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Subject: "Signature" cards rss

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Christopher Dearlove
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Almost ready to put out the long delayed next version of the FAQ (still one detail to be sorted). One thing I was doing, whilst tidying up wordings, was to improve on the "advice" Q&A. I got some good suggestions from Octavian, but if you think it could still be improved (a) I'm sure you're right, (b) blame it on me not him, and (c) how?

As you will see, at the end as a form of shorthand, I refer to "signature" cards, by which I mean those cards which are most important to a deck, and in particular are worth counting. And my question is, which cards would you regard as each deck's signature cards? Crudely of course these might be the 4 or 3 moon cards, but that overlooks firstly that there are some pretty important cards with 2 moons or less (the Khind Cool gang for example) and that importance is relative. If you are the Terrah it's worth watching Cast Cataclysm (only 2 moons, but it makes my point) but if you are the Flit, who cares?

And I don't usually do this, but I will let you know that when I'm playing against the Buka there are definitely some cards I track. In the meanwhile what do you track against other decks? (If you happen to be one of those people who can track all 60 cards, good for you, but it doesn't help us lesser mortals.)

Quote:
Q: I keep losing, what advice can you give me to improve my play?

A: I'll keep the number of pieces of advice down to the usual limit of three. First, you often should retreat even when you don't have to. Two of the things to look for here are when your opponent has four or five cards in his combat and support areas (a one dragon loss now may save two dragons later) or when he has strong supports in play (which may mean you are playing good cards against bad odds of winning the fight). Second, keep your hand balanced. Too few characters may mean you run out of them and have to retreat, too many and you usually are too weak. Don't be too afraid to "waste" cards if you need more draws to get back in control. A special case of this is to know how the end of the game works and not be caught out by it; many games that should have been narrow wins have become losses this way. Third, it helps to know the decks, yours and your opponent's. This can help advise you in your choice of element and tell you particular threats to look out for, and which of your cards aren't likely to be useful. While you probably won't count all, or even most, of the cards played, tracking a few key cards (such as mutants or the "signature" cards of a deck) can help you plan better.

 
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Allen Doum
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I'm not sure that stratagy advice is a rabbit hole you want to go down in the FAQ. The document is already so long that it is intimidating. There are alreay threads on strategy here. Perhaps it would simply be best to point those interested in advice in the proper direction.

That being said, who can resist answering the question. I'll keep these comments to the 8 precontructed decks.

Keeping track of the Mutant is almost always a good idea, as well as knowing the trigger condition.

Hoax: The Siganture cards are Tome of Wisdom (20), the highest value Support in the game; Duplicator of Stremgth (25) for its unigue effect: Brain Drain (26) and Thirkomedas the Serene (13), AKA Brain Drain Jr.; and Muster Reinforcements (27). The deck has a number of cards that shut down an attack, Inscrutable Armor (18), and Hank Highflyer Hawk (Flit 12) are on that list.

Vulca: Flamebreath the Dazzling (01), most powerful non-Mutant in Fire; Wall of Fire (26), almost always good for a fight; Fearsome Spirits (27); Cast Cataclysm (30) and Cinder (14), AKA Cast Cattclysm Jr., and Pandemonium (Khind 26). Of course, those last three are useless against the Flit.

Flit: Wing Commander Razorfeather (01) is the strongest retrievable Character in the game, and symbolizes the use of the Retrieve Icon characters of this deck. The Launch Boosters are the real signature here, but no one of them stands out.

Mimix: No single card stands out here. Amoung the pairs I would highlight the Dancers (11,12) because of the combined artwork, but the Amazons (09,10) have the high total values. If the Guardians (01,02) were actually in this deck, they would be the signature cards.

Khind: The four gangs are the signature, but the only individual gang member that stands out is FunFun (14). You have to have some idea of how many of each gang is left in order to play the Khind, or against them. Laughing Gas (27) has the highest ranked text in the basic decks.

Terrah: Megalit Mountainshaker (01), the highest non-Mutant Earth value; the three Storm cards (21,22,23); and Kabu Kat (13) and Baku But (14) are the signatures here. Add Mad Mike Magpie (Flit 13) against certain decks.

Pillar: Butterfly Scout (27) and Deploy Butterly (30), the two disclose cards; and the Caterpillar cards (16,18,19) are the signatures. None of the Pillar Characters stand out for me, but perhaps that is simply my aversion to typing their names. Wild Unicorn is the best armored non-Mutant in the game.

Aqua: Administer Water of Immortality (31) is the signature card. In the second rank, Yin (12) and Yang(13); the Floods (25,26); and Irresistible Sirens (28), the most confusing card in the basic game.
 
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Allen Doum
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Now that we're back on track...

In reference to my remarks above (not addressing the FAQ), I have posted in Tubalords thread on Hoax strategy some suggestions as to keeping track of how easily a given deck can "spike" strength on a turn.

Chris, I don't know if this is the kind of thing you're looking for here.
 
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Matthew M
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The discussion about the FAQ that spun off of this thread has been moved to its own thread http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102823

-MMM
 
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