So, I have played some things recently that were outside the norm.
Old boardgame group got together and played two games we’ve played a lot: Lords of Waterdeep; Scepter of Zavandor. The latter was something of a teaching game for my friend’s son, who won easily … with emeralds. You could go look up Scepter of Zavandor, look at prior posts where I contrast it with Outpost, or I could just say it’s a reskinned Outpost that fixes the massive problem Outpost has with snowballing victory or … maybe better way to think of it … lack of snowballing into irrelevancy. Remember, if you can outproduce everyone, just keep pushing further and further ahead.
I also wrote up some V:TES decks, which is arguably so trivial for me to do that it hardly qualified as gaming related, more of a 10 minute thought puzzle per deck.
My friend and I played through some of a tutorial for the Myth boardgame. Lots of stuff going on in that. Because of hanging out with him, I got to thinking about playing/running a simple AD&D game. So, I went to my stack of old modules and … couldn’t pull out a module from what was a stack of all sorts of things. Instead, I pulled out Greyhawk Adventures. Yup. The AD&D hard bound book for AD&D/AD&D2e. Because people who write blogs like these have this sort of thing just lying around.
I actually read some of it. I looked at the adventures – I guess I’m the sort of jaded gamer who is the target audience for zero level play except I don’t have any interest in playing a loser [uh … no comment]. I read some monster entries, glanced at god write-ups, skimmed through some NPCs. There’s so much potential in RPGs for amazing stuff, yet the yesterworld was just replete with game stats. I guess it can be inspiring, somehow.
Made me think that I should suggest to TD to use a Gorgriffspidrascorp as a monster some year.
But, the most different thing was playing Magic. My first play of Commander was in Stockholm because my first “play” of Caylus was in Shanghai, etc. Rather than ‘fist each other, I borrowed a Commander deck and only played my Commander after two players were eliminated?!? Might have been right before my prey was eliminated. I think I attacked with my Commander once in the game.
I can see the appeal of Commander, to a degree. I would rather play Advanced Squad Commander with Commander rules and 50 card decks or 60 card decks, but I get that lack of reliably is an essential part of people enjoying the format. It does address some of the problems of playing standard constructed. But, I realize at certain points in Commander games – all two I’ve ever played – that it still has Magic’s fundamental flaw of drawing one card a turn.
I was mana limited all game. Finally got an artifact in play to accelerate beyond four mana a turn and had the artifact bounced back to my hand. Sure, I won. But, that’s because I have decades worth of multiplayer CCG experience and have some vague idea what the rules for Banding are (white not my preferred color but whatever).
Yet, as much as Magic has this flaw, other CCGs have other flaws and the only perfect CCG is …
No, Ultimate Combat! isn’t perfect. No, the Traveller Card Game isn’t perfect. What’s perfect are all of those individual experiences playing whichever flawed game where you just enjoy the heck out of what you are doing. The Level the Playing Field vs. Not Meant to Be war I can vaguely recall while in Castro Valley playing with one of B5’s designers. Ousting two players with Jake Washington in a tournament. And, others that will become harder and harder to remember as I age.
So, I’m fine with playing Commander. I’m fine with building Commander decks. But, where other people get off on trying to build coherent Commander decks that abuse their Commanders’ abilities or whatever.
I. I opened up a pack of Betrayers of Kamigawa and Saviors of Kamigawa to see if I got a legend to use. I did. Now, Champions of Kamigawa would make more sense, but I have fewer of those packs lying around, maybe one or two, maybe not even that many. I am now at a point where I don’t know whether to continue to open Kamigawa packs until I can put together a 100 card deck or branch out so that I can support a 100 card black deck where I couldn’t care less if I ever put my commander into play.
Do I just open packs of things I have lying around until I can make a deck? Or settle on particular blocks (much harder given what I have in packs)? Do I try to preserve some way to track what I’m opening out of packs so that I can convert Commander cards into Type P decks? Would I ever try to construct a real constructed Commander deck rather than a sealed Commander deck? I don’t see why. I don’t enjoy actually putting together constructed Magic decks. Oh, sure, I enjoy thinking about them. But, where V:TES with its no card limits and numerous close substitutes doesn’t feel onerous to me at all in terms of what I’m willing to play with, Magic constructed has always felt onerous to me, even if I could scrape together an Essence Vortex deck with one copy of Necropotence (and lose a game because I played Necropotence rather than just own with Essence Vortex).
I really like the idea of putting together a mono-color Kamigawa deck from just opening packs, but I don’t think it’s possible. I’m not even sure how feasible it would be if I had boxes sitting around unopened. The amount of packs I imagine I’d need to open to have a minimum number of non-basics to field a deck seems to be so incredibly wasteful (unless I can P the other cards somehow) that I can’t justify living such an extravagant lifestyle [quiet, tokens are a new toy]. I, of course, would rather build multicolor Commander decks. So, maybe I dig through Ravnos or Return to Ravnos packs, except I don’t have like infinite quantities of those, either. I could breakdown my Type P decks I never play and have little interest in playing to have stock. I could even write down the contents to recreate the Type P decks if I ever felt that was sufficiently important in my life.
Given that every time I play Shadowfist, I think about how I could build new decks, yet rarely build new decks, can I get fired up enough to build Commander decks?
This is the beauty of Type P. Five packs, 27 basic land, done. Megasealed, which is what I’m thinking about, is just so resource intensive. I already have to hunt for basic land just to complete P decks. Scary how much land would be needed to field sealed Commander decks.
Interestingly, one of my friends gets me stuff. Makes me feel guilty for not getting him more stuff. Now, I’m totally good with my female friends getting me stuff as I do get them stuff, but that’s not gaming related and, thus, neither here nor there. Anyway, he has gotten me Magic stuff that involves legends that could be used as the bases for Commander decks. Since I don’t know what else I could do with constructed materials like those, since Type P is the only format I build decks for, seems obvious to make use of stuff people give me that’s, uh, gaming related.