Fisticuffs 20151022 and 20151024

Yup, multiple fisting in one week.

Thursday, we had six.  We decided to try the dreaded three player game … with Mooks … and Sacred Grounds … and you also got an extra power every turn.

Finally, the Shaking the Mountain has come back to Shadowfist.

I played my “I guess I’m playing Hand so that I have chi to play miscellaneous chi cards” deck in one game.  It got Sifu Beumer and three Shaolin Supplicants in one turn.  They didn’t survive long.  My Kung Fu Master survived a bit longer.  I played against a three faction Red Bat deck and a Monarch/Lotus deck that got out both queens and one of the kings.

In the second game, I played Architects – Arcanomoths were joined by Blood Eagles, some of which were being played from my smoked pile.  Jammers to my left cleared the board with Thermobaric Explosion preventing me from Fire in the Skying Red Bat, who multiattacked for the win.

Games were swingy, explosive, reasonably balanced.  Burning for power seemed weak – I just kept playing sites in game two since the penalty for putting them out was relatively less.  I would seize.  I should have burned for victory early in game two, maybe earlier in game one.  We liked our games.

The other group didn’t so much like the format.  The whole point of most of our rules is to prevent someone from getting beaten down so much that they don’t do anything anymore, waiting for someone to win.  In their second game, someone got into a position of feeling like they couldn’t dig out of the hole.  Don’s argument for why an extra power would be bad is that everyone would have a bunch of hitters in play that make a lot of other characters worthless, that hitters would lose specialness because they would be so common.  Character removal would be ubiquitous to deal with hitters.

I don’t know.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing that someone can get out all of the Monarchs royalty reliably.  High levels of character removal is annoying but so is one deck having cards like Tortured Memories and other decks not.  I think slow decks gain a lot.

Of course, it’s breakable.  Sacred Ground pile is breakable by playing no FSSs in your deck.  Mooks are breakable by having any resource at any time and being able to swarm people to death when you have 12 power lying around.

Yesterday, Earl hosted a games day.  I played Forbidden Desert with his daughter and two of his friends.  We were pretty ineffectual and sand buried us.  I always bring Shadowfist to his house but never expect to play on the general gaming days, but Miguel was there, so we played four games.

Miguel started game one, he won in a not terribly balanced affair where I played … something.  Earl won game two off of Ming I in a Modern Lotus deck; I played Syndicate and somehow my dudes couldn’t survive Spirit Wracks.  I won game three with Ascended, using The She-Wolf’s ability once but mostly because Tears of the Crocodile is pretty good.  Earl won the last game, where I played my 25 card Butterfly Knight deck inspired by Miguel’s Butterfly Knight deck that he played in this game.  He adds Ascended for Moonlight Raid and various trickiness, causing my bid for victory to end with a Suicide Mission.  Earl won with his two faction demon deck.  So, yes, someone else chose Stand Together Thunder, and the third player played Stand Together.  I lost by decking, by the way, though this game probably took 45 minutes or more.

See, this is the problem.  In normal ‘fist, I think I’m bringing a Wooden Stake to a Weighted Walking Stick fight (reference will make more sense if I post about today’s V:TES games).  Sure, my 25 card deck is a concept deck (foreshadowing).  It’s not intended to be complete.  It’s intended to provide the minimum required to have Butterfly Knights take sites.  Adding more cards isn’t a problem as long as it doesn’t pad out the deck so much that it loses its focus.  Stolen Thunder isn’t an option because it’s a Modern deck, but some plays are.

Before getting back to ‘fisting in general, this deck is an example of how my casual decks are more focused and smaller than my competitive decks.  A lot of the time, I want to see one specific aspect of the game in casual play because it’s only that aspect that makes that deck purposeful.

Okay, back to the problem of not having an extra power every turn and whatnot.  In our team games, I can be sucky and slow and may or may not matter.  Sucky and slow in competitive ‘fist just makes for terrible games.  This is why I prefer five player V:TES.  I have so much more opportunity to do nothing until my inevitable victory.

Yes, I should be building decks for any CCG that are more proactive, faster, more threatening.  After all, being the target for table hate is … is … um … em … a sign of respect?

This is where I wonder what it would be like if I played a two-player CCG competitively again.  Table hate is a meaningless consideration, and I build decks that come out with Both Heron-Marked Blades Blazing because winning and having your deck do its thing have tremendous crossover.

After ‘fisting, we played a three player of Splendour, and I seem to be getting better at the game.  One would think it’s right up my alley based on what sort of mechanics I intuit, but I don’t know.  As mathy as I am, other people are mathier.  Mahjong is probably my best game in terms of managing hands, if not necessarily from a maximizing money standpoint.  But, one could argue that playing it competitively since the age of 8 probably has something to do with that.

I think I mentioned something about auction games in a post this year.  If I haven’t, I need to.  Getting off topic into what sort of mechanics suit me (as opposed to what sort I like), so will table this.

Anyway, I proposed a quarterly or more often Shadowfist day in Fremont, as that is central enough for people to congregate.  People want to play, just not enough to jump through a bunch of hoops.  I’ll be looking to organize that on the Bayfist list and the general list, when I have a better sense of when I’d like to do something.  Probably December, but I have some family travel to do at an unspecified time, and we have our annual V:TES events after Christmas.

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