Fisticuffs [20140925]

I should probably get consistent about date formats.

I think it’s even more important for me to record Shadowfist play sessions.  Shadowfist is harder for me to remember as so many little things happen that are or could be impactful.  I may play more cards in a V:TES game, but V:TES is just so much less of a swingy game.  Well, this and that I’m just much more familiar with V:TES and can extract what I consider interesting more easily.

We’ve now played three sessions with the same group of four players, so we both have a regular game going, having played weekly on Thursdays for two, yes two, one more than one, weeks in a row and we have a clearly defined metagame – super clear, fully defined, and immutable.

The 25th was my night to play three decks that I want to break down.  As with other CCGs I play where there’s no deckbuilder, I only record my decks when I break them down.  So, I don’t have a record of decks after I’ve changed them but before I change them again.

Ascended -> Cops -> Fire Ants -> Abominable Tech

Other people did stuff.  Meanwhile, what my game was about was not drawing foundation characters early, having people kill my Abominations shortly after they came out, drawing one event the entire game and using it, Expendable Unit, to kill my Field Medic rather than have my Blood Eagles die, then drawing nothing but FSS and foundation characters in the late game.

Fire Ants did do some attacking stuff, with The Dragon Throne reducing cost.  Nobody bothered going after The Dragon Throne, then everyone got so close to victory that there wasn’t time.  The Ascended always had lots of power, playing a Nuclear Power Plant early that I tried to take out but got stopped.  I did take it later, but they just played another one.  Ascended finally ended up winning after dropping Adrienne Hart a couple of times, Raven Li, and Might of the Elephant hitting a Disco while Raven was Fox Passed over to The Dragon Throne.

My inability to process what is going on during Shadowfist games is well examplified by the fact that my first FSS was Medicinal Flower Garden, it got revealed early on, never went away, and never got turned when Shrieking Witch Heads did exactly enough damage to smoke my Gamma Beast.  I, then, waited all of the rest of the game to find an opportunity to turn my MFG and nothing came up.

Yeah, it’s strong to completely overlook the ability of cards that you played that are sitting in play face up.

One thing this game demonstrated is the nature of our metagame.  The players seem quite happy to stop any sort of site removal while being happy to see characters get taken down.  It’s no wonder that two of the players play massive decks and expect long games.  Sure, people stop those going for victory, but just plinking an unrevealed site is cause to hop into the way of somebody.  Mobility is something I’m looking to avoid playing with as it will only feed into the mindset that everything needs to be intercepted.  I’ve gone entire games without losing my first-played FSS …

Dragon -> Tattooed Man (borrowed) -> Fire Ants -> Rattlebones.dec

I’m not sure it was the Fire Ants deck, again.  All of the 100+ card decks played are hard for me to distinguish.

When I got to three power, I played Jake Rattlebones.  When I won, Jake Rattlebones was a 13 Fighting, -1 damage to Armies of the Monarchs, five damaged character.  The question was asked as to why nobody took out Jake all game.  As was pointed out, he often had damage on him, so he just didn’t seem like that big of a deal.  I did have to Spirit Wrack one Nomad Army, then Tortured Memories a Golden Comebacked Nomad Army that tried to block his bid for victory.  Also, there was paying four power to get rid of Prisoner of the Monarchs on him.

Early Nomad Army plus Training Sequence got Evil Twinned crosstable.  They both died to Final Brawl.  Final Brawl certainly kept things relatively open.  That plus my Tattooed Man deck was being borrowed by someone who often plays his cops deck.  The deck may not work, I wouldn’t know since I hadn’t played any of my decks except my Daughters of Nu Gua deck, but I think it’s too massive a contrast in style.  I build defensive, low flow decks … wonder where that came from … that intend to win during a specific window of time with little offense … I’m sure that sounds familiar but I have no clue as to why …

Syndicate were just too starved on power to do much, not being able to push through for enough burns for power.  I will note that my first FSS was a Booby-Trapped Tomb and it never got revealed.

Healing Snow -> Lotus -> Cops -> Architects

My first FSS was Dockyard.  It never took damage in this two hour game.  I did trigger Six Points and get a warrior token that hung around with a Blast Aura for quite a while.  Chiu Bagong avoided Hands of Darkness but he and his Evil Twin ran into Overzealous Assassins.  Cops kept coming back with 200 Guys With Hatchets and Ladders.

Sergeant Blightman came and went.  CHAR came and went and got Reinvigorationed and went.  Paradox Beast came and went.  General Gog won it for the Architects due to Uncontrolled Mutation.

Dan Dammer, Jammer Slammer showed up a couple of times, one time being intercepted by a Hand of Darkness …

I believe it was a PubOrd Officer who got crowned by Underworld Coronation.

If General Gog hadn’t gotten through for the win, I was about to drop Pi Tui to return six cops to play.  There was a comment that a horde of little dudes was a better way to go than big dudes (see Green Snake and White Snake get smoked when the table felt like smoking them), but I’d actually say permanents-based recursion is the most powerful thing in the game.  Whether that’s a bunch of dorks or Underworld Trackers or whatever.  Sure, Dragon event recursion is strong, but I don’t find it nearly as busted as repeatable, inevitable recursion.  While a surprising number of my plays were effective, the most interesting one in this game was Auramancer.  I don’t think I put out multiples at a time as that draws attention, but one Auramancer is extremely likely to get bigger in this meta, which means I’m gaining free power, as well.

I do need to put in more stuff to stop Fox Pass and Kinoshita House.  My bid for victory with Claw of the Ice Bear, Auramancer at 4 Fighting, and Six Points was stopped by Kinoshita, as have been many of my bids for victory in other games.

Decks:

Name:  Abominable Tech
Faction:  Architect
Size:  40

Architect Cards (25)
Characters (17)
2x Arcanomoth
2x Blood Eagles
2x Combat Engineer
5x DNA Mage
1x Dr. Curtis Boatman (S&S)
2x Gamma Beast
1x Gnarled Annihilator
1x Melting Flesh Squad
1x NeoBuro Field Medic

Edges (2)
1x Reinvigoration Seed
1x Rise of the NeoBuro

Events (5)
3x Arcanovirus
1x Expendable Unit
1x Howling for Blood

Sites (1)
1x Dao Biotech Headquarters

Generic Cards (15)
Events (5)
5x Scrounging

Feng Shui Sites (10)
1x Booby-Trapped Tomb
2x City Park
4x Dockyard
1x Forgotten Temple
1x Medicinal Flower Garden
1x Mobius Gardens

Yeah, this deck isn’t playing good cards.  A lot of the good Architect cards just annoy me, even though comparable cards for the Lotus don’t.  I’m pretty sure I don’t need that many DNA Mages.  Should be a second Dao Biotech as that’s my linchpin.  No real coherent plan for punching through.  Yup, this is the complete opposite of every deck I build for multiplayer CCGs ever … right?  While it’s going to go away, I did fail to play a bunch of the cards in it, so I’m sure there will be more Dao Bioteching in the future.

Name:  Rattlebones.dec
Faction:  Lotus
Size:  50

Lotus Cards (36)
Characters (22)
1x Abaddon the Destroyer
3x Abysmal Wyrm
2x Exorcist
3x Feng Kan
3x Hungry Ghosts
5x Imp
3x Jake Rattlebones
1x Ravenous Devourer
1x Sewer Scum

Edges (2)
2x Insidious Plan

Events (12)
1x Bribery
1x Cries in the Night
2x Death of 1,000 Cuts
1x Feeding the Hungry
2x Spirit Wrack
4x Tortured Memories
1x Underworld Coronation

Generic Cards (14)
Events (5)
1x Discerning Fire
4x Pocket Demon

Feng Shui Sites (9)
1x Booby-Trapped Tomb
4x Dockyard
2x Forgotten Temple
1x Gambling House
1x Kowloon Gate

Unlike other factions, I actually play with good cards for Lotus.  They just have so many cards I like.  I am already tired of the ludicrous amount of removal they have.  Also, it would get old to put Evil Twin in every deck.  What I’m having a hard time doing is getting away from the Feng Kan + Exorcist combo or away from the efficient Abysmal Wyrms.  All of my Gambling Houses should really be Möbius Gardens as I just find that Gambling is not as easy as one would think and Möbius Gardens triggers far too easily, with one more Body.

Name:  Healing Snow
Faction:  Monarchs
Size:  48

Monarchs Cards (29)
Characters (22)
3x Auramancer
1x Chiu Bagong
1x Claw of the Ice Bear
4x Fire Cadets
3x Fire Horse
2x Pi Tui
3x Six Points
1x Snow Fox
2x Snow Seer
2x Wayfarer

Edges (3)
1x Crystal Heart
2x Lessons of the Fallen

Events (2)
2x Winter’s Laugh

Sites (1)
1x Tomb of the Sacred Vigil

States (1)
1x Whirlwind Transformation

Generic Cards (19)
Events (4)
4x Pocket Demon

Feng Shui Sites (12)
1x Diamond Beach
4x Dockyard
2x Dragon Graveyard
1x Maze of Stairs
1x Mobius Gardens
1x Phlogiston Mine
1x Stone Spirals
1x Whirlpool of Blood

States (3)
2x Blast Aura
1x Six Demon Bag

This is just a mess of a deck to try to play a lot of new cards.  Winter’s Laugh and Blast Aura are surprisingly defensive.  Certainly, Winter’s Laugh isn’t all that in my play, being usually one power to cancel an event.  Haven’t gotten a Six Demon Bag in play yet, need to build a SDB deck.  For some reason, I really dislike Phlogiston Mine.  I keep thinking someone will take it and use it against me, even though my sites hardly ever get taken or burned (in this meta, which screws up a lot of my defensive plays).

I really like Fire Horse, but I got to have more focused Monarchs decks just because I should really like Monarchs but am finding I’m not liking my Monarchs decks that much.  Diamond Beach needs to see more play in this meta to deal with hordes of cops, ants, or whatever.  Toughness, in general, is causing a lot of problems for decks I’m playing against.  I think it has to do with how burns for power are stopped early on or avoided due to the commonality of Bite of the Jellyfish to where hitters aren’t as common (even though people seem to sit on massive quantities of power a lot of the time and have no issue giving other players power through Paper Trail or Fistful of Dollars or whatever) in addition to efforts to take out hitters right away.

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