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Posts posted by Twn2dn

  1. When someone cancels shadows Adrienne's response, will the person get to see the plot that is chosen prior to canceling? I think not, but this came up the other day.

    The logic for the other point of view is that whenever there is a trigger that reacts with other cards, the player must identify the target as part of playing the card. Another example is Die by the Sword. Does the player identify who is targeted before the opponent decides whether to cancel?

  2. Have fun getting ripped from the life-sustaining nutrients of the DC umbilical cord, wee one. It's a rough world out there.

    @Krang: Don't let Dan get you down. I freed myself from the Borg's DC chapter several years ago, and so far not too much anxiety from being disconnected with the "Hive."

    @Dan: It's been awhile since we played. When are you going to make your way up to NYC next? You missed a fun Thronestoberfest!

  3. I'm super curious about Dan's Targ Song of Ice list- no idea what Winter would bring to the table, but it sure has me thinking.


    This deck was a "tempo" deck that was closer to aggro than it was to burn, though it had a good amount of "lite" burn in it (Dragon Knight, Pyrophobia, the 3-2-2 winter plot, 2x Meereen Tourney Grounds, Venomous Manticores, etc.). The Targ deck was very fast...not rush, but gained the upper hand quickly. I think the 4 Swiss games I won were over in less than 30 minutes.


    The rationale for SoI is that Targ burn is pretty good at tearing apart aggro builds, but runs into trouble against heavy control. Basically, a control player can slow play the game until they drop a Favorable Ground or have what they need in the long game. Of course, a Targ heavy burn deck can do the same, but Targ heavy burn (KotHH, HoD, etc.) tends to be a little weaker to Greyjoy, which I thought would be popular. So I was looking for a solution that would allow me to play a tempo Targ build that didn't lose to heavy control.


    SoI puts a lot of pressure on heavy control builds, because the opponent can't hold cards in hand and must choose early on whether to win challenges (play characters) or setup the late game but lose a lot of early challenges. I also think the psychological effects of SoI (and winter generally) are pretty strong, because the opponent is forced to play in a way that they normally wouldn't. Again, this typically means the opponent will play more aggressively, which in turn means throwing down more characters that I can kill, rather than locations that I have trouble removing (1+ cost locations are tough for most non-KotHH Targ decks to deal with).


    The trick to a deck like this is really building the winter + SoI mechanics into its core. In addition to the 3-2-2 winter plot, I  played First Snow of Winter, so that an opponent running weenies would need to decide whether to discard them or bigger characters at the end of dominance. I think at least half of my characters had Ambush, and I played 3x Ambush from the Plains and 2x To Be a Dragon, so that it really felt like I could ambush anything I wanted...and if I got hit with my own agenda, Ambush could bring the cards back.


    Winter has the added benefit in a Targ deck like this of (a) choking out the opponent, so that they play fewer characters, allowing me to concentrate my burn, (b) run the 3-2-2 burn plot (forgetting it's name) as a "soft" Threat from the North that combos with Pyrophobia to choke out an opponent (and generally works well with other burn), and © allowed me to play the new Kingsroad locations to keep pressure on an opponent.


    My loss in elemination to the eventual winner had to do with his solid playing and my lack of familiarity playing the deck against Stark. We don't play a lot of Stark in NYC, and I had forgotten how to play Targ against Northern Cavalry Flank, No Quarter and some of the other Targ staples. I just haven't had time to do playtesting much recently. I think if I played that matchup 10 times though, it'd probably split evenly between the two decks, and may just come down to whether the Stark player draws multiple No Quarters in the opening round (as he did) or I draw Ambush from the Plains + Company of the Cats or Horseback Archers.


    All in all, I think the approach worked fairly well, but it needs some fine tuning. For example, I think I cut out too much draw in the final version (I cut all copies of Samwell, for example), and I had an especially tough time keeping up with Britt's Harrenhal (on setup) and various search effects. In fact, I'm not sure I would play Targ SoI in the current metagame. I think the main problem was that I didn't face any heavy control decks. The closest thing I faced was another Targ burn deck (HoD Dragonpit), my only loss in Swiss. And while mirror matches are always tough, and this deck was a control build, the main reason I lost was that my influence grouped at the bottom fo the deck. (Not saying I would have won--his deck had more burn, which tends to be a decider in mirror matches--but my lack of influence for 4+ rounds basically put me out of the game.) In the end, if the metagame doesn't have a lot of heavy control, the SoI agenda just doesn't add as much as it needs to. I'm going to do some more testing with the new summer agenda, which I think is probably better for Targ in an environment where aggro is more prevalent.

  4. Greg, I'm so sorry to hear about this. We just had a small pipe break in our ceiling... A few thousand dollars in damage, which hurts when you aren't expecting it, but I can only imagine a flooded basement. I was looking forward to the event sand had already cleared it with my wife. Sorry buddy.

    To follow up on Dennis and Vaapad's post, we are holding an event. Won't be a replacement to the fantastic gathering Greg had planned, but will feature some of the best competitors in the country. Many of the past world's and nationals champions are from the east coast, and attend NYC events regularly. I hope others will consider attending, but even if it ends up being more of a regional event, will be a lot of fun and unequaled prep for world's the month after.

  5. There's a lot of discussion on CardGameDB and agotcards. CardGameDB has a forums section that is similar to FFG's, but the software is much better. I think most of the conversation that happened on FFG now happens there. Agotcards has more users and a bigger international presence, which makes it better for looking at decks and keeping tabs on the large European tournaments. I don't like the chat/forum software quite as much, but I do like the card lists and search. Also, unlike CardGameDB, agotcards focuses on AGOT exclusively.

  6. Danigral said:

    We are now a confirmed 27 people for DC regionals, which is shaping up to be our largest and most competitive regionals to date!

    Although unprecedented and unanticipated, we have to cut it off at 32 entrants and create a waitlist beyond that.

    Sooooo, email your meta-mates and tell them to RSVP with me asap if you know anyone. ach.dan / gmail


    NYC will have 2-3. If you don't have two spaces saved for NYC players, please reserve those spaces. Thanks!

  7. Surprising that there was only 1 Martell player. Is this a product of the popularity of GJ in the meta?

    Based on my playtesting, and what I've heard reports of at recent east coast tournaments, Martell TLV is a pretty strong build. They have gone against a variety of decks, including GJ choke builds, and seem to be pushing through. I suppose that in a choke-heavy environment they could hit a few obstacles though.

  8. I also want to applaud Lalchant's efforts. A large-scale event unassociated with FFG that brings together players (like Chicon, or other past events) is an excellent idea. The suggestion comes at a good time for the game. We have had a recent influx of players, and the competitive environment is varied, which has kept many players enthusiastic. Still, with all of the disparate regionals events and growth of online gaming, there does seem to be a lack of community and despite the increase in numbers, momentum for this game isn't as strong as it should be.

    NYC has long tried to build community with the Black Friday (now "Red Saturday") events. We have hosted players from across the US and, more recently, Europe. This November will be its ninth such event this year. Obviously, given timing, a lote November event isn't particularly easy for a lot of people to travel to, and there is a need/demand for others. To make it even worse, since FFG rebranded its fall event as Worlds (so that GenCon is a nationals, of sorts), anyone interested in traveling is more likely to attend that event over an event held the weekend after. I do, however, very much like the charity event idea, and we may try to integrate that into the Red Saturday even this year.

    Regarding competitive events, I would point out that if it feels like others are "steeling" Lalchant's idea, this isn't meant to be competitive. In terms of timing, I think Greg's proposal, for example, would occur months after Lalchant's. And as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If the goal is to build community, then more events like this Lalchant is suggesting would be good, so long as they are spaced out.

    This is all to say that if Lalchant pulls this off in a way that builds the community and supports the players like past events have, then a huge hats off to him. And even if it didn't work out, his contribution is noteworthy in that it has ignited a creative discussion around how we might address the issues that he raises in his post. (I believe there is at least some consensus around the source of the "problems" that Lalchant is working to address, even if there are differences in how some of us might approach a solution.)

    All that said, I have to admit I feel a bit like Lord of Brewton. Important events tend to be large events, and large events become large by being more inclusive, at least initially. I do think there's an attraction to exclusivity and eliteness, but for me personally that isn't enough of a draw and would be less appealing than an open event. I think Lord of Brewton's suggestion for clear criteria is particularly insightful.

    Finally, I want to point out that I'm likely not the prime audience for this event. While I consider myself seasoned enough to compete with the above-named players, I have not strictly speaking won any national tournaments like they have. In any event, just to clarify, my own ability to attend will be predominently driven by (1) family schedule (newborn has thus far kept me from attending any regionals this year and will likely keep me from GenCon as well), and (2) whether the event would be open to all players. What makes traveling fun, for me, is that it gives me an excuse to spend time with friends doing something I enjoy, and meeting people similar to me. I realize there's a balance here in terms of what Lalchant wants to accomplish, so no hard feelings either way…it's just my personal preference.

  9. All this discussion has peaked the NYC interest in a big event. We are going to consider hosting a large event, with all proceeds going to charity, and everyone invited. I'm uncertain about timing… If we do this, we want to do it right, and so it might be a long while. We also don't want to compete with the regionals (I think). This would be for a good cause and for building this community. Also, for people who don't often get to NY and want to see the sites, would be a fun event.

  10. What exactly is your intent behind such an invitational? If it is to build a stronger sense of community, more participants would be better. If it is to raise money for charity, more participants is better. If it is to bring together what is most likely to be the current best players, more is better. If, however, your intent is to reminisce and hang with friends, fewer is better, and so is a private email to each of them.

    Not sure I would participate (due to travel) no matter what the reason, but I would personally be most motivated by the charity suggestion.

  11. I like how thematic the card design is, and I think that it is not overpowered strictly from a comparison with the other cards that exist in the environment. It is on the powerful end of the spectrum, but not so much so that it warrants restriction in my opinion.

    All that said, I tend to agree with mdc273 that I am not particularly fond of the card design, nor do I think it's particularly healthy for the game. It may sound like I'm overstating the impact of this card, and I don't mean to (which is why I wouldn't restrict it), but this card shares two characteristics with many cards that are restricted.

    First, the triggered effect in my opinion reduces player choices, and thus reduces interactivity. There are a lot of cards that reduce player interaction/decision-making (rather than increase it), and it is only when the effect is particularly powerful that it becomes a problem (for example Burning in the Sand, Threat from the East, and Bear Island). I'm not sure whether it's fair to single this card out to pick on, given a lot of other cards similarly reduce options and decision-making (The Laughing Storm is the best example), but from a design standpoint, I think this effect misses the mark. At best, Margaery gives the controlling player some control options and toolboxing, but the decisions the controller makes about which characters to kneel aren't all that difficult. And there is some dangerous combo potential with this, for example by giving Margaery deadly, that could create NPE moments.

    Second, there are no real trade-offs required by the controller, further reducing decision trees. What separates "good enough" design from "great design" is the creation of an effect that has a variety of uses, but which involve a difficult trade-off by the player. These opportunity costs are built into A Game of Thrones. When I kneel my character for a challenge, I choose a challenge type, and my character will be unable to participate in other challenges throughout the round. Similarly, when I choose a plot deck, I must balance gold, claim, plot effect and (usually less important) initiative. The problem with Margaery is that she does everything pretty well, a bit like Fury plots, Meera, Long Lances and many other restricted cards.

    I suspect mdc273's reaction to this card has to do with the second point I made. Frankly, in a world where card effects look more like Margaery and less like real decisions, the game devolves into who puts the best cards in their deck rather than who makes the right decisions during gameplay.

    I guess where I net out is that I'm OK with champion cards seeing a bit more play than the average card. And for that reason, Margaery's usefulness as a toolbox is fine, I guess. But if you want to talk about good design, then we should have another conversation about Ser Barristan Selmy and/or Sellsword Deserter. Both have very powerful effects, but require the owners to make very real and significant trade-offs throughout the game.

    I may never win a larger tournament and have the ability to design my own card, but if I did, it'd be just like one of those.

  12. @Darknoj: I didn't mean to suggest that melee involves no skill, but rather that it emphasizes a different kind of skill. This is probably a no-brainer, given the obvious impact that social interaction and negotiation has on the outcomes. The common thread, and the reason why "good players" do well at both, has to do with their level of familiarity with the cards, based on their playtesting and following the metagame. While this, strictly speaking, is a piece of what makes a player skilled, I personally don't consider this the only (or even the primary) component. But it is enough to explain why *some* of the same players do well at both melee and joust (though not all).

    In any case, I don't mean to get bogged down in semantics here. My main point, and what was overlooked by your post, were the (a) greater degree of uncontrollable factors in determining outcomes (i.e. luck plays a greater role) and (b) the inherent disadvantage to control decks.

    For me, and possibly other control-oriented players, competitive melee can be extremely boring but nevertheless a necessary evil to participate in for those who want to do well overall at large events.


  13. I like melee, and when played "semi-competitively" with friends, this format is extremely fun. In fact, when played with a bunch of very competitive players at a tournament, for example in a top 16 table at GenCon, it can be very fun. The format can be dynamic, engaging and full of surprises.

    That said, most of the competitive melee games I've played have been boring and frustrating, even when I win them. I think the following statement captures my feeling:

    ccgtrader99 said:

    This enviroment has most games ending 3-4 plots in. Wow.

    This environment is populated more heavily by casual players, therefore the skill level and competition in my mind is lower.

    This environment has a great deal of king making, new tourney rules or not.

    This enviroment has inherent randomness (same table meta mates, bounty hunting well known players, personal grudges, getting bad draws and becoming a punching bag)

    This environment has scoring rules that reward people for not winning.

    For a control player like myself, the higher degree of randomness paired with fewer plots and more casual players typically make this format less fun in competitive settings. And a big contributor to the boringness of melee is the lack of control elements.

    I believe FFG has a (unintentional) bias against control-style builds in melee. I admit that some of this is inherent in the format. One control player typically cannot control three rush players. More to the point, awarding 2nd, 3rd, and 4th based on who has the most power disproportionately disadvantages control builds (even if it seems like the only fair way to determine 2nd, 3rd, and 4th). Also, because the game is typically over after fewer rounds, the control player has less time to go through the typical stages of (1) setup the control mechanics, (2) establish control, and finally (3) begin claiming power.

    FFG's recent actions have further disadvantaged control builds in melee. FFG's most recent ruling seems to forbid players from working together to control their opponents. Although every rush deck is able to play basically how they are designed, control decks are left in a pergutory-like place where they are allowed to work the mechanics of their own deck but not allowed to actually try to control their foes through coordination with other control players. For the record, I agree that it's a big NPE when metamates sit down at the same table, and all of them have control decks that are seemingly designed to work together. But the result of these rulings is that it's very difficult to take a melee deck to a tournament and do well without raising red flags of collusion or king-making, especially if you also happen to be at a table with a metamate.

    The net impact of all the rules and card design is a format that rewards a very specific style of play that is very different and much more prone to randomness than 1v1. If melee is regarded in contempt by many competitive players, it is no surprise. The format is completely different from joust, but lauded by FFG is a format that has equal standing.

    One final note on why skilled joust players do well in melee. Some of the comments suggest this is evidence that melee involves skill. While I don't deny it does, the type of skill required in melee is something altogether different. The reasons why good players do well in both formats are: (1) they are more familiar with the cards and the metagame, and so they know what to anticipate; (2) they typically play regularly and playtest in advance of large tournaments; and (3) they spend significant time refining their deck lists. None of these points have to do with player skill, per se, but all of them have to do with experience and familiarity with the cards. In short, the best players aren't always the most skilled, but rather have the most experience.



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