Mohrlock's game plays for 2015
Mark Bird
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Looking to start the year with the 10x10 Challenge and I thought I should also track all my plays in general throughout the year.

Through this geeklist I hope to get through alot, if not all, of my unplayed games.

Please feel free to offer comments on games, ask questions or any other discourse throughout this list
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1. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
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I really wish my first listing for the year was a positive one, but there are only small glimmers of hope that will follow.

At the moment I'm in New York City for an almost 3 week holiday with my wife. One thing I've always wanted to do was take part in MtG tournaments and games in international locations to see what the player base was like and how different locations breed different deck builds.

The first Friday here in NYC, a few days into our stay, I would seize the moment to take part in both FNM Draft & FNM Standard and the Montasy Comics Midtown.

The seating situation was quite tight, with barely enough room for the roughly 50 seats at tressle tables that were available. Alot of shuffling and squeezing was required just to find a seat at my pod.

During the Draft my pulls were extremely lacklustre; initially starting with a Crackling Doom and ending up finishing up with a non-Khans wedge of BGR (Jund). I did woeful with the deck and went 1 win 2 losses by the end.

For Standard I ran Merfolk 4 You (get used to hearing that, I love playing this). I had some close games, but counters were few and far between and Daring Thief was rarely in sight. I dropped at 0 wins and 3 losses, not wanting to suffer a 4th round after a 45 minute bout of being land poor then land flooded.

I did meet some very nice people, but the venue was a far cry from my home location of Good Games St James in Western Australia.

My next MtG game in NYC will be a Standard tournament at The Uncommons with a chance to win a Duel Decks: Anthology box set (value $200AUD).

 
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2. Board Game: Smash Up: Monster Smash [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:570] [Average Rating:7.41 Unranked]
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A quiet day in the hotel while my wife attempts to recover from the flu lead to us trying out Smash Up. Neither of us had played any games from the series, but I picked up this expansion as I'd read that the expansions are standalone and I'm a bit of a horror buff.


Playing card-based games on a bed isn't the greatest idea

The rules were pretty straight forward and we each took our two factions and shuffled them together. I went with Vampires/Werewolves as my wife chose Mad Scientists/Big Insects. Have to say the artwork is gorgeous, theme is well done (the nods to the band Queen for the Big Insects is outstanding) and the game felt like Call of Cthulhu LCG Lite.


The final turn of the game

We were tied at 11 victory points each as it came into my wife's turn. We were both eyeing off the final base we were contesting for 4 VP. My wife played a brilliant minion/action combo, in particular an action that allowed a second minion to be played. The combo won both the base and the game for my wife.

Both thoroughly enjoyed and it looks like we'll be looking at the base game and other expansions before we leave NYC.
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3. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
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So tonight I went down to The Uncommons Cafe in New York to take part in their casual Standard "Big Prize" night; with delusions of grandeur that I would even have a chance at winning the Duel Decks: Anthology box set.


A cozy little place with 25 players of all levels, including Grand Prix New Jersey winner and StarCityGames Top 8 (multiple time) players

Piloting Merfolk 4 You yet again, I would find it an uphill battle all night. I played Brian in my first round, a RG player, with him taking the round 2-0. It was a nail biter in the second game when a Crater's Claw dealt lethal to me just before I could throw a Sphinx and Triton Shorestalker for an uninterupted 5 on the following turn.

Second round was against some familiar big stompy Green things like Polukranos, Courser of Kruphix and Genesis Hydra. I did enjoy pulling off my first Monstrous by stealing a Polukranos and tapping Daring Thief with Spring Leaf (for one Green/Forest) and paying 4 to kill a morphed Ashcloud Phoenix. I would however fall down once again 2-0.


The only game that would be won all night...

It was in what would be my final round (dropped 4th due to how late the night had ran) that I would steal a win. I streamed through a hasty win in my first game against BURW Planeswalkers/Gods, evading a Keranos in the air with Hypnotic Sirens and a Sphinx. Game 2 had both myself and my opponent, Daniel, sideboard a fair few cards - I pulled in some Gainsay and Negate. All would be useless though as the boardstate showed a mountain of planeswalkers (Chandra, Sorin, Elspeth) that we just churning out pain quicker than the army I could raise.

Certainly a fun night with a really friendly crowd, sadly just a little far from our hotel!

 
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4. Board Game: Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1571] [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
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Squeezed in two quick (learning) games off Boss Monster this morning before seeing more sights of NYC. The first game felt a little clunky for a couple of turns before we got our head around the gameplay.


My wife giving Cleopatra a good run against Draculord

The first game went quite close, with me just stealing the win with us both sitting on 9 souls in the final turn. Game 2 went a little quicker with my Xyzak trumping my wife's King Croak. Lots of strategy within the game and glad I grabbed the Tools expansion along with this when we picked it up!


A bit tricky playing in the hotel on the bench, but looks impressive all laid out!
 
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5. Board Game: Boss Monster: The Dungeon Building Card Game [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:1571] [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
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In the evening it was up for Round 2 of playing Boss Monster with my wife. We'd both got our heads around the finer mechanics of the game and we were straight into it. We were also sure to play with different Bosses throughout each game.


The brains of Cerebelus (and my wife) far outweighed the brawn of Gorgona in the first game

My wife would win the first game and then show me how it was done once again with Draculord in the second game, making it 2-2 for both of us and a much-needed tie breaker to be played.


Cleopatra was clearly too busy running a brothel in the second game...

The final decider for the day I would lose due to making a poor play of greedily luring 2 Epic Heroes to my dungeon, with one of them being just enough to break through and take me to 5 damage. Winner of Boss Monster for the day was my wife!
 
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6. Board Game: Smash Up: Science Fiction Double Feature [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:470] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
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After the enjoyment of playing the Monster Smash we ended up purchasing 3 more expansions (no base game yet). Eager to try new factions, I was lucky to get Spies & Apes as my wife got Time Travellers & Scientists.


Lovely party...

The mechanics were alot more cumbersome than the first Expansion we had played, this time utilizing things like discard retrieval and deck re-ordering. With initial impressions of links to Call Of Cthulhu LCG it was also starting to feel a bit like some of the complexities of Magic: The Gathering to me.


Spies have all the cool gadgets (actions)

We decided to swap decks after I'd won the first game and then my wife won the second. The night got a bit too late to play a decider, that and my wife also felt she had enjoyed Monster Smash more and was happy to call it.
 
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7. Board Game: Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000 [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:356] [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
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So back from New York and enjoying an extra week off work my wife and I decided to play some more Smash Up. Well, my wife requested we play again as she loves it!


My wife clearly wanting lots of VP, 7 to be exact, from Rhode Plaza

I was playing Steampunk/Bears vs Ghosts/Plants in our first game. I snuck in a final turn win dropping General Ivan and Rotary Slug Thrower on a fairly stacked base.

For our second game we swapped decks with eachother to see how we liked each. My wife pointed out it was interesting how we both had different playstyles; noticing that I was using alot of discard and low-hand effects with the Ghosts.


A very close second game... 2-0 to me!

My favourite combo was using a Ghost card to retrieve as many copies of a minion card from my discard, choosing 4 Sprouts, then next turn dropping all four by using the Plant action to play 3 extra minions all with the same name with the fourth as my normal drop. The extra bonus? The four were played onto the base that gives you 1 VP for each minion destroyed at that base for whomever destroyed them. Fun!
 
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8. Board Game: World of Warcraft: The Adventure Game [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2729]
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Looking at what to play next for the night after trying out Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000 we decided on playing something that hadn't been put on the table for a while.


It plays as well as it looks. One of the more satisfying games to setup in my collection!

I went with the Orc Warrior as my wife selected the Undead Mage. Game started out slow for both of us. Just a little teething getting used to the phases of the game again.

Once we both broke out of Grey level into Green the pace changed for noth of us. It felt like we were both getting nowhere and all of a sudden I rolled into Yellow level thanks to some nice items, my wife making a few accidental (though happy for her to take back) visits to Edwin Van Cleef before she was ready for him.


Enjoying a "potion" whilst my Warrior has a penchant for Bows

My wife was having some issues getting out of her quests sorted when I realized I should attempt for Red level and farm some items before going for some headhunts. This would prove to be the right plan as I gained some nice items, including a nice Core Armor Patch and imbuing my Weapon Specialisation ability onto my Hammer.


Perhaps a bit strong at End Game

I went after Kruul first and then followed up with Nefarian to end the game after a good 1 & 1/2 hours to have myself on 10 VP with my wife on 2 VP.

Really should pick up the expansion characters to this eventually!
 
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9. Board Game: King of New York [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:426]
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So the time had come for my wife and I to sit down and play perhaps the most anticipated game I've purchased in a long time. Why so anticipated? King of Tokyo, at time of posting this, was my most highly-rated and most loved game I own. And King of New York (aka King of Tokyo Advanced) would not disappoint!


Ready to wreak havoc in our recent holiday destination! (Grassy game mat to the right of the board is a Cube Quest playmat)

There are a handful of things that add complexity to the game above what King of New York offers. Firstly, the "new" Tokyo is now Manhattan and offers the added bonus of not only gaining Energy each turn but also 3 different areas to go "up" through to end up with 2 VP & 2 Energy a turn. Outside of Manhattan are multiple boroughs as well, which can be accessed (as with the multiple Manhattan areas) thanks to the new movement option offere after resolving dice.

The dice have some new faces too; Celebrity, Destruction and Ouch. Celebrity is like the old Numbers in KoT, you initially need 3 to score 1 VP (+1 per any extra on same turn) which gains you the Superstar card. This card allows single star rolls to count, but can be stolen by another player who rolls 3 stars themselves.

Destruction utilizes the other new enhancement to the game; buildings. Stacked in piles of 3 at random, each Manhattan zone gains 1 stack each (to total 3 in the borough) and then 3 stacks in each borough outside of Manhattan. Destroying these by matching your number gains the resource advertised on the front and reveals a military unit of +1 toughness greater on the otherside; also with resources and a potential threat. You can not destroy the military units on the same turn they are revealed.

Which brings me to the Ouch side of the dice. Rolling one means all units in your borough (yes, that means in Manhattan all three zones) attack yourself, 2 means all units attack you and any other players in your borough, 3 or more means all units across the entirity of New York attack all players in their respective boroughs. Also rolling 3 Ouch dice faces gains you Statue of Liberty; 3 VP to you - but if someone else rolls 3 Ouch you lose the 3 Vp and the new owner gains 3 VP.

So yes, this is like King of Tokyo, but it has so much more complexity to it you can't rely on all your old tricks to win. As I would soon find out...


My wife proving with Sherriff that this town ain't big enough for the two of us

After playing a best-of-3 game it would be decided my wife, Danielle, would be the victor with her winning the deciding game by VP to take out the title "Queen of New York" winning 2 games to 1.

I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but am relieved that it hasn't removed the need for King of Tokyo. King of Tokyo you can dive straight into with people who have never played a non-traditional boardgame before whereas King of New York I feel requires the latter to help break down half of the game more easily and then explain the new rules whilst setting up the board. I will however give King of New York equal position with King of Tokyo in ratings.

Awesome game! Look forward to the next plays!
 
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10. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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So I may have missed the Fate Reforged pre-release but I wasn't going to miss out on getting new cards on the day of the full release! I was lucky to be able to pick up two Fatpacks on the day of release at the brand new Good Games Joondalup store (dangerously 2 minutes drive from home). And I was suitably impressed!


So. Many. Rares.

One of the funniest things about Fate Reforged, at least for now, was an error with the print run. I wasn't sure if rumours were true but apparently instead of basic lands the boosters were being printed with the new Life Lands (enters tapped, offers two colours and gain one life when played) with a small chance of the Khans of Tarkir Fetch Lands (pay one life and search your library for a basic land of one of two colours).


Rumours were right! So much hilarity and an expensive Flooded Strand

I've never been one to enjoy the idea of paying life to gain mana, so the Flooded Strand was sure to find a new home. The store had them on their buy list as well as two other cards I didn't care for (Sarkhan from Khans and a new Monastery something-or-other just pulled from Fate) totalling in just over $50 in store credit!


Trading 3 cards I don't want for a big box of Black cards I do want, Sworn to Darkness

The 4pm Standard at the store didn't run as there was 3 players in total including myself that were there for it, so I just played some casual Standard with one of them to pass time. I won all 3 games we played, my opponent having only been playing for the last 2 months having not played since Dark Ascension.

I stuck around for FNM Standard and played my Merfolk 4 You deck. I started out with a win but would end up 1-1-2. There were only 9 of us there, but it was nice and quaint crowd.

I'll be missing FNM next week but look forward to playing at this much closer venue alot more frequently!

 
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11. Board Game: Elder Sign [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:464]
Mark Bird
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It's been a while since this one came to the table, what better timing to work it out again before I get started on my 10x10 2015 Challenge (link to geeklist pending). Playing on our loungeroom coffee table rather than our huge wooden dining table means I need to use playmats for dice games, so I thought I pull out my 2013 Call of Cthulhu Tournament Winner playmat, just because


There's always something therapeutic about a great looking setup of a game

Something I've always loved about Elder Sign is it scratches a few itches for me all at once. Firstly, it's based in a Lovecraftian world. The second point is you can play the game solo. And the final thing is that I can play the game co-operatively with my wife - a rarity when most of the time we are going head-to-head.


Yog-Sothoth being sent back to the stars...

It was all an uphill battle for the two of us, especially with myself being slung with two starting characters which only had 3 Sanity. The adventures were pretty brutal and Yog had us facing off after a good hour of struggles, only managing 6 Elder Signs before we were summoned to meet with the Ancient One. He took down at least 6 characters before we removed the final token from the Doom Track.

Look forward to returning to the game soon, but certainly a little too brain taxing to play a second game in 36•c heat on Australia Day!
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12. Board Game: Zombie in my Pocket [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:5672]
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What better way to start my 10x10 Challenge than with the game that started it all here on BGG for me; Zombie in my Pocket. I've chosen to do my 10x10 with only Solo games/plays and have also gone the "Hardcore" route which means no changing of my list throughout the year.


Too late. Dead to Punk Rocker Zombies. Dead to Punk Rocker Zombies.

So to say my first theee games didn't go well was an understatement. Sure I got the Cursed Totem and was outside by 11 O'Clock but time and my health were not on my side. Then I realized a crucial error; I was playing Zombie in My Pocket on Hardcore Mode!


No matter how many times you've played a game - read the rules!

Stupidly I'd been adding +1 to all Zombies whilst playing, which meant I was cowering a little more often than I should have and fleeing from some situations I could have dealt with head on. Lesson learned indeed! I figured one more game wouldn't hurt so moved on to setting up for a fourth attempt on Normal Difficulty. shake


I guess some houses and their land are narrow

Things went alot more smoothly playing the game properly, who'd have thought? Somehow I got the Etchings in my first room again and had to break through the Storage Room in the second room. I was pretty lucky getting the Cursed Totem early without having to see most of the house and was done saving the world just after 11 O'Clock had hit.

Still love this game, even almost 100 game purchases later. Quick to play, difficult enough to feel like you have a chance of winning and can support up to 8 "victims". Just 6 more plays to go of this for my 10x10 but certainly a nice start!
 
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13. Board Game: Sentinels of the Multiverse [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:270] [Average Rating:7.30 Unranked]
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Spending the day at home I thought I should continue catching up on my 10x10 Challenge and have been itching to play Sentinels, especially since picking up the Sentinels of the Multiverse: Rook City & Infernal Relics Expansion dual expansion in New York.


The Enhanced Edition really is a component organizer's dream

A great thing about SotM is that it is cery helpful in offering difficulty levels to both Heroes and Villians. I've only played once before, solo against Omnitron with 4 Heroes, so wanted to take it easy and play Difficulty 1 across the board.


Legacy, Haka, Tempest & Ra face off against Baron Blade in Megalopolis

Things were flowing quite well from the outset; Tempest was able to put down a Localized Hurricane that was keeping his hand more like a deck, Legacy used Fortitude to basically Negate the nemesis rule against Baron Blade (who's Living Force Field ended up doing the same) and Haka and Ra just poured out the pain.


Haka knows how to smash face

In saying that, Baron Blade was not without his tricks. Part of me felt like this was a poor shuffle, another part of me thinking this is probably what I deserved for things going so well...


Three consecutive Hasten Dooms, so hasty!

The closest call I had to losing a Hero was having Tempest get down to 6 health, other than that most characters were up around 16-18 health. Fitting my fourth character, Ra, would deal the killing blow on his turn. A great game, one I'm glad I've invested in and look forward to completing the next 9 plays for the 10x10 Challenge!

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14. Board Game: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:530]
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Churning out the games today, with one more to go after this! Putting in some more yards on my 10x10 it was time to dust off the ol' Space Marine suit and kill some Genestealers!


So many choices... for The Emperor!

Having all the expansions for the game at my disposal, I let dice decide my fate on who I would use. As it turned out it would basically be the rolecall for SHDA - Space Marine Pack, minus the Cyclone Terminator


Brother Zael doing the one good thing to happen all game

I understand why you don't want to go exploring every Space Hulk in the universe. This one you can just leave well alone. Seriously. Just leave it floating there to do it's thing.

I just barely scraped my way through the Void Lock into a Dark Catacomb with two surviving Marines. Worst than that was neither of them were heavy hitters to deal with the onslaught of Genestealers coming to feast on our flesh.


Brother Metraen's hatred for his enemies was not enough on this day

I ended up flanked and head-on with two swarms of almost impossible Genestealers (4 per swarm). This was the turn it all ended and it was enough to stick with just the one play for the day.
 
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15. Board Game: Dungeon Raiders [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1628]
Mark Bird
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Wanting a bit of a lighter game to finish of my day, I went with Dungeon Raiders. I love the hilarity that ensues in multiplayer but also love the adjustable difficulty of solo play.


I also love a fully-lit dungeon floor to plan my actions perfectly

As solo removes items from the game I chose the Warrior, starting with 3 instead of zero wounds to make the difficulty alot harder (maximum suggestion is up to 5). The difficulty was certainly there!

Game 1 was death to a Dragon in the second last room of the final floor holding a whopping 22 Gold in hand. Game 2 I didn't even leave the first floor after being greeted by a Skeleton, Troll & Dragon who seemed to really want my 4 Gold on hand. Game 3, my last for the session, I was met by a congo line of Trolls lead by a Skeleton who noticed I did 't have an invite for the party and 12 Gold wasn't going to cut it to hang around.

Quick and fun, even able to setup my box so one side (or one of the decks) has everything ready to go for solo play!


3-Wound Warrior wasn't up to the task today. Maybe next time!
 
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16. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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Ah, Friday Night Magic! Nice to head back to the always friendly crowd at Good Games Joondalup!

No introduction really needed, ol' Merfolk 4 You was out to play again tonight.

I started out the night poorly, playing against Joe and a Jeskai (BRW) deck. Lots of Prowess, lots of Soldier & Goblin tokens, lots of Flooded Strands being cracked. I just got Hour of Need a little too late in both games, losing out 0-2 in my first round.


Round 2 faired somewhat better...

Round 2 I would be matched up against Mason, who was running Mono Black. I can't describe it much further - it had a heavy Discard focus (but no Waste Not to capitalize) and lots of self-mill but seemingly no real reason to do so aside from a little Delve. I had fun stealing a Herald of Torment and using it to win in one game before being horrible in the second by creating 3 Sphinxes with two seperate Hour of Needs and bestowing a Hypnotic Siren onto a Typhoid Rat to flock through for the win. 2-0 for Round 2.

Dylan would be my matchup for Round 3 and I wasn't really expecting to see what came out; Mono Red Agro. Akroan Crusaders, Mardu Scouts (Dashed in), Monastery Swiftspears, Forge Denizens, Hammerhand... Oh my! The speed was quick and I just couldn't keep pace, always a step behind and lacking anything to answer. 0-2 for Round 3, coming it at 1-2 overall coming into the final round.


Board state from both sides, end game, with Dylan

My final round for the night would be paired up against Seth, whom I had met last fortnight at Good Games St James. Only this time he was trying his own Mardu build. There's really no details to go into here, both games was just counters and timing for Hour of Need to take the two wins (2-0 for Round 4). I spent the remaining time helping Seth with deck refinement and teaching him some deck building basics, also about mana curve and some combos in his deck he was unaware of.

Ending the night on a respectable 2-2. Still yet to break that curse and go 3-1 or 4-0 someday!

Possibly tomorrow when I enter into Good Games Cannington (formerly Good Games St James) Grand Opening Tournament. At the very least looking forward to catching up with friends I haven't seen nor played with for some time

 
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17. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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Good Games Cannington Grand Opening Tournament.

78 Players.

7 Rounds of Swiss then cut to top 8.

I really did want to give a big run down of each Round I played but I'll just reflect on the experience, it was a full-on day and I just want to make sure I get up any sort of post rather than avoid anything at all.


This is the best Dakra Mystic ability use - ever! (to Graveyard for those of you wondering)

I hadn't seen most of my friends that I play MtG with since well before Xmas last year. Half of our team, Team Brewery, were in attendance (myself, Adam, Matt & Mike) amongst many other friends that I'd not seen since the store was back in St James.

I'm just going to quickly list off the Rounds and matchups;

My Deck: Merfolk 4 You (Of course!)

Round #1
Vs. Adam (of Team Brewery) running Jeskai Tokens LOSS 1-2

Round #2
Vs. Michael (another friend, of Team Fleshmad Steed) running Jeskai Tokens LOSS 0-2

Round #3
Vs. Calum running Jeskai Midrange WIN 2-0

Round #4
Vs. Joshua running Mono Red Weenie Agro LOSS 0-2

Round #5
DROP


A single Sphinx & Hypnotic Siren cleaned up flawlessly in my only win for the day

My odds were dashed coming into the 5th Round and I knew I had a horrible hour or so drive home in 40 degree celsius. I was burnt out and sincerely over Jeskai, having struggled against it the night previous at FNM.

Sure I could have turned it around, like Adam, and gone 3-4 or even 4-3 but I was happy to have an early day. Top 8 was out of sight as was Top 16.

I did learn alot more about the current local metagame, inspired to build two new Standard decks.

First, Through the Fire and the Flames. A Haste-driven R/G Dragon-based deck with alot of ramp. Just need a handful of cards to complete. This will likely evolve a little when Dragons of Tarkir goes live.

Second, my first ever Mono White build in Standard (I have made all other Monos over the last 2 years); Vanilla Slice. Looking for a pseudo-Agro, Soldier/Warrior and Token deck. Just need a playset of Launch the Fleet to complete, so likely to be built before the Dragon deck is done. Did I mention this deck is a really budget build? You'll soon learn that's a staple for builds for me: cheap!

So there you go. Perhaps not the most successful day playing MtG, but definitely lessons learned and some great inspiration for even more decks to my arsenal.


Didn't even realize I'd played my 100th official game over the weekend!
 
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18. Board Game: Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:430] [Average Rating:7.25 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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Caught up with my good friend tonight, Eddie, whilst my wife was at a uni class. Eddie loves his AvX & Uncanny Xmen Dicemasters so it seemed fitting we should play a game.


My trusty team composition

As you can see, Eddie has printed some beautiful Stark Industries playmats (he works in graphic design/advertising) - they were great to play on! There was alot of back-and-forth and my Storm certainly made things interesting resetting Eddie's team most turns. I was knocked down to 9 life early, but would eventually get Eddie to 7 (some damage was from Eddie's Antman ability).


My own Doctor Doom cost me the game

The silliest thing I could (and did) do was playing Doctor Doom in the late game and clearing both our fields. This put all our characters into Prep but moving to Eddie's turn he was just about to roll a fist-full of characters. It would prove lethal and there were at least 5 characters I could not block, totalling 12 damage I couldn't avoid and handing me a loss.

Still great fun and look forward to more games!
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19. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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One of my favourite days of the year; Friday the 13th. A day where I like to celebrate all that is horror and do my best to get in a few of my favourite movies.

This Friday the 13th though instead I would be playing MtG with a twist. The local store, Good Games Joondalup, decided to add in a few special bonuses including some weird rules where we all had a numbered Typhoid Rat that would be used to help decide who would win random prizes as well as well as an option to use them in game as a colourless creature when we dropped below 13 health. As cool as this sounds, most people made an agreement not to use the Rat. I would only use it in my first round.


Thanks Dawnbringer Charioteer and Child of Night for your Lifelink!

Deck used: Merfolk 4 You

Round #1
Vs. Ryley playing Mardu Midrange Lifelink WIN 2-0

Ryley was playing a whole chunk of Lifelink stuff that was slow to cast and gave me a lot of time to setup. No Sphinxes, just Daring Thief shenanigans (image above) stealing not only Ryley's Dawnbringer Charioteer and using a Hypnotic Siren (yeah, 7 to bestow it!) to steal a Child of Night but also being particularly impolite stealing his Typhoid Rat.

Round #2
Vs. Trent (friend from Good Games St James) playing Boros Agro Burn LOSS 0-2

Trent is a really solid MtG player and in the past several weeks since deciding to relocate *shakes fist* to Good Games Joondalup he has consistently been a Top 8 Player. I scooped Turn 3 on the first game, keeping a greedy 1-Land-Hand that I really need to slap myself for. Game 2 went almost as quick losing at Turn 5 to a huge swing of 14 damage after blockers for lethal.

Round #3
Vs. Tobias (friend from Good Games St James) playing Temur Big Stuff WIN 2-0

Game 1 ran like a dream, showing Tobias almost every trick in my book by stealing his Polukranos and making a few Sphinxes. I didn't take a bit of damage and he would scoop before I could make an obvious swing for lethal. Game 2 went really tight and you could see the stress written over both of our faces with some really hard decisions. Triton Tactics was my saving grace that coaxed Tobias into a big swing attempting for lethal but instead being blocked and leaving the airways open for my Sphinxes to come in again on my turn for the win.

I was now left sitting at 2 Wins and 1 Loss. Could this be the first time I ever do better than a 2-2 record at FNM?


The final boardstate of the night looks good with two open Sphinxes...

Round #4
Vs. Ben playing B/W Agro Warriors WIN 2-1

A frenetic matchup would be my final round for the night against Ben. I showed of what Daring Thief was capable of in the first game and made Ben really think about what he was putting out onto the field before I would decide I preferred to be using it rather than himself. Game 2 he would turn it around on me with some well played Rush of Battle (+2/+1 & Lifelink to all creatures - Sorcery) and looking at the clock and my boardstate it would put me in a position where I'd rather scoop than play it out and risk a draw. Game 3 was our decided and I would throw everything I had into the mix, Sphinxes, Daring Thief and even locking up his mana and keeping Ben away from Swamps with Dakra Mystic. I would end the game with an open swing with 2 Sphinxes for lethal to zero whilst sitting on a nice 19 life after taking a small chip of damage.

...

Yes, you are reading this right! My first ever time going 3 and 1 at Friday Night Magic! I placed 6th overall for the night but that would not be all! I was also the lucky winner of one of the random prizes receiving foil Torment Elemental (Mythic) as well! Great night and look forward to more Merfolk shenanigans next week!

 
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20. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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Wowsers! Just fallen a bit behind on this - time to catch up on the last week and a bit of games.

Starting off with FNM for 20th February.


Pearl Lake Ancient. That sums up my whole night...

Deck used: Merfolk 4 You

Round #1
Vs. Adam playing Mono Red Agro LOSS 0-2

This was just over too quick. I scooped on Turn 6 in the first game as I had no way out at 9 life. Game Two went just as quickly thanks to Rabblemaster, Hordeling Outburst, Stoke the Flames and a quick finishing off of my final 6 life with two consecutive Lightning Strike in the same turn. Ouch.

I did however make a new friend in Adam, so there's a win in there at least!

Round #2
Vs. Jesse playing Abzan Bolster LOSS 1-2

First game I made a quick example of Jesse and showed him how my Sphinxes worked, but never gave away the Daring Thief side of things - I took out the game with only 1 damage on 19. He sideboarded accordingly and took out the next to games, without even breaking a sweat.

Round #3
Vs. Pierre playing Unknown (no notes) WIN 2-0

I have no notes from this game aside from life totals. Based on damage I can see that I had two Sphinxes in the first game and in the second I vaguely remember chipping away with a Triton Shorestalker before turning him into a Sphinx to take Pierre's remaining 8 life over the following two turns. My only win of the night.

Round #4
Vs. Ben playing Blue White Control LOSS 0-2

This was one hell of a gruelling match, the first round lasting a full 30 minutes of back and forth counters. I was getting too caught up in what was going as I rarely face control, my focus wasn't in the right place and I really should have held back on my counters. Silly plays cost me the first game, including not using two Sphinxes to block the Pearl Lake Ancient that came out. Game Two went a lot quicker but I would only take Ben down to as low as 10 life before he would use my own Sphinx against me (copied) with a Pearl Lake Ancient.

So a poorly 1-3 for the evening.

 
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21. Board Game: Warhammer 40,000 [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1917]
Mark Bird
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Ahhhh, refreshing Warhammer 40k.

I don't own anything of my own, but thankfully my friend Callum owns a plethora of miniatures from various armies. We normally play Kill Team rules, but on this day (22nd February) we would play the first two missions from the campaign book; Shield of Baal: Deathstorm.


Off on a bug hunt!

I would be playing the Blood Angels for the campaign whilst Callum would be playing the Tyranid horde. There was so much hilarity throughout the day that it didn't even matter who won. For the record, it was me *laughs*

One of my favourite occurences was during the first mission where Callum's Genestealers were failing hard on their attempts to run towards me. We exclaimed that they must have had "leg day" before coming to cleanse the planet of space marines.


Death Company doing, errr, death-related things to the Carnifex

Time was a little tight and sadly didn't have time to complete the third mission of the campaign (was successful with the first two) so we jumped in for a quick game of Kill Team. I would end up with Necrons against Blood Angels. It was looking dire for me and my Rippers and friends as we had nothing but melee to rely on, but we would secure the win thanks to objective holding and trying to stay out of harms way.


Scuttle for cover, my brethren
 
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22. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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We're almost caught up! Here goes for Wednesday 25th February.

Wednesday you say? But that's not Friday Night Magic. Indeed it is not! This was my first ever time playing Modern!

I love Mono Black builds, so when I read up on 8Rack I just had to make my own version of it. I stuck with the 8Rack model; 4x The Rack and 4x Shrieking Affliction. But all of my deck would be built on a budget outside of those.


Always nice not having to look at anything on my opponent's side aside from a discard pile

Deck used: Cash Strapped Black Racks

Round #1
Vs. Andrew playing Black/Green Big Stuff WIN 2-0

The Rack and Shrieking Affliction both got to come out and play. All the tricks went of without a hitch, and quickly. Andrew suffered even more greatly by taking a Mulligan down to 5 in the first game, making my job even easier. I couldn't believe I had won my first game in a new format; it took me several months of Standard before I would ever have my first win.

Round #2
Vs. Rob playing Grixis's Cruel Control LOSS 1-2

As much as I love playing Merfolk 4 You (I'd rather defend that deck as more of a Tempo deck than Control), I really do hate facing any kind of Control deck. I would trail away thanks to Raven's Crime in the first game but my gig was up when it came to sideboard. I did bring in my one Extirpate (at this stage it is my only sideboard card) to target Snapcaster Mage but I didn't realize there would be a much more sinister card I should remove. Think Twice would turn out to be my bane, as it would keep getting flashed and make sure Robs had stayed full and ruining my singular win condition.

Round #3
Vs. Sean playing Affinity LOSS 0-2

Artifacts. All the Artifacts. Zero cost Memnites and Ornithopters were cute when I was able to view Sean's hand. But then I would realize what was at play. Game One was so tantilizingly close that I had Sean down on 5 life with a Shrieking Affliction and one The Rack out, with the next turn being a win for myself, but Sean had the swing before we could get there. Sean focussed on using Lifelink to turn away from what I was aiming to do in the second game.

Have to say I found Modern a refreshing change from Standard. I really loved playing Cash Strapped Black Racks and I thoroughly enjoyed the fact we only had 3 Rounds. Look forward to playing more Modern in the future!

 
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23. Board Game: Magic: The Gathering [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:155] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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Phew! Almost caught up, here's FNM from last night!

I didn't expect to be going as I was meant to be picking my wife up from the airport from a work trip, but her plane got delayed to arrive at midnight so I thought I should capitalize on the opportunity!


One of my students from work came to play his first official MtG at FNM. I let him borrow one of my playmats. I still stole his stuff.

Just going for the quick rundown for this post.

Deck used: Merfolk 4 You

Round #1
Vs. Brad playing Red/White Token Spam LOSS 0-2

Round #2
Vs. Matt playing Mardu Agro LOSS 1-2

Round #3
Vs. Nathan (student from work) playing Mardu Big Stuff WIN 2-1

Nathan was extremely close to beating me, our final game he had me down on 4 Life when I would be stealing things with my Hypnotic Sirens for 3 turns straight to use his stuff against him. Very close and very proud of him as I was the one who had taught him MtG at work. He went 1-3 as well - a win on his first ever official MtG games!

Round #4
Vs. Jared playing Green/White Theros Block LOSS 1-2

A short note about how Jared learnt to hate Daring Thief in the first game. I stole ALOT of his stuff and he learnt to deal with him quicker in the final two games which he would win consecutively. See the image below for Game One

Ending the night on 1-3, but still had plenty of fun in each and every game!


Fleecemane Lion. Genesis Hydra (3/3). Warden of the First Tree. Brimaz. Oh, and not to mention given Jared a Springleaf Drum so I could steal his Bow of Nylea. SO MUCH FUN!!!

 
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24. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:633] [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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So we finally got the base game! And my wife still loves the game so she's been asking me all weekend to play. Last night we decided to play - still with plenty of factions unplayed including all of the Obligatory Cthulhu expansion to go...


The base game is accomodating but I really want my Big Geeky Box to come in to my FLGS to fill it up!

I would end up with the combination of Wizards & Zombies whilst my lovely wife Danielle would play Leprechauns & Ninjas. I was really loving the Action-spam and card draw of Wizards, some turns racking up as many as 4 or 5 actions. And Zombies doing stuff from the discard pile was cool and reminded me of Dredge decks in MtG.


Heavily-contested bases on both sides

Towards the middle of the game it dawned on me I actually had no real tricks up my sleeve other than emptying my hand and returning things to it. The Leprechauns really do hold up a good wall and make it hard to play anything without hindering yourself. And then I learnt the way of the Ninja...

Those sneaky little so and so's! With a few swift moves my wife turned the tables on my attempts and won two bases that gave her a solid advantage in points, leaving me scrambling to take out some uncontested areas. My attempts would be futile and Danielle will stand victorious for the evening.

Still a few more factions to blindly try and Pretty Pretty Smash Up is just around the corner too!
 
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25. Board Game: Superfight: The Loot Crate Deck [Average Rating:5.71 Overall Rank:11831] [Average Rating:5.71 Unranked]
Mark Bird
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There's one awesome thing about working where I work; there's an adequate amount of geeky kids to teach and play games with. Whilst I normally play MtG at least once a week with students at work, which I haven't been logging here, sometimes we do break "the norm" and play other games. As a pleasant surprise today one of my students came in with some great loot from his regular Loot Crate delivery.


Unstoppable

The game is basically a PG version of Cards Against Humanity, though players debate about who's selection could beat who's. There are a few random actions such as getting an extra card suffixed to your selection, random locations and random alterations to the situation at hand. Easy to play and lots of fun!



Couldn't resist Keanu! This clearly wasn't a winning combo...
 
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