'The Gods Must Be Crazy' - Silly Fun Tournament Report
by, 04-18-2016 at 09:57 PM (1220 Views)
On Saturday, April 17 I played in a special “The Gods Must Be Crazy” tournament that was held at Metal Galaxy Social Games and Bistro in Calgary.
So what were the rules?
First, every card (excepting basic actions) on a given players team had to share a common affiliation, and the ‘Villains’ affiliation could not be used to satisfy that condition. (Players could use Legion of Doom or Sinister Six if they wanted, but not simply ‘Villains’).
Second, (and this was the big one) every fifteen minutes the TO would have all players stop whatever they were doing, and roll a d20 (or, more specifically, have a player do it) then consult a secret pre-written chart and announce a special effect for both players in all games for the next fifteen minutes. The one example given before the event started was “All characters have Overcrush”.
Rounds were 45 minutes, so there would be two such calls before players went to ‘Last 5 Turns’.
That was it.
So what did I decide to run for this tournament?
Well, there are two characters I’d put on my WKO team that I’d noticed shared a common affiliation. So I decided to run with that.
What were those characters and that affiliation?
So clearly my chosen affiliation was Lords’ Alliance.
I actually ran a team that had only 3 other characters (5 total) and 14 dice. There are 7 Lords Alliance characters (8 cards, including a Halfling Thief OP card) but I only own 5 of them. And one of those I only acquired quite recently.
Dice Masters first caught my eye because I’m a (somewhat lapsed) comic book geek, and I had no interest in the YGO and the first D & D set when they came out. I’ve developed some since, but while I do have some BFF cards and dice, I don’t have a great many of them.
One of the cards I don’t own is the rare Dwarf Cleric, which is one of the other Lords’ Alliance characters. There is a Human Paladin Lords’ Alliance card in the BFF starter set, which I’ve never bought. I’ll probably be buying it at some point, but I’m not in any rush about it.
The other three characters I did run were
Halfling Thief is a booster pack common (the other versions are in the BFF starter), Half-Orc Fighter and Human Fighter are both Uncommons, from BFF and FUS, respectively.
Now I bought about two dozen BFF booster packs between the time that this tournament was announced, and when it was held. That roughly doubled my supply of BFF cards and dice. I pulled my only three Half-Orc Fighter dice and one Uncommon card for him from those packs. Hoping to pull him before the tourney was one of the reasons I bought those packs (not that I would have been sorry to pull a Rare Dwarf Cleric also).
I wasn’t shunning D & D stuff when FUS came out, so I have a health supply of it, including four Human Fighter dice (and the Uncommon card I needed - I actually have four it and no Common). I had three Halfling Thief dice before I bought those extra packs, and didn’t pull any more in them.
Half-Elf Bard should need no introduction to anyone reading this.
Gnome Ranger is, to my mind, sadly underappreciated. He gives +1A to all your other attacking dice. I can’t be the only person who sees that as useful. Sure, he’s kind of overshadowed by Bard, but who isn’t?
Halfling Thief potentially allows me to keep feeding sidekick dice into my opponent’s bag.
Human Fighter’s ability is so situational I was expecting it to be irrelevant. (And it was.) He was just there as another character to buy.
Half-Orc Fighter gets me a discount on Gear dice when he’s active.
Which brings us to the subject of Basic Action Cards.
Once I knew I had the Half-Orc Fighter to put on the team, was almost a no-brainer. Those dice would be useless to anyone running a DC or Marvel team, which I expected to be most of the other players,
For the other BAC I went with
It gave me the potential to get Experience tokens on my characters (all of them are Adventurers) by giving opposing characters the Monster affiliation. I wasn’t expecting to use it unless I ran into a Legion of Doom team with OP Scarecrow. Which didn’t happen. So I never bought one.
So what was my plan?
Buy Half-Orc Fighter and Halfling Thief on my first two turns. Buy Bard, Gnome Ranger and (once Half-Orc Fighter is active) cheap Flaming Swords. Attack with Halfling Thief anytime my opponent has sidekick dice is his Used Pile, to mess with his bag. End goal is to attack with Bard and enough friends to deal lethal?
So how’d things go?
As a whole, the tournament was great. There were 16 players total, including several first timers. As for which affiliations were used, there were
3 x Avengers
3 x Justice League
3 x Monsters (one of these players told me was running Evil Monsters)
3 x X-Men
1 x Green Lantern Corps
1 x Lords Alliance (me)
1 x Spider-Friends
1 x Teen Titans
Round 1 – I Am a Horrible Person
Opponent: Caleb, Avengers
If I am ever made into a Dice Masters character, my card(s) will need to have the Monster banner and the Evil icon – because I don’t think anybody who wasn’t an evil monster could do what I did in this round.
My opponent, Caleb, was a very young kid (I’d guess 7 or 8, but I’m terrible at guessing children’s ages) playing his first game at his first store tourney. He was eager and excited. He was a sweet kid, and a lot of fun to play against just because of his obvious excitement when he poked me with a sidekick on his second turn for first damage, or when he rolled the six energy he needed to buy his life gain Captain Marvel (pretty clearly his favorite character/card on the team). And while he’s doing all this I’m coldly, methodically plotting his demise at the hands of the notorious Half-Elf Bard (and friends).
Yes, I sicced Half-Elf Bard on a really young kid playing his very first tourney game. Take another look at the heading I put on this section.
Welcome to Dice Masters, kid.
He went first. He gave a pretty flimsy reason about why he should, but I let it pass, since I was going to let him go first anyways, between him being such a sweet kid and it being his first game.
My initial roll on my first turn was four pawn faces. Which doesn’t mean much, as I took my re-roll to get energy to buy some characters. I just thought it was freaky enough to be worth mentioning.
Maybe it was a good omen. There are games, and even entire days, when I have trouble rolling pawn faces when I’m looking for them. That wasn’t the case for me at this event.
Anyway, Caleb and I both built up walls, with nobody taking any damage other than the Turn 2 poke I mentioned earlier. I made constant harassing attacks with the one Halfling Thief I had purchased, and he kept knocking it out. In his inexperience, he actually thanked me the first time I had him put two sidekick dice in his bag, since it was nearly empty. Several turns down the road he asked me to stop doing it, so I guess he caught on that this was delaying him pulling his better characters.
The first Crazy Gods effect was relatively tame – each player was allowed to buy an Action Die for free each turn. As it happened, this came into play the turn before I was about to start buying Flaming Swords dice, so I got two of them for 2 energy (total) the next turn.
On Caleb’s next turn, despite having been quite patient up to that point, Caleb opted to attack with all of his characters except for his one Captain Marvel die. I did try to caution him that it was probably a bad idea for him, but I let him make the decision.
I let his attackers through taking somewhere between 8 and 10 damage.
I had several sidekicks in the field by that time and very few dice in circulation, so I drew the two Flaming Swords I had bought last turn after a bag refill. I got both of them on their Action/Gear faces and attached one to a Bard die, the other to a Half-Orc Fighter die, and swung with those two and five sidekicks. After boosts the SKs were all 3A, the Bard and the Half-Orc Fighter were both 6A, and he had only one blocker. Game.
Round 2 – Penance
Opponent: Tom, Avengers
For my effrontery in delivering a Half-Elf Bard beatdown to a little kid, the gods decided I should be matched up with the winner of the Calgary WKO. The gods may be crazy, but it’s possible they may also be just.
Tom bought all four of his common Ant-Man dice, all three of his Cone of Cold Basic Action dice and then at least one Tsarina.
I followed my basic plan, and we’d both built up respectable walls. Mine had a few more characters, but I was a little concerned about the Cones of Cold he was about to start pulling.
I was in my Main Step, trying to decide which of my Adventurers to attach a Flaming Sword die to, when the Crazy Gods struck. The effect was ‘KO all characters’ – there were 8 games going, so every character in 16 Field Zones was struck down.
My empty field proved too big a temptation for Tom, and he sent something like 2 Ant-Men and a Tsarina through for about 10 damage.
Because I’d had so much knocked out, I was rolling twelve dice – 8 SKs, one each of Bard, Halfling Thief, Gnome Ranger, and Half-Orc Fighter (Other than the Flaming Sword die that had gotten stuck in my Field Zone, that was every die I had in circulation). While Tom’s field was empty, I didn’t think I could leave my field empty for another hit with my life total where it was. I fielded a couple of sidekicks and a couple of the other characters.
Tom pulled one of his Cone of Cold dice on his next turn, but couldn’t land the action face. He fielded a SK, and one of his non-SK characters and knocked out one of my SKs with his Wasp global.
On my turn we both used that global to knock out one of the other’s SKs. That left me with four more attackers than he had blockers. After boosts, they did exactly twenty damage, Game to me.
Round 3 – Penance, Part 2
Opponent: Colton, X-Men
My next opponent was Colton, who was the winner of the Alberta PDC Provincial championship. He was running an X-Men deck, relying on Formerly Weapon Ten for his win condition. He was also running Relentless, which proved to be semi-important. We’d spoken briefly before the event started (before teams had been revealed) where I’d told him the Relentless ban didn’t come into effect until May 1 – he seemed to have been under the impression it was immediate. Without that conversation I’m not sure he would have been running it.
He got in a solid tag at one point, hitting me for somewhere between 8 and 12 damage (basically, something similar to that happened in each of my first three games, and I can’t really remember exactly how much I was hit for in each game.)
A couple of turns later, he had a Wolverine and one other die in his field, but wound up one short of the masks or '?'s he was looking for to Relentless my wall and send his Wolverine through for lethal. On my turn, I got the two I needed, and my Bard-boosted band went through for exactly 20.
It was a quick game – we beat the first Crazy Gods call of the round, albeit not by much. I’d gotten up to report my win, but hadn’t reached the counter when the ‘Stop what you’re doing' announcement came. IIRC, that one was ‘Active player takes a damage for every character in the Field Zone who doesn’t attack’.
Round 4 – Hey, I can win this thing?
Opponent: Michael S, Justice League
Michael was no kid but, like Caleb, he was playing in his first Dice Masters tourney. When we spoke before the game he expressed surprise he’d gone 3-0. When I played him it seemed to me he’d put together a solid Justice League deck, and had a pretty good idea of how to run it. I’m pretty sure he didn’t win his first three games by simple dumb luck.
This one took a little over half an hour, because there were two Crazy Gods calls before it ended. Oddly, both caught me in the middle of a draw (i.e. the draw part of the Clear and Draw step)
His buys were Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Batman. He’d let a Halfling Thief through once or twice, but had healed the damage with life gain from fielding his Batman.
The first Crazy Gods call was another ‘KO all characters’. Since it happened in my Clear and Draw step, I got to reroll my KOed dice right away. I didn’t roll that many character faces, and since I’d worked out this was (Halfling Thief excepted) a ‘Swing Once, For Lethal’ team I settled for starting to rebuild my wall rather than sending anything through Michael’s empty field.
We both rebuilt our walls, and things were relatively tame until the next Crazy Gods call. That one was ‘All characters lose their Affiliation abilities’ – effectively, all characters lost their Affiliation icons. That would have hamstrung Michael’s team, but the game didn’t last long enough for that to matter. None of his affected abilities had anything to do with blocking, and after my Main Step I had a sufficient advantage in numbers to send enough unblocked boosted attackers to do exactly 20.
It was no WKO, or PDC State/Provincial Championship. It was just a ‘Silly Fun’ tournament, not that plenty of people didn’t bring strong decks with powerful cards like Tsarina and Formerly Weapon Ten. But, in the end, a Half-Elf Bard team won one more tournament.
Not that this deck was any kind of unstoppable force. I got my share of breaks (maybe more than my share) on the day with the way the dice fell, and that had a lot to do with my winning the tournament.
The whole event was loads of fun. The affiliation restriction proved an interesting challenge, breaking up some familiar combos while actually suggesting others.
The Crazy Gods element, while not something I would want to become routine, I found to be a really fun way to add a little spice to the game for the day.
I thought about asking the TO for his list, so I could share it here, but I decided not to. That’s because, during (and before) the event players didn’t even know exactly what was on the chart – and that ignorance was part of the fun.
If you want to try it at your FLGS (and I do recommend it) let your TO make his own chart. Feel free to suggest the items mentioned here to him, or some ideas of your own. But it would be less fun if he simply used a chart I put up here where players could read it.
The TO told us most of what was on the chart after the event (and there were a couple that came up after my games had already ended in certain rounds, so I wasn’t affected.)
Some of the others were:
All characters lose their text.
All characters get +2A, +2D.
All characters get +4D.
Both players go back to 20 life.
If you have an idea for a fun effect to put on one of these charts, please let me know in the comments.