Once Every Decade

June 8, 2019

What is the most notable thing to happen on March 1st, 2009?

Is it Chang’e 1 striking the moon?

I’m sure for someone who I gamed with a fair amount between 2018 KublaCon and 2019 DunDraCon, would have been the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute’s work with embryonic-like stem cells.

Now, just like I can’t probably keep straight my history, this blog’s history is a bit odd.  Four posts show up for March 1st, 2009.

Ten years of blogging with every year getting more and more grand … up until the point that I slowed down playing V:TES and L5R 4e mechanics were not as relevant and I’d post less frequently and post about the same sort of things.  Maybe Arrowverse reviews didn’t enthrall the multiverse.

This is my 603rd post, I believe.  Does mean I average more than a post a week even if I haven’t been hitting that in the last year.


As we all know, as folks age, the mind views things differently.  As we all know, when you are waiting for something to happen, your perception of time is rather different than when you are in the moments of activity.

I’ve had dreams after falling back asleep where it felt like hours passed during the dream, but, then, conk out for what seems like hardly any time and an hour is gone.

Blah, blah, blah.  Stating the obvious is so cold-take.

Every 11 years, a friend of mine in China picks out a new jacket for me.  The one in 2007 has worked out far better than the one in 2018, so far.  Every 11 years.

For reasons I have a hard time wrapping my head around, I didn’t see my aunt and uncle for more than a decade.  Sure, it’s virtually impossible to find a way to get from Midcal to the exotic frontier that is Mid-Oregon.

I’ve lived in the same house for something like 18 years.  That doesn’t sound too strange to someone growing up perhaps.  I lived in a former murder capital of the US (by some measurement, I suppose, as I don’t know if I have proof of this) for more than 10.  While my feeble mind may be ready for retirement, my financial accounts aren’t, so it isn’t like this is the retirement play, either.

It was seven years between my working at my current job and working for the same company previously.  That doesn’t change.  It’s been four years since I’ve been back.  I used to say “12 years ago, things worked like …”, where it’s now “14 years ago, such and such worked in …”


I had thought to do a post just about my interest level change in baseball and why I think …

Sure, MLB will probably survive five more years.  I suppose.

There was a time when I clipped box scores for my favorite team because of my favorite player.  If you can guess my favorite baseball player, well, if you can guess my favorite baseball player and are a smokin’ hot babe, maybe we could hang out, sometime.  You know, play some Traveller CCG or whatever.

I choose not to watch baseball, anymore.  While the reasons aren’t earthshattering epiphanies, I do view them as the overwhelmingly important reasons for why I’d rather hope for Australian Rules Football, darts, or cornhole (the game, oh, nevermind) on the TV.

The reason why MLB mattered back in the day and NFL/NBA didn’t was stats.  Baseball’s history is a history of stats.  Can only be wistful for so long about Ross Youngs’ hitting or whatever.  Through stats, you appreciate stories.  Some dude crushed it before being blacklisted from the game and was an all-timer statwise, therefore some dude mattered and his running around barefoot was charming.

Decade after decade of stats.  Sure, racist stats.  Amphetamined stats.  But, record book stuff.

Any present day play was within the context of the stats.  Deadball era, you aren’t going to rack up 500 wins anymore stats.  Before mound lowering, after mound was moved back to 60’6″, whatever.

The Steroid Era was kind of a problem for what it did to elevate numbers, but the lasting impact is that it generally undermined caring about stats.  This cripples the relevancy of what players are doing.

The true results:  home run, walk, strikeout.  Of course this makes baseball even more boring to watch.  So, I was into baseball stats in the ’80s.  Back then, dudes who walked a lot but didn’t hit 300 (see below) and, therefore, had better onbase percentages than dudes who did hit 300 but didn’t walk much had to be called out by Bill James, et al.  Now, it’s all about walks and dingers.  When the exception was the Human Rain Delay, then the exception was interesting.  When the norm is “Take the first two, foul off a couple, take, ooh, just outside, walk to first.”, then bor-ing.

The most exciting thing in baseball was never a home run.  It was a shot in the gap or down the line with the hitter streaking around the bases.  If anything, a home run is a rally killer, even if it does get runs in.  String together a bunch of singles and doubles and you go crazy like a cucumber.  Maybe baseball can be saved by moving the fences out to force more players to deal with doubles and triples.  Not because we hate home runs but because the incentive to focus so much on them needs to be changed.  Even in the playoffs, what has more drama, more tension – took the lead off a solo/two-run shot or hit a double and see if the run can get in?

It has been said ad nauseam that soccer isn’t more popular with Statespeople because we like scoring.  Actually, barring a major change in the way futbol is played everywhere, it’s not more scoring that I’m interested in, it’s more scoring chances.  Putting a crooked number on the board isn’t dramatic.  Hitting the crossbar when the score is 1-0 is dramatic.  Some baseball fans enjoy the pitcher’s duel.  I’m not so sure I’ve ever enjoyed a pitcher’s duel, but the principle is similar.  “Well, it’s 7-3, we need a couple dudes to walk, three-run dinger, then hope for a solo shot.” – not exactly what I think of when I think of Ye Olde Pastime.

Finally, reason three for how I can’t watch baseball anymore is … the best thing about MLB once upon a time.  I should have been a sabermetrician.  Perfect.  Numbers.  Sports (without being all that athletic, er, ladies).  Growing industry, maybe they score the big bucks.  Don’t end up in accounting.

Sabermetrics has been poisoning baseball.  Whereas in days of yore, you could focus on hitting 300, 100 ribs, 30/40/50 dingers.  Now, it’s not just WAR, which in and of itself is only mildly toxic, it’s the plethora of exotic metrics that just removes anyone from tracking what’s actually going on.  Sure, papers – I mean – newsfeeds/microblogs/YouTube/podcasts could report how someone’s 0 for 3 with a walk affects their in season WAR ranking vs. other players in their position, but who cares?

Temporal Anomalies

Oh, look, I ranted about a sport, rather than a game for quite a while there.

Interests change.  Actually, quite a few of my gaming interests haven’t changed at all, at least in a general sense.  I still enjoy creating characters and envisioning campaign ideas or PC adventures.  I may look down on systems I used to enjoy creating characters for, but that seems a minor change as I started being interested in different systems from D&D almost as soon as I picked up other RPGs.

It’s more that lifestyles change.  I haven’t played V:TES since, I think, DunDraCon.  I don’t feel like I have time to organize.  Given that others haven’t, either, imagine their time feels similarly impacted.

I notice that my BattleTech Scenario Building post still gets more views than most.  I have a hard time imagining having the time to put into even something like that.  I used to play RPGs on Friday nights, even in those odd times when I had a job, and I view Friday nights as crash time, now.

20 years ago, I went to Origins and Gen Con as a Precedence volunteer.  I had midnight shifts for demoing B5.  20 years ago.  I was able to stay up after 10:30PM without being useless the next day.

Ancient “Wisdom”

I mentioned no longer providing the wisdom of an UC! pack.  It occurred to me that I was forgetting the wisdom of The Ancient Fighting Arts of China!

Ultimate Combat! essentially lasted from 1995 to 1997.  22 years ago was the last tournament I can recall playing in.

22 years ago, one could get such wisdom as:

Seize your opponent’s advantage and make it your own.

This is a laughably bad gold belt card in that I’ve never seen someone put it into a deck.  Sure, you would run it in limited play just in case.  But, weapons were never as good as not running weapons, not even when they never went away and only gained one counter when used.

Let your mind absorb his attack.

Again, in a modern CCG, I’d imagine the wording would be “her” attack or possibly even “their attacks” or something.  This card is terrible, as well.  This probably wouldn’t even make the cut in limited play.  Would have to be metagaming against psychic damage decks, which I’ve built but were never an important part of the oh-so-well-established metagame.

The more you attack, the more damage you deal.

Can see what putting flavor text on every card does – leads to rather insipid flavor text.  On the other hand, this is kind of ironic in that it isn’t for the fighting style that has built in combination attacks and it’s for a technique you would pretty much never play due to how expensive it is and, thus, would be attacking more often with some technique that didn’t suck.

Accepting risk is part of battle.

I suppose I could squeeze some time to show pictures of these cards if I was more motivated to provide visual presentation with my ramblings.  I tried a browser search and couldn’t find this card’s art.  While I mostly don’t care about how unappealing most UC! art is, this card could easily be called out for how it would not get younguns or most others to embrace the best two-player CCG of all time.  The mechanics are also unplayable.

Which brings up an actual important point and highlights that as much as I facetiously tout the wisdom of the flavor text in this game, one of the common features of CCG expansion is to come up with useless mechanics.  Sure, Wheel of Time did wonders with its first expansion of not making a bunch of coasters, and WoT even made some coasters playable later, but just because a mechanic is possible in a game doesn’t mean it should be utilized.  Jeff and I often question the playability of cards (Jeff usually asks whether something is playable, then I conclude it isn’t after thinking a bit about it).

The power of the beast foils the threat.

This could be on a Magic beast creature, though unlikely.  What makes this funnier in context is this card is Gi Patch: Rhino.  I summon my rhino totem to foil … some of the most broken sounding cards in the game.  Mental Domination, aka Mindslaver (well, actually, Worst Fears is a closer analogy).  Suppress, probably a better version of Mental Domination.  Of course, would probably run …

Grasp an extra moment to prepare yourself.

Psychic Delay was my choice for second best card in the game with TAFAoC included in the cardpool.  Yet, curiously, I don’t autorun 4x in every deck as I run 4x Mantra of Power in every deck.  Of course, I don’t have any real opponents besides me, myself, and I, anyway (you know, a smokin’ hot babe who wants to play Ultimate Combat! is probably someone I could make an effort to hang out with, just sayin’).  This is more playable than Gi Patch: Rhino while Mental Agility is about as playable as the Rhino.

I don’t want to quote every card in this pack, but I feel I have to call out:

If you turn your back on your opponent, do so quickly.

This is a cool card with decent flavor text.  No, really, UC! had cool cards besides Mindslaver before Mindslaver.  Torque is just funny.  My Torque deck was one of those cases of just having fun with a CCG in a way that CCGs were meant to be fun.  It wasn’t trying to make a stupid card functional even though Torque is borderline stupid.  It was trying to make an esoteric play less esoteric.  Actually, +2 damage for one power is not a terrible ratio for a single attack.  It’s just far better to have +8 (overkill) damage on a Favorite Technique with, even better, a Coach Card in play to maximize rotation rate.

Fast and agile, the wyvern strikes.

If you know anything about UC!, you can assume that this is on Gi Patch: Wyvern.  You may also know that the creator of the Wyvern CCG is on this card.  If you didn’t, there you go.  The industry was a lot more fun back in 1995.  One hopes that if you know that Mike Fitzgerald is on this card you know that Richard Garfield is on Touch of Magic.

Finally, there are two cards in this pack, Alter Destiny and Clear Vision, that have flavor text but, more importantly, bring us back to the idea that just because you can make an effect doesn’t mean it’s worth doing.

Both have the same cost (the “wisdom” cost of Knowledge and Experience).  One lets you look at the top card of an opponent’s deck and the other rearrange the top four cards of a deck.  These are Magicish mechanics that are way less meaningful in a game where you may draw four cards on your turn and discard seven to draw seven more without needing a special card in play.  I’m sure powered up versions might be relevant.  A “Look at the top 10 cards and rearrange them.” card would be worth playing and be incredibly annoying to someone who can’t get a power engine going to burn through cards, nevermind that it would set up your Adrenaline combos to some degree.


No, I’m not going to stop blogging.  While I don’t like to announce travel plans, anyone reading my blog should know I plan on being at Origins next week.  My abode protected by relatives and a needy cat.

I hope to blog for another decade.  I hope to have my friend pick out a new jacket for me in 10 more years.  I hope next year is more like 10 years ago rather than 20 years ago.  I hope that future episodes of Doctor Who are better.

While highly unlikely I make it to the VTES EC this year, sadfaces, it feels so so long ago that I went to Berlin.  Got to figure out a way to mentally slow down or will turn around and …



KublaCon 2019

May 27, 2019

So, I have a business trip Monday to Friday before the con.  Mostly due to having to get up at 3:30AM for one flight and 4:05AM for another but also due to other various stressors, I end up getting sick.  Friday, first flight is okay, but second flight is obvious not wellness.

I never had any plans to go to Kubla on Friday night.  The only two events I planned on playing in were the two Shadowfist tournaments, so I didn’t need to be to the con until noon Saturday.

I didn’t feel horrible.  I felt like reducing my plague-ridden footprint at the con and seeing if resting until I needed to head up for my Saturday night demo would help.  It probably did.

I didn’t feel bad so much as easily was losing my voice Saturday night.

We had good demo attendance.  Everyone showed up at the same time, pretty much.  This is not really optimal as even with Jeff and his brother helping, it was hard to walk through things for everyone.

I make demos too hard.  I use my more basic decks for them, but there’s no scripting, there’s not a concerted effort to simplify which cards are used.  Jeff actually did better demos at … Pacificon? … where he had everyone use the same precon matchup and had everyone do the same things at the same time.  Sure, if there’s only like two people trying to play through something, I can be there for that.  But, I did a really bad job of explaining while two games were going on at the same time.

Even simplified decks are not great for demoing to people who just want to see what the game is like and don’t want to go through the nuances of multiple rounds.  So, I’ll look to put together some demo packs to use.  And, some demo decks.  Then, I can just ask people whether they want to run through a very limited experience or a reduced experience or a full experience.

Guess I need to open more ship decks so I have enough copies of cards to do this.  Yes, I don’t actually have that large a collection of my own game.  I can carry my entire Traveller card collection.  That’s not remotely true for B5, Magic, Shadowfist, V:TES.  I might be able to carry my WoT collection.  I’m sure I could carry my Tomb Raider collection.

Nonlinearly, the second demo, Sunday morning, was not heavily attended, and we did what we did at DunDraCon and played a multiplayer game.  In the three-player, Jeff and I tied at 24 VPs and he won on tiebreakers.  My hybrid piracy deck could never generate more than 0 AV to even bother attempting a piracy action against Jeff over the course of the game.

So, Saturday evening, I pick up a sandwich, do my demo, head home.  Sunday, I do my demo, we hit “this used to be so much better” dumpling shop, and I felt up to sticking around for a few hours to play in the Shadowfist event Sunday night if I wasn’t going to be the fifth player.

I played a couple games of Star Realms (basic set) with Jeff and people who did a Traveller demo.  Both times, I ended up with lots of card draw and enough scrapping to where I could run through my whole deck.  In the second game, four player, I was reduced to three cards and drew basically my entire deck.  The two cards I had to discard to get down to three both had … card draw.

I kind of forget how powerful card drawing is in various games.  Foreshadowing alert.  Foreshadowing alert.

So, I was the fifth for the Shadowfist event.  The decision has been made to junk doing Modern tournaments as Modern is a more degenerate environment that isn’t especially interesting.  That won’t stop me from making Modern decks because I don’t make the best decks in the first place.

So, I didn’t even need to defend my crown as California’s Modern Champion.  The last Modern Champion for the fifth largest economy in the world … ladies.

The group dragged in a sixth player for reasons not completely clear to me, but I assume it had something to do with not just playing against the same opponents over and over again.

Saturday, I didn’t take decks as I didn’t want the temptation to play Shadowfist and get sicker.  Sunday, I simply forgot to take decks as I wasn’t thinking about anything besides my commitments [ladies].

So, borrowed various decks.

In the first three-player, I played Jason’s Lotus good stuff.  I noted after the game that the character curve was really odd as the deck only had like two hitters and relied on Evil Twin for midrange.

I discarded my entire opening hand except an Abysmal Wyrm.

I got out an early Abysmal Wyrm and probably could have sealed the deal quickly if Cutting Loose Ends didn’t smoke my two Abysmal Wyrms and I could draw anything else with a fighting greater than …

So, I have a Hungry Ghosts in play.  I have Evil Twin in hand as well as Tortured Memories.  My first bid for victory is the obvious play of Evil Twin Time Bandits to get two fighting.  Then, I Tortured Memories the Time Bandits and swing with the ability to take out a site of five body.  I get chumped, so I can only do four damage.  I rearrange to get a facedown site as my target hoping for LaGrange Four and, shockingly, it’s not a four body site.

Why did I spend Evil Twin and Tortured Memories to gain four fighting?  I had to move cards.  I couldn’t really play anything else, not a FSS when at four FSSs.

Reverend Redglare gets played.  I have Hungry Ghosts in play.  I Evil Twin Reverend Redglare … the *biggest* character on the table … and choose “hero” because Miguel is playing his healing deck.  I shoot the other Reverend in case my next play gets cancelled or retargeted.  I Underworld Coronation my Evil Twin, drop two Stone Gargoyles and swing for the win.

In the next game, I played Jason’s Reascended deck and Miguel got his healing to finally work, while I could barely put out characters having resource and power issues.

We switched up.  I played Miguel’s Eunuchs against Band of Heroes and Hand Heal.  I misplayed by not discarding most of my opening hand, as my draw was just too slow to really matter much.  I kept trying to suppress heroes only for Li Po to show up and double attack for the win.  In the next game, I discarded my entire opening hand.

This is the thing about normal Shadowfist, it really isn’t well-designed.  Veteran ‘fisters can claim it’s the best multiplayer CCG ever, but it has huge mechanical flaws.  Sure, I may discard my entire opening hand with Traveller, but those cards in my discard pile might end up being really useful later, and I may not need any specific card in order to play the game, where Shadowfist requires you to have a power generation ability and specific levels of resources to play most of the cards in the game.

Also, I’m just not much of a fan of three-player play, as good games depend too much on decks coming out at the same speed.  Lot of my threesomes are dominated by a single participant and not everyone leaves satisfied.  Fourways are where it’s at, as you don’t need to conform as much to a particular tempo with fourways.

We folded up the second Eunuchs game to switch up, again.  Jason had already won by this point.  I played Miguel’s Ascended deck.  I got a fast start and had plenty of ways to gain power even if it meant giving power to others, so I punched through what limited character generation my opponents had.

Around 11PM at this point.  Finally, get to end my con.  Yup, ‘nother amazing KublaCon where I ran two events and played in one and maybe did some pickup thing in between for a bit.

Kubla is just a really bad time of year for me.  DunDraCon isn’t near month end, so I’m not as bogged down in financial reporting as I usually am, though, admittedly, these days, I spend about four weeks out of every month on our monthly financial reporting.  For some reason, travel is common near Memorial Day in a way that it isn’t for Labor Day.  So, I have no enthusiasm for doing much beyond running my events and trying to get in some Shadowfist play, which doesn’t even end up working that great due to the vagaries of existence.

Oh, I did show people the Traveller Two-Player Set box during my business trip.  I did talk about the solitaire games I’ve created, though I never showed a coworker 544 Flaming Falcon (for instance).

Due to all of our nights being booked with dinners during the summit, I never got out to game stores while in Bentonville/Rogers, only walking about halfway to one of them before needing to turn back, to see if Traveller was on the shelves.

Going to try to get Traveller regular play going in Fremont on Tuesday nights.  Going to someday get around to building some new Shadowfist decks.  Need to start building V:TES decks for Origins.

Speaking of Gen Con [you weren’t, oh], I need to move three True Dungeon E1 tickets at 11PM Thursday due to our only real opportunity to do E3 overlapping with that slot.  Would be joining seven other unknown players.  If interested in one to three of those tickets, I’d love to sell and transfer rather than eat the drop cost.  I’ll also post to the forums to try to move those, but forumites are generally going to be looking for runs with other forumites rather than unknown players.

The wisdom of UC! is likely waning.  Just as I eventually lost the energy with astrological posts, I’ll probably stop cracking boosters to see what they offer for these posts.

An ancient application of physics multiplies the attacking force dramatically.

One of the more interesting weapons.  No technique has a base attack value of nine.

Failed attacks against the ninja often prove suicidal.

The timing of this card’s ability is likely one of those cases of just intuitively working out when to use it rather than being clearly defined.

The obvious first draft card in this deck is Speed X.  If you already had one, Nunchaku is a force multiplier.

Attacking and ninja.  Well, that’s very Shadowfisty.

Capture The Enrapture

May 12, 2019

Where to begin?

In the absence of getting you all fired up with some hot take, let’s begin with this post’s Ultimate Combat! booster’s wisdom.

Like a spectre she avoided each attack, to win the gold untouched.

My perspective is that Vampire: The Eternal Struggle/Jyhad has by far the best flavor text of any CCG.  Quotes from this world have more gravitas IMO than game related flavor text.  This flavor text starts off kind of cool but becomes rather mundane.

In terms of the card, very expensive but, barring action card counters, far more reliable than various other Limited Edition action card defenses.  Definitely desirable in limited play, and gold belt cards often aren’t really that good due to how many are Environment cards or just some fat technique that you use only once because you don’t have Favorite Technique or Instant Replay in your deck.

A few great masters can drain the essence of life from their opponent, to gain vitality for themselves.

How much does this card owe its existence to Magic?  We are likely to never know, but it’s not only psychic martial arts, a feature of UC! that gets it away from concentrating on real world martial arts fighting, it also has a different font size for its ability due to how complicated its text is and works differently in multiplayer play and the flavor text sounds very much like a Black Sorcery or whatever.

Ah, shrinking text to fit on a card because the designers/developers thought cards with lots of text are a good idea.  A topic that … I’ll probably never use as the thrust of a post but will no doubt bring up since I had to shrink some card text to fit in our latest playtest versions of Traveller CCG cards.  Oh, wow, I’m so clever, I just made my prediction come true.

This is a pack you would far more like to get in a sealed event as Conditioning/Knowledge is heavily featured not only in the two cards above but with the better techniques in the pack.

So, Arrowverse.  Okay, don’t beat me to death or possess me or mirror me away.  I’ll make this relatively quick.  Legends of Tomorrow may be more workplace sitcom than superhero show and may have gone so campy that it isn’t as great as episodes that balanced stuff better, but it’s so much better than the other shows because it’s fun and workplace sitcoms can be enjoyable when they involve time travel, magic, “smashing”, etc.  Arrow just feels like Arrow has felt ever since season two and that’s not a good thing.  I agree that Flash’s villains aren’t compelling, but, then, only one ever has been.  Get thee to a crossover!  Where all of these shows become so much more fun (except LoT, since LoT is far crazier outside the crossovers).

Origins, Gen Con, KublaCon.  All approaching.  I’m running Traveller events at Origins and Gen Con.  Sunday in both cases.  Be there or be rectangular.  Oh, I’m also running events at KublaCon, but that’s not as newsworthy.

I signed up for one event for Origins in prereg.  I glommed on to other forumites’ True Dungeon runs since I’m flying solo at Origins.  I’ll generic the other V:TES tournaments I’m planning on playing.  Gen Con, we just came up with a rough plan for Team Blow (“we don’t suck, we blow”, no, this one isn’t for the ladies, this is actually clever).

The plan doesn’t give me a lot of free slots, even though my HoR footprint is expected to decline significantly.  My TD footprint might increase, see how things turn out with glomming on to forum runs.  Glomming – I feel like Stephen Donaldson after he started trolling his readers.

I had an idea for a post.  I used my mirror match idea for a Developer’s Corner article I sent off to Jeff for the Traveller site.  It predated my watching Miami Connection last night – more about how the songs need to be in our bard’s repertoire than in being a cheesy, weird martial arts movie starring Michael Phelps.  T-shirts are available online.

What was that idea?  I was thinking about something that related to RPGs.

Oh, maybe it was cast size.  Not just Arrowverse having a problem with way, way overblown cast sizes.  Got into a conversation about which Star Trek was the best.  I am of a different generation, not a next generation but more like a prior generation, than some misguided whippersnappers I game with.  TNG is not remotely as good as OT.  OT wasn’t like half spatial/temporal anomalies and OT saw constant beaming down to planets to encounter … humans on other planets.  Phasers were used to shoot rocks a lot.  Anyway.  I was hot-take-persecuted for claiming TNG’s cast was too big.  I had to be reminded Geordi was on the show as I rattled off a bunch of characters who should have been minor characters but weren’t.  I had to look up how to spell Geordi.  I’m not a Geordi hater.  I’m just not into big casts on my adventure shows.

Which brings us back to gaming.  Yeah, I have to mention how I create too many NPCs when I GM my own stuff.  Keep the focus on a manageable number of characters those GMs who do the same things I do.  Let’s look at HoR4.  In HoR2, there was the Toritaka, the gaijin, the Scorpion seeking redemption, the ronin whose character sheet was far cooler than his presence in mods.  Does HoR4 have more NPCs than HoR2?  I don’t know.  It certainly doesn’t have much in the way of memorable ones, so, even if it doesn’t have more, it “has” more.  Focus on a manageable number of characters.  We aren’t going to like them all.  I didn’t look forward to babysitting the Toritaka yet again.  But, it’s okay to have some we don’t care for if there are ones we are given a chance to care for.

OT – where the big two, big three, big two plus others gave us characters I liked.  They didn’t have to have character arcs.  They needed to phaser rocks.

Which brings up another RPG related topic – phasering rocks.  Well, it’s more of a show topic, but we will apply it to gaming.  Do entertaining stuff.  John Carter is not a deep character.  Ignoring the movie, which got his personality totally wrong, JC is all about swordfighting against as many swordfighters as possible for as long as possible.  Plus, he likes to rescue hot chicks.  Yet, give me that sort of “character” over “complex” characters who struggle to get to doing cool stuff.  I don’t need redemption stories or overcoming one’s flaws stories or whatever else passes for “entertainment”.  I need Goku absorbing some of his Spirit Bomb to achieve Ultra Instinct.

Doing cool stuff makes the character cool.  Yeah, I know that sounds weird coming from me, as an example of that could be D&D style play where you don’t give a crap who your PC is beyond the character sheet as you Fireball giants.  But, actually, my issues with D&D style play aren’t Fireballing giants.  Giants deserve it for having higher melee damage outputs than I do.  When our Conan characters took on giants, it was cool.  We may not have Fireballed any of them, though, actually, I think we did fireball at least one either through Defensive Blast or some alchemical weapon.  There was a story, and I envisioned us rescuing hot chicks while we were murdering poor, make-your-massive-damage-save giants.  We weren’t just looking to loot their caves, which is not what I rate as doing cool stuff.

TLROO:  Rocks need phasering.  [What?  Sshhhh …]

Move Left

April 14, 2019

Not much wisdom for today, though ironically Wisdom.

From the marriage of knowledge and experience grows wisdom.

I find knowledge easy.  Is it just lack of experience or is there another component to wisdom?  Making good decisions is hard.  There is the element of applying knowledge and applying wisdom.  I may know a card exists in a card pool or may know the probability of a die roll or whatever, but it doesn’t help without applying it to the decision of what to do when playing.

Shattering fist under chin, snapping head back.

I feel kind of like my head has been snapped back in a totally analogous way to my body feeling beaten down from hiking much longer than planned yesterday morning and badminton.  But, there’s also lack of sleep and too many big meals due to being a coworker’s chauffeur for almost a week.

Basics can be quite effective when done with heart.

Hatano-sensei taught us to strike low and hard and often.

Heartfelt, frequent low blows are apparently the thing to do.

I read a couple mysteries in recent weeks.  Bangkok 8 and Bangkok Tattoo.  Not in order.  If you like prostitution, maybe the series for you.  I don’t mean prostitutes, I mean prostitution, which is central and brought up in philosophical and economic ways.  Whereas something like Judge Dee is old school, where the obsession isn’t on the main character, and Bangkok Tattoo didn’t feel quite so main character obsessed, Bangkok 8 was probably more than I cared about for the main character.  I enjoyed the books.

What I got to thinking about was the same old, same old of “What is a *good* book?”  I was asked by my manager about fantasy series (because fantasy is kind of the obvious thing to ask me about).  I’m pretty sure I covered this ground before, but I’m really struggling with what is great fantasy.  There’s fantasy I’m entertained by – that gives me what I’m interested in – characters with cool abilities and cool scenes and some thought provoking ideas.  But, what have I read that I would currently consider great?  A fair amount I haven’t read recently enough to properly analyze.

Lord of the Rings is clearly not great writing – it’s so long-winded it puts me to sleep.  The Hobbit was surprising to me to reread because it’s children’s fiction.  I need to get my Elric books back from Andy and reread those as I feel like they were the highpoint of Moorcock for me, but I have such different views of writing then when I read a lot of stuff, in that I actually pay attention to how something is written rather than just what the story is.

I’d say Timothy Zahn’s first two Star Wars books in his trilogy are great books, but that’s not exactly fantasy.  John Burdett’s books flowed well enough to maybe they are written fairly well, though there were times it wasn’t clear who was saying what, which is something I think is important to manage in writing.  Of course, also not fantasy, though they are spiritual mysteries with Buddhist stuff.

I’ve certainly been entertained by bad books.  Mentioned that before.

And, so, we get to Shadowfist.

Let’s work backwards because backwards is normal.

We tried variant rules from our variant rules last Thursday.  To address the endgame problem Shadowfist has, we used vague rules along these lines:  if you have four or more FSSs in your pool at the beginning of your turn and more than anyone else, you win; you may play FSSs as long as you don’t get ahead of the leader; FSSs are free to play, you still get one power if you have none in play.

The first game ended pretty quick after everyone was a threat to win as an attack right to tie the leader came up one short of taking a site and the leader won when his turn started.  Many possibilities for having that not happen existed, but we weren’t sure what made sense to do.  The following game took far longer and there was a bunch of build up.  I got The Legacy of Shaolin, Shih Ho Kuai, and Rosalee Leung in play at the same time and felt like attacking was a waste of my resources.

Of course, I still am failing to build decks that can get by chump blocking.  That’s the reason I end up playing so unaggressively.

The week prior, I played a scary deck.  I got Dirigible after Dirigible in play, drawing six cards off of two Dirigibles and a Haunted Forest Dirigible.  Scary but not nearly as synergistic as things sounded with a lot of my vehicle cost reductions not working together along with the fact that I went from too few vehicles to play on dudes to far too many vehicles to play on dudes as I didn’t have any Chop Shops in the deck.

Oh, I should mention we also errataed Möbius Gardens to be turn to use its ability after talking about banning it.  I guess the former makes it not broken, but I’m still okay with the latter given how tiresome it had become.

Name: Decked-Out Disappointment
Faction: Dragon
Size: 60

Dragon Cards (30)
Characters (22)
1x Angie Dao
3x Grease Monkey
1x Inspector Will Zhurong
4x Junkyard Engineers
2x Master Mechanic
2x Maverick Trucker
1x Quartermaster
1x Seamus
1x Skilled Techie
3x Techie Apprentices
1x Tech Squad
1x The Dynamic Dr. Dawson
1x You Xia, the Avenger

Edges (1)
1x Lightning Patrol

Events (6)
1x Back for Seconds
3x Dirk Wisely’s Gambit
1x “Is That All You Got?”
1x Life in the Fast Lane

States (1)
1x Battle Suit

Generic Cards (30)
Edges (1)
1x Martial Focus

Events (9)
1x Ejector Seat Malfunction
1x On the Wire
3x Salvage
3x Scrounging
1x The Algernon Effect

Feng Shui Sites (10)
5x Manufactured Island
5x Underground Depot

Non-Feng Shui Sites (5)
5x Decked-Out Dirigible

States (5)
1x Cargo Plane
1x Exo-Skeleton
1x Hover Tank
1x Personal Assault Vehicle
1x Plain White Panel Van

Has to have Chop Shop to clear out unnecessary vehicles.  Should probably have a way to generate dorks to drop vehicles on even given the high percentage of dudes and low percentage of good stuff events.

I never once put a Dirigible on a dude.  That’s how sad it was, even though I could have.  Exo-Skeleton scared people, got it on Angie Dao at one point.  Still, you can just chump block this deck.

Name: Fu Tu Yu
Faction: Guiding Hand
Size: 55

Hand Cards (37)
Characters (23)
2x Blue Flower Society
1x Bountiful Master
1x Buddhist Gardener
1x Buddhist Monk
1x Chanting Monks
1x Kung Fu Master
2x Rosalee Leung
4x Shaolin Supplicants
1x Shih Ho Kuai
1x Sifu Beumer
1x The Legacy of Shaolin
4x Urban Monk
2x White Crosus Society
1x Yung Chang

Edges (3)
1x Chinese Connection
1x Lantern Festival
1x Undisturbed Meditation

Events (5)
1x Confucian Stability
1x Into the Light
2x Iron and Silk
1x Journey’s Reward

States (6)
5x Fu Lions
1x The Jade Dragon

Generic Cards (18)
Events (7)
1x Bending the Path
2x Blade Palm
2x Blossoming Chi
1x Cat Stance
1x Healing Earth

Feng Shui Sites (10)
1x Arctic Fortress
1x Diamond Beach
1x Granite Mountain
1x Puzzle Garden
1x Temple of the Angry Spirits
5x Turtle Island

States (1)
1x Butterfly Swords

Coming full circle [ha], we get back to Buddhism [ha, ha ha].  Also, I’m watching Dragon Ball Super and you have the Turtle Fu connection.  I did defend well.  However, chump chump not win.

Welp, I got to get back to Traveller CCG stuff.  Yup, it still exists.  Go out and buy some and we will make more.  Oh, also help us by running demos and other events as my time has been sucked up with other things, too many work things.

Tomato Pie And Colder Than Saudi

March 22, 2019

Makes your eyes glow and your other face say … hiya.

How many people are going to get this?  Have to have some particular Americana understanding to get the brillianceosity of my post title.

This will be a travel post (not to be confused with a Travell post), so therefore it will be oodles of popular.  To mitigate the unbridled joy that comes with these sorts of posts, let’s first consult the wisdom of the Ultimate Combat! booster.

The earth is not a creature of the air.

You haven’t seen my Kakita Bushi build yet.  But, then, neither have I.  Earth was strong in my recent trek.  As was air.  And, water.  You know, it’s probably a good thing when fire isn’t a strong element to a trip, though I did have BBQ twice.  Oh, yeah, will talk about food, too, because … ratings.

To destroy the foe, first attack his base.

Sounds too political, though there’s a supers concept in here.

Eliminate one of your foe’s arms.

Walther PPK?  Golden Gun?  Stormbringer?  Oh, arms, like as in arms.

A primordial roar can push your attack home to victory.

Because eliminating an arm is just a set up, not a win.  This is a weird pack for drafting.  For sealed, it would lend itself to a Fighting Spirit focus.  Terrible gold belt card, yet amusing and not useless.  Better to run gold belt Primal Kiai or white belt Kiai in a deck?  Even ignoring rarity, probably the latter for easy cycle +2 damage.

Still rambling, the trek I’m not referring to but qualifies as a trek and is more gaming related is the one we made to Fresno on March 10th.  I ran a mod that has a great beginning and a more involved not-beginning than I felt from playing it.  I played in a mod that was almost there but not as good as a similar mod from HoR3.

Oh, lizard leavings.  I totally forgot that I had another blog post idea.  I was going to write about everyone’s single most favorite thing ever – listening to someone talk about their RPG character.  Well, maybe I’ll write that tonight as well and do the clever thing of scheduling the publishing of that for when I won’t be writing a new blog post [um, isn’t that most of the time?].

See, I have enough XP to … [to be elaborately detailed elsewhere] …

Proof … Not That Kind, Waterproof.

We begin with …  Well, not the first day, when we got in at 11PM at night.  Was this the next day, the day I spent more than eight hours doing work during my vacation?  I think it may have been, though could have been the third.  Thing #1 about Charleston that doesn’t get mentioned a lot to people who aren’t really that likely to go to Charleston – lot of islands or “islands”.

The Sun and I are rivals. See how he makes my pictures suck with his nonfernal light.

Day three was touristing.  Starting with Charles Pinckney House.  It’s not much of a house.  The grounds aren’t the most interesting thing ever.  But, it does seem a really sweet spot for a picnic, if you are into that sort of thing.

Thing #2 – the emphasis on the history of slaves.  Gullah Culture comes up a ton.  I thought the Gullah Bible was interesting with how it moved between clear English and less clear.

I could post a picture from the tea plantation, the only tea plantation in North America and a locale where I learned some things about tea making.  But, they aren’t that good.  I, then, have a bunch of pictures of trees.  I’m self aware enough to realize that I waste a lot of MB on pictures of nature that aren’t that interesting as pictures because I like trees … and clean water (salt or fresh).  I don’t take much in the way of pictures of people.  Sure, I have some selfies, but they tend to be so horrific/painful that I only show them to people I know who can make comments like “Who’s that?”

My first tomato pie experience was at Tomato Shed.  Maybe it had some crust mixed in, maybe it didn’t.  What worked really well was mixing my tomato pie filling, which was kind of overwhelming, with my other side of pasta.  Tomatoes and pasta!?!  Who knew they could go together?  Who?  I had a tomato pie later that was much more pie-y, also rather too cheesy.

Lot more Spanish Moss on other trees. This is the back of the house, btw.

Okay, you can see how my oeuvre may be that of houses through trees.  The McLeod Plantation was really pretty in those places with trees, including across the street as you head toward the water.  It was strangely windy while we were there.  Strange in that it was inconsistently windy.  Thing #A that I proclaim based upon my extensive research/experience – March is a really good time for Charleston if you want pleasant weather and color (not a racist remark, think flowers blooming, see, now I’m overly sensitive).

The land of the free, the home of the brave.

On Saturday, we went to Yemassee.  For the ruins?  The Chinese food from China Town?  Because our cousin’s other side of the family has roots there.  So, Palmetto Pimento Sandwich with strawberry preserves dipping sauce and, of course, squash puppies.  The cheese-bacon-cheese sandwich was kind of … sort of … cheesy.  But, the strawberry preserves balanced the sweet and cheese into goodly eats.  The squash puppies are truly good.  I had them with and without ranch dressing and without was better.  On a ranking of Super Saiyan transformations, Fletcher’s squash puppies would …

Have a more striking picture of ruins but this has more trees.

Besides the “monkey farm”, Yemassee has a few other things mentioned on TripAdvisor.  One of those very lowcountryish things is the Sheldon Church Ruins.  Had a geniusy observation while reading tombs/tombstones (I maintain a *strong* cemetery to beach ratio in my travels).  The English used was extremely standard – no archaic words or spellings or grammar.  The font variations were kind of weird, with some of them being rather hard to read.  Taken together, it’s almost like a movie set how the colonial or 19th century inscriptions felt rather modern.

We also got Chinese while we were in Yemassee because Thing #3 – there’s virtually no difference between Charleston and China.  Our cousin told us a joke about this, but it should be obvious once you get used to Charleston Tea everywhere and can pick up rice at …

Trees and water, though not the cleanest water. But, you could say the Clarest [sorry].

The Holy City.  Should I spell out the connection or just have people who know where this picture was taken “get” my obscure references?  As soon as I care about adding polls to my blog, I’ll poll y’all.  Thing #4 – besides USC still taking a moment to process and the sports page’s focus on college sports, you don’t get a lot of historical background on the Southeast when you grow up in the Bay Area.  Guess that’s why folks like traveling the US – it ain’t a single state, it’s almost like it’s a dozen or more states.

So, you may be wondering about gaming content.  I did show my cousin Traveller cards.  But, mostly, I had on my mind RPG adventures.  First, I was thinking about ideas for a L5R mod and had one main idea.  But, Sheldon Church’s ruins and the monkey farm got me thinking about a modern setting adventure set in Yemassee where a monkey escapes from the “Monkey Farm” (of course) and you go by the ruins to … do something.  Plus, every body of fresh water has gators (because they do).  While plantation life didn’t hit me from the standpoint of living in another time without air conditioning and with slavery an actual thing, I was struck by the Loraxes, er, the trees and how really pleasant it could be to have landscaped properties on a scale completely unknown in my suburban experiences.

Part of the gardens. Timing mes amis, timing.

Nathaniel Russell House is not quite as out of my normal experiences as plantation sized properties with old oaks.  I’ve done a couple house tours on Oahu (sure, why not?), so I’ve seen scenic scenes.

One is available in Norway.

We quenched our thirsts with native libations.

Not a water taxi.

We traversed the high seas, moving ever closer toward a vessel ahead.

I did also think about how to advance Miya Tatakisu …

And, there is your in depth report on gaming in the Southeast.

The Agony Of Victory

March 3, 2019

Before we get to the topic, must consult the wisdom of the Ultimate Combat! booster.

Ripping the breath away leaves little will to resist.

Spot on.

Flashing sticks strike faster than the eye can see.

Um, er, em, hmmm …

Precious oxygen gives respite from injury.

Well, I did need lots of oxygen when I went lunchtime hiking a couple times last week.  And, I have injuries from my pathetic badminton play yesterday.  I keep thinking that there’s a way to build a good Oxygen Burst deck, but it’s just such a small effect even for its cost.

One man’s problem is another man’s asset.

Wisdom for the ages.

Concede foundational erosion to evade ruin.

This pack is full of defense.  Control style play where you probably just go for decking your opponent unless you can get off some brutal Counters (this pack does have the ultimate Counter, Counter X, so maybe).  This black belt card is unplayable.  It is just stunningly bad.  If it prevented damage at a rate of 2x how many foundation cards you blew up, that might be different.

Effective attacks are oft repeated.

This would be good flavor text for a RPG post whining about how players will always use their most effective attacks/abilities over and over again even though that’s boring and a major reason I like combat to last relatively few rounds.

Tapping inner strength can be like a breath of fresh air.

Healing Mantra either is the most frustrating brown belt play in the game to face or will fail you miserably as you need the power to put technique in play that threaten attacks.  Nice to stay on theme with the air theme in these two healing cards.

The heart of a warrior holds the spirit of a lion.

Did I already use this?  Not so relevant today.

I had a couple of blog ideas – I just don’t have a lot of energy during the week and last weekend involved five hours of bookshelf creation/movement.

My idea for use today comes from our last Shadowfist session.  One of the players thought the victory was uninteresting.  I don’t disagree that that victory was not terribly interesting.  The point I tried to convey is that lots of Shadowfist victories aren’t all that interesting.  I think it’s a weak point of the game.

Hot take – A Game of Thrones CCG has the most miserable victories I can think of for any CCG.

This is a bit out of order, but I realized while I was writing that I shouldn’t put this last:

What makes for a good CCG game?  I should say that good here incorporates fun to some degree.

Some people just like to win all of the time.  Ignoring that, here are some features of what I think makes for a good individual game:

  1.  Everyone has a chance of winning.  I’m not talking about what makes for a well-designed game, I’m talking about a good individual game.
  2.  Players got to see their decks do what they are intended to do.  Obviously, a boardgame wouldn’t really have this criterion unless the boardgame involved the players bringing their own interests into the game.
  3.  Players’ decisions mattered.  Games can be close, but, if they just come down to random victory, that’s suboptimal.  I think Shadowfist suffers here as I don’t have a sense of what the impact of all of the early game and midgame decisions are that can influence a result.  Can only rewind so far in terms of endgame decisions, so overreact to one decision someone made, but that decision was probably affected by things that happened earlier.

If you wanted to add more fun into “good”, could add 4. Not much whining after someone wins.  The game may have been really good even if the result didn’t make everyone happy.

Shadowfist is full of things that one may not like.  I meta to some degree against things I don’t like, just as I used to meta quite a bit against weenie Potence in V:TES.  I also attack things I don’t like much more strongly, like non-FSSs as they hide FSSs and produce either abilities I don’t like or free power when people ignore them – in other words, I see non-FSSs being a way to slow games down and unbalance games unless someone hates them out of existence.  I hate Underworld Tracker, Demon Whiskey for their free recursion, except if I’m playing them.  I hate monkeys like all middle-thinking people do.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.

Btw, I realized recently that I like running a card with Monkey in its name even though it’s not a character nor any other sort of permanent.  Sadfacely, I will need to stop playing the card to remain monkeyless pure.

And, yet, I don’t hate Monkeys in L5R.  Irrationality for the … the … lose.

Our Shadowfist house rules are designed to fix ability to play problems.  We give foundations, FSSs, more power through reduced FSS cost.  None of what we do addresses making for better endgames.  In fact, because we tend to swim in massive quantities of power much of the time, a board wipe means an easy win after dropping a couple of hitters (or expensive states on dudes).

I don’t think people adjust to our way of playing well.  Of course, I still don’t have a good sense of how to play normal Shadowfist well, so it’s not like playing better is much of a goal.  Still, there are arguments about superleap, events, event cancel, and whatever because games can not feel right, whatever that means.  Actually, I think different things bother people differently.  Deck construction style can influence what bothers you.

Of Don, Joren, Justin, and myself, I think Justin wins the most these days.  Don gets massive in game hate often due to actually trying to build powerful combos.  If someone asked each of us, not sure you would get consensus on who does the best.  And, actually, I think the percentages are close enough to not matter a whole lot.

Regardless as to who wins more often, I think a lot of my wins are bad wins.  Because I play a lot of decks that don’t try to do good things, don’t run good stoppage, and where the cards don’t synergize with each other well, I feel like most of my wins come about not because I can push an attack through but because everyone was spent on stoppage when I made some attack.  You could say Shadowfist is routinely this way, but I’m not so much setting up these wins as just falling into them.  As evidence, there tends to be a lot of recriminations about who screwed up to let me win when I win.  Well, more than the average recriminating.

Of course, I have an overwhelming inclination to build multiplayer decks for variety’s sake and not effectiveness.  There are plenty of times with Shadowfist that I get frustrated when people murder my dudes not because I think my dudes aren’t concerning on offense but because I don’t have any defense outside of having those dudes in play, and a lot of my decks run few events that I have to waste power to create defense where smoke events or Imprisoned or Final Brawl or whatever are power efficient.

I’ve said it before and guess I say it again.  I should run more stoppage.  I think that brings better balance to the ‘fist.

Sure, I have some decks full of attack affecting events, like Monarch burn, many Lotus decks, possibly Architects.  I just don’t play those that often and the other decks are hideously low on attack affecting events, which means I can’t do anything more than what you see in play a lot of the time.  Well, there are also my tournament decks, which play less goofy stuff, so someone like Miguel may not perceive this feature anywhere near as strongly as the Thursday night players.

I actually have better ideas for decks.  I just don’t get around to them.  Maybe I’ll try to use some time later today to throw together a couple ideas I’ve had.

Anyway, the topic at hand is trying to make for more fun Shadowfist, particularly on the back side.  We often play about two hour games, which means one game in a night.  A game less than an hour for four people is probably not going to be satisfying except if it’s crazy attacks by everyone all of the time.  So, the duration isn’t too bad.  The better duration would be two games of 1.5 hours, assuming those games were not bad games.

I think I can make games better by upping my card/deck quality.  Have more stoppage to balance the decks.  Play the occasional Manchu All Over You! far less often and more Jake Rattlebones.dec decks.  Run five Auramancers, five Winter’s Laughs, and five Twin Thunders in every deck, assuming I own five Twin Thunders.


Edge Of Gloom

February 23, 2019

The title of this is so not clever, it’s …

So, first we must consult the wisdom of the Ultimate Combat! booster flavor text.

Dagger strike with the hand, punches through the defense.

I will be punching so daggery no one will ever defense.

Go around, rather than through, the block.

In no way will I address my topics in a roundabout way, so I am doomed to be blocked?

An ax from the sky deals a crushing blow to your head.

Ooh, scratch the dagger thing.  I’m going to crush some heads with my ax.

Mental explosions devastate one’s foundation – wiping the slate clean.

Gosh darn it.  Right when I had ax like focus my slate gets cleaned.

Defense is often weakest following a failed attack.

Well, sure, when you don’t crush a head with an ax, you get someone going around your block.

Run like the horse, and never tire.

Now, look.  Up until this point, every bit of Ultimate Combat! adagizing was entirely incontrovertible.  But, this is just ridiculous.  Horses tire.  Could even argue that horses tire faster than expert runners.  If I can’t trust flavor text from a CCG last sold in 1996, what can I trust?

A whipping arch, Tomita’s instep was an awesome weapon.

So, not that this flavor text is good, but the card is pretty decent.  Black belt Jump Crescent Kick is a 6/5 for 5.  If you wanted big, that’s pritnear the best of the big black belt techniques.  Of course, it’s vastly inferior to …

A spinning elbow to the head can crush resistance like an eggshell.

Ax or spinning elbow?  Both.  Brown belt Elbow Smash is the biggest brown belt technique and comes with a decent cost.  It’s just better than so many black belt techniques on the big side while being brown.  OTOH, my modern view on power management probably means this card isn’t as good as I used to think it was and that I’d be more inclined to a 4/4 for 4 rather than a 5/5 for 5.

When the body is primed, you prepare for dominance.

I am prepared.  Dominance activated.  Save the best for last.  Let’s say you have actually played UC! as unlikely as that is.  Can you think of what card has this flavor text?  If you hadn’t noticed, and I never noticed even though I rose to the exalted heights of brown belt player putting me in the top 10 in the world (based on some list I saw from somewhere).  Let’s just say it’s a really common card and kind of necessary to playing the game.

UC! scores another one over Magic.  Better flavor text on a foundation-al card.

So, something I failed to mention before was learning more about Gloomhaven at DunDraCon.  Oh, I still haven’t played it.  I just have a much clearer understanding why it dominates RPG play.  You don’t need the same people to show up at the same time.  That solves like 96% of all RPG campaign problems.

I feel kind of nostalgia-y mentally.  Like I should be breaking out stuff from the ’80s and reading RPG stuff up until the point that I realize much of what comes from back then, at least in fantasy RPGs, is a bunch of room/monster/treasure descriptions that mean nothing to me unless they involve named animals living in rooms across the hall from each other with broomsticks in the corners.  But, I don’t have a clear enough thought to topicize this nostalgia.

So, let’s jump over to Shadowfist.  One game.  A much better game than the week before.  Why?  Because I whipped out my awesome … deck.  This modest deck.

Name: Forest Futility
Faction: Jammer
Size: 50

Jammer Cards (37)
Characters (26)
1x Demolitions Expert
5x Edge Warrior
1x Gearhead
1x Grenade Posse
2x Gunrunner
1x Napalm Addict
2x Professional Killer
5x Punks
2x Rah Rah Rasputine
2x Resistance Squad
2x Rocket Scientist
1x Titanium Johnson
1x Tunnel Ganger

Edges (2)
2x Payback time

Events (6)
1x Death-O-Rama
2x Disco Inferno
1x Hosed
1x Stick it to The Man!
1x The Underground

Sites (1)
1x Genocide Lounge

States (2)
2x Homemade Tank

Generic Cards (13)
Feng Shui Sites (8)
1x City Hospital
1x Floating Restaurant
1x Heart of the Rainforest
2x Nine Dragon Temple
1x Pinball Arcade
1x Primeval Forest
1x Rainforest Grove

Non Feng Shui Sites (5)
1x Drug Lab
1x Rebel Camp
3x Secret Laboratory

I never drew an Edge Warrior.  I played one Punks.  Resistance Squad got me into Rocket Scientist and Gunrunner and could have gotten me Rah Rah Rasputine early on.  Yes, I play a game with a card named Rah Rah Rasputine.  I may not have a great deck, but I have a great … sense of ha ha?  Rah rah?

My first site was Primeval Forest.  I revealed it on my predator’s turn.  He did not attack it even though I had no characters in play.  It actually was undamaged most of the game, with the Floating Restaurant taking away a plink at one point.

My second site was even more … rah rah – Pinball Arcade.  You gnome you are playing overpowered naansense when you don’t even want to reveal the Arcade until like the fourth successful attack you make.

I discarded both Disco Infernos on turn one to try to get a foundation character.  I played Stick it to The Man! on the last turn of the game, only for the Reascended/Syndicate player to play a second Catching Bullets on an Imprisoned.

This perfectly tuned masterpiece may just be too brilliant for one such as myself.  I may have to messicate it until my feeble flopping powers can flop it good.

So, UC! flavor text and Shadowfist deck.  What’s missing?  Quiet you, you sarcastic folk.  True Dungeon thoughts?

There are threads currently both for 2020 token development and about the widening gap between starter level play and some level of token ownership play.  It’s not extremely clear what the actual problem is.  I may not encourage PUGs to hardcore like I did in the past, but I still think a lot of players could hardcore if they wanted to gain double XP.  As for my token ideas, people assume I’m an imbecile, which is part of the reason I lose interest in sharing thoughts.  Someday, I will be an imbecile, probably sooner than it should be given my unhealthy lifestyle.  But, as I totally have never said in the past because I’m chock full of originality at all spacetimes, a motivation to blog was to reduce having imbecilic forum conversations.

Speaking of my impending imbecilism, I kind of kept forgetting that making old legendaries wasn’t actually that hard for me.  I have a bunch of relics, and old recipes didn’t take a bunch of OOP URs like less old recipes take.  Now, whether I blow through a ton of trade items and gold to bother making legendaries I theoretically could make is another tale.  I should have odd requirements coming in Origins in case I decide I care enough to bother.

I could mention my Origins plans.  V:TES Tuesday night, assuming I can get to the locale in time.  V:TES Wednesday.  V:TES Friday.  V:TES Saturday.  TD all Thursday to make my owning a collection useful.  Traveller Sunday, if the con accepts my event submissions.  That’s not a very clean slate at all – that’s awfully similar to last year.