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Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn» Forums » General

Subject: First 2 Games - Are We Doing Something Wrong? rss

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Mike Stevens
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Nebraska
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We bought a copy of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn a few days ago and finally got to play our first 2 games last night. We are both experienced gamers, read the rule book, and watched the "Watch it Played" tutorial. We got the game set up and my g/f picked Aradel Summergaard as her Phoenixborn and I picked Coal Roarkwin. We each used the preconstructed decks that the rule book recommended and the proper dice. We picked our 5 starting cards, making sure to not have any duplicates, and rolled the dice to see who would go first. She rolled more of the basic symbols and got the first player token.

She played a Summon Blue Jaguar spell with her main action and a mediation with her side action. I used my main action to get Hammer Knight into play and then did a Slash with Coal as my side action doing 1 damage to her. Not sure what she did for her next main action but I think she used the spell and brought a Blue Jaguar into play. For her side action she did a Water Blast with Aradel and did 2 damage to my Hammer Knight. I used my next main action to get Spiked Armor into play and attached it to my Hammer Knight. Can't remember how the next few turns played out, but after we both passed and had the Recovery Phase, I got a second Hammer Knight in play and started attacking each turn. Between attacking with the Hammer Knights and Slash, I quickly had 16 wound tokens on Aradel and it was all over. There may have been 2 on Coal at the end of the game.

We decided to play again and double checked the rules to make sure we were doing everything right. I offered to play Aradel and let my g/f play Coal or any other character. She said she had a better idea of the cards now and wanted to give Aradel another try. In the 2nd game she got several Spirit Mists in play since you can put out 2 at a time but I simply got another Hammer Knight with Spiked Armor and an Iron Worker in play and I think I finished off Aradel much quicker in the 2nd game and only ended up with 1 wound on Coal. I did use a few of the 100 Blade Action Spells in the 2nd game which was nice because it allowed me to draw more cards and keep Slash going.

Is Coal vs Aradel a bad matchup for the first few plays? Both of us seemed to understand the game and the player aid cards are very easy to follow. Is there a chance that we were doing/playing something wrong? The only card that was played that was even a little confusing was when my G/F played Reflections in the Water and she attached it to my Hammer Night. It didn't seem to do too much to him as he was still able to attack.

The game looks like it could be fun and the art is fantastic. We both really liked using dice as mana but those 2 games were extremely dull and one sided. We are going to play a few more tonight after work and hopefully they will be better.
 
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Thomas Grogan
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Charlotte
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No. You didn't do anything wrong. Coal is actually the weakest of the initial 6 PBs. So much so that when a Coal deck came in at the top 3 at this past year's GenCon, we were shocked.
A good pairing would be Aradel and Saria or Aradel and Maeoni. Maeoni will help you learn more of the focusing rules and those Silver Snakes can get pretty powerful. Saria is a great milling deck.
Jesse is a beast. If you wanna really screw with the opponents' battlefield, use Jessa. but she is a pretty hard one to play right out of the box as she is soooooo aggravating to fight against.
I would suggest trying a Aradel vs Saria or Aradel vs Maeoni. This combos are the most fitting as opponents and thats what a majority of people use when conducting demos and teaching the game.
Hope this helps.
Ashes is a great game and the community is wonderful. Hopefully now that the Azmodee merger is official, PHG distribution pains will finally be solved.
Time will tell.
Enjoy the game.
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Stephane Guibord
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Vaudreuil-dorion
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I think you guys are completely missing the blocking mechanics. There is no way you Could so easily get to her phoenixborn.
remember that a single blocker is needed to block all attacks and even if the attacker deals more damage than the hp of the blocker, the residual damage doesn't carry over.

Also keep in mind that card effects that say "deal x damage to a unit" does not apply to opposing phoenixborn since they are not units.

Also, if you attack with a unit, that unit gets exhausted and can't be used until end of round when it refresh at the recovery phase.

Also if a unit block but doesn't counter attack, it doesn't get exhausted.
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Rodney "Watch It Played" Smith
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Montague
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Join us to learn and watch games played at youtube.com/watchitplayed
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If you want to double check your general knowledge you might find it helpful to watch a bit of our play through here:



We do have a full rules explanation here as well, if you want it in detail:
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Michael Pittman
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tomaisin wrote:
No. You didn't do anything wrong. Coal is actually the weakest of the initial 6 PBs. So much so that when a Coal deck came in at the top 3 at this past year's GenCon, we were shocked.
A good pairing would be Aradel and Saria or Aradel and Maeoni. Maeoni will help you learn more of the focusing rules and those Silver Snakes can get pretty powerful. Saria is a great milling deck.
Jesse is a beast. If you wanna really screw with the opponents' battlefield, use Jessa. but she is a pretty hard one to play right out of the box as she is soooooo aggravating to fight against.
I would suggest trying a Aradel vs Saria or Aradel vs Maeoni. This combos are the most fitting as opponents and thats what a majority of people use when conducting demos and teaching the game.
Hope this helps.
Ashes is a great game and the community is wonderful. Hopefully now that the Azmodee merger is official, PHG distribution pains will finally be solved.
Time will tell.
Enjoy the game.


I'm not sure that's correct and besides the OP's situation involves Coal dominating Aradel (arguably the strongest PB in the core set, certainly early in the learning process).

Coal can be quite strong if played well and you avoid the Iron Rhino trap (Summon Iron Rhino is best used for Slash fodder, in my view). He can be quite good against Aradel, since 100 Blades can potentially clear her entire board, especially with help from Slash, Anchornaut and/or Nature power dice, allowing you to smash face.

Also, Coal's biggest issue is his low life and Aradel only has one more point of life.

Based on the OP, I'd agree that the GF may not have been blocking properly (or at very least optimally). It's hard to tell if they were overlooking anything else (it's not 100% clear that the OP was discarding to pay for Slash, but I think he probably did).

Ashes is very much about timing. It may just be that the OP was a bit quicker to grasp the best time to do things compared to his GF.
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Skaak
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Omahavice wrote:
She played a Summon Blue Jaguar spell with her main action and a mediation with her side action. I used my main action to get Hammer Knight into play and then did a Slash with Coal as my side action doing 1 damage to her.


You played this right, but note that Coal's Slash ability can only target the Phoenixborn if they have no units. Aradel typically can avoid Slash, because he has a hard time keeping up with her high unit count.

Omahavice wrote:
Can't remember how the next few turns played out, but after we both passed and had the Recovery Phase, I got a second Hammer Knight in play and started attacking each turn.


Two Hammer Knights can be scary (especially if one is backed up with Spiked Armor), but a Blue Jaguar makes them a very difficult investment to see a return on (because you have to spend three die to place the thing, and she just spends one to keep it out of her hair for an entire round, which means she has the perfect amount of time to Water Blast it twice and kill it for good--or find other ways of dealing with it).

Additionally, this is where you should start to see strategic First Five choices coming into play. She knows that you like to Hammer Knight with a follow-up Spiked Armor, so it's a very good idea for her to grab Steady Gaze in her First Five. That's 1C2D for two turns of being able to avoid something that you spent 2C5D on.

She can also aggressively exhaust your Ceremonial dice with her Illusion dice power coupled with Shifting Mist, which will make the resource imbalance even worse and force you to discard cards to Meditate rather than Slash.

Assuming she can lock you down for a round or two, Aradel will be in a very good position to grow a mountain of chump blockers, which puts her in a much more favorable spot and sets her up for some nasty Out Of The Mist plays, among other things.
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Mike Stevens
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Thanks so much to everyone who posted and gave suggestions. It is very nice to know that this game has an active community. Here are the answers to some of the questions you had and comments that were made about possible rule mistakes:

1) We both understood the blocking mechanics and when she tried to block a Hammer Knight with her Blue Jaguar, it would die. We applied the Jaguar's attack wounds to the Hammer Knight but with Spiked Armor and then the Recovery Phase which would remove a wound it was tough for her to defend.

2) We never carried over extra damage.

3) We were both aware and talked about the fact that targeting a Unit was different than targeting and attacking a Phoenixborn.

4) I think we used the exhaust tokens correctly and in the 2nd game she used a spell to put 2 exhaust tokens on Hammer Knight which stifled the first one for a few rounds.

5) I never did try to Summon an Iron Rhino as it seemed like it would take way too many turns and main actions before you would have enough of the Summon Iron Rhino spells in play so I just used those cards to discard when I wanted to use Slash. We did play that Slash could only put a wound on Aradel if she had no other Units in play.

After reading all you posts and seeing that Coal is one of the weaker Phoenixborn to play out of the box, it may just be that I steam rolled her in those 2 games. In fairness to her, she has never played MTG or Netrunner so I do have an advantage there. She does have some experience with Game of Thrones LCG and has kicked my butt in 4 out of the 5 games of Terraforming Mars that we have played in the past 2 weeks and I have never beat her in a game of Grand Austria Hotel so I am very confident that once she gets the hang of the game that the tide may start to turn against meshake

Rodney, keep up the great work. We absolutely love your videos and your son is hilarious.

Well we played 2 more games tonight and she wanted to play Coal even though I told her he was weak and that she should try one of the other decks. I took Aradel. In the first game she came out firing with Hammer Night and Iron Rhino and before I knew it Aradel had 11 wounds but my Jaguars boosted with Massive Growth, several Spirit Mists, and a couple Butterfly Monks were just too much for her as I won both games with Aradel over Coal.
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Travis Schneider
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Blue Jaguars do a ton of work in Aradel, and can make dealing with Hammer Knights easy. Just make sure the Jaguar is on the table first. Though, if you suspect your opponent is opening with Hammer Knight, you could include Steady Gaze in your first five. Or, if the timing works, you could open with a Mist Typhoon (mainly if they drop more than one unit) and then Water Blast the Hammer Knight in the same turn. And don't forget the Nature Power Side of the dice. It is extremely useful in finishing things off. If you need to rely on the Jaguars for the long game, start with a Root Armor.
Against Coal's other options, Mist Spirits are risky since they are easy for him to remove (Anchornaut, Chant of Revenge, Slash, and 100 Blades), but if they stick, they slow down Slash. Your strongest units against him though are the Jaguars and the Butterfly Monks. The Monks get harder and harder to remove. And if they do die, you get to heal anyway. Also, you have three Summon spells to Coal's one, so you can keep an onslaught of creatures going each round. Utilize that to burn out all his options of removal, since eventually he will run out.
Last thing, do not overlook the Illusion Power die. Coal's most powerful cards are going to rely on Ceremonial, so target those first. And if he is using Iron Rhinos, each dice you take from him makes that option much more useless.
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Lluluien
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Omahavice wrote:
Well we played 2 more games tonight and she wanted to play Coal even though I told her he was weak and that she should try one of the other decks. I took Aradel. In the first game she came out firing with Hammer Night and Iron Rhino and before I knew it Aradel had 11 wounds but my Jaguars boosted with Massive Growth, several Spirit Mists, and a couple Butterfly Monks were just too much for her as I won both games with Aradel over Coal.


This is smart on a metagaming level above even playing this particular game. I think your situation sounds like just a function of your differing levels of experience with card games, because most people find it difficult to beat a well-played Aradel starting deck with any of the other starting decks. In that case, what your wife insisted on was very wise - the best way to see what she should have done was for you to take her deck and show her the more effective way to play it. That will greatly accelerate her learning process.

If you want to even the odds, play the Noah starter against your wife playing as Aradel. I think this matchup is nigh impossible (I've written about why at great lengths elsewhere in the forums here) for Noah with two players that know what they're doing if the Noah player is playing strictly with the rulebook starter deck. As a bonus, there is a series of very specific "this counters that" tactics that Aradel can use to beat everything that starter Noah has to throw at her, and you can teach her each of those things as she loses a game to a new one, and that gives you a good starting "playbook" for teaching her how these kinds of games work.
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Mike Stevens
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lluluien wrote:
Omahavice wrote:
Well we played 2 more games tonight and she wanted to play Coal even though I told her he was weak and that she should try one of the other decks. I took Aradel. In the first game she came out firing with Hammer Night and Iron Rhino and before I knew it Aradel had 11 wounds but my Jaguars boosted with Massive Growth, several Spirit Mists, and a couple Butterfly Monks were just too much for her as I won both games with Aradel over Coal.


This is smart on a metagaming level above even playing this particular game. I think your situation sounds like just a function of your differing levels of experience with card games, because most people find it difficult to beat a well-played Aradel starting deck with any of the other starting decks. In that case, what your wife insisted on was very wise - the best way to see what she should have done was for you to take her deck and show her the more effective way to play it. That will greatly accelerate her learning process.

If you want to even the odds, play the Noah starter against your wife playing as Aradel. I think this matchup is nigh impossible (I've written about why at great lengths elsewhere in the forums here) for Noah with two players that know what they're doing if the Noah player is playing strictly with the rulebook starter deck. As a bonus, there is a series of very

specific "this counters that" tactics that Aradel can use to beat everything that starter Noah has to throw at her, and you can teach her each of those things as she loses a game to a new one, and that gives you a good starting "playbook" for teaching her how these kinds of games work.


Thank you very much, those are very good suggestions. Before I read your post we played another game and she wanted to play Aradel again and. Just picked a random deck that I had not played yet and I ended up with Janna the Voodo lady with the Blood Puppets and Blood Archers. It took me a bit to figure her deck out and my GF played much better with Aradel but I still got the win.
 
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GUILHERME CARDOSO
Brazil
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Guibs wrote:
I think you guys are completely missing the blocking mechanics. There is no way you Could so easily get to her phoenixborn.
remember that a single blocker is needed to block all attacks and even if the attacker deals more damage than the hp of the blocker, the residual damage doesn't carry over.

Also keep in mind that card effects that say "deal x damage to a unit" does not apply to opposing phoenixborn since they are not units.

Also, if you attack with a unit, that unit gets exhausted and can't be used until end of round when it refresh at the recovery phase.

Also if a unit block but doesn't counter attack, it doesn't get exhausted.


Wait, so if my opponent attacks with 2 or more creatures, can I block all with a single one?
 
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Skaak
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Myrium wrote:
Wait, so if my opponent attacks with 2 or more creatures, can I block all with a single one?


When attacking a Phoenixborn, units deal their attacks individually (and need to each have a blocker assigned if you want to stop all damage from reaching the Phoenixborn).

When attacking a unit you can block all units with a single Guard unit or the Phoenixborn (so you only have to block with one thing to prevent a unit from getting hit by a multi-unit attack).
 
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