It seems like each year KublaCon is less and less convenient for me. I don’t know if it’s because I do monthly financial reporting for work that is timed toward end of month/beginning of month or what. Well, even with my previous company, where I didn’t have such things, there were things like doing training on the East Coast, so maybe what.
Add in how less enamored I am by local con RPG play and add in how Gen Con did something dumb and scheduled event registration on a holiday weekend, and what I get is a barely there fare.
I skipped Friday to try to get rest and/or something done for the Saturday evening Traveller demo. I skipped Monday, even though there were two RPGs I had interest in, because of old man disease.
I move slow. Build my Shadowfist Classic deck, figure I’ll play it multiple times rather than switch decks between games, so I bloat it to an absurd 45 cards to give me lots of extra options. Base it on my ole Aerial Bombardment, Fire in the Sky deck that sometimes worked … somehow.
I get to the con about 11:30AM and find out CCGs are in a different room this year. Get to the room. A good room!?!
Maybe trying to separate CCGers from mainstream sorts is a new goal, and we just got the benefit of isolation’s blessed windowfulness.
Watch Earl and Jason finish up on Star Realms. Then, we get five players. Earl keeps offering to sit out so that we don’t have to endure five, but he-y-y-y, it’s all good, who doesn’t love five player CCG play?
Drew (Architects) -> Earl (Hand Monkeys) -> Jason (Architects w/ Napalm Belchers) -> Miguel (Big Bruisers, et al) -> Ian (Blood Eagles)
Actually, I think maybe Miguel went first. I’d give my deck a better name except: 1, unlike V:TES, there isn’t a bunch of real world flavor text to steal; 2, Blood Eagles.
I lived the cheese dream … I actually make an effort to do strong things in my Shadowfist tournament decks because I don’t have a history of repeated accidental success that leads to winning every tournament I’ve ever played with a Sensory Overload deck … and get Möbius Gardens, Test Subjects, and Manufactured Island out on turn one. Or, I could be totally wrong and my Gardens was a Dockyard, otherwise known as the only other Modern relevant FSS, but I think it was a Gardens.
Then, it doesn’t take forever for me to get a Blood Eagles in play. I’m doing stuff … I’m doing stuff. Miguel also does stuff and I’m not so threatening that he doesn’t backwards or crosstable his stuff. In fact, his armada of two Good Ol’ Boys is feverishly eager to inflict heinous beats upon my poor partially damaged Manufactured Island.
So, I Bzzzzzt! one of them.
Drew plays Loyalty Officers. They eventually get cleared by Final Brawl. Earl has a slow game, lacking Monkey madness but still Iron Monkeys and picks on people who have more power than I. Jason can’t get any resources so keeps playing sites but eventually gets out a Napalm Belcher and the “fun” part of Shadowfist ensues.
Drew puts out Dr. Jean-Marc Ngubane, so he can unturn a Belcher. My CHAR gets Tracer Implanted, so I never turn it again, though I considered the possibility of turning it when going for the vic-tor-y play.
Instead, CHAR is an Expendable Unit, and I eventually get down to Assassin Bug, Arcanomoth, Blood Eagles. I believe Arcanomoth is turned for some reason and still in play but maybe got wiped by this point, then all of this stuff is wiped. Earl and Miguel have generated heft, with Big Bruisers being kind of easy for my deck to kill if I have the cards but not so much when I don’t have the cards. Everyone has been a threat except Drew.
I survey the sadness that will come after I pass my turn and decide there’s no place like resting all hope on an Assassin Bug. Assassin Bug feasts on Ngubane’s soul as nobody has anything to intercept with. Blood Eagles with two damage and an Arcano- … wait, not an Arcanomoth since my Reinvigoration Process gets undone … my Dark Traveler … my 2-Fighting Dark Traveler go for Drew’s damaged FSS for the win.
And, that’s Shadowfist. Hey, pun-time. My deck could have been called Traveler, The Next Generation to … um … to … em … to achieve ultimate dorkiness.
That was not a quick game. Then, there was game two.
Drew -> Miguel (Monarchs) -> Earl (Lotus w/ Uniqueness) -> Ian -> Jason (Lords)
This was not a quick game. Miguel came out fast with Queen of the Ice Pagoda and continued to threaten, though never did the annoying Ice Sword play on her that I see so often. With his Netherworld Returns, the game got funky at times. His Monarchs kept getting beaten up, even Darkness going down, but Returns was undermining Drew’s ability to “We Can Rebuild Him”.
Earl just got stronger and stronger over time, though we did manage to toast a couple of his Underworld Trackers and Miguel did turn the Queen of the Ice Pagoda into a ghost before she could get Tortured Memoriesed.
I was not strong. I discarded a couple of times before playing any cards. By the time I could get a site and a foundation in play, I had lost something like six characters to discards. When I finally play a CHAR to have something that isn’t a foundation in play, it gets toasted by a redirected fight of the Darkness Queen, leaving me with pretty much Arcanomoth as my only way to have more than a 4-Fighting character in play, and I couldn’t even do that because I didn’t have three Architects resources.
Seemed to be payback for game one to prevent someone from sweeping to undisputed victory for the Championship of the sixth largest economy in the world.
Miguel was so threatful, only by decking did he ceased being a factor, which also didn’t help me any as I kind of liked his threat factoriness to rein in Earl. Jason got strong at one point with Lord Shi and Lord Hawksmoor, but he got beset by Wailing Apparitions. Yes, that’s Shadowfist, and I told Earl I’ve routinely seen their annoying ability matter.
Drew got a Napalm Belcher and didn’t Belch Earl when Earl had one location and lots of little stuff. Typical Shadowfist stoppage (aka every possible effect) stopped stuff to keep the game going. Oh, I remember why I wanted Miguel in play – his sites were easier to take than other people’s. I decked without a real chance to win.
Later, I found out Earl had won. For you see, I had a Traveller demo to do.
We had like seven people, no one who actually knew about our Kickstarter. We didn’t have great demo product to show people, but things seemed okay. We are still moving towards putting what we think is a good looking, solid game out. Mostly need to get things printed at this point.
As mentioned, I defeat a 10-year old on tiebreakers. Who’s the Bean Harvester Now?
Back to Shadowfist. Miguel has stuff he needs to do, so time to play crummy less than five-player Fist.
Ian (Lotus Killing Rain) -> Jason (Reentry Squad) -> Drew (Hand) -> Earl (Purists)
I so hated this game. It happens. It happens with V:TES, with B5, with … er … Blood Wars? and all sorts of other multiplayer card games.
Some day, I need to actually have more Killing Rains in my Killing Rain deck since I rarely play them.
Here’s the problem. Jason’s deck is a site suppression deck. Drew didn’t play sites but somehow got enough power to keep putting out annoying Hand characters like Buddhist Bellringer and Reformed Bandit.
None of us had answers to Reentry Squad until late in the game, when I was irrelevant. The thing was that early in the game I wasn’t irrelevant, getting enough fight in play to take sites, but I didn’t know what to do when only Earl had any sites in play. Oh, sure, if I was the only one with dudes, I could take on the table, but Jason and Drew had dudes, just no sites. Then, my sites kept getting taken out by either Jammer crap or being attacked, which meant I couldn’t generate any power as my dudes started disappearing, which led to Shadowfisticus Ineffectualitus – an extremely common disease when playing normal rules.
Sure, it was funny when I took one damage to each of my FSSs and I revealed two Diamond Beaches to go with my third Diamond Beach, but, after that, I was sitting around waiting for Earl to win. For, you see, Earl’s decks tend to have long game play, so they will keep getting Mutators out or whatever and no one will board wipe. I did try an Underworld Coronation on my Exorcist, but, predictably, Jammers players always have Who’s the Monkey Now? in hand when I play character removal.
Drew eventually ended up winning after spending much of the game attacking right, with a decent sized horde that included some superleap.
The Thursday night group whines about superleap constantly, but it doesn’t really bother me that much. I find sitenuke far more annoying not because it’s more powerful but because it undermines the basic nature of the game of putting sites in play and having characters attack them. I find power steal far more annoying because it can easily lock a player out of the game. I find edges far more annoying because the power level on a lot of them is way too high for a repeatable effect when there’s really relatively little edge removal in the game.
Pretty much every Shadowfist game really needs one Final Brawl played, one Thunder on Thunder played, maybe one Neutron Bomb played. Instead, either feast or famine on these sorts of plays, though only the first gets really annoying when it happens multiple times.
Gen Con event registration, the second most stressful day of every year, though, actually, my wish list hardly mattered due to how many HoR events I was signing up for. When I saw Don Thursday, he said he didn’t get into anything he tried to. I just assumed I’d get into everything except Friday 2PM because I wasn’t our group’s True Dungeon guy. Dave had the lamentable task of trying to get us into TD and True Grind.
We did well.
I go back to sleep. I eat something at home. While I did have tan tan mian from Shanghai Dumpling Shop, I will say this – I’m disappointed with what was my favorite restaurant. Both tan tan mian and the sesame dumplings in crushed peanuts are nowhere near as good as they used to be. Yeah, I can continue to get savory dumplings from them, but I miss what were two of my favorite dishes in the panverse. Also, Zorba’s pizza way overpriced for what it was. So many places could drive to in the area that would interest me.
I roll into the con 3:30PM to be available for pickup V:TES and to drop off Anthology Sets. I sit around for a while with only Brad and Rob being around to talk about stuff. I also unload some 30,000 cards I was sitting on to be passed to needful players.
Seriously, I don’t know if it’s because of shipment costs, but anyone in California can effortless have a 30,000 card collection just by waiting around until someone leaves the game. V:TES staples are not remotely hard to get. I could probably drop 10,000 extras on someone if I felt so inclined.
My V:TES event starts half an hour after the Shadowfist Modern tournament. I have no chance to prove I dominate at all multiplayer CCGs that lack Dominate. I was the defending Modern champion from last year’s Kubla.
We have seven players at first. Yes, multiplayer CCGs are a Bear Market when it comes to having the right number of players.
I don’t try running tournaments at cons anymore, just too unpredictable who is playing, how long anyone is playing, etc. So, I give away my precious boosters as table prizes and let people play for a pack.
I win my first game with like 11 Hermana Mayors in play or it timed out or whatever. I remember the last game, when tiredness was kicking in, that I killed my predator with Can’t Take it with You to table split with my prey. My predator had like double digit pool.
It’s not that I’d rather play Shadowfist. It’s just that getting to play CCGs is rare enough that I don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to play all of the CCGs I could.
Long, boring drives home after midnight. I’ve got to start scheduling my events at 8AM, when I’m up and at ’em.
Traveler, The Next Junction Point
Architect Cards (24)
2x Assassin Bug
4x Blood Eagles
3x Test Subjects
2x Reinvigoration Process
3x Aerial Bombardment
1x Expendable Unit
2x Fire in the Sky
Generic Cards (21)
2x Dark Traveler
1x Ejector Seat Malfunction
1x The Algernon Effect
Feng Shui Sites (10)
5x Möbius Gardens
3x Manufactured Island
1x Disintegrator Ray
You know, just because Imprisoned, Nerve Gas, and Neutron Bomb are on my personal banned list doesn’t mean I don’t love me my Architects. Yeah, I actually find Architects very pleasing, sometimes even more pleasing than Lotus for when I’m tired of same old, same old deck building with Lotus. That’s me – the removal guy. Yup, I’m a Red/Black kind of player. I Shake Up. I … I … have a hard time continuing the theme though B5, WoT, et al do have character removal.