December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone!

It's been an interesting year. Everyone seems to be a little busier with family, work, home building and in general life taking its course. Our gaming group has gotten a little smaller over the course of the year too, which is naturally a little disappointing. As games are a form of entertainment they are usually among the first activities to get hit when schedules or budgets get a little tight. Of course, the Christmas season these kinds of changes are even more pronounced. There are family obligations, work deadlines, company parties, shopping to be done and all that other fun (and sometimes exhausting) stuff needs to get done.

As for my gaming habits, they have changed a little bit too. I've tried some great new games this year! Ascension, Warlord, Touch of Evil, EVE Second Genesis and yes, even Magic the Gathering have all been added to my realm of interests. A few games haven't gotten the attention I'd like, most notably being Call of Cthulhu.

We did try running a CoC league for a few months and while the game was generally well received, I just couldn't seem to draw in players for the long term. I still love the game and support it as best I can, but finding people to play and time to play is always a challenge.

For VS System our group is still going, and hope to make the Marvel Factions set legal for play early in January. It's a fantastic game with a ton of depth and a wealth of cards. The players (and I too) still love it and I'll keep organizing tournaments until I'm the only person showing up for them.

With Warlord, I'm officially a Knight of the Ordo as of early December. All that really means is that I've made a donation to the company that produces the game. Phoenix Interactive is a very small company and they work very hard to keep Warlord around. In addition to my newly-minted knighthood I'll be doing some demos of Warlord and hopefully putting together a small game night ever other week, complete with prize support.

So whether you've been able to get out for a game, or plan to recently...this is me wishing everyone who drops by my blog a happy winter holiday, whatever that may be to you!

December 02, 2010

Warlord on the way

I was recently able to get things underway for obtaining prize support for Warlord. The original idea for running tournaments was once a month to garner interest and get some players comfortable with the game. The tournament day would likely be Friday evenings, but that will be finalized before the end of the year.

For anyone interested in obtaining some Warlord cards to play with, they are having a great sale right now over on the US Store.

With the move of our VS tournaments to Thursday nights, that opens up some opportunity for a few Friday nights to be used in a more open-gaming type of format. I'll be happy to provide decks for players interested not only in Warlord, but Call of Cthulhu, EVE and Warhmammer Invasion. And don't forget...Trilogy is once again hosting Friday Night Magic as well!

More details forthcoming!

November 09, 2010

BYOTT Universe Crossover

This is a variation of Bring Your Own Two Teams. All the regular BYOTT rules apply, but with one catch: each of your teams must be from a different universe. This means that you may not have two DC teams, two Marvel teams or two Hellboy teams in your deck.

I will add one further rule... In addition to the approved ban list, I am going to add the cards "X-Men Assemble!", "Legendary Battles" and "Bamf!" to the ban list. These cards may not be included in your deck for this event.

So, who are you going to team up?

October 25, 2010

Build the New or Revisit the Old

One of the things about customizable card games that is both a blessing and a curse is the infinite variety offered. Having dozens, hundreds or even thousands of cards to chose from can be liberating and daunting all in the space of a few heartbeats. Additionally, as most of us have some kind of addictive mentality when it comes to these sorts of games, invariably we will devote our time to more than one. We have now taken that variability and likely performed a square operation on it, rather than a simple doubling effect.

Whoa, pretty heavy vocabulary for a Monday morning I admit. I'm only two paragraphs in and I'm talking about math. Often when I'm writing something I have only the roughest sense of what my topic is before I start. Even more often I'll simply write a title on the spot and carry on from there. I may change the title after I'm done, but that doesn't change its initial impact on my creative process. In many ways this is very similar to how I approach deck building.

In a game where the player chooses which components he or she will play with, especially one like VS System, it's probably safe to say that no one of those players will approach deck building in the same fashion (and keep in mind that most of these ideas could easily apply to other CCGs). Likely there are some similarities, but even one player's methods will vary from one deck to another. For myself I find that the start of the process usually falls onto three main paths:

1. A single card: I've found a card that I want to build something around, either due to its specific effect or simply because I like the character.
2. A combo: Two or more cards have effects that are fun or seem particularly effective.
3. A theme: Either through a tournament format requirement, or something I think seems fun, this deck doesn't start with any particular cards in mind.

Now how does all of this chatter relate to the bloody title of my entry? Well when I started writing, I don't think it related to it at all. However, now that we've reached this point it all seems to make perfect sense. Let me explain.

So I've chosen one of the three methods above to begin creating my deck from. If I'm not a brand new player it's probably safe to assume that I have a few decks of my own already constructed. Another question to answer then becomes "do I modify something I already have to fit my new idea, or start from scratch?". In most cases I think the answer is quite simple. You have to look at your goal or idea and decide whether or not that idea fits with (and hopefully improves) the theme or combo of that deck, or if it deserves to be explored on its own.

One of the things I think that makes VS System so interesting is that, due to the team affiliation concept, each set can exist on its own as its own game providing combinations and thematic ideas from that set. Where it really starts to be great is that, by adding cards from other sets you can enhance those ideas and make them really fun, really deadly, or both. Judging what I have in my gaming bag at the moment I'm going to say that I fall firmly on the fun side of the fence.

I've recently taken apart several of my deadlier creations to make room for new stuff. Not necessarily new stuff as in the latest set, but new themes or ideas I haven't seen any of my players exploring. There's still plenty of room for that!

September 29, 2010

DCU Finale Tournament Story

Well I'm a little behind, but last Friday we capped off our DC Universe season with a final tournament. There were six players who came out for the event (which is probably all of the people who are reading this article!). The rounds shape up as follows; the winners are in italics:

Round 1: Jason vs Jordan, Will vs Seb, Roy vs Scott
Round 2: Jason vs Roy, Scott vs Will, Jordan vs Seb
Round 3: Jason vs Seb, Scott vs Jordan, Roy vs Will

I ended up playing in Jason's place due to him having to leave after the first round. He found a really interesting little combo equipping Killer Shark with a Batmobile. Using his pay willpower ability to increase his attack and defense, while becoming unstunnable thanks to the Batmobile is probably not a combination that the designers foresaw, but it was pretty fun nonetheless!

One of the great things about this set was the big endurance swings in the late game. I saw a lot of games being played with endurance totals like 10/12 at the end of turn six, but ending on turn seven at -19/-12. That's just a lot of fun in my opinion, and goes to show that late-going games can be really exciting while still remaining close.

After two rounds we had two players with 2-0 records. Will and Roy faced each other down with their constructed decks, and when the dust cleared it was the end of turn seven. With it being Roy's initiative he played a ton of effects on his attacking 7-drop Hal Jordan to pump him up over 30 attack! Will took the bruising but was able to score a stun back. Having a few smaller characters left on his attack step to attack from his hidden was enough to win him the game and the tournament!

Congratulations to Will for placing top in the DCU tourney, especially considering his affinity for Marvel. My condolences to Roy, who had the bad luck of placing second in not one but two DCU tournaments. And of course my thanks to everyone for showing up and supporting our group well into the second year post-UDE. It's great to see and I hope to continue things into 2011!

September 07, 2010

Fall 2010 - The State of Affairs

VS System

I thought that it would be good to update everyone about things with our gaming group as our DCU tournaments are coming to a close. As it stands, I'm very happy with the continuing attendance for the weekly Friday night VS System tournaments. We'll wrap up with DCU on the last Friday of September (Sept 24th) with another big tournament which I trust will be good fun for all. Please make sure to mark it on your calendar!

Through October and November we will play some fun tournaments with no prize support while I prepare things for December and into the New Year. The details of those plans will be forthcoming as they are solidified; but have no fear, we WILL continue playing VS into 2011 with more awesome new events and prizes!

Scheduling-wise, we've been talking about moving the tournaments from Friday evenings to Thursdays. I haven't settled on this yet, but am leaning toward making the change starting in December. There are a lot of reasons why this will likely happen, but until it's finalized with a date we'll continue to play VS tournaments on Friday evenings.

Other Games

A while back I ran a test league for the Call of Cthulhu LCG. While the game itself was very well received with the small number of players I was able to recruit, it just didn't make sense to try running weekly events. Based on that experience I have been trying to come up with some options for gaming that will allow us to have regularly scheduled, fun events (not only for Call of Cthulhu) for a variety of games.

The basic idea is to run a weekly tournament group on Sundays at Trilogy. The time hasn't been determined yet, but will likely be ironed out between Pascal, Sebastien and I over the next few weeks. Each week we would play a tournament for a different game, providing regular events to enjoy while not overloading people with deckbuilding chores or events to participate in. The tentative monthly Sunday game schedule would be:

1st Sunday - Warlord CCG (website)
2nd Sunday - Call of Cthulhu LCG (website)
3rd Sunday - Warhammer: Invasion LCG (website)
4th & 5th Sunday - Open board/card gaming or no events

Feel free to post comments here or contact me with questions or input. I'd love to hear what you think about things. These events are no good if they don't work for the players!

August 06, 2010

VS System Format List

For reference purposes, I wanted to post up a list of formats available for play. I'll link it to the side panel and maintain as necessary.

Age Formats

Modern Age:
- DC Legends (includes DCX)
- Marvel Universe (includes MUL and MEQ)
- DC Universe
- Marvel Factions

Silver Age:
- Legion of Super-Heroes
- Marvel Team-up (includes Hellboy)
- World’s Finest
- Marvel Legends (includes MAA, MCG and MEX)
- DC Legends (includes DCX)
- Marvel Universe (includes MUL and MEQ)
- DC Universe
- Marvel Factions

Golden Age:
- All sets are legal in Golden Age. Banned cards may not be played.

Block Formats

Origins Block:
- Marvel Origins
- DC Origins
- Web of Spider-Man
- Superman, Man of Steel
- Marvel Knights
- Green Lantern Corps (includes Batman TCG starter set)

Crisis Block:
- The Avengers (includes Fantastic Four TCG starter set)
- Justice League of America
- The X-Men (includes The X-Men TCG starter set)
- Infinite Crisis
- Heralds of Galactus
- Legion of Super-Heroes

Legends Block:
- Marvel Team-up (includes The Hellboy Essential Collection)
- World’s Finest
- Marvel Legends (includes The Coming of Galactus)
- DC Legends
- Marvel Universe
- DC Universe
- Marvel Factions
Exclusives: MAA, MEX, DCX, MUL, and MEQ

Random Block:
Any 6 sets Chosen by a Tournament Organizer
Exclusives: MAA, MEX, DCX, MUL, and MEQ

Other Formats

Alter Ego
Instead of playing with the standard 50 endurance, players will be given an Alter Ego card at random at the beginning of each round.

Arch Enemy:
Build a Legend format with a twist: you must include 4 copies of a character card that is a traditional enemy of your legend character. For example: a Captain America legend deck could feature Red Skull as the Arch Enemy. The arch enemy character can NOT gain the hero's affiliations (even if they share a printed one). The arch enemy character MUST be recruited during the game.

Bring Your Own Set:
All cards in your deck must be in the same set. In other words, all cards in your deck must have been printed with the same three-letter set code. The actual cards you put in your deck don’t need to share a set code, however. For example, you can play a Flying Kick from a set other than Marvel Origins if you are playing a Marvel Origins deck. For this format, starter decks are not considered to be part of the base sets, but you can play a deck consisting entirely of cards from a given starter or the Hellboy Essential Collection set.

Bring Your Own Team:
This format is a Golden Age constructed deck format with further restrictions on deckbuilding. The player must nominate a team and all cards in the deck must be refer to that team. This means “generic” cards (that mention no team at all) like Mobilize or Savage Beatdown cannot be used.

Bring Your Own Two Teams:
This format requires the player to nominate two teams which are then automatically crossed over (no need for team-ups). All cards in the deck must refer to one or both of those teams. No generic cards are allowed. Any “age” can be used.

Build a Legend:
You must choose a character name and include at least 12 cards: with that exact name; and/or that refer to a character card with that name in their game text.

Clone Saga:
The uniqueness rule does not apply when recruiting characters with the same name. However, you characters with the same AND version does invoke the uniqueness rule.

Players start the game by placing the top 7 cards of their deck face down in their resource row. These cards can not be looked at. Players draw their opening hand, choosing to mulligan or not. After the first draw phase players may look at their resource rows. Rather than adding resources each turn, at the end of turn each player KOs a card from his resource row.

Dual Legend:
Follows the Build-a-Legend format, but you must include two characters each with 12 cards referencing that name.

Random Punks:
Same sets as Golden Age (see above). No rares allowed.

Special Guest Star:
Players may choose a single character card (up to four copies) to add to their deck. This card gains an affiliation of their choice in all zones for the duration of the game.

Super Build a Legend:
Follows the same rules as Build a Legend, but requires 20 cards that reference your legend character.

Super Crossover Sealed:
Modification of the Sealed Pack format when using packs from various different sets simultaneously. There are a couple of rules that need to be followed for this unique format:
1.Affiliated characters and character cards have all affiliations.
2.Cards that count affiliations, like Ethan Edwards count the number of printed affiliations instead.

Switch Deck:
Each player brings a constructed deck (in the specified event format) but does not play the tournament with it. Each round players will be given a random deck to play from the pool. Time permitting, the player with the most wins faces off against the player who built the deck with the most wins to determine a top place winner.

August 05, 2010

Necro Gaming...

Hm...that title is better than the first one I almost went with, but on second thought, not by much! What I meant by that is that it seems most of the trading card games I like playing, or have been recommended, seem to die.

With VS System in our area, the resurrection came through my refusal to let a good gaming group die. We still have weekly tournies with a decent turn out, prizes and good times for all. I hope this will continue for a good long time.

Call of Cthulhu died as a TCG and was brought back as a living card game by Fantasy Flight. I ran a weekly league for about six months, but attendance was a problem. I still love the game and we do get to play occassionally. Seems everyone I introduced the game to enjoyed it as well, and we'd all like to play it more often.

The GIJoe TCG, well, it just died, but I still bring it back to life a few times a year at home or the local game shop. Good mindless fun with beloved characters from the 80s.

Warhammer: Invasion, is still going strong but I haven't played much since the fourth pack came out for the initial expansion story. As much as I love the innovative design of this game, I just can't support it with good conscience anymore. The power curve was way too much, way too fast. It's a shame really because the artwork is absolutely gorgeous and I really think the game plays well.

All of this rambling brings me finally to Warlord: Saga of the Storm. This game was recommended to me late last year, at which point I had never heard of it. Apparently it started out in 2001 as a collectable game and ran until mid 2008. After that it too was resurrected in a sort of living card game format.

I've yet to play a game with the cards currently being produced (as 4th Edition, or 4e), but I certainly intend to! After purchasing a set of Epic Edition starters and finally getting to play some games with those, I have to say I'm hooked. The game play is very fast, has good depth and variety between factions, and the element of luck to it in the d20 rolls keeps things really interesting.

As of September 2010 there will be a total of 21 Adventure Path decks (55 cards) available for Warlord 4e. I'm hoping to order some up in the next month or two and try to haul some friends into the mix. If I'm not able to, I'll still have some new card artwork to enjoy.

August 03, 2010

Lantern War!

Last Friday was a great event. We had eight players some out for our DCU tournament. We were missing a regular player as well, which was too bad but it was still great to see so many people come out for the games.

We all built sealed decks using mock-packs from DCU. I had a ton of locations, but was pretty light on plot twists. Given that...I decided to play a mixed deck of Green Lantern, Anti-Matter and a few JSA characters thrown in for good measure. My mock-packs only had one team-up card (Janus Contract?), which was good for a three-way team up...but if you didn't choose Suicide Squad it got replaced at the end of the turn.

My first game ended in a coin-toss as Jason arrived too late to play (technically we should have given me a bye and he a loss for being late), but since we're pretty informal I just decided to flip a coin. The second game against Nathan was a tight race, with the health gains from my early Central Power Battery nearly being the difference. In the end it was Nathan's game by only 2 endurance! Round three paired me against Jordan, who apparently was not having much good luck for the evening, as I handed him his third straight loss.

Our top place winner was Jason, followed by Roy who narrowly lost the game against Jason. From I heard, Jason's copy of Amon Sur was the difference maker in that game. Everyone took home a ton of prize cards and I especially had a great time. It's always good to see so many people out for a night of VS!

Edit: Looking back through my selection of cards, I have NO idea why I didn't play an Anti-Matter deck. I had a very solid curve of 1 thru 6. The small number of Suicide Squad characters I had available fit into the drops very well, and my team up would have then worked too! Ah well...maybe next time.

July 20, 2010

Legends Block Format

Legends Block is pretty simple and follows the same structure as the previous two block events that we've played recently. Build a deck from the following sets.

Legends Block
- DC Universe
- Marvel Universe
- DC Legends
- Marvel Legends
- World’s Finest
- Marvel Team-Up
- Hellboy

June 29, 2010

July Formats

With July coming up really fast, we get to celebrate Canada Day. Flag waving in the sun is good fun, but I think I'm looking forward to having an extra gaming night this month. And what a cool event it's going to be! Make sure to clear your schedule, send the wife out of town or play dead then sneak out of the house...because the event on July 30th is one that you absolutely don't want to miss.

Before we get to the 30th though, we have some other games to play. The Avengers sealed event is pretty self explanatory. If we have more than four players we'll draft from three packs. If there are four or less, we'll play sealed instead.

I think most of us have played the Alter Ego format as well, but we're going to add another twist to it this time: switch deck. Not only will you get a random Alter Ego to play with each round, but it will be accompanied by a deck made by one of the other players. Talk about warping your mind...this one should be a lot of fun.

And finally, before we play the big golden age event you all salivate over, we're going to try another block formatted tournament. This time will be Crisis Block. You may only build your deck using cards listed below. The Crisis Block contains the following sets:

- Legion of Super-Heroes
- Heralds of Galactus
- Infinite Crisis
- The X-Men & X-Men Starter
- Justice League of America
- The Avengers
- Fantastic Four Starter

So get your deck-building hats on and strap yourselves in...July promises to be a good one!

June 17, 2010

Countdown to Fun

So last week was our first time with a new format, and I have to say that I thought it went really well. It was a lot of fun being able to play a game with all the big characters out on the table. With the big guns on the table, the games didn't last very long and we were able to play four rounds.

I decided to go with Darkseid's Elite, using Darkseid and Kara Zor-El as my 7-drops. One thing that did come up with this format was that if you missed your 7 cost character it was really tough to survive the game. I feel that adding a little more chance to the game was part of what made it fun!

Here's an example of the craziness that ensued:

My last game was up against Will, who was playing a Heralds deck. He got his 7-cost Galactus out, and having first attack, simply burned me for 25 endurance right off the start! I was able to hit all my drops a cause us to gain a resource, allowing me to play a second 5-drop Darkseid to his 4-drop Human Torch. With an Apokalips in my resource row I was actually able to come back and make a narrow win out of it.

I think this is a format we'll keep around simply for its fun factor. It requires an entirely different deck building strategy and is a great format.

June 04, 2010

June Schedule

Well summer is here, or so the calendar would have us believe. It's almost a week into June and I don't think we've broken 20C since March. But that could just be me being pessimistic!

Anyway, I'm a little late with the format list for this month. I've been swamped in paperwork, but for my job and on a personal front. If you take a look at the list of tournaments on the left you'll notice two tournament names. Let me explain them.

This is something completely fun and different. It works like this:

1. Roll or flip a coin to decide initiative. Both players start with 50 endurance.
2. Each player places the top SEVEN cards of their deck down into their resource row. Players may look at their resource row, but no cards may be flipped yet.
3. Each player draws an opening hand of four cards and may decide to mulligan or keep.
4. Each player draws their two cards and turn 1 begins. Resources may now be flipped up.
5. At the end of each turn, each player KOs a card from he resource row. This means that you will be able to recruit a 7-cost character on turn 1, a 6-cost on turn 2, etc.

Origins Block constructed
This is a basic constructed game, but you may only use cards from the following sets:

- Green Lantern Corps
- Batman/LoA Starter
- Marvel Knights
- Man of Steel
- Web of Spider-Man
- DC Origins
- Marvel Origins

Don't miss out!

May 21, 2010

Battle of the Clones

Last week we had 7 players out for our clone saga tournament. I always love to see that many players out for events! It's been a week since then, so I'll do my best to recall what everyone was playing.

Colin - Superman
Jordan - Magneto
Nathan - Dr. Doom
Roy - Iron Man
Scott - The Thing
William - Jean Grey
Me - Batman

I was only able to play two games, my third round being a bye. My first game was up against Scott, who started his early game strong. By turn four he had a copy of Yancy Street and an ongoing plot twist that made it so I couldn't target his clone character. I had the hidden Batman, Founding Member and used it to replace his Yancy Street on turn four. The tide seemed to be turning, as even with the Scott's character advantage things were looking pretty good for me. Next turn however, I replaced his ongoing (which I wish I could remember the name of!)...with another copy of Yancy Street! Things that were untargetable and massive meant my game was over.

Game two started of entirely different. I hit every drop up through turn five, at which point Jordan played an effect that caused us both to go down a resource. Not having another 5-cost to recruit on turn six to Jordan's full board left me at a distinct disadvantage. Magneto and his cadre of mutant misfits smacked down the Batmen with ease from there.

Aside from my games, there were several other close ones, and a few that were complete blowouts. The two decks running No More Mister Nice Guy definitely had a solid edge. Most of the players agreed that it is likely a card that should be disallowed for further Clone Saga tournament and I'm inclined to agree. As for me, while I love some of the mechanics that became available in Evolutions, I still don't think it plays nicely with the game as a whole. Other than the Marauders and Purifiers, the other teams just seem entirely too powerful compared to previous sets.

However...! The tournament was great fun and I was very happy to see another solid turn out. Tonight we're playing Modern Age Constructed and I'm really looking forward to it. I've got a new deck that I can't wait to try out.

April 27, 2010

Breaking My Own Rules...

Last week was a Modern Age event that I played an illegal deck at. At least in the first game I did anyway. I had it in my head that it was built entirely from DCU cards, but in fact I had built it for the BYOTT (Bring Your Own Two Teams) event a few weeks back. As such, it had cards from DGL and DCR in addition to DCU. Roy had no problem with me playing it, but as the organizer of these things I really should have been paying more attention!

For the second and third games I promptly switched to my Doom Patrol deck. It's apparently the only Modern Age legal deck that I have at the moment, which I really should change soon. I've been neglecting my deck building lately, and in fact feel like I haven't even had much of a chance to play in the past few months. I'll be missing the Golden Age event that finishes off April as well, but after that I certainly hope to not miss any more for quite some time!

The schedule for May's events are now up as well. Just in case anyone's forgotten, the Clone format is very simple. Characters you control with the same name and a different version are not considered unique. So for example you could recruit a Batman, Shadow of the Bat when you already had Batman, Founding Member in play, but you could not recruit another Batman, Founding Member. Banned cards are still in effect as usual.

April 16, 2010

Godspeed Peter

Ok this will seem a little random for most of you...since I usually keep my stuff here related to gaming and whatnot. Here's the story.

Something sorta freaky happened recently. There’s a band I have liked since high school called Type O Negative. I hadn’t given them much thought for a few months (they haven’t put anything out since 2007), but during lunch on Wednesday I brought them up in conversation…saying that I wanted to see if they were working on anything new.

So, when I got home and was doing some work in the evening I flipped open the Type O Negative website and saw that two of the band members had a new band called Seventh Void. I opened youtube to see if I could find a tune. I did…and one of the comments said “RIP Peter”. Peter Steele is…or rather was the lead singer for Type O. He died Wednesday. It was confirmed by the band on Thursday morning. The time of day we were having lunch was within an hour of the likely time Peter would have passed away.

I've come to believe over the past decade or so of my life that energy creates thoughts and feelings, and vice versa…so I don’t believe my thought about the band (which essentially IS Peter Steele) was random. Somewhere in the great energies that create our reality I caught a ripple of something...

I'm sure that Peter's bandmates, friends, family and fans will all feel the loss in some way. For myself, I'll simply wish him well on his next journey and say thanks for the music!

April 06, 2010

An Update

Greetings all...

I've been a little lax on the updates lately. I have no excuses, so I'll not offer any. Last week we had four players join in for the Infinite Crisis sealed event. I opted to sit this one out, as I'd have made it an odd number and I didn't want someone else having to sit out for byes each round. Will took top spot and I owe his two copies of one of his prize cards, because I apparently couldn't count past four when I added them to the pool. Oh well, he'll get them this coming Friday.

I had also been meaning to post up a deck list for my BYOTTs deck from a few weeks back. I don't have it handy with me, but I had chosen Anti-Matter and JSA. I was able to build a deck using about 50 cards from DCU, with a few Anti-Matter supplements from DGL. It was fun to play, and a lot of the Anti-Matter characters I had were also Manhunter which proved pretty interesting. I actually intend to keep the deck around and refine it some more...likely dropping the JSA characters in favor of Manhunters / Anti-Matter.

There have also been a few questions about what I meant by "Restricted BYOS". BYOS means: Bring Your Own Set - so all the cards you play in your deck must come from the same set. By restricted I mean that there are a few sets that will not be legal, in order to keep things a little more fun. So, all sets are legal for the event except Evolutions (MEV), Marvel Legends (MVL), DC Legends (DCL) and Marvel Universe (MUN).

Don't worry, you'll get your chance to play all your abusive and nasty goodness at the end of the month in the Golden Age open event!

March 08, 2010

Relaxed Night of Sealed Play

We had 4 players come out for the Marvel Team-Up sealed event on Friday; included one new player. It's always nice to have new people come out to play. Before we got started I asked if there were any rules he wasn't clear on. He wanted to see some examples of using reinforcement, so ran a quick demo for him before we started the tournament. Having an even 4-players I opted not to play and force one of the other players to sit out for byes.

With the players holding their packs and set to go, I lent my assistance to Nathan to help him build a somewhat balanced deck of Underworld and Defenders. He was lucky to have pulled two different team-up cards and a few generic pumps (including a copy of Big Leagues)!

His first game was up against Roy and things were going well into turn seven, where Nathan dropped a Crime Lords Hulk in front of his 6-cost character. I don't remember who that character was, but they did not share a team affiliation. Roy had his 7-cost Defenders Hulk out and gambled on there not being a team-up...which proved to be the wrong bet. Nathan flipped his second team-up, reinforced the Hulk and bounced Roy's attacker back to his hand.

Unfortunately Nathan's deck stalled out as the game went into turn 9 and Roy pulled off a resounding beating. Memorable moments for a new player, but even in defeat there was some success.

The second round saw Roy and Will face off against each other while Scott played the new guy. I wasn't hurrying anyone to play faster and just let the games go as necessary. This resulted in the second round being our last, but both games looked well-played and fairly close.

Next week's format is what I call "Uncommon Thieves", which means your deck can not include any rare cards. I've added the extra restriction that it must only contain cards from a SINGLE set as well. I'm interested in seeing what everyone comes up with.

February 22, 2010

Redirecting Attacks is Fun

We're well past the 1-year mark when it was learned that the VS System game was no longer going to be produced by UDE. And I'm happy to say that things are still going strong for our hobby league. Our players are having a good time in our weekly tournaments and we've seen some cool new decks arise from the themed formats I've been setting up in our monthly schedule.

Last week's Ban-10 tournament saw some pretty interesting decks hit the table such as Secret Society, Speed Force, Team Superman / Crime Lords, League of Assasins, and Avengers. I know I'm forgetting Will's deck in there, but I didn't play against him so I'm not entirely certain what kind of dirty tricks he was using this time around.

One of the things that I realized was just how good our players are at building decks. Even without 50 of the most disliked or powerful cards being available to build with, people still come up with excellent combos and interesting effects. Jordan's Speed Force deck was especially punishing. One of those things that I bet would be a blast to play, but stinks to see hit the table against you.

As for me, I finally built a viable version of a deck I have had in mind since we did our Marvel Universe release celebration so long ago. It's simply titled "Deflection"...because what it lacks in cool it needs to make up for with a nifty name. Ok ok, the name is lame, but the deck isn't that bad!

1x Underground Laboratory
4x City of Tomorrow - Team-Up

Plot Twists:
2x Face the Master
2x Hired Hit
1x The Family
2x Assault On Hellicarrier 13
1x Untouchable
2x Marked for Death
3x Good Night, Sweet Prince
3x Desperate Sacrifice
3x Home Sweet Home
1x Fury of the Amazons

3x Armed Escort
1x Lasso of Truth
3x Cosmic Cube

4x A.I.M. Agents, Army - A.I.M. (1)
4x Sin, Synthia Schmidt - Raid (2)
2x Doctor Sun-Creator of Project Mind (2)
3x Albert Malik <> Red Skull - Axis Of Evil (3)
4x Red Skull, Alexsander Lukin - Raid (3)
4x Master Man, Max Lohmer - Raid (4)
3x Wonder Woman - Deflection Diva (5)
1x John Henry Irons<>Steel-Steel Drivin' Man (5)
1x Taskmaster - Mnemonic Assassin (6)
1x Kara Zor-El <> Supergirl - Female Fury (7)

The ideal setup is Red Skull on 3, Master Man with an Armed Escort on 4, and a Wonder Woman and City of Tomorrow on 5. Once you're set up, the idea is to use Wonder Woman, Armed Escort, Desperate Sacrifice or Hired Hit in order to deflect any and all attacks into Master Man.

With Red Skull usually alone by himself in the back row he's a ripe target, even without having an Armed Escort on the board. Most smart opponents will aim to avoid attacking Master Man at all, but with all the tricks available there to deflect, it is almost impossible to avoid unless you simply don't attack me at all. At which point, I will attack you on 6 and 7 with my ever-growing Taskmaster.

Good times for all. Well, maybe just me.

February 18, 2010

Ban List Tournament Reminder

Ok I'm really late with this, but the card lists have all been available since Sunday in the comments for the last post. Here's the list in easy readable order, and keep in mind that ALL version of a card are banned if it has been reprinted in any other sets:

MOR-105 The New Brotherhood
MOR-101 Lost City
MOR-112 Dr. Doom Victor Von Doom
MOR-183 Cover Fire
MOR-189 Flying kick
MOR-210 Press the Attack

MSM-109 Bamf!
MSM-130 Devil's Due

DGL-024 Sinestro Green Lantern of Korugar

DJL-049 Guy Gardner Egomaniac

DCR-017 Michael Holt <> Mr. Terrific

DLS-187/MVL-258 Mobilize

MVL-029 Bererker Rage
MVL-045 healing factor
MVL 204 Dr.doom diabolical genius
MVL-217 Mystical Paralysis
MVL-267/MOR-214 Savage Beatdown

MCG-039 Pathetic Attempt
MEX-013 Silver Surfer's Board

MAA-003 X-Men Assemble!
MAA-019 Holocaust <> Age of Apocolypse

DCL-065 Beast Boy, Freak of Nature
DCL-141 Earth 3
DCL-144 Crime syndicate of Amerika
DCX-023 Superman/Batman Robot
DCX-026 A Clash of Worlds

MUN-026 Spider-Man, Secret Avenger
MUN-032 Captain America's Shield
MUN-064 Radioactive Man, Containment Suit
MUN-081 Speedball Is Dead
MUN-095 Iron Man, Mighty Avenger
MUN-117 Wolverine - Agent of Shield
MUN-185 Hulk, Green Scar
MUN-293 Quantum Bands
MUN-312 Invasion Plans
MUN-326 superhuman registation act

MEV-012 Havok - Proud Son
MEV-014 Jack Frost
MEV-057 James Proudstar - Warpath
MEV-165 Blink!
MEV-172 Warp Shards
MEV-179 Deadpool - Party Pooper
MEV-190 Mesmero, Vincent
MEV-202 Vision - Earth-10101
MEV-206 Weapon Plus Satellite
MEV-218 Alex Wilder - Child Prodigy
MEV-225 Victor Mancha - Son of Ultron
MEV-259 Muramasa Blade
MEV-274 No More Mr. Nice Guy

MEQ-013 Goblin Glider 2.0

January 26, 2010

Through the Ages

There have been villains, and heroes putting themselves on the line to stop them. Well VS System is no different. With the end of UDE's set releases the fan community has taken things upon themselves to continue the game with fan sets, ban and card wording updates and other suggestions. With our local group adding fan sets on our own schedule I will be maintaining the following "age" list.

Modern Age:
- Marvel Factions
- DC Universe
- Marvel Universe (includes MEQ and MUL)
- DC Legends (includes DCX)

Silver Age (includes Modern Age sets):
- Marvel Legends (includes MAA, Coming of Galactus and MEX)
- World's Finest
- Marvel Team-Up (includes Hellboy)
- Legion of Superheroes

Golden Age (also includes Modern and Silver Age sets):
- Heralds of Galactus
- Infinite Crisis
- X-Men
- Justice League of America
- Avengers
- Green Lantern Corps
- Marvel Knights
- Man of Steel
- Web of Spider Man
- DC Origins
- Marvel Origins
- Marvel Evolutions

As you'll see, Evolutions is now only legal in Golden Age tournaments for our hobby league. I feel there are still a lot of power issues with this set, but don't want to ban an entire set from league play. We will start playing more age-specific events to encourage building new decks.

January 18, 2010

Tourney Report...sorta

Ok it's been a few days, but our first constructed VS System event for 2010 has come and gone. I was really happy to see an increase in our attendance to a total of eight players!

Round 1 put me up against Jordan's Avengers deck. He had a great start with 2-cost Captain America in the hidden area complete with Captain America's Shield. I was playing my JSA-Lobo deck. When the 4-cost Iron Man arrived to bolster Cap and Black Widow things weren't looking too hot for my lonely visible Atom Smasher. I did have the Mr. Terrifics hiding and making him mean, but things weren't looking good...but the shield's exhausting effects were starting to help more than hurt at that point.

On turn five I was able to bring out the 5-cost Carter Hall. I got some choice stuns and was able to avoid triggering Iron Man's effect, only to have my Hawkman stolen by a timely-played Switching Sides! Drawing into another 5-cost Hawkman actually proved to be the game-breaker, and Jordan unhappily dropping no character. Initiative was mine and I'd saved up a couple of Press The Attacks, allowing me to swing three time with Hawkman. He was able to stun all three visible opposing characters on his own! Black Panther wasn't able to get through the wall that Atom Smasher had become and victory was mine.

Round 2 was short and painful. My deck was up against Scott's Inhuman/Skrull deck that abuses the Skrull version of Captain America and Franklin Richards. I knew I was done by turn two, as I had no way to get into the hidden area with this deck. I missed both my 1-cost and 3-cost Mr. Terrifics but was somehow able to survive until turn six and play a Lobo, and trigger his effect twice. However, never being able to stun back an attacking character on Scott's initiative that game really was over before it started.

Round 3 put me up against Dan's X-Force deck. X-23 was able to do big damage to me several times through the game, but Carter Hall came up big again. I under-dropped Jakeem several times to keep the costs of my characters lower than his, and was able to pull out the Hawkman / Lobo set-up on turn seven. Even with the massive Warpath on the other side of the table things were looking grim for Dan. The game lasted to turn eight, but on my initiative I drew into my Black Adam. The small boost to attack he gave to all my characters tied things up and we were done. I think if Dan had drawn one or two different defensive plot twists the game would have been his.

I ended up placing third behind William and Scott. After the third round was finished everyone drafted out their prize choices for the night and we headed off for a beer. Next week: Bring Your Own Two Teams, and more new prize goodness. Don't miss out!

January 06, 2010

VS System...2010 Is Underway!

Hey hey hey kids!

Things are looking up for us this year. I'm very excited about the move to weekly tournaments. With this change you might have noticed the little monthly schedule on the right panel, which replaces the bi-weekly tournament information. It's easier and more practical to post the schedule for the entire month, as it gives you a chance to plan your gaming in advance.

Our first tournament of the year will be sealed Marvel draft. The set hasn't been determined yet, so you'll just have to come down and see what we've got. The schedule will follow the pattern you see there *points to the right*. The first Friday will be a sealed event of some kind, for as long as I'm able to get sealed product to play with. The second and fourth weeks will remain as Golden Age constructed events, and the third will be different a themed event each month. Should we end up with a fifth Friday in the month...well I'll come up with something!

On a different but related note, our new prizes are not yet ready to go. What that means is that this week we'll be playing for some older UDE prize cards, but next week we'll have some shiny new toys to enjoy. I'll also be happy to recap the plans for the year should anyone have questions.

Happy New Year and Happy Gaming. Bring out your cardboard super heroes and villains and wage battle over the tabletop this, and (almost) every, Friday night!

January 05, 2010

A Happy New Year Indeed

Greeting gamers!

It seems that Fantasy Flight games has a gift for us in the New Year:

"FFG will be changing the collation of our monthly packs, adopting an approach that both existing and potential LCG customers have been requesting. Once fully implemented across all of our LCG’s, your monthly packs will include 60 cards, consisting of 20 unique cards in triplicate copy!"

No longer will we have to buy multiple packs in order to get three copies of that one super-awesome card needed for our decks. I love the living card game model, and this upcoming change makes thing even better.

The change to the new pack model will come into effect for each LCG with the start of their next pack phase. For Call of Cthulhu this will be after Dreamlands. For Warhammer: Invasion the changes will take place after the final pack of the Skavenblight cycle.

Excellent news makes me happy.