You may have heard. V:TES is supposed to go back in print … again.
I feel some enthusiasm. I felt some enthusiasm last year for having some of the Anthology Set cards get printed. Mostly, though, I think it’s because it gives something for other people to get enthused about. I may not be that excited by the tournament scene as I expect the game to continue to be oriented to things I’m not that fond of – fat vampires and bloat. But, new stuff causes new stuff to be tried in tournaments, which produces some level of increased variety.
We’ve been getting games in every few weeks. That works for me. I enjoy playing the game. As imperfect as it is, it’s a really good game.
Which segues me to playing Magic last night. Type P. I have played a lot of Type P and was into it at one point in time. I think what holds me back from being into it again is the lack of a similar culture. Type P appealed to me far more than normal Magic because of the ability to evolve decks and to strive for particular cards. The old crowd was really into those things as well, where the new crowd seems more focused on effectiveness.
After Type P, most enjoyment I probably got from Magic was sealed deck tournaments. Maybe success had something to do with that as I won a Mirage event, got prizes in Stronghold prerelease for 5-1 or something, got Urza’s prizes for a free sealed deck tournament that dragged on forever, and came in second in an Invasion tournament where I was a card mule for a far more serious player. Never all that fond of draft where I may have had decent decks but found the play just tedious. Constructed could be entertaining at times in casual play, like playing my one copy of Necropotence in my Essence Vortex deck and having that cost me a game.
I don’t know if last night was unusual or I had just forgotten how I generally feel about Magic, but the drawing one card a turn thing was really annoying. It’s such a bad mechanic that sucks the joy out of what is otherwise a brilliant game.
Of the six games I played, one was actually interesting. It was the only game that was close and I think we forgot a special ability that would have caused me to lose rather than win at one life. That’s the problem. I can play six games of V:TES and find four of them interesting, six games of B5 and find three of them interesting, six games of Shadowfist and find four of them interesting. There were numerous times I or my opponent could have scooped multiple turns before the game was over. In a couple of cases around turn two … playing sealed deck.
Maybe the feel of the L5R LCG is a problem because I’m used to multiplayer CCGs where people get to have fun as opposed to two-player games where people just stomp on each other or grief each other constantly. Of course, I could play some Ultimate Combat! and see if that will rekindle my appreciation for a two-player CCG.
The other players were playing Dominaria. The set just didn’t seem remotely interesting. Sagas are fine, but the cards I was seeing just seemed dull with there being not very strong themes in the set.
So, I knew some of the Phoenix expansion cards for L5R. I got shown the rest of the cards. So griefy. I get that negative plays can make for a more balanced game, but it just strikes me as a lost opportunity. oL5R was a terrible game (IME) because it had terrible mechanics. But, I would argue I actually like magic samurai in that I like the RPG’s world even if it includes dumb stuff like ronin. nL5R could have been fun, focusing on thematic elements. Instead, it seems to be increasing the focus on mechanics over doing cool stuff. In general, I don’t feel like I’m doing cool stuff when I’m winning, I feel like I’m beating my opponent down to where they can’t recover.
Give me Counter X for 15 to knockout out someone foolish enough not to play Movement.
Could be too late for me. Could be that I’m only a social player. A party hearty flopper. I can’t deal with having a single opponent who is trying to win and not Vorlon Rescue Mr. Morden.
Well, there is Traveller, which can be played two-player. I’d much rather play Traveller than L5R. An interesting question is whether I’d much rather play Traveller than Magic. I could say I think Traveller plays better, but that should be obvious and to have someone prefer a game they helped make over a game they bitch about constantly being nowhere near as good as it should be doesn’t strike me as compelling opinion.
Where I’m not clear what value I get out of L5R, as I don’t feel any thematic coolness and I don’t like the mechanics, I know I get different value out of Magic vs Traveller. Magic is about discovery for me. It’s why I like sealed deck, where I’m trying to think of the best way to build a deck, where constructed just feels too open-ended to me. Traveller is something where I can learn that cards don’t play the way we expected, but I’m so much more focused on what my opponent is doing to try to determine what the game needs more of or less of through either their deck construction or their play experience. The massive experience gap between me and everyone besides Jeff just causes me to not take my own play all that seriously. Magic is also about visual appeal to me. I don’t mean the card art. I love things like multicolor templates and various land templates. I like hybrid mana costs for cards. Just get striking color combinations.
Change your perspective, change your world. Maybe I get too far into my existing views on things and don’t try a different perspective. Maybe I should embrace the idea of the quick scoop in Magic as fun. Maybe I should roll a die when choosing what Ring for my attacks in L5R or when deciding how much Fate to put onto a dude because random chess is better than chess.
Speaking of painfully unpleasant. Arrow. I was explaining recently that the reason you do a Green Arrow show is so that you can knock someone out with a boxing glove arrow. Can imagine how I feel about the tiresome angstaggedon that the show loves so much. Flash at least tries for some amusement and Legends of Tomorrow does some amazing stuff along with the dumb. Maybe the trick is to root for the villains because they pretty much constantly win until Counter X for 15 because … good has to suffer until it wins in some dumb ass way. I can’t even bring myself to watch Supergirl, yet. Maybe in May. Meanwhile, Into the Badlands might get some viewing action – it got rid of its albatross storyline by fridging an idiot. OTOH, child. Off the top of my head, that worked in Dragonball Z and nothing else that comes to mind.