Saturday, February 21, 2015

My games played for week ending 2/21/15

This felt like a bit of a slow week for gaming for me, and I certainly am not in the habit of taking great notes when I play, but I wanted to at least have some mention of what I've played this week.

Monday, Ben and I played Warhammer 40K: Conquest on OCTGN.  This was primarily so that I could learn the OCTGN interface, but it was also fun to play a game, of course.  I ran my Ku'gath Plaguefather deck, and Ben ran his current Eldorath deck.  I ended up losing, and probably should have mulliganed my opening hand.  I struggled out of the gate, and then struggled to get anything going, leading to a pretty handy defeat.  Lessons learned!

Tuesday, I played a game of Netrunner with Rob- I ran my Blue Sun deck against his Valencia Keyhole/Eater deck.  Early game went quite happily in his favor, and he got to three agenda points pretty quick (partially due to Notoriety).  I finally managed to get set up, was able to manage the Bad Publicity with Eliza Mills, and start scoring agendas.  However, he finally managed to get a Keyhole out and made some runs on R&D, which did grab a few agendas.  However, he didn't have a convenient way to access Archives.

I finally managed to score my last agenda points, and Rob informed me he had a Hades Shard in his hand, which would have given him a way to access Archives, and a Notoriety he thought he could pull off.  The game ended with a final score of 7-3.

Following that, we played two Lord of the Rings games, with me teaching John, Ben, and Brendon (Rob also played, but he already knew the rules, so wasn't being taught), using the decks posted here.

First, we played the Passage Through Mirkwood in a 4-player game.  Went pretty easily- I was playing Tactics, and grabbed Ungoliant's Spawn when it came up, and was helped by Ben dropping a Forest Snare on it, which let me kill it at my leisure.  So we easily won it.

We then played Journey Down the Anduin in a 3-player game, with Brendon taking the Tactics deck.  Once again, an early Forest Snare kept the Hill Troll from wrecking havoc, and our early game was fine... until the locations started piling up.  Thankfully, a Northern Tracker played by me (now running the Spirit deck) popped up and started clearing them out, and we had a few very favorable Encounter Deck draws.  Things were going well... until we reached the third stage of the quest, and two copies of The Necromancer's Reach came up, and I was basically completely exhausted.  Ugh.  I ended the turn with only Dunhere and Eowyn on the table, both badly damaged, and plenty of new Enemies on the table.  Thankfully, some careful management let us deal with the enemies, and finally beat the quest.  Definitely a close call!

On Thursday, I played two games of Legend of the Five Rings (L5R).  With the new tournament (Kotei) season starting again soon, I figured it was time to start getting my decks a bit more stabilized (prior to the release of Twenty Festivals next month) so that I can prepare.  I brought a Spider swarm deck, running a lot of 3-5 gold cost Personalities, and lots of efficient Strategies to handle particular decks in the meta.  In addition, many of these cheap Spider personalities have Battle actions, which lets me stall a bit in the battle, and hopefully get into a position I can use the Strategies later in battle to win it. 

Anyway, the first game was against Naj's Phoenix deck, which used Fortifications and send home actions to try to delay me from winning the game long enough for him to win by honor.  The early game went pretty well for him, as I launched my first attack on turn 4, but he managed to keep his province safe (at a cost of two cards from his hand).  The second turn, however, I successfully take a province, and at this point I had so many bodies on the table he couldn't draw enough ways to stop me, and soon conceded.

Second game was against Kyle's Unicorn deck.  I start the game getting pretty gold screwed, only getting a Kumite Grounds to bolster my economy, whereas Kyle was up and running by the second turn.  He recruited a personality (an infantry personality, critically), and a Bring Them Forward. I get more gold on turn 2, but Kyle loads up on Followers, and takes one of my provinces Turn 3.

My Turn 3 sees me recruit a Daigotsu Teruo and a Kokujin Dairu, the former of which I immediately use to get my hand overfilled.  He attacks again, seeing only a single 3F personality... and I proceed to use a few fear and bow effects to weaken his personality.  He responds by dropping more followers on the Personality... and I finish by sending him home (twice) using Ideological Differences.

Buying all those followers leaves him no gold to buy Personalities during the Dynasty Phase, and on my turn, I recruit a Ninube Shiho, another small guy, and more gold.  Afraid of Shiho (a non-Cavalry personality can't avoid him!), Kyle doesn't attack next turn... but I do with everything on my next turn.  He defends with a few guys, and immediately Fears out Shiho to prevent me from dumping all his followers.  A long battle later, and with his hand nearly empty, I barely manage to break the province and take out his two non-Follower filled Personalities.  We're now at one province down apiece... and I finish the turn recruiting 4 (!) more Personalities.

Kyle, realizing that the tide is turning against him, decides to attack while Shiho was bowed.  I blow a few Battle actions that are already on the table, in order to 'draw him in' more (for instance, having him recruit his Reserve personality AND use the Fear effects he has on the table).  I then use Sudden Movement to bring in Shiho, use Shiho's Battle action to get the followers off of his personality... and handily win the battle.  With no army, and facing an ever growing horde, Kyle concedes.

Overall, a pretty good week of gaming!  Next week may not see me play as many card games, but the following week is sure to be filled with more!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Thousand Young Announced [Call of Cthulhu]

Read the article here.

Next Deluxe Expansion is for Shub-Niggurath, which has been pretty well known since Worlds, I think.  Some great looking cards:

Frenzied Ghoul looks super efficient!  2 for 2, 2 icons, and the ability to (likely) get more?  That could definitely find a place in a couple of decks.  Pervasive Toxemia we can only partially read... but it sounds like something in the 'have to wound a character to commit to stories' realm, which would be a headache to play around (and fun to BUILD around!)

Resilient is the same rule as Stalwart in Game of Thrones: When the character would leave play, put it on the top of the deck instead.  I feel like my experience isn't there to judge this card... yes, if you get to the point you can play it, it's a GREAT bargain, but eesh, 8 resources (even with some reduction) is going to take you a bit.  Still, I'll have to try it out, I guess.

Resilient will definitely be helpful with this guy- adding a free Character to a story is really nice... and with Resilient, you'll have Characters around, without a doubt.

Well.. that's going to be annoying.  He's cheaper to play with an Avatar out... and after he wins a story, you can sacrifice him (putting him on top of your deck) to put a character at ANOTHER story?  That's going to be really good, assuming the Avatars are worth using!  Oh wait, ALL the Avatars are Resilient??

Can't hate more support for Night!

There's also a link to an Avatar on the news page, but I get a Forbidden error when attempting to access it.

FFG has also changed up the layout of their website, so that probably explains not only the Forbidden notice, but also the fact that they haven't put up another description page of The Thousand Young.  I'll mention it whenever I see it put up.

Looks like good stuff though!  Also, they are adding at least more Mi-Go support, and who can complain about that?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FFG posts second Descendants of Isha preview

Right here.

Some great looking stuff here- I find a Neutral Inquisitor to be a bit of an odd inclusion, as the Inquisition seems like it should be under AM (given that they are already adding an Inquisitor warlord), but his ability seems like it'll be pretty handy for several decks, although its 4 cost might make it tough to afford in a rush deck.

The main event of the post is obviously Baharroth.  One thing I like about him is the Phoenix Lord trait.  I love traits in games.  Anything that works on traits, or supports trait themes is something I can get behind.  My hope, therefore, is that the Phoenix Lord trait actually MEANS something someday.

Everything about his signature squad seems great as well.  Cry to the Wind gives some additional flexibility to the deck, and will help make Death From Above more useful (might be time to try out that Mobile heavy deck).  The Signature Unit has two command, which is amazing!  And at three cost, with an ability to protect itself (Mobile...), it's a pretty good value.

I have to say, I'm quite pleased by what I see.  It's a new play style not only for Eldar, but for the game in general (or at least it's a much stronger version of the Tau/Eldar mobile deck that I've seen once or twice). 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Other LCG games?

I generally do my best to keep an eye open for other LCGs, and games like LCGs that are out there and available.

Here's the list of those I've found so far: Games that are LCGs or similar to them.

I own cards for almost all of these (lacking Fight Klub, because it had awful reviews, Guerra de Mitos due to lack of an English translation currently, and Siege Warfare, because its not out yet).

I'd love to hear if anyone else knows of any. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Decks to help teach Lord of the Rings

So this upcoming week, I'm going to be teaching Lord of the Rings to some of my friends, and I had the task of creating a couple of decks to teach the game.  I decided to build four decks, one in each sphere, using only the contents of two Core Sets and cards from the first cycle.  Primarily the addition of the cycle was due to the limited choices of Ally cards in the Core Set, primarily for Tactics. 

Anyway, I've posted the decks on cardgamedb, so I'll just link to them here:

Leadership Deck
Lore Deck
Spirit Deck
Tactics Deck

I think each of these does a good job of showcasing the strengths of the individual spheres, and start showing some different ways that players can interact with one another AND some of the subthemes in the game (the Tactics deck has a bunch of Eagles, and the Spirit deck has a fairly decent Rohan synergy, or at least as much as could be expected from them at this point in the game's release).

My hope is that these will be fun decks, and since they were all made using a fairly limited card pool, they will allow the players to see the variety of decks and strategies available to Lord of the Rings LCG players early on.

Plus, hopefully it'll create new players, which is the most important thing!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ku'gath Plaguefather Aggro

Well, figured I'd actually throw a post out.  I've been playing a lot of Conquest, and generally as new Warlords come out, I give them a shot, so when the Scourge finally dropped, I immediately tried out Ku'gath.  The deck I've been running is this:

1x Ku’gath Plaguefather (The Scourge)

Army Unit (29)
2x Black Legion Heldrake (Core Set)
3x Chaos Fanatics (Core Set)
3x Heretek Inventor (The Howl of Blackmane)
3x Khorne Berzerker (Core Set)
4x Kugath’s Nurglings (The Scourge)
3x Shoota Mob (Core Set)
3x Splintered Path Acolyte (Core Set)
3x Vicious Bloodletter (Core Set)
3x Void Pirate (Core Set)
2x Xavaes Split-Tongue (Core Set)

Attachment (6)
3x Dire Mutation (Core Set)
2x Rune-Encrusted Armor (Core Set)
1x The Plaguefather’s Banner (The Scourge)

Event (10)
2x Fetid Haze (The Scourge)
3x Promise of Glory (Core Set)
3x Tzeentch’s Firestorm (Core Set)
2x Warpstorm (Core Set)

Support (5)
1x Fortress of Madness (Core Set)
3x Ork Kannon (Core Set)
1x Vile Laboratory (The Scourge)

This feels pretty standard for him at this point.  Some comments, however.

Black Legion Heldrake is one of those cards that when dropped, can completely change the game for your opponent.  Imagine having a Bloodied Warlord, and knowing that you need to win the next battle at a planet where the Heldrake is sitting.  That's an awful position to be in. What's nice about Chaos is that you can often get the Heldrake out!  Either winning at Yvarn (if it's available) will do it (Ku'gath can certainly win any planet he wants early game), or using the various cultists to play him from your hand at a discount.  Either way, despite its cost, the Heldrake does make it to the table.

People on cardgamedb seem to prefer the Ravenous Flesh Hounds to the Black Legion Heldrake, but I don't find myself wishing I had the Flesh Hounds in my hand when I draw the Heldrake.  There are corner cases where the Flesh Hounds would be better, however, but against some factions, the Heldrake's Flying will be nearly impossible to get around (I have yet to kill a Heldrake with Ragnar, for instance).

Chaos Fanatics, Heretek Inventors, and Void Pirates are generally used only for command.  Sometimes my opponent has put the Inventor at an early planet, but given the very Aggro focus of this deck, that's perfectly fine.

Khorne Berzerker is a late, but handy addition.  First, he's a prime target for the Rune-Encrusted Armors... but the huge advantage is that with Ku'gath, you can power him up conveniently.

Xavaes always seems to be worth it.  Put him down where a major battle is about to happen, and you'll generate so much economy you'll have no issues affording that Bloodletter or Heldrake.

For Attachments, I've considered dropping the Rune-Encrusted Armors for Promotion, because Chaos has such a difficult time at times with the command struggle.  But in every game I have draw it, the Armor has actually been a tremendous hindrance to my opponent, generally on the Berzerker or on Split-Tongue.  Two extra HP can be tough to prepare for (especially if I deploy it later in the turn), and the extra attack is a great bonus.  Dire Mutation is an amazing play as an Ambush, making it extremely difficult for your opponent to plan how much to shield on their most important units.  If they shield an attack to leave them at 1 health, and you attach Dire Mutation as your next action, you've ruined their day.

The Events feel obvious; almost every Chaos deck seems to run these.  Promise of Glory is basically just a type of economy.

For Supports, I have to say that Ork Kannon is an incredible, incredible boon to Ku'gath.  Your opponent may foolishly attack other Chaos units at the planet to avoid putting damaging on Ku'gath, which he could then transfer as (unshieldable) damage.  Ork Kannon not only provides Ku'gath damage to redistribute as 'gifts', but also puts additional damage on his units!  Win-Win!  I've also used them to drop Command units sitting alone at planets.  As I've mentioned, the Command struggle is tough for Chaos at times.

I had built this deck pre-Gift of the Ethereals, but I haven't made any changes to it after its release.  Some thoughts on cards I could include though...

Ammo Depot is one I have considered (and still consider).  In several games, I have dumped my hand VERY early in the game (usually to win a planet or two), and have resorted to top-decking.  This would help me keep that momentum going.  I feel like I would need to drop something to include this, however, and at this point, the best bet is the Fortress of Madness.  I may play around with that.

Despise does not strike me as particularly useful, as I have plenty of more direct kill options.

Goff Big Choppa seems like a great card, but I couldn't see using it here.  I do like having Armorbane, without a doubt, but I find the extra resilience provided by the Rune-Encrusted Armor is often a bigger help than the additional offensive punch.  Ku'gath can generally grind down opponents himself- I just need things to stick around long enough to help him.

Nurgling Bomb is a tough one.  I love it, as it is a very thematic inclusion.  However, I don't have so many Nurgle units to make it very one-sided (my Nurglings tend to get used only on the planet I need to win, or as a command unit), and the cost doesn't really make it attractive, even for its additional flexibility.

Rotten Plaguebearers are a better choice with Zarathur in my eyes.  They do add an additional aggro push to this deck though, so I may try swapping them in for one of the various command units I have.

Sslyth Mercenary. I don't find this card good in any deck, let alone this one.

Throne of Vainglory. One of the guys I play with is trying to build a deck around this card with some interesting results, but it's definitely not a card you can just throw in and expect to get a benefit from.  Not a good inclusion here.

Well, there you have it.  As I play more with this deck, and make changes to it, I'll occasionally update it.  In the meantime, I will probably post my Aun'shi deck online soon as well, since I've been trying to run him, as he is the newest warlord.  So expect that soon.