• Attack Zone Podcast 2x04: O Canada!

    Randy, JT, and Stuart talk to us from across the border while attending Canadian Nats!

    Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you again in two weeks!

    Want to correspond? Mailbag@thereservepool.com, @TheReservePool on Twitter, and of course our blogs and forums at www.thereservepool.com.

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    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Drakolich's Avatar
      Drakolich -
      What a fun Podcast, probably more so having been in it and at the event. Thanks again for inviting us to chat with you guys on it!

      I have to say I wish you had done another segment the morning before Nat's itself like you did for the first day. That was really fun to hear your predictions on what you thought you'd see and what you guys were going to be playing.

      As for the team lists, we are working on a huge write up just as you mentioned.

      It was great to play and hang out with you all, sadly I only got to play against Randy but I did get to chat to with both Stuart and JT quite a bit throughout the weekend.

      I had a great time and from the sound of it you guys did too. So glad you guys were able to make it and hopefully we'll see you next year for Nats or maybe even sooner if another event pops up.
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      The morning segment for day two didn't happen as planned, and for that we do apologize. It went pretty much like the recap the night before though. The only thing I can think of that might have been talked about in the morning that we didn't touch on after day 1 was that none of us believed for a second that anyone had really tipped their hands for the main event Sunday. What I really wish is that there had been time between qualifier 2 and the main event to do a segment... I think that would have been loads of fun.
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Bard Masters
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by The0retico View Post
      Bard Masters


      Unfortunately.

      However, I'll point out that the big swings are the game acting as designed. This is a deck builder more than a traditional CCG, and deck builders are all about snowballing. Part of the fun of Dominon is chaining those turns where you get extra plays, buys, etcetera. It's in the genre's daddy.

      Further, the game system discourages combat. You can't trade profitably because the die comes right back to your opponent. In this way the blocking player actually has more power unless the attacker has lethal or significant damage (with the capacity to repeat that significant damage).

      I'm working on an article about this specific topic, due out soon.

      I'm not judging whether or not these are good things, but they're true things and the system fundamentally encourages either big combo turns or picking away more and more from an otherwise locked board state, while simultaneously using globals like PXG, BEG, and others to up the economy of dice.

      I think that to love the game that must be embraced because it's not going to be otherwise. The system doesn't support it.
    1. Drakolich's Avatar
      Drakolich -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jthomash2 View Post
      The morning segment for day two didn't happen as planned, and for that we do apologize. It went pretty much like the recap the night before though. The only thing I can think of that might have been talked about in the morning that we didn't touch on after day 1 was that none of us believed for a second that anyone had really tipped their hands for the main event Sunday. What I really wish is that there had been time between qualifier 2 and the main event to do a segment... I think that would have been loads of fun.
      We felt the exact same way, we knew since you guys already had qualifiers aswell you wouldn't be playing what planned to play at Nats during the qualifers.

      It definitely would have been neat to have a segment right before Nats though, no biggy though the Podcast was still really fun!
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Unfortunately.

      However, I'll point out that the big swings are the game acting as designed.
      ...
      For me, that isn't a problem. Let the game be swingy, but make it about interactions, Bard requires only multiple other characters and/or sidekicks, so there isn't much reason not to run it - it just has better damage output than anything else. Same Prismatic Spray - it hard counters all characters and you cannot do anything about it. Swingy games are fun when there are multiple swings, not when the first swing wins.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by The0retico View Post
      For me, that isn't a problem. Let the game be swingy, but make it about interactions, Bard requires only multiple other characters and/or sidekicks, so there isn't much reason not to run it - it just has better damage output than anything else. Same Prismatic Spray - it hard counters all characters and you cannot do anything about it. Swingy games are fun when there are multiple swings, not when the first swing wins.
      Right. But it's nothing new. If it's Hulk, or Relentless, or any other number of mass removal options... Gobby, Tsarina, Ring, Flying Sidekicks or other means of direct damage... it's been about hold, swing, win. If the swing isn't for 20, it's for a not insignificant amount that doesn't leave you open for the next turn (of of course the direct damage equivalent of either of these). Every top-tier deck has operated this way. There's a lot of opportunity to be creative within it (Phoenix fastball for example) but I can't think of a top deck that has been otherwise even if the pace of damage is slightly varied between decks.

      I don't have a problem with it either, but it is something that I don't think enough people have understood/internalized. I think people try to force sensibilities about combat from other CCGs to this one. It's also why first player advantage is so significant. Two equivalent decks piloted by people of equivalent skill will often swing on either of who went first and who got their rolls first. Even if you fix first-player advantage, it's still, essentially, going to come down to dice all other things being equal. That's why internal process and decision making are so key. Randomness is fine, Hearthstone has proven that you can have a successful tournament level game with significant RNG involved. Yet our Swiss rounds remain single games, which is a major problem to me and a major deterrent from bothering with tournaments.

      One thing that in theory could help is increasing starting/max HP to 25 or 30.
    1. OddballNarwhal's Avatar
      OddballNarwhal -
      Guys, thank you so much for powering through your exhaustion and recording a great podcast. The thrill of victory and agony of defeats was certainly right there in your voices. Great stuff!
    1. The0retico's Avatar
      The0retico -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
      Right. But it's nothing new.
      ...

      I don't have a problem with it either, but it is something that I don't think enough people have understood/internalized. I think people try to force sensibilities about combat from other CCGs to this one. It's also why first player advantage is so significant. Two equivalent decks piloted by people of equivalent skill will often swing on either of who went first and who got their rolls first. Even if you fix first-player advantage, it's still, essentially, going to come down to dice all other things being equal. That's why internal process and decision making are so key. Randomness is fine, Hearthstone has proven that you can have a successful tournament level game with significant RNG involved. Yet our Swiss rounds remain single games, which is a major problem to me and a major deterrent from bothering with tournaments.

      One thing that in theory could help is increasing starting/max HP to 25 or 30.
      There are various things, that could be done and I still insist, that you need to balance the cards more carefully in such game and avoid universally best cards, but I don't want to spam under this article - I will wait for yours.
    1. Zauriel's Avatar
      Zauriel -
      Maybe not starting HP, but being able to increase your life past 20 is a good rule change!
      I don't disagree that chaining combos is the format's bread and butter, but it relies on, as you put it, "hold..."
      T3/T4 kills don't support a lot of "hold". It's just rush. And they can't in good conscience print new 7 or 8 cost characters in new sets when the tournament format features a 4-cost win-con in every deck you drop him in.
      "Big swings" are fine, and very much a part of the game, but they have to cost you something along the way. Something that has TFC > 1, for example. 5/5 squirrel tokens should haunt the dreams of any designer who thinks that's a reasonable cost for the effect.
      They'll continue to alienate members of their audience who'd like more than one strategy line to pursue.
      tl;dr: WizKids made a mistake with the half-elf bard, and it's on them to correct it now.
    1. Dave's Avatar
      Dave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zauriel View Post
      Maybe not starting HP, but being able to increase your life past 20 is a good rule change!
      I don't disagree that chaining combos is the format's bread and butter, but it relies on, as you put it, "hold..."
      T3/T4 kills don't support a lot of "hold". It's just rush. And they can't in good conscience print new 7 or 8 cost characters in new sets when the tournament format features a 4-cost win-con in every deck you drop him in.
      "Big swings" are fine, and very much a part of the game, but they have to cost you something along the way. Something that has TFC > 1, for example. 5/5 squirrel tokens should haunt the dreams of any designer who thinks that's a reasonable cost for the effect.
      They'll continue to alienate members of their audience who'd like more than one strategy line to pursue.
      tl;dr: WizKids made a mistake with the half-elf bard, and it's on them to correct it now.
      The "hold" is during the economic snowball. It's not just a point snowball.

      Bard isn't THE issue but it certainly exemplifies and magnifies some systemic flaws.
    1. WeaponO's Avatar
      WeaponO -
      Another tremendous podcast guys. Thank you for forgoing your sleep! You folks mentioned some video of Stuart and Randy (possibly others?). That could be really educational if a link exists. Thanks again.