The danger – I feel it.
Before dwelling on all things ‘fisty in the 2020’s, I was thinking about the possibility of making a non series post on Gloomhaven, since we’ve been getting back to playing it.
I’m not as fired up about builds and characters and party composition and rules as I was prior. Still, Gloomhaven is my not-really-RPG outlet at the moment where I get to think about character advancement/build at all. The more I play, the less, perhaps, I feel like it subs for a RPG as it’s not terribly openended. The scenario by scenario rebuilding of my play stack, though, becomes more interesting as I level up and buy enhancements. We played a really easy to accomplish scenario if you have good movement twice in a row. The first time, I put all of my good movement in and it was stupidly easy. The second time, there was poor communication on our strategy of looting and I failed the scenario by one card due to trying to fight through enemies on very hard difficulty.
The takeaway was mostly how not RPGlike it felt, especially when I contrasted with my thinking processes with RPGs on the same days. I want to play more Gloomhaven. I want to get back to playing real RPGs.
Thursday, we only played one game, which is our norm. The ebb and flow was not normriffic, though.
Joren (Thunder) -> Justin (Purists) -> Ian (Turbo? Junk) -> Don (Purists)
So, what made this game different from many but not all of our Game Kastle Santa Clara games was that I got a fast start and got close to winning quite early. I put out Solar Farm on turn one. I get the first midrange with Sanctuary Protector (almost have to ban this card due to flavor text, but not yet). I make a bid for victory with Kitty Kerosene and three Knightcaps with Sanctuary Protector just hanging out.
I figure there’s going to be stoppage to where I’ll have to play one or more of my three Turbo Boosts in hand to make the bid serious. Chump Kitty, Math Bomb. I save Kitty with Kinoshita House of Pancakes. I lose everything else because look up Sanctuary Protector on chimpshack.org or wherever.
Kitty gets Auramancer/Stolen Thunder banged and Joren seizes KHoP. I stop drawing meaningful characters as I’m pillaged down to no cards in play with one burned for victory. Of course, my choosing to sit on multiple Turbo Boosts has something to do with that. But, the other decks develop and The Gray and Material Transcendences and ambush all pop up to where I don’t really care about my board position. The whole value in this post can be summed up by the CCG theory of “Fast, weak, win!”
I’ve seen it a number of times with V:TES and winnie decks or stealth bleed. Come out fast, get clipped by table politics, seem under control, win off of the fact that what you do is just really good and uncomplicated.
Not that Turbo? Junk is uncomplicated.
Back to the story.
So, I have things like one location, two sites, one of which is unrevealed Valley of Ashes I never use even though Auramancing is in rage with a lone Software Pirate to defend. Don is doing fairly well with The Unnameable attacking when Netherworld Returns starts a uniqueness auction of his own two copies. I win the bid at one to smoke the attacker. Note that I had like no cards in play and around 10 power at one point.
Justin goes for a win with half of an army: Impossible Men, Echo Spirit, Mathemagician with Origami Handguns versus his reserves of Shards of Warped Reflection copying The Unnameable’s ability, The Unnameable(!!), and two other Echo Spirits. He hits my Diamond Beach for one due to Origami. He attacks again for the win and Math Bomb wipes his board except for Shards.
That same Math Bomb smokes two more Knightcaps as one came back from the Netherworld Returns. Five lost Knightcaps due to Math Bombs!! I chose to discard the fifth Knightcaps. I did play four Turbo Boosts, so I did have four Knightcaps and four Turbo Boosts in my smoked pile.
I play Scrounging, naming the obvious … states. I gain four power due to having one burned for victory. I play Scrounging again naming, well, duh, states, and gain six power. I finally draw characters and funny.
So, with Purists Bombing or Transcending people’s boards, there are only three characters in play when I play my star – Machine Warrior. Now, why is Machine Warrior my star when I don’t exactly combo much with him? Because I own at least the two copies of this promo and put them into the same deck, a deck created to have these two promo cards.
I attack where a Twisted Horror with Sword of the Dragon King, Origami Handguns, Amulet of the Turtle (6) is hanging out instead of an undefended site because …
Deadly Fans for the humor. Don Glimpsed of Brief Eternity. Five cards were something like Scrounging, Salvage, The Hidden Grotto, Kowloon Gate, Software Pirate. No Junk!
Justin had Chi Syphoned Kinoshita House of Pancakes twice and used his remaining KHoP copy to feed the junk-eater. This was exactly what I was playing for as I drop Russ Razor, Laser Blazer and do exactly zero damage to the Twisted Horror (I had Payback Time and a Transcended Billy Zed), Wei Qing (Glass Dagger), Shards (one resource). I attack the same site and play my second Deadly Fans for the win.
Was it a quality win? Not entirely. There was a card on the board that wasn’t copying Kinoshita House of Pancakes that should have been able to stop this lunacy. But, it was a funny win, thus appeasing a tough crowd.
So, that’s the lesson for you all: burn for victory when you have your first Scrounging in hand as you will Scrounging twice for states to gain lots of unneeded power to win off of Russ Razor, Laser Blazer wielding Deadly Fans.
Will I post about every remaining deck? Stay tuned.