epic Duels, and to your point about investment, I’ve put a silly amount of my total lifetime into this game already, plus a lot of money collecting figures.

At the same time, more people working on Epic Duels and more ideas can only be a good thing. I also know that I personally would welcome another tactical combat game so I’m pretty excited to see what they come up with. If there is a whole new group of players who like the system, we can get some Star Wars combat going by converting our stuff over. If the game does well, I can run tournaments and that sort of thing. It’s not like I could really get an Epic Duels tournament together at this point.

I doubt the sidekick figures will ever be available but it’s not a bad suggestion at all. I agree that using discs instead of figures is a detractor.

JAG18 said

at 7:34 pm on Jul 1, 2019

Been awhile since we've heard anything about this, but someone who says that playtested the game just posted a review on BGG and says that Unmatched is SUPERIOR to Epic Duels: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2230284/play-testers-review-public-stuff

This also confirms my suspicion that Unmatched is doing away with the ED system of 31 cards with a 12 talent, 19 basic split and just making all the cards talent cards, which is a big departure to be sure and will take some getting use to.

Roman F said

at 8:22 am on Jul 2, 2019

The game sounds pretty great! The Gen Con convention hall opens on Thursday 8/1 at 10:00am and I will be at the Restoration Booth by 10:05 or so to demo the game and pick up my pre-ordered copy. Hoping to see Rob again and meet Justin but we'll see if they're there.

Roman F said

at 10:30 pm on Jul 15, 2019

Tom Vasel put out a full video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8uIa7CHP0

JAG18 said

at 7:32 pm on Jul 16, 2019

And Rodney Smith has a watch it played: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdzLJDl0qk8


at 2:12 pm on Jul 16, 2019

Not sure I'll like Unmatched better than Epic Duels. First, they don't have a Star Wars, Marvel or DC license. So, though the game may have some promising mechanics, if I can't duel the characters I'm interested in, I'm probably going to pass. The prospect of Big Foot vs Alice has no real appeal to me. if I buy the game, it would be for the purposes of testing the game & creating my own decks. To that end, I think the entry point to creating decks and maps is higher. It's going to take another Corey to set up a deck designer. And the maps are going to be a lot harder to create. I would like to venture into making Star Wars of Super Hero decks. But, find these barriers considerable at this point. Tom Vassal basically said that all 4 decks seem overpowered. That's not a good thing. But, custom designs will solve this. I read the rulebook and it has great potential; just no major licenses. Movies sell games & inspire people to create and want to play them.

Roman F said

at 7:40 pm on Jul 16, 2019

I think you speak for many in the community. You speak for me in that, without Star Wars, it will be a challenge for Unmatched to hold long term appeal. My hope is that it's a superior game, but one that also has a deck "formula" that can be cracked and replicated for characters of Star Wars or anything else. They are getting a Buffy the Vampire Slayer license, a Bruce Lee license, and are looking for more.

If nothing else, it might bring about a resurgence of interest in Epic Duels, which can only be a good thing.

CoreyRIT said

at 1:12 pm on Jul 18, 2019

I'm still kicking around actually, lurking mostly. I also have a Kickstarter game launching next week so I hope all my Epic Duels friends that have enjoyed my tool all these years will check it out. :)

Roman F said

at 1:36 pm on Jul 18, 2019

That's great! Please post it on the front page of the forum, and let's get as much support for your project as we can!

CoreyRIT said

at 2:29 pm on Jul 18, 2019

Thanks man! I didn't want to step on any toes, but now that I have your blessing.... :D


at 3:58 am on Jul 17, 2019

With Epic Duels you only need to create 12 cards which is challenge enough to balance a deck. With Unmatched, you have 30 cards to balance. A more difficult task for sure.


at 8:08 am on Jul 17, 2019

I'd like to see a Mortal Kombat, Star Trek or even boxing (if there were to make a square ring) There are other licenses that might appeal to me.

Roman F said

at 12:58 pm on Jul 17, 2019

For Mortal Kombat or boxing -- 1v1 fights -- I honestly think the Cage Match system is better. Star Trek would be a good for Epic Duels or Unmatched.


at 10:56 am on Jul 18, 2019

As far as 1 on 1 goes, my Marvel vs DC expansion works extremely well. More often than not, we go into the decks a 2nd time; even more so than the original game. That has everything to do with balancing the decks and not having the mismatches the original game was plagued with. Yes, Yoda vs Mace on Kamino Platform was often a long battle; mainly due to an oversized obstacle and one character with movement cards and one with none. But, even with 6 characters on the board vs 2, my duels take at least as long to longer.

Roman F said

at 11:25 am on Jul 18, 2019

Obviously I like Cage Match and its rock-paper-scissors combat system, or I wouldn't have developed it. As it was developed for Mixed Martial Arts, it would work very well for boxing and I think it would work for Mortal Kombat as well, even though it ignores range and space.

I can see Epic Duels working in 1v1 matches for super heroes or Star Wars characters, I just don't think it's best for Mortal Kombat or boxing, specifically. Even though Mortal Kombat has ranged attacks, it's on a straight, 2D plane, and since all fighters have both ranged and melee attacks, it's never really about a ranged guy staying away from a melee guy, the way Epic Duels can be. Therefore, the movement of Epic Duels doesn't really apply to it -- in fact, putting MK heroes on an Epic Duels board doesn't really make sense (nor does it for Street Fighter, but they did it anyways). Boxing, too, there is movement, but it's not like you run around the ring chasing each other. Super heroes, by contrast, do chase each other around and ranged vs. melee can be an important consideration.


at 11:02 am on Jul 18, 2019

Further, a Melee hero might have a ranged attack. For Example, Superman (Melee) has Heat Vision; a ranged attack for 3 direct damage. So, in one battle my opponent had 2 or 3 health left and had to take cover to avoid losing outright. So, even during Melee vs Melee, range is a factor; at times. I mainly play with my best friend.

I know you're not a huge fan of 1 on 1, But, I'd love to play it with you sometime! The decks are very balanced and I've tried to hold true to your 'Path to Victory' mantra on deck making.


at 12:49 pm on Jul 18, 2019

I didn't realize you developed cage match. That's great.

I would love to create some old time heavyweights like Ali, Tyson, Holyfield and so on. I'll spend more time reviewing it.

Roman F said

at 10:48 pm on Aug 5, 2019

So I have quite a few thoughts about this game:


Sophist said

at 7:28 pm on Aug 23, 2019

Nice write up. I haven't looked much into the game yet so this was my first exposure to its gameplay. Lately I've been working on a new ED expansion, and wondering if the original 12 specials, 10/9 basic combat cards, is flawed. Everyone enjoys playing specials and more complex effects with more possibilities, and nobody likes a hand full of nothing but CCs. I'll have to consider this new format as an option.

Sophist said

at 7:28 pm on Aug 23, 2019

Has anyone tested Unmatched Deck vs. Original Epic Duels deck?

JAG18 said

at 6:02 pm on Sep 18, 2019

Where does everyone think Unmatched custom material should go? Should we create a separate page for it (and link to it here) or just put it on this page (and include it at the end of this page)? Or should we set up a place separate from the wiki for it?

Roman F said

at 6:53 pm on Sep 18, 2019

I don't think we have the space to hold it here. The best thing would be a separate wiki but I haven't a clue as to how to start one up.

JAG18 said

at 7:03 pm on Sep 19, 2019

True, true. I'm stilling hoping that once the game gets more popular someone will start a dedicated site for it. But, until then I'll probably just host my decks on Media Fire and link to them here.

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