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Welcome to Frogtown: Take a Loki this card!

Posted by rorschachinkblog on May 2, 2008

When DC Legends was being spoiled, I was able to get my hands on a doozy of a card to spoil. Mirror Image was an interesting idea, giving you a relatively cheap search card in the mold of Secret Origins, but has a very specific drawback. In addition to having to play an opponent’s character, it is necessary that they pack multiple copies of the same character.

This card is also a generic card, but it is in many ways, the mirror image of Mirror Image. While Mirror Image allowed you to create an evil doppelganger of a character that your opponent packed multiples of, this card changes your opponent’s choice of drop between his various 1-ofs.

It’s important to read it carefully. My initial reading was way off the mark, thinking this was a card that would be much more difficult to pull off. However, in case the card text is a bit too daunting, here is a very simple explanation of what the card does:

Your opponent has to replace one of their characters with either another version of the same character OR another character at the same drop. This is going to be based on what ends up revealed first. Like with Mirror Image, it is important to understand what kind of deck your opponent is playing to really make use of this card.

One example, would be World’s Finest, the deck that ended up in 1st place of the top 8 for Mega Weekend Chicago. On turn 5, there is Superman, Metropolis Marvel; Superman, Man of Tommorow; and Cassandra Cain, Death’s Daughter. The Metropolis Marvel is especially difficult to deal with, but with this card, you’d likely end up with someone that is easier to go up against.

There are other situations where it is useful. A character like Radioactive Man, Containment Suit for example. Certain characters accumulate counters, either with +1/+1 counters, or even a character with Cosmic-Surge. By forcing an opponent to replace a copy of, for example, Beast Boy, Garfield Logan, even if is replaced with another copy of the same character, the number of accumulated +1/+1 counters lost is still relevant. In fact, the best use of this card may perhaps end up being a means to eliminate a character with a ton of +1/+1 counters. With the number of effects we’ve seen starting to pop up in Marvel Universe, in addition to the ones from the Age of Apocalypse set and from the Doom Patrol, that give out +1/+1 counters.

Another thing we’ve started seeing is legendary equipment. This card, even if it replaces a character with another version of itself, will eliminate any equipment attached to the first character. While this suffers some of the problems that other equipment hate have faced, namely that it targets the equipped character, this is still only really an issue tied to BPRD Signal Device and Cloak of Nabu. Also, with some characters, like Quicksilver, Inhuman By Marriage, being targetted by multiple plot twists during the Build Phase, being forced to replace him can also cause some irritation. Combined with characters that would prevent the opponent from playing plot twists effectively during the combat phase, such as Batman, Problem Solver, would mean that the opponent may not be able to feel as safe using the turn long plot twists.

Another interesting use would be to annoy a player who is substituting out their legend to avoid replacing him. For example, a World’s Finest type of deck is replacing their 3-drop Batman with Barbara Gordon <> Oracle, Hacker Elite because they are about to recruit Batman, Cape and Cowl. If you wait for the right moment, you can even play this card while Batman, Cape and Cowl is waiting to come into play. You are running a bit of a risk that your opponent is running more copies of Batman, Problem Solver and Batman, Founding Member than they are running copies of Oracle.

Yesterday’s card, the Winter Soldier, adds an interesting twist to this card. On the one hand, using this against the Winter Soldier would either get rid of him completely, or at least reset his sniper counter count. On the other hand, using it with the Winter Soldier gives you a way to get another sniper counter by forcing an opponent’s character into play, without actually giving him extra characters.

However you use it, make sure to make frog puns when you play the card. After your opponent is forced to replace a useful or countered up character, make sure to ribbit in.

Posted in Limited, Modern, Previews, Uncategorized, Vs System | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Tons of News: Crazy Times

Posted by rorschachinkblog on April 22, 2008

First of all … HUGE load off my mind with exams over. I can start getting into summer mode, which will be nice. Tons of stuff happening, and just wanted to put out my thoughts on a few things.

First of all, we have the greatness that is Marvel Universe. Everything that has been spoiled so far just goes to further show that the people designing on the cards have really hit on exactly what Versus should be about. In the current Modern Metagame we have decks featuring the World’s Finest with a Superman being large and in charge in the visible area while Batman sits back in the shadow ruining anyone’s plans. And then there is money.dec where a ton of the big guns of the JLA work together to just plain be awesome. And in Marvel Universe, they have taken the Legend idea and made it even cooler. Hulk is probably going to be an archetypal legend going forward. We’ve seen legendary teams before, but outside of Doom, they’ve often required some sort of non-uniqueness trick to really see play. Even those decks that do play multiples of the same legend have to either rely on some sort of tricks [like using Basil Karlo on 5] to be able to play anything close to consecutive drops. It’s just difficult to justify losing a character to replace them with a higher drop version. Substitute can help, but that can’t be the only answer. Thankfully it isn’t. Not only have we seen at least one version of the Hulk that directly “eats” his smaller version via Boost, we’ve also seen some things Hulk can do before he goes away. And now we have Stark’s Armory. Hopefully we see a curve of Iron Men, perhaps on drops 2, 4 and 6 at the very least. Combining the ability to accumulate and pass on +1/+1 counters thanks to Stark’s Armory, and the card I’ve always wanted to take advantage of: New and Improved … is going to just be cool. Counter accumulation decks have always been cool, a friend of mine piloted such a deck to a top 4 finish at 10K Hamilton, using the original Secret Society and the tricks with the Sinister Citadel. While I like the stuff they’ve done with Doom Patrol and the Horsemen of Apoc, I’m looking forward to Iron Man’s take on it.

Related to Iron Man, I find it really interesting how his 4-drop contrasts with Captain America’s. It would be very interesting to see a few points on the curve where both men have the same drop and comparable effects. It really fits into the flavor of Civil War to be forced to choose which one you want to have as your 4-drop, and how each of them provides something different. Captain America is able to redirect attacks, and odds are good that, to make use of his secondary power, he’ll be the one taking the bullet. However, for Tony, he wants everyone close to him to get stunned. Captain America might prevent some damage, but Tony is looking at the big picture. He might be letting the people close to him get hurt while he just stands there, but in the long run, they survive and are better for it. Captain America might prevent a lot of people from getting hurt, but he doesn’t really stop anyone from getting KO’d in the long run. It’s an interesting and flavorful take on their positions and motivations as characters.

Another thing I want to say about MUN, it’s very cool to see old themes come back. Not only are we seeing the old Avengers get a refeature in the form of Secret Avengers as reservists and Young Avengers as team attackers, but we are getting an X-Statix thematic refeature with the Warbond and something similar to the old Injustice Gang army swarm looks to be appearing with SHIELD. With Modern and Silver Age rotating old stuff out, it’s nice to see that refeaturing old content needs to come in the way of reprints or seeing new versions of old teams, but instead seeing old mechanics done new ways.

Now, there are other things going on. We now know that the set AFTER Marvel Universe is tentatively called Marvel Evolution. It looks like it will be touching on some of the more mutant centric storylines in recent years. Even for those that aren’t necessarily that interested in the X-men, there are a number of things to look forward to. Specifically, two words: Deadpool Legend.

The big thing though, is what came out as part of that. Upper Deck is negotiating with DC Comics about expanding their licensing category (no idea what it means, but propably has more to do with things like Marvel Ultimate Battle and the other Marvel related stuff that Upper Deck does than Vs. itself). One of the byproducts of the discussions however, is there being no DC set this year. We are just about at the end of the DCX line, and from that day in June when Marvel Universe drops, the earliest possible time we’d see a new DC set would be June 2009, unless I’m missing something. Hypothetically, it could come out in Feb 2009, which would probably mean a return to 4 sets per year, which might explain the reason they went to 2 sets a year in the first place, perhaps to buy time for the discussions and hopefully get DC on board in time to have a set by the end of the year.

Honestly, it’s going to be disappointing to miss out on seeing stuff from the Sinestro War, and hopefully by the time a DC set does come out, it will still be recent enough to have it work in the set. Of course, as of 2009, In Blackest Night should be starting, which would provide a ton of content for a Green Lantern based set. Similarly, while 52, OYL and Countdown, and the storylines that are connected to those, would be nice to see now, but in 2009, we’ll also be able to include Final Crisis as part of it. Hopefully it will be worth the wait. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to Marvel Universe, and World’s.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Looking for Trouble – A Dungeon Delver’s Rant

Posted by rorschachinkblog on April 15, 2008

Ok, I’ve been checking out information about the new edition of D&D for a while. Ultimately, I’m a fan of Dungeons and Dragons, and the idea of a new edition is intriguing. I have a stack of books that could probably go to the ceiling if I stacked them up that high. So it’s not as if I don’t understand the whole money issue involved. Ultimately though, you don’t need to buy the new edition any more than you need to buy the tons of expansion books they’ve released over time. A new edition just means you don’t get expansions for the old books from the company [another company has already stepped in to cover that], but otherwise your old books are still usable, etc.

The thing that “grinds my gears”, as it were, are the nitpicky things that people come up with to find fault with the new edition. Ultimately, they are conjuring up things to ahve problems with. One example is, players don’t like the concept of Second Wind, where a character is able to regain hit points by basically catching their breath. It only happens once in each battle, and there are a limited number of times it can be done each day. Ultimately, they argue that is causes a problem with the old concept of hit points, but they are merely creating a fiction so that they can complain about how things are changing. Hit points, have never been more than an expression of how far a character is from death. In 3rd edition, a character’s hit points can signify five conditions. Fine, which is anything from 1 hp to full hit points. Disabled is a special condition when you are at zero. You are concious, but any strenuous effort would drop you below zero, so it basically means “on the brink”. You can then be dying [negative hitpoints and dropping], unconcious [negative hit points, but stable] or flat out dead [negative 10 hit points].

With 4th Edition, you have essentially the same situation, with the addition of the bloodied condition, which can best be defined as “on the ropes”. Ultimately, when you are at half your hit points or less, you are in a condition that is only really different in that a few powers are based off the bloodied condition. Certain characters get angry and “hulk up” when they hit the bloodied mark, while other enemies will react like sharks and try to finish off the character that is in that state. Ultimately though, if your character is concious, with one or more hit points, you suffer no penalties based on how many hit points you have. This has always been the case. So ultimately, whether you see taking hit points as wounds or not, there is never any significant damage happening, because you don’t have any noticeable effects for losing most of your hit points. You don’t get weaker, you don’t lose effectiveness in your attacks, or anything like that. Watch a boxing match, and even superficial injuries will slow you down, soften your blows, and generally tire you out. Losing hit points might mean you are battered, bruised, and covered with scratches and scrapes. So, looking at it from that perspective, from the logic of how the game has always worked, gaining hit points does not necessarily mean your body healing physically. I see the second wind working like a boxer going back to his corner and getting a short rest, before coming back out swinging. Even that one “round” of not fighting is enough to keep you in the fight that much longer. The design is such that you can only take a second wind once per fight, and that you have a limited number per day. The superhuman body of the fantasy world is still only able to stave off death for so long without needing a full night’s rest. You still have “magical” healing either from a cleric’s divine power giving you a bit more bang for you buck when he heals you, or a paladin’s lay on hands ability allowing him to use his “reserve” on you. It creates a system that is actually more realistic, where over time you run out of the abilty to stitch yourself together and keep going, instead of only running out when you have no more potions/cleric spells to burn or cure wands left.

However, it all boils down to people coming up with reasons why rules pull them out of their world where characters take horrific wounds that neither slow them down, weaken them, nor hurt their accuracy, but aren’t able to ‘heal’ those wounds without magical assitance.

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Task Force X – Where Many Teams Have Gone Before

Posted by rorschachinkblog on April 8, 2008

One of the problems with coming up with an idea for the theme(s) of the Suicide Squad is difficult. With so many teams, many ideas have already been done. The X-Statix have done the theme of characters dying in on a regular basis, the Society kill off their own characters at the drop of the hat, Villains United has a similar theme of throwing it’s characters away. There are tons of concealed teams, each with variations of the theme. For Task Force X, I’m going to try and blend a lot of previous ideas and bring them into a single theme.

First of all, the core of Task Force X are the people that never go into the field. Whether it be Amanda Waller or General Wade Eiling, the person pulling the strings is probably chilling out in the hidden area, unconcerned about their own safety, safe in the knowledge that danger is at arms length. Of course, they have gotten involved in certain missions, especially when they’ve found ways to be on the same level as the rest of the metahumans. General Eiling, taking control of the body of the Shaggy Man, was recently enlisted in Waller’s latest version of the team, and a machine allowing The Wall to take control of Chemo meant that both were involved in the front line fighting, although Amanda was safely inside a nearby ship remote controlling the walking meltdown that is Chemo. This theme could work sort of like an inverted version of the Hellfire Club [or Kang, or Hellboy, etc] where a single concealed character rules over the visible minions with an iron fist.

There are other characters, namely Deadshot, Rick Flag and Bronze Tiger, that are constant members of the team. In the case of the latter two, they work for the government directly, instead of being coerced into the group because of criminal activity and threats of bodily harm. With Floyd Lawton on the other hand, he seems to just be extemely lucky, or unlucky depending on the way that you look on it. Despite being put on tons of suicide missions, and a desire to die in a spectacular fashion, he has so far ‘failed’ to end up as one of the casualties of Task Force X. These characters that constantly return from missions will likely have abilities that aid them in doing so, such as powers of recovery, or avoiding stuns. Also, as the field commanders, they should be taking advantage of the bad things that would happen to the unfortunate saps that aren’t supposed to make it out. I’m thinking of some combination of the Morlocks benefitting from stunned characters (or perhaps a leader ability that gives other characters vengence powers, or some other “this happens when someone else is stunned” and a number of effects that benefit from KO’ing characters, perhaps even taking a page out of the Hellfire Club book by having Hellion effects that can combine two benefits off the same character being KO’d.

Anyway, I’m still working on Multiplex, one of the newer members of the Suicide Squad, whose duplication powers were being taken advantage of by Amanda Waller by providing staff for her facility until a real staff could be hired. It’s going to be Multiple Man-esque, so if Stu recovers from his murder, and I can get this bag off my face, I’ll hopefully have Multiplex up soon.

Posted in Uncategorized, Vs System | Leave a Comment »

Task Force X – Building a Team

Posted by rorschachinkblog on April 6, 2008

When all else fails, go with what works. While I could do a contest, I’ve instead decided as a way of pushing myself to get some content up to go with some card design. It’s fun, and honestly, I’m more of a DC fan, so while I’m excited about Marvel Universe, I’m not the person that can really talk about the mythos involved.

So, to start things off, I’ll go with my Legend that I submitted to the Ring Has Chosen: Amanda Waller. The basic idea was for her to be the core legend for a Suicide Squad team affiliation. I decided that, while we do have Punisher, Suicide Run … having an ENTIRE team called “Suicide Squad” might get shot down by Upper Deck, so Task Force X fills in as an alternate name if necessary.

The basic idea of the team of course is generally treating MOST of your characters as dispossable assets, but also being able to press [but not THAT kind of press] people into service against their will to some extent.

This means stunning, KO’ing and removing characters you control from the game, perhaps also bouncing them to hand [you do have both Captain Boomerangs having been members of the team]. Also, you want to be a team, sort of like the Skrulls, that is built with teaming up in mind. It would probably be more like the Wild Pack or Doom Patrol more so than Skrulls, and will probably have solid synergy with Secret Society. I may try to avoid covering too much of the same ground, but it might be hard.

Anyway, here is Amanda Waller’s Legend content for now. Hopefully I’ll have a bit more to add soon. I’m pretty sure the Stu will be very interested in what I have in store for Multiplex.

Start of Submission –

This is a legend, that doubles as a sub-team. The Suicide Squad is led by the Wall, and, like the Skrulls, is a perfect team to get small status, because of their, shall we way, recruitment methods. Thus, the basic concepts of Amanda Waller’s cards are involved in coercing other teams to join her cause.

The versions represent her recent role as White Queen of Checkmate, in addition to her temporary role as Black King of Checkmate that occured between the end of Infinite Crisis and One Year Later’s start of the UN run Checkmate.

Amanda Waller

Version: Black King

Cost: 6

Atk: 11 Def: 14

Task Force X/Checkmate

Concealed

Loyalty

When Amanda Waller enters a KO’d pile from play, you lose the game.

Remove a character you control from the game -> Recover target character and move it to the concealed area or visible area.

“After Maxwell Lord’s death, Amanda Waller took control of Checkmate until the future of the organization was decided.”

Amanda Waller

Version: White Queen

Cost: 4

Atk: 6 Def: 8

Task Force X/Checkmate

Concealed

KO a character you control -> Return target non-Plot Twist card from your KO’d pile to your hand.

“As White Queen, her use of Task Force X had to kept off the books.”

Amanda Waller

Version: The Wall

Cost: 2

Atk: 2 Def: 3

Task Force X/Revenge Squad

Concealed

Activate, stun a character you control -> Search your deck for a character with the Task Force X team affiliation, reveal it to your opponent, and put it in your hand.

“Under President Luthor, she served as Secratary of Metahuman affairs.”

Her abilities include a variety of effects that represent retrieval [for the first two] and reorganization for the last one. And of course, she works from the shadows and uses the members of the Squad for her benefit.

Now, her additional support cards. The Location is the easiest one, it will function as a team up. The wording is to avoid giving the team a midnight sons ability, instead allowing other characters to join your team, not so much to take advantage of other teams cards.

Belle Reeve, Team-Up

Location

Cost: 2

Flip only if you control Amanda Waller.

Affiliated characters you control have the Task Force X team affiliation.

Activate, choose a team affiliation -> Characters you own with that team affiliation gain the Task Force X team affiliation this turn.

Operation: Salvation Run

Plot Twist

Cost: 4

To play, exhaust an Amanda Waller you control.

KO all stunned characters.

“Hey, I think you’ve locked us in too.”

Basically, representing the most recent plan of the Suicide Squad, and the last part is of course tied to how they’ve sent Deadshot and other members of the Suicide Squad to the planet along with everyone else.

I would have included an equipment, but I can’t think of how the remote detnator would best be used … and it was more of Rick Flag using the remote than Waller. So, the sub team would probably have a few more characters to fill out their curve, namely Bronze Tiger and Rick Flag, and dual affiliate many of the mainstays like Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, etc.

Posted in Uncategorized, Vs System | 1 Comment »

Inspiration and Time

Posted by rorschachinkblog on March 24, 2008

The perceptive will notice that I haven’t updated recently. I have a “Mr. Fantastic and the Justice League” idea sitting in the drafts folder that is half done, but I’m not feeling a particular drive to keep going with. I really like the Justice League of America team from DCL, and would love to find every possible way to mix them up, but ultimately, I don’t feel like putting variations of the same decklist up. In general, the “Spin Doctoring” style has always been, for me, mostly about the build up to the decklist … the list itself just being a sort of summary, or to give something for people that don’t really want to read through all my stuff, and just want to go straight to the good stuff. Ultimately, that’s just not something I’m interested in. For the most part, I’m probably not the person that should be determining whether 2 copies of a particular card are better than having 3. I am working on a degree in stats … but ultimately, when something is going to be your job it would make deckbuilder more of a chore than a hobby if I did the whole analysis each time I built a deck. So, I’m not sure how much stuff I’ll have up on the site going forward. My time is currently split between school, a bunch of RPGs I have going, and trying to convince anyone to split with me for gas and hotel to a Mega Weekend. It’s looking like Chicago may be out … New York is closer, and it’s outside of the school year, so that seems a lot more likely. I hate saying something before I do it [it often ends up with me giving up before it happens] but I might try some story ideas out on the site. A friend of mine suggested that I use my ranks in trivial knowledge to do some comic booky ideas of my own, but I wanted to have a setting that wasn’t already done, especially with Heroes having a very good universe type [especially with it being both similar to our own world, and having an elaborate hidden history where superhumans predate the start of the show, all concepts I was looking for in mine]. I have a good idea of what the setting is like, so I’m now working of the types of characters to populate the world.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Emperor Joker – The Golden Jank Master

Posted by rorschachinkblog on March 7, 2008

The Joker, Emperor Joker. 8-drop with an alternate win condition. Not just any alternate win condition, but one that many other games know and love, a deck out win condition. Now, there are a number of challenges associated with achieving this goal. First of all, you need to reach turn 8 with your endurance intact. Secondly, you need to remove your opponent’s deck without The Joker getting stunned. A third important point is that, if you would win by endurance loss to you opponent on turn 8 anyway, particularly if you need to use the Joker’s ability to remove cards by converting endurance loss into your primary method of killing the opponent’s deck, you aren’t really using an Alternate Win Condition at that point, you were going to win anyway, and you just did it a different way. Many decks that use him instead aim to get the opponent’s deck eliminated as soon as possible.

Fall of Oa is a card that helps that particular theme. By allowing a player to draw their entire deck as a reward for finishing the opponent’s deck off, it provides a solid way to play out the turns until 8. Similarly, eliminating your opponent’s deck means they will be unable to draw cards, which can make it difficult for them to hit their drops. Fall of Oa is also stamped to a team that has, perhaps, the most powerful deck destruction tool in Vs System, Manhunter Giant. The 5-drop Manhunter Giant is the lynch pin of the deck, as the characters that come before him are all building towards his turn where he’ll start a massive milling spree that should trigger Fall of Oa, and allow the final turns to be able to play with whatever cards I want. In that past, this could lead to a Fiddler loop, enabled by Nenora, to trigger a Nega Bomb to help stall the game out. Unfortunately, the two most important pieces of that loop are no longer legal.

My previous incarnation used Suicide from the Marvel Knights set along with Deadshot, Dead Aim to get a loop going. I’m going to go a slightly different route this time. For turn one, The Riddler, Riddle Me This, is a great character for the deck. He works similar to Lana Lang, Manhunter Sleeper, except he gives the Arkham affiliation, so he can help herald in the Joker, and his mill has a secondary effect of preventing the opponent from playing plot twists. His fellow Society characters, Chemo, Toxic Waste and Dr. Polaris, Polar Opposite, also provide aid, with Chemo giving another way to cost the opponent a card and Dr. Polaris providing a bit of stall power to the deck. Finally, the Manhunter Clone will always have a spot in the deck, not only providing the Manhunter team affiliatino on turn 1, but having a built in mill power as well. Dr. Sivana, Mad Scientist can provide our own deck with cycling, as well as a means to get specific characters in the KO’d pile, but it can only be used as a Gravesite on the opponent. The more likely candidates for 2 however are Deadshot, Dead Aim and Charaxes, Moth Monster. Both of these two drops have the ability to being resurrected for free under the right conditions. Turn 3 belongs to one woman, and that woman is Poison Ivy, Intoxicating. Free characters are a key to the deck, and she is the new Dr. Light in that regard. Each turn she can bring out another Riddler, Chemo, Manhunter Clone or Polaris, to build up a board for the Manhunter Giant. She can also exhaust to Deadshot, Dead Aim. Turn 4, there is another lady. Deadgirl, Dead Again? (who curriously has a different name than Dead Girl that appeared on the original X-Statix roster.). She is able to ressurect not only Deadshot, Dead Aim, but herself as well. Unlike Suicide, she can’t do the loop a number of times during the build phase, but even bringing back Deadshot once before being KO’d herself, and then being KO’d a second time during the combat phase is at least 10 cards, before considering any uses of Fall of Oa. Turn five of course, Manhunter Giant rules the roost. The remainder of the curve can be filled out with characters that are useful in multiple ways. Scandal and Lex Luthor Mockingbird both key off the Secret Six team affiliation that Deadshot has. Getting out a second copy of Poison Ivy, Intoxicating would be crazy, and if the extra stunned copy of Deadgirl, Dead Again? gets KO’d at the end of the turn, she can get right back up again later on. And of course, the deck needs Ongoing plot twists, team ups and Fall of Oa mostly.

As far as team-ups go, the main ones would be Funky’s Big Rat Code, which provides exactly what the deck needs, and Help Wanted, which can get the Secret Six team affiliation online, and give a discard outlet for characters. Training Day may also be useful to cherry pick certain team ups during any given turn. For example giving Deadgirl the Manhunter team affiliation for use with Fall of Oa, or to team up Society and the Six to use Mockingbird to get out another Ivy.

Search cards would probably be Enemy of My Enemy and Straight to the Grave. Every character up to 3 has the Society affiliation, yet all the higher cost characters do not, so it makes an excellent discard outlet for the low drops that we want to put directly into play, to go and find the high drop. To use with Straight, Master Plan is a solid choice because it is searchable with Scandal, and it requires Society characters be discarded, which we will be looking to do anyway. Also, unlike Remote Facility, we don’t need to be teamed up before hand. We can also include the generic-ish character card bounces, Avalon Space Station, Slaughter Swamp and Soul World.

For random other cards, Unnatural Selection can be useful not only for a bit of early board control, but also the mutual milling that it provides. Gravesite is another card that can be found with Scandal, and I’m not sure, but I believe that even if you are unable to draw, you still have to discard to it’s effect. Mr. Mxyzptlk, Troublesome Trickster would definitely find a place in the deck as well, as he would have a lot of places looking to use him as a discard outlet.

Decklist to follow

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Thursday Thirteen: Lists Are Fun

Posted by rorschachinkblog on March 6, 2008

Apparently there are a lot of people doing this Thirsday Thirteen thing. I know that, one thin that people used to comment about my posts was that I would often list things. I don’t do the bullet thing as much recently, but I still do it sometimes. I’ve picked up a bit on the “firstly, secondly, thirdly” to not have to break it up as a list, but sometimes it’s just better to put things into that form. If nothing else, it seperates things out for people to read it a bit better, and makes the tangents a bit better. Then again, I don’t know how many times I’ve started a list before realizing I only really have two points … and that it probably doesn’t really warrant a list. Anyway, I’m not sure if I will keep up on the Thursday Thirteen or not, but let’s try anyway. This week’s topic will be a relatively simple list of “games I play”. I recomend most of these games as well.

  1. Vs. System which I am working on some decks to hopefully attend the City Champs in Toronto this weekend.
  2. Raw Deal, which is being reimagined by the Raw Deal Player Committee
  3. Dungeons & Dragons, and I am anxiously anticipating 4th edition
  4. Guitar Hero, extremely addictive, every game should give you things to “buy” and unlock … it’s huge for replay value to make a difference between good, great and perfect. And whammy bars.
  5. World of Warcraft, hopefully I will get close to 70 before the next big expansion comes out, so that I can start up a Deathknight and have a second character to pimp him out with cool gear
  6. Vampire: The Masquerade, they have a new expansion but with play the older version. Ultimately though, an RPG is all about the DM, or in this case, the Story Teller. And ours is just plain awesome.
  7. MechWarrior/BattleTech, it’s another cool RPG that we are involved in, and it’s tons of fun. Everyone loves giant robots.
  8. Kobolds ate my Baby! It’s a fun little romp where you have to play as the loveable little monsters that live to be killed by low level adventurers. Only one thing tastes better than chicken, and that’s Kobolds. Only one thing tastes better than Kobold, and that’s baby. So, you better find a baby to bring back to King Torg (All Hail King Torg!).
  9. Risk, it’s an oldie but a goodie. If you have a day to kill, a few solid friends around, and want to spend the day acting like a megalomaniac, there are few greater games. The variations can be fun as well, but most involves ways to making it quicker. And few games better exemplify the lesson to be learned from Princess Bride. Never have a land war in Asia.
  10. Zombies, is a fun little board game variant. The play board consists of random tiles that builds up as play goes on, so the city is rarely the same. Add to that the various expansions and you can recreate tons of horror movie scenarios. The mall, the school, the military base, the cabin in the woods, the sewers, etc, etc, etc …
  11. Talisman, they have recently released the game again, but we have an older version including a few expansions. It’s a board game that has some aspects comparable to fantasy RPGs. It’s another game that can take a while, but it can be tons of fun as well
  12. Illuminati, it’s a crazy game of building up massive conspiracy networks. It’s a game that requires lots of players as you need to fore temporary alliances to prevent other players from winning, while trying to keep other players from doing the same against you.
  13. Pai Gow Poker, thought I’d finish off with a casino game. When friends come down from out of town, we will sometimes hit the casino. Blackjack is more of my game, but this poker variant is a fun little one. Everyone gets 7 cards, you build a 5 card poker hand and a 2 card poker hand, and the 5 card must be the better one. The best part is, if one hand wins and the other loses, you keep your money, so it can be possible to play longer on the same bet because of it.

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South Park Has An Unnatural Effect On My Life

Posted by rorschachinkblog on March 3, 2008

I am currently addicted to Guitar Hero. There I said it, and now it’s off my chest.

I should probably explain more, including the title. Basically, in the past year or so, I’ve jumped onto two different fads, both of which long after they started, and both of which that were highlighted on episodes of South Park. First of all, I play WoW. Now before I get flamed, I’d like to point out that it’s the online version. I’ve picked up a bit of the card game, played a couple games, but like HaloClix and UFS, and basically every game that the group tries out, it didn’t really go anywhere. However, friends that I had been playing the table top RPG version of WoW with got me to try out a character on their server, and so I started it up. I’ve been working on my Undead Priest on and off for a while now, and when they made it easier to level up I started getting a bit more into it. When the goal of “getting my mount” came out, I was definitely a bit more motivated. Now that I have my horse, I can get to places a bit faster, and with nearly a whole continent opened up for flight paths, I can hop around to different level appropriate areas without having to worry about wasting time, or avoiding ?? level threats.

With Guitar Hero, it was extremely recent. A friend of mine that I am able to get to play just about anything I am playing, such as Raw Deal and Vs., I just need to drive and supply the cards, etc … has Guitar Hero III. I had stopped at his place to do some playtesting for the Build a Legend event, and I ended up trying it out a bit and getting hooked. We went out and bought the dual pack for I and II, and so I’ve been systematically going through the game to unlock stuff. So far I have all the easy songs on GH II five starred and I’m working through the completed Medium mode to get the 5 star on all songs guitar unlocked there.

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Rest In Peace, Barron Vangor Toth

Posted by rorschachinkblog on March 2, 2008

The co-creator of Raw Deal, Barron Vangor Toth, has died. I can’t really put into words the kind of person he was. I think that someone who knew him can definitely talk about him better. This link is to a biography from his own site: http://barronvangortoth.com/classic.php?doc=bio.

I met him at Gen Con, and he was a sight to see. With a name like Barron Vangor Toth, your mind will bring up a Viking, and he definitely had the size to pull it off. He was a gentle giant though, especially considering that it was literally a pin in the backside for him to attend large events, as back problems had been plaguing him for most of his life. And while I only spoke with him briefly, I did have a lot of contact with him online. Over the years, I went from being a customer that would communicate with him on the boards, even being confuse as Barron himself, albeit in disguise, on TeamCanadaOnline. Later, another mistaken identity situation would come up, where he mentioned me, from my posts on Yahoo to a friend of his, and his friend mentioned Walter Kovacs from TeamCanadaOnline, and when I first e-mailed Barron, he learned the two posters were one and the same.

 Barron had his “haters”, as Stu would put it. He was the type of person that had an opinion, and wouldn’t suffer fools gladly. While some had problems getting along with him, I never really did, even when I was arguing with him. However, those arguments are likely part of what allowed me to eventually work with him. As a lead playtester I was part of a group of about five people that were in continuous contact over the development process, and while it’s nothing like a real friendship, I at least got to know a little bit more about Barron’s thought process.

 Anyway, the World is a little less interesting with Barron Vangor Toth gone. Canaan-Axl was probably up there, waiting for him. And maybe he can let Andre know, personally, that he finally got his card.

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