Thursday, we played a six player Shadowfist game because there wasn’t interest in two, three-player games.
It lasted four hours.
I enjoyed it. But, you see, I’m a V:TES player. I’m used to very little happening in a two hour game. I don’t know that people who are Shadowfist players appreciate non-activity like I do.
We adapted Cardiff five player rules for six players. You had to win by teaming up with either the person two doors down or across the table. This was to create asymmetric situations a la the five-player rules. Teams of three in a triangle pattern would have been too symmetric.
Joren (Lotus/Monarchs Fire Ants) -> Justin (Cops) -> Don (Fire Monarchs) -> Ray (Hand) -> Earl (Purists) -> Ian (Sea Dragons)
There’s no way for me to capture the highlights of a four hour game with six players. Ray didn’t do much but won with Justin. Earl put out Purist hitters. Joren’s Fire Ants smoked very few characters. Justin smoked two FSSs and took the third for the win. Don’s Summer Fire Palace changed hands, while his Flambards nuked some sites to prevent them from being burned.
Me? I had an opening hand of Smiling Heaven Lake and five foundation characters. I, then, drew Dockyard. What was most notable for my game is that about three times during the game I had nothing in play. No characters, no sites – no permanents. One of those times, I had just Avenging Thundered … a character I can’t find on Chimpshack – it’s a three cost unique character that gains fighting from magic and loses it for tech.
Yet, I did stuff. Not much, but … I played two Sea Dragons in one turn, the first took down a site, the second caused a Discerning Fire. I played Thermobaric Explosion to do 16 damage to everything, dropped a Fire Warriors (who were 5-F), and came up one short of taking the winning site as I had no power, though I did have a Jellyfish Lake in case my target played something that didn’t hurt too much. I would have failed, anyway, as someone had an event to stop my bid for victory. But, it was amusing.
I find the longer games have lots of interesting things happen but also drag. I don’t think it’s so much the time between turns as it’s a mental drag having to deal with so many others’ abilities to stop you from winning. Team play is certainly far better than five player free for all.
We played three games of V:TES today.
Eric (Ani/Dom/Tha) -> David (Ravnos) -> Andy (Toreador extras) -> Ian (For/Obf Force of Will) -> Brandon (Tzimisce Ani)
I ousted Brandon as he had only 8 pool, DIed my Robert Carter, got two Forces of Will and a Leverage. My further bleeds only got bounced into David, setting him up for death. Andy ousted me when I had one pool and zero blood on my three vampires. Eric conceded the endgame.
What was most interesting was probably Andy and Brandon fighting crosstable. Andy bounced a bleed over to Brandon and Brandon Pentexed Masika. For everyone else, I don’t think a lot interesting happened.
Eric (Aus/Cel/Pre guns) -> Brandon (Form of Mist) -> David (Trem without Dom) -> Ian (Illusory Rapist Clowns) -> Andy (Malks w/ Pro)
Brandon didn’t get all that fast a start and got Vampiric Diseased right away so fiddled with clearing that. David got out small dudes, which I largely ignored. I wasn’t offended by Golconda on my Diego Giovanni. I was offended by Charnas on my Saul Meira when there was a horde behind my predator, so I Decapitated Javier Montoya. Andy put out some Homunculi. I kept trying to Mind Rape his vampires, trying to ignore my predator, and my lack of stealth or Illusions of the Kindred meant getting blocked with nothing much happening. Until Victoria blocked one of my vampires, and I did seven agg to her with an illusory Servius and Greger went to torpor from guns where I Graverobbed him.
David went to one pool and got ousted. Brandon stealthed by me as I had virtually nothing for pool. Brandon and Andy conceded to Eric’s guns.
David (Cel/Dom Assault Rifles) -> Andy (Malk SB) -> Ian (Aus/Pre/Vic) -> Brandon (Giovanni Talbot’s)
I had an early decision as to whether to Entrancement away Ambrosius. I decided not to, in the hope that someone would murder Malks. In the short term, though, David and Brandon had too much fighting to do to care about my rapidly decreasing pool. I did steal Tye Cooper because I’m a genius – after Brandon ousted David, Brandon got Andy down to 2 pool with one minion left with bleed. Andy stole Ambrosius. Before the lack of Talbot’s suckers could hurt Brandon, Andy got bounced to Brandon and pumped the bleed to finish him off. Andy drew up to 11 cards off of two Dreams but came up one pool short of ousting me, so he conceded with no wakes in hand to my Tye Cooper, The Rose, Matteus board.
I can’t remember failing to win a game playing my deck. I managed to get into combat with Bloody Mary and double Starvation of Marena her into “not bleed me for 2+” land. The deck is pretty poor at ousting and pretty poor at defending, but, maybe because casual games are more fighty, it somehow does what it needs to do. It’s also probably because the deck suits me in terms of how it plays. It’s kind of fighty to be a toolboxed stealth bleed deck, though that was what prior versions of this sort of build likely were. It’s almost a toolbox bruise bleed deck the way it’s built.
Certainly, fighting the deck is often unproductive as it either Inner Essence Majestys or flings Marenas at you in a not remotely predictable way.
Commonality between the two events?
I keep thinking I need more aggro decks … not illusory rapist clowns style aggro … decks that push towards winning faster. Where much of my Shadowfist style has come from either my V:TES style or fighting my V:TES style, I think a desire for resolution that I didn’t used to have with V:TES is coming from my Shadowfist play. In other words, I want people to die, even if it’s me. Having five players go around and around with lots of stoppage is just not as appealing as it was.
It’s almost like I should play Dominate, again. (I don’t have banned lists in the same way for casual play as I do tournament play.) Rain down some Conditioning action just because “Conditioning kills people”.
Meanwhile, I’m not quite sure with Shadowfist how to push my decks more towards someone winning. I already run low stoppage, which should make it easier for other people to win. Dust Storms and stuff, I guess, are events that push towards winning without stopping others from winning, but I haven’t played Lotus in quite a while because everything just seems too powerful.
I’m feeling lazy, so I’ll get around to posting the Sea Dragons deck (bad) and the Inner Essence deck (perfect?) some other time. Meanwhile, I do plan to get back to L5R character building, at least talk about skills even though skills are pretty simple.