Mechfist

Yesterday was unusual.

We talked about starting up another Mechwarrior campaign, only with a different GM, based upon talk from last year.  Was looking at 2 players, then 3 players, but, with one of the players away for the Summer, we are down to 2 players, looking at the year or two before the original idea will begin.  I believe we decided that the campaign would start 3026, somewhere around there.  So, the two of us will be building backstory from, I guess, 3024.

In the morning we had our first prequel session.  Mechwarrior is always strange because even though it’s supposed to be about the pilots, the people, the/their world revolves around ‘mechs.  I thought things went well and the situations made sense.  Because I had to run, we saved our first ‘mech engagement for the beginning of next week’s session.

What did I have to run to?

Shadowfist.

I got together with three of the local oldtimers at Earl’s place and we played 3 games of Shadowfist, followed by dinner, followed by … 3 more games.  Yeah, don’t think 6 pickup games of V:TES would happen in one day, certainly not with a start time after 1PM.

I borrowed decks for every game.  We didn’t play Modern, in fact, few Modern only cards were used.  In theory, in August or September, I’ll have a collection again.

First game, I played a Dragon Hero deck, with Reluctant Heroes and Wandering Heroes.  Having no idea how to properly use Independent and Tactics, I didn’t do hardly anything.  Hard to remember too many details of six games in which I’m largely unfamiliar with the cards.  I recall Gangsters and Everything Falls Apart to my left.

Second game, I played an Ascended and CHAR deck.  I got out Shinobu Yashida and CHARs, made a bid for victory, got stopped, sat around for a bit, then made another bid for victory with a Tunneler Drone and won.  Power was gained because Ascended do that.  CHAR was resourced by Arcanomoths.

Third game, I played a Hand + Monkey deck.  I had a bunch of Edges:  Shield of Pure Soul, Mo’ Monkeys, Mo’ Problems, Payback Time, Stand Together (Monkey).  I got out Iron Monkey and a bunch of Big Macaque Attacks.  Players to my left and across were having problems.  So, why did this go badly?  Player to my right was also playing a monkey deck, so all of our Big Macaque Attacks were huge but cancelled each other out.  He played Ba-BOOM!, which I agonized over whether to block.  I smoked everything in play as his deck seemed way out of control.  That let the other players into the game, and I never recovered enough fighting to be relevant.  Even losing lots of sites which gained me a lot of power didn’t rebuild my forces.  Before massive monkey murder, I could have Iron Monkey attacked to the right, the one guy with power at the time, but didn’t.  That and smoking Ba-BOOM! were considered mistakes.

Fourth game, I played the Dragon deck from above, again.  Everyone else played Lotus decks.  Demon Whiskey on my left and Underworld Trackers and Palace Guards meant everyone recovered better than I did.  I did amass a big army of Reluctant Heroes and Wandering Heroes, but I couldn’t punch through Demon Whiskey + Devil’s Rope + Cave Network on my left, and he nuked the world.  I did make a bid for victory but should have seized instead of burned a site as that brought back a bunch of blockers for going after a weakly defended Dockyard for the win.  I made two mistakes.  One was not going for play + seize + win.  Another was not trying to hit for 7 on an undefended, blind Feng Shui Site, which wouldn’t have worked, anyway.

Fifth game was three-player, player to my right was playing 36 card deck for the quick game.  He got out Queen of the Ice Pagoda fast and King of the Fire Pagoda.  I played big power, big dudes Ascended.  I couldn’t Shadowy Mentor with any of the four I ended the game with.  I was totally screwed on power.  Other player was screwed on resources.

So, we played a sixth game.  Two of us played the same decks.  My opponents got screwed on stuff, and I generated obscene amounts of power with Secret Headquarters, Family Estate, FS Sites I played and stuff I took.  My deck was mostly about Ascended Stealth, so El Tigre superleaped to seize two sites, which I’m sure happens all of the time, and I plowed through a space deck’s lack of defenses for the win.

In both the fifth and sixth games, I had to discard like mad to get playable cards.  The hitters were just ridiculously prolific in the deck.  In the little I’ve played Shadowfist, Draco has never done me any favors.

What was interesting was that I had so much more of an idea what was going on in these games than I ever had before.  I had little idea what the abilities of cards in play were, but I think I finally got the rhythm of playing cards, if still not how to decide when to attack.

There are certainly similarities to V:TES as well as the significant differences.  I think V:TES is more forgiving.  Decisions are also less difficult.  Shadowfist is very much about the potential for wild swings but also has grindy elements more akin to V:TES.  I’m pretty sure I know which factions I’ll prefer.  As much as I like the idea of Dragons, they always suck for me, not being controllish enough.

Anyway, I expect to play quite a bit more of both games.  It’s nice to do something different.

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