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Scott's Blog

Psuedo-random thoughts about the game, games in general, life, and whatever else I feel like blogging about.

  1. Packing issues, lack of rulings, and other reason why I'm quitting the game.

    So, as many of you will have noticed, I have decided to quit the game.

    Despite appearances this is not a snap decision, made solely because of the shoddily packed feed I got, nor the recent rulings, or rulings being overridden. In fact I think some of the most recent rulings are good for the game, and I am glad I am finally vindicated in my understanding of how multiple sources of combat damage should be applied. Rather, it is all these things, and more, and has been something I have been considering for a long time now, as there has been a slow but ever growing build up of issues and problems.

    I believe I summed my feelings up as eloquently I as I probably can in a reply to Justin Ziran (WizKids company president), who contacted me after he saw my video about the ASM feed packing issue. What I wrote was:

    I would also like to take this opportunity to say I am done with this game. Though I love the game itself, the way your company handles it
  2. Information in Dice Masters...

    ...and the Dice in Bag Controversy.

    Or, How I (Inadvertently) Threw a Grenade in to Facebook and Watched the Carnage!

    OK, I am exaggerating a little there, but, a few weeks ago I posted a series of questions on the TRP forums, and on Facebook, and, whilst the response on the TRP forums was fairly restrained, I was shocked, surprised, and somewhat dismayed, at the nature of some of the responses that my questions received in one of the Facebook groups.

    Updated 08-03-2015 at 08:01 PM by Scorpion0x17

  3. Crowds, Cosplay, non-DM Competitions...

    ...and the call of cardboard.

    When I planned my trip to UK Games Expo I was primarily going for the D&D Draft on the Friday, and UK Nationals on the Sunday, and, as I was staying at my parent's place (who live not too far from the venue), I thought it would be good to rest up on the Saturday and spend the day with them.

    However, before I had even gone to bed on the Friday night I could feel the call of cardboard pulling me back.

    And, so...

    Day 2 of the UK Games Expo - Saturday 30th May - some time in the afternoon.

    ...I headed back to the Hilton Metropole, with a mostly empty bag, and a small wad of cash in my back pocket, to see what the rest of the Expo had to offer.

    Being held in the various conference rooms of a not overly sizable hotel, the trade halls were cramped, and busy. Very busy.

    But there was an incredible amount to see.

    So much that I know I barely even scratched the surface of what was there...

    So what did I see?

    Stall after stall after stall, of people selling an assortment of wares.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1436The highlight of which had to be the Metal Earth 3D Laser Cut Models.

    Which look infinitely better in reality than they do in pictures.

    And an assortment of Cosplayers, including, but not limited to, Daleks, an assortment of Doctors Who, and a Deadpool.

    But, sadly I didn't think to get any photos at all.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1437I did, however, manage to buy one new game, or rather a new expansion to a game I already have - Pandemic: State of Emergency.

    I've not had a chance to get this to the table yet, but having flicked through the rules, and seen some overviews online, I'm really liking the look of what it adds to the base game.

    But, I quickly found the crowds, the noise, and the massive array of visual stimuli a tad overwhelming, and so I headed to the WizKids Pavillion where I correctly thought, I might find Chris Phillips playing in an Attack Wing tournament.

    I was then also joined by Mark Gardner, so we sat in the relative quiet, chatted, and watched a couple of our possible opponents on Sunday learn to play Dice Masters!

    After a while of that, Mark and I decided to head outside to a Marque in which there was a Star Wars X-Wing tournament being held. And I felt it somewhat amusing that the X-Wing and Attack Wing tournaments were being held as far apart as they possibly could be.

    Anyway, I saw a couple of the guys - Duncan Callander and Robert Cornell - from the gaming club, where I live, in Cambridge UK, that I go to from time to time, playing in the X-Wing tournament - Duncan was doing pretty well, Robert not so well.

    And that was that. I was exhausted, overloaded, overwhelmed, and tired.

    So, I headed back to my parents and tried to prepare myself for the big event - the UK National Dice Masters Championships the next day.

    But, the story of what happened then can wait.

    Next year, I think I will try to stay at the venue itself, rather than at my Parent's house, because although they live fairly close by, they're not close enough to easily come and go.

    Particularly as the Expo is going to be expanding into one of the halls in the nearby Exhibition Centre.

    Updated 06-29-2015 at 06:05 AM by Scorpion0x17

  4. Procrastination post...

    So, I am sat here, busy procrastinating (mostly by reading and posting to the TRP forums), so I thought I ought to throw up a quick blog post about why I've not posted anything over the last week.

    To put it simply: Life has gotten busy, and I've been very tired.

    However, I am planning to write up the following posts very soon:

    • A short post about Day 2 of UK Games Expo.
    • A longer, probably 2-part, post about UK Nationals Constructed tournament on Day 3 of UK Games Expo.
    • My thoughts on information in Dice Masters, and the "can I ask my opponent how many dice they have in their bag" question.
    • Anything else I might think of.

    Hopefully, life will start to get less busy, and will find more energy.

    Anyway, back to the procrastination, and trying not to feel bad about not being able to make it Archery this evening...

    Updated 06-23-2015 at 10:28 PM by Scorpion0x17

  5. Kobolds, Fireballs, Orcs, and Dragons, oh my...

    Or, the D&D rainbow draft at UK Games Expo, my experience...

    Day 1 of the UK Games Expo - Friday 29th May - 14:00.

    Having arrived at the venue, picked up my tickets, and spotted Darren Christie hanging around the ticket hall, we headed off to the grandly named "Wizkids Pavilion".

    Being situated next to the hotel swimming pool, the air of in the pavilion hung with the smell of chlorine.

    Oh well, I guess it could have been worse.

    Anyway, we arrived and found the Dice Masters desk, at which there appeared to be a somewhat animated discussion going on between the judge (who, by the way, I thought did a good job, considering the circumstances) and a number of attendees.

    The issue was that on the UK Games Expo website they had had two events listed for the Friday - a Marvel/DC constructed tournament, and a D&D constructed tournament.

    It then, about a couple of weeks or so before the Expo, emerged, on Facebook, that this was wrong, and we were informed that it was to be a Draft.

    However, the discussion was about what format the event was going to be - the judge was saying it was meant to be Hybrid.

    But, of course, everyone was expecting either constructed or draft!

    Anyway, draft was settled upon, and we, after getting our team sheets, sat down to start.

    My team

    By far the vast majority of players were there for the Marvel/DC event, leaving just four of us for D&D.

    This, of course, meant, once we'd opened our packs, there were very few characters in the rainbow with any more than 2 or 3 dice.

    Which made deciding what to draft somewhat, well, interesting...

    Fortunately, for me, my first set of packs contained 1 Kobold, as did the second set. One of which was the 1-cost Swarm variant. And, with just 3 Kobold dice available in the rainbow, my first pick from each set was easy.

    So, as I was going Kobold, I figured low-cost Fists would give me a good chance, and, though there were Orcs in the rainbow, I didn't see any, but the first block of cards passed to me contained a Half-Orc fighter, of which there were two or three dice available, and so the shape of the rest of my team was set.

    I picked up gear, a Red Dragon, a bunch of Sprays, and a couple of other beefier Fist characters to fill out my team, as well, of course, as some junk that I got passed towards the end of each set of 12.

    The team I ended up with was a follows (we were told by the judge to use only D&D BACs, incidentally):

    (Dice Masters DB link)

    It was decided that, due to how few of us were playing, that we would play 3 rounds, with everyone playing everyone else, and best of three games each round, with no time limit.

    And so, with teams set, the rounds began...

    Round 1 - Nathan

    Nathan drafted an interesting team, I felt, with some reasonable low cost characters, and one really big, powerhouse of a, character.

    However, certainly for my games against him, he also chose his own downfall...

    (Dice Masters DB link)

    Nathan played well, but, by buying his Fireballs, I was generally able to keep his field under control, build my defences, and mount an attack, all whilst chipping away at his health with Red Dragon global.

    The third game was the most tense, as he found the energy to purchase two of his three Terrasque dice. And, believe me, two Terrasques staring you down, from across the table, is not a thing you want to see.


    WIN: 2-1 (2pts)

    Round 2 - Paddy

    When I sat down and looked at Paddy's team I wasn't really sure what I was looking at. It certainly has some great cards, and I discovered where all the Orc dice that I wanted for my team went. But I felt it didn't have the coherence I expect from a well put together team...

    (Dice Masters DB link)

    However, Paddy played the team extremely well, and I did not feel at all at ease in any of the three games we played. I recall the Frost Giant and the Blue Dragon being particularly bothersome. And I quickly figured out what was my biggest mistake in putting my team together. But, more on that later.

    Fortunately with two Red Dragon's in play, and plenty of Actions on my team, my strategy was pretty obvious. That said, Paddy played extremely well, put up a great fight, and I was unsurprised by how he did in both this draft, and the Nationals on the Sunday.


    LOSS: 1-2 (1pt)

    Round 3 - Darren

    Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of Darren's team, as he needed to pack up as soon as we'd finished, but he kindly sent me a picture of the cards he used, so I can at least give those, though not the dice counts used.

    (Dice Masters DB link)

    Of the three teams I faced, this was the one I most feared when I sat down in front of it. Lots of cheap Dragons, and the means to make them cheaper. I also failed to realise which Dracolich it was I was facing.

    So, game one was painful - I bought lots of Actions, pinging Darren each time with Red Dragon Global, but Darren held out until he had enough energy to buy and then field his Dracolich, at which point I then rapidly bled to death.

    Game two was far less painful, as I changed tack - buying, of my actions, only my gear dice, early on, and getting them into the field before Darren could buy his Dracolich.

    Game three Darren kindly conceded to me, because of his need to leave.


    WIN: 2-1 (2pts)


    I hate draft. Well, I like that it tests your ability to read the rainbow, and build a coherent team quickly, but I feel it adds an unnecessary layer of variance on an already high-variance game.

    That said, I learnt an important lesson for drafting - put a lot more thought in to the Basic Actions you take!

    In the 2nd and 3rd rounds I was badly hampered by the lack of the board clear that Nathan so kindly brought to the table in the 1st round, in the shape of Fireball.

    Final Result

    1. Patrick: 3-0-0 (6pts)
    2. Me: 2-1-0 (5pts)
    3. Nathan: 1-2-0 (3pts)
    4. Darren: 0-3-0 (2pts)


    I hate to end this blog post on a negative note, however, the prize pool was the one part of the tournament that I felt was a little disappointing. Though, not the overall prizes I walked away with, but the distribution of the prizes between the participants.

    Participation prizes:

    • Phoenix Force, Force of Nature card and die.
    • Premier Event Play Mat.
    • Beast, Mutate #666 alternate art card.
    • Harley Quinn, Dr. Harleen Quinzel.

    Place prizes:

    1. Full D&D Dice Masters Gravity Feed.
    2. 20 D&D Dice Masters Booster Packs.
    3. Approx 10 D&D Dice Masters Booster Packs.
    4. Approx 10 D&D Dice Masters Booster Packs.

    Perhaps I expected too much. But I felt like the bulk of my prize was in the form of the Participation prizes, which everyone got, regardless of their final result in the tournament. And the difference between the prize for 2nd and that for 3rd and below seemed a little small.

    However, despite my dislike of draft, my kicking myself for not taking more time over my BAC selection, and my slight disappointment about the prize pool, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

    All my opponents were great sports, and, I felt, played fairly, and well.
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