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Mistakes Part Two: The Learning Continues

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So, picking up from last time, I was prepared for the Month Two OP.

I mentioned before, that comics were my gateway in to Dice Masters, not gaming in general. The Avengers vs X-Men series that the first set is loosely based on was a pretty decent comic book event, all things considered. The effects and fallout of what transpired are still being felt and brought up today. Two of my favorite comic book characters, Spider-Man and Cyclops, were both in this event. While Cyclops was center stage, Spider-Man was mostly in the background… until issue #9 of the event. The cover had a great image of Spider-Man. He was bloody and battered, his costume was ripped and torn, but he still looked heroic; poised for action. Issue #9 featured Spider-Man taking on two immensely strong opponents by himself to buy time for his other teammates. He got the snot kicked out of him, but he survived, and successfully bought his team the much needed time. So, that image of Spider-Man, from the cover of Avengers vs X-Men #9, is regarded pretty highly in my mind. A very cool character moment in the comic, represented by a great cover.

This is the image of Spider-Man they chose for the Month Two OP Event prize card. The card ability for Spider-Man The Amazing was pretty darn cool too. My team focused on Avengers, with Hulk, Iron Man, and Black Widow, and having Nick Fury along to help field them… I bet I could find a way to fit Spider-Man The Amazing on my team since this version of the character has the Avengers team ability. I was determined to win this prize.

My Team: Exact same as last time. Hulk Green Goliath, Iron Man Philanthropist, Green Goblin Norman Osborn, Silver Surfer Sentinel, Black Widow Tsarina, Nick Fury Mr. Anger, Magneto Sonderkommando, and Cyclops If Looks Could Kill. My actions were the same as before as well: Thrown Car and Force Beam.

My strategy: Pretty much the same as before. I left Cyclops on my team, simply because I didn’t have another character I would rather have. I was NOT going to forget about my Magneto’s global this time around. I liked my team, and my chances. I was more focused and more familiar with my team this time around. If I got just a little luck to go my way, who knows what could happen.

3 rounds, best of 3, business as usual. First round I lost 0-2 to Gobby and Tsarina again. But honestly, I could have lost to a litter of kittens. In the two games I lost, I fielded 1 Black Widow and 3 sidekicks… in 2 games. Everything else was just coming up energy. My opponent even commented after his second win that he has had unlucky games like that too… but not 2 in a row. We laughed. Well, I laughed on the outside. Inside I cried. He was a decent sport though. He had an uncommon I was still missing from my collection, but I didn’t have anything he needed, so he just gave it to me for free. To make up for my unluck. My next 2 rounds I won 2-1. They were against inexperienced players that I just had fun playing with. I was actually helping teach them the game as we played. Both were super nice people. In both instances I won the first game, took it easy the second game and experimented with my strategy. Maybe buy this character first instead of that character kind of thing. I lost the second game in both matches, then really turned it back on dominate the third game to secure my victory. I finished 2-1, and tied for one of the Spider-Man The Amazing prize cards. It turns out our tie breaker is the number of individual games you lose… since I took it easy on those rookie players, and lost 1 game each time, I lost the tie breaker. No Spider-Man prize. I was pissed… more pissed than I should be at a game. I mean, this is what I get for playing competitively. I ended up buying a Spider-Man The Amazing on ebay. I know I should have tried to attend another event or trade for one, instead of supporting people who sell the prize cards, but I was bitter. And at the end of the day, I really wanted that awesome looking Spider-Man in my collection.

Ugh… So what did I learn? I learned not to go easy. I can still use my team to its most lethal capacity and be a nice guy who is fun to play against. I was having a good time with these players, who I didn’t really feel a threat from, and got a little too arrogant. I need to remember all of the times I have been unlucky, and that I cannot take any game for granted, even if I’m coasting to victory. There will be turns and games where the dice come up sour. I just need to assume that will happen to me next turn, and put myself in the best position possible.

Now, the Month Three OP is approaching. I am making a couple changes to my team this time around. It doesn’t help that we still don’t know if it will be draft or constructed. So, I have to have 2 different game plans…

My Draft Team: Hulk Green Goliath, Green Goblin Norman Osborn, Silver Surfer Sentinel, and Nick Fury Patch. Basic actions are Invulnerability and Force Beam.

My Draft Strategy: That’s right. No Iron Man and I’m using a new Nick Fury. This Nick Fury doubles the damage of Avengers if they are unblocked. Hulk can sweep to clear out blockers. Then I can pay 1 bolt to increase Hulk’s attack power (thanks to Invulnerability’s global), and let him attack for double damage. +1 attack gets doubled to 2 attack. Good investment. Hopefully I can be quick and end the game before I regret not having life gain.

My Constructed Team: Hulk Green Goliath, Iron Man Philanthropist, Green Goblin Norman Osborn, Silver Surfer Sentinel, Black Widow Tsarina, Nick Fury Patch, Magneto Sonderkommando, and Spider-Man The Amazing. (Same basic actions as above: Force Beam and Invulnerability.)

My Constructed Strategy: Get Hulk out early, and then try to get him support with Black Widow. Bring out Nick Fury so I can deliver a knockout blow. Iron Man can be called upon if I need life gain, and Spider-Man is there if the game is at a standstill. With Hulk and Black Widow, I’m confident I could get the fist energy needed to trigger Spider-Man’s ability. Magneto, Green Goblin, and Silver Surfer are just there for their globals. Nick Fury powers up my Avengerswhile Hulk, Black Widow, Iron Man and Spider-Man are ALL Avengers. I really like Invulnerability’s global with this Nick Fury. If unblocked, I can take 1 bolt energy, and make it 2 damage to my opponent. That’s a worthy payoff.

So, what do you think of my new strategy? Have I been able to enlighten anyone with the mistakes I’ve made and learned from? Hopefully my next article will not be titled “Mistakes Part Three”. Maybe the next time I write, it can be titled “How I Finally played Mistake-Free Dice Masters And Won The OP Prize Card”. Fingers crossed. Until then, roll on.
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  1. Werekin imported's Avatar
    Some feedback on your article based on my disappointment in hearing you were resigned to buying prize cards on the secondary market when perhaps you shouldn't have needed to.

    I've entered our first Dice Masters event (Bournemouth UK) into the Wizkids Events system. What I found was that the system scored the results slightly differently to what it worked out as on paper. Whether a player wins/loses 2-0 or 2-1 in a best of three bears to relevance to the final standings. Results are calculated digitally based on match win-loss percentages it would seem. When the scores were fed in to the Wizkids events system by your OP event organiser, you may have posted 2nd place.

    Secondly there is a 3rd prize card awarded each month as a fellowship prize. By offering tutorials "in game" to two out of your three opponents you would be hard pushed to lose out on being awarded the fellowship prize at this event.

    It's also a little surprising that your opponents weren't offered a tutorial session by staff or a volunteer at the store running your OP event. What type of operation are they running?
  2. Horatio imported's Avatar
    Totally agree - surprised you didn't win the fellowship prize - you was robbed!
  3. Werekin imported's Avatar
    I concur. What's the definition of fellowship in your corner of North America?
  4. Randy imported's Avatar
    Ok, a couple things.
    Yes, there is a fellowship prize. It is understood at our event that the event organizer claims the fellowship prize every month (with first and second place winning the other prizes). The organizer is not an employee of the shop where we have the event, so it takes up personal time to run the whole thing. I have no problem with that person claiming the fellowship prize because if he wasn't going out of his way to support the game, we wouldn't be having these events at all. Was I more "fellowshipier" than him? Maybe. But would I have even been there if he didn't make the sacrifices in time an energy it took to host the event? No.
    The inexperienced players were not brand new to the game. Their first time playing was at the Month One event, where they purchased a Starter that day. The thing they both had problems with was the order and timing of events. "No you can't use this ability now; yes you could do that, but it wouldn't have an effect; I'm doing this, but now you have the option to play globals." They understood the basics, and it wasn't their first event, but there was definitely more they had yet to understand.
    As for the tie-breaker... yea, I felt robbed. I still disagree with the tie-breaker. But it's not my event. In the big picture, it's not worth making an issue out of it.
  5. Werekin imported's Avatar
    The definition of volunteering is that you give your time up for no reward. I am a volunteer co-ordinator for OP events so therefore our fellowship prizes are being awarded in line with the ethos for these events. I don't keep the player's prize for fellowship by awarding it to myself. That is inappropriate behaviour.

    If the definition of fellowship is being interpreted as "keep this for myself" then that is greed not fellowship! The meaning of both attitudes was clearly defined by this British bloke called Mr Tolkien in his book about a magic ring.

    It's for this reason that prize product winds up on the black market no sooner than it has been released.

    You may not feel like you can do anything to stop it but eventually such sinful behaviour is known to consume the affected subject. At this point a more suitable candidate may present themself to facilitate events as a volunteer in the true sense of the word.
  6. Horatio imported's Avatar
    +1, Werekin
  7. Brad Andrews imported's Avatar
    Or the event may just die. I have no problem with the one running it getting something. I would tend to take the 2nd place prize however, leaving a winner and fellowship prize, but the root problem here is that WizKids makes things available ONLY through OP events. That is the underlying flaw in my view.
  8. Werekin imported's Avatar
    Dice Masters is a collectible game. By offering promotional prizes to players for participating in organised play the publishers aim to be encouraging fans of Dice Masters to engage with it. There will always be a secondary market where cards are bought and traded. Yet it must feel pretty good to earn something extra for participating. The lucky ducks are those who get the chance to attend Wizkids Open events.