Thursday, February 07, 2013

Springing the Trap...

...or when to Ackbar.

I find Ackbar to be a difficult decision to make, he is often a large resource sink that will be difficult to properly time. You have to have a unit present in order to participate in an edge battle, for an attacker this shouldn't be a problem since there could be no engagement otherwise. The three open resources on the other hand can be a challenge at times, going into that situation your opponent could be expecting a Rebel Assault or Admiral Ackbar and plan accordingly. Unfortunately playing Ackbar during an engagement is the only time to take advantage of his reaction text to help clear the board.

I think playing Ackbar as the defender is an easier play to make. If my opponent opponent is playing a more blitz style and commits several one health units I just need to decide if I want to assign a token defender to either make them waste cards in an edge battle I don't care about or use the edge battle to cycle my own hand. In this situation I do not care about winning the edbe battle because the first action I take after the edge battle resolves will be to play Ackbar and kill all the opponent's one health units in the engagement.

The other defensive scenario is when you want to win the edge battle. this is usually when your opponent has high health units like Vader, Devastator or even AT-ST that Ackbar will not be able to kill in a single shot. In these situations I might play Ackbar after assigning defenders if I need to have presence for the edge battle. I might try to hold him until after the edge battle if I feel confident about winning the edge and use the first action to play him and strike with him first. This will let you lock up a target or two and possibly let you strike unmolested for the rest of the engagement. You can even hold him until your opponent has used all of his strike to deny the unopposed bonus and avoid Ackbar taking any damage from your opponent's strikes, this is more to buy you a turn when you desperately need it.

As the attacker one thing is above everything else you have to have a unit to declare in order to engage an objective, I have seen some people try to declare an objective hoping to play Ackbar unopposed. Unfortunately you cannot do this tactic. Now if you declare an attacker and you opponent removes the attacker you will be able to play him since the engagement isn't canceled by removing the attackers. Now unless you play Ackbar after the other attacker was removed and before the edge battle begins you will not be able to put anything into your edge battle since you have to have presence to participate.

On the attacking the only almost auto-play I have is when they only assign one health defenders, you might have this happen once on accident after that I would expect they are trying to see if you have Ackbar or Rebel Assault and want to bait them out of your hand. In this situation I usually just drop out Ackbar and take the board clearing I can get. If you get three units Ackbar did far more than you should expect. Now if you feel they are baiting you, you can hold him for the next defensive turn and see what happens. After that it really depends on what I have seen of my opponents deck and what my hand looks like for the edge battle.

In closing this is all just opinion and conjecture of the 20 or so games with the deck. Board control with the Rebel Alliance is something that gives me hope for a type of Light Side control deck but only time will tell.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Star Wars: LCG Thought

So I took the plunge on Fantasy Flight's new living card game. I have played a few games now and I like the feel of the game so far. I think the edge and the resource mechanics make you consider the next few turns more than I did in other games. By this I mean two things resource and hand management, I have never played a game with quite this system and it is very engaging for me.

I like the resource mechanic, in that I have to consider if it is worth locking down a two resource objective(or even an enhancement or character) for two turns or possibly more. So it is a little bit of an unlearning process in that you aren't guaranteed your resources every turn, but I like the feel it gives the game.

The other mechanic that I am really enjoying is the edge battle. This determines how battles play out, if you win the edge battle you get to strike with one of your units first as well activating any edge dependent icons on your units. So you will be able to take out opposing units and deny them abilities if you win the edge battle. The edge battle goes into another form of resource management, you fight an edge battle by starting with the attacker and laying a card face down into your edge stack, then the defender has the option and it goes back and forth until both players pass consecutively. On the cards there are pip mark under the cast of the cards, this is how much force each card contributes to the edge battle. The player with the highest amount wins, this is also the only time fate cards can use their text. Fate cards are another way to deal damage to a unit or objective or even negate that edge battle. In the game you always draw back up to your hand size during your draw step so it makes cycling to cards very possible. I am always in favor of playing whatever doesn't look useful into my edge stack if I am defending because I know I will be getting a fresh hand next turn. While I am attacking I find that I am more aggressive with Light Side decks in general since their win condition is to destroy three Dark Side objectives. When I play the Dark side I tend to hedge a bit with my Sith deck and play a little looser with the Imperial Navy.

Now the third thing that is very different for me is the pod building system used for deck construction, this means that each objective has five card associated with it when you choose to put it in a deck. You can have up to two of an objective unless the objective states other wise, this means you can't just throw in four or three of a card depending on your roots and be done with it, it also means that farther down the line you could see 10 copies of a card making up part of a deck. You have to have a minimum of ten objectives in your deck. I think it is definitely something worth a serious look once the new sets start coming but for now it just locks you into some sub-par choices but the edge battle mechanic goes a long way to cycle anything you might not find useful.

Pure Star Wars LCG Jank

The evolution of my tri-faction jank deck. So I ended up buying the new Star Wars game and I have been playing and build decks at every chance I get, I have also been teaching the game to everyone who will sit down and I am considering a third core set so I can have the demo decks built for those situations. Anyway, I wanted to have Han, Leia and Luke in a deck so I started throwing sets together and this is what I am starting with:

Jedi Affiliation
A Hero’s Journey x2
A Journey to Dagobah x1
Jedi Training x1
Questionable Contacts x2
Fleeing the Empire x2
Rumors at the Cantina x2

So it starts off with two each of the character pods and I included two of the Cantina pod to help keep my resource options open. Dagobah is a nice fish if I can get it, but the 4 damage usually means it is a turn sooner than I would like. Jedi Training gives me It Binds All Things, Jedi mind Trick and Ancient Monument as well as contributing to the force struggle itself. It lack a little punch right now and I think I might add in some Rebel Assaults and Heavy Blaster Emplacement but I want to get a few more games in to see what isn't working right now.