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Subject: Buka vs. Other Stock Decks rss

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Ryan McLelland
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Draper
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I picked up the Buka last night, and I really like some of the unique features they add to the game. I haven't had a chance to play them yet, and was wondering what other peoples' experience has been with them.

Are they well balanced with the other pre-constructed decks?

How well do they work as the family groups added to the other decks?

I am basically looking for initial impressions that people have had with them. I am excited to get them to the table myself this weekend.


 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Chelmsford
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RyanMC wrote:
Are they well balanced with the other pre-constructed decks?


Brilliantly, superbly, more balanced than you could possibly believe.

Oh, you wanted an unbiased opinion? Actually so would I.
 
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Seth Ben-Ezra
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Well, here's the text of an email that I wrote to a friend with my first impressions of the Buka.

===========

Played one game last night with the Buka, before sitting down to watch
Chinatown. Crystal took her standard Flit, and away we went. I lost
on the tie-breaker, which isn't surprising when facing the Flit.
However, I think that I'll be able to do much better next time.

The bluff icon is a *big deal* for this deck. 23 of the 30 cards are
characters, and so most of them have to serve double-duty as both
characters and (functionally) support cards. Many of the bluff cards
are "empty" also, so bluffing can be pretty nerve-wracking. At the
same time, there are just enough fire and earth bluffs to keep your
opponent honest.

Make no mistake about it: this is a speed deck. If the Aqua are
"water", needing to pour cards from your deck through your hand onto
the table, then the Buka are "wind", needing the player to prepare a
violent hurricane to burst suddenly upon his opponent. Ships are a
big deal in accomplishing this, since they essentially let you set up
big attacks for future turns. Plus, any character coming off a ship
is played as if it had the Free icon. Add to this the Brotherhood of
Pirates cards, which are all Free under different circumstances (e.g.
if the opponent has two active cards with icons), and the
possibilities are a little frightening.

Also, since loading to a ship and playing bluffs are considered to be
playing a support card, any card that gives you the right to play
additional supports is a Good Thing. The preconstructed deck includes
two of these. One is a character that gives the right to play
unlimited supports, and the other is a support that lets you play an
additional support card. Again, the speed deck rears its head.

Now, a weird aspect of the bluff rules is that bluff cards do *not*
count towards the six-card limit for attracting two dragons. So, I'm
wondering if the Buka need to hit hard and fast without getting bogged
down in an extended slugfest. If the battle is taking too long, then
cut and run, returning to fight again. This is the biggest area where
I failed last night, as there were a number of battles that I won with
five cards (plus bluffs). Obviously, this is not an optimal
situation. (he said dryly)

A final note: I found it difficult to work through good card play,
because a given hand of cards actually represented more options than a
normal hand. This is mostly due to the bluff cards, of which there
are many. As a result, I had to evaluate most of my cards twice, once
as a character card and once as a potential support. This isn't a bad
thing; just a matter of getting used to the deck.

The ability to use slices of the Buka deck in with another
preconstructed deck is interesting to me. In particular, I'd like to
see what kind of damage certain decks (like the Khind or Aqua) could
do with Buka ships in the mix. That could be *awful*.

And, of course, when I say "awful", I mean "really, really cool".

===========

So there you go. Buka vs. the Flit.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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GreatWolf wrote:
A final note: I found it difficult to work through good card play, because a given hand of cards actually represented more options than a normal hand. This is mostly due to the bluff cards, of which there are many. As a result, I had to evaluate most of my cards twice, once as a character card and once as a potential support. This isn't a bad thing; just a matter of getting used to the deck.


I believe I'm on record (somewhere) as having said that anyone who thinks Blue Moon decks play themselves (a) is wrong, (b) really hasn't played the Buka.
 
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Mark Bigney
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Dearlove wrote:

I believe I'm on record (somewhere) as having said that anyone who thinks Blue Moon decks play themselves (a) is wrong, (b) really hasn't played the Buka.


Oh, amen on both counts. The Buka are nasty, but you earn your victories.
 
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Joe Stude
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I played my first couple of games with the Buka tonight. Unfortunately, I played with someone who's hardly ever played the game. I thought maybe my lack of familiarity with Buka would help balance out the lack of experience on his part, but unfortunately it didn't. The games ended up being a pretty frustrating experience for him, particularly when it came to his seeming inability to do anything against the ships, since he doesn't know the game well enough to be able to think about the counters that exist for them. I offered to let him play Buka but he declined. Some other thoughts:

It's a bummer that Buka doesn't thematically work with Emissaries as there are a lot of Allies/Blessings cards that I think would interact with Buka in very interesting ways. (I haven't really made the jump to deckbuilding)

Bluffing is indeed pretty nervewracking. Not really knowing the contents of the deck well I didn't dare attempt an empty bluff during our games, but it worked out okay. On quick count, there are 18 bluff cards in the deck. Of those 18, six of them have elemental icons, three fire and three earth. Interestingly, all six are stronger in earth than they are in fire, such that you'll get more benefit from keeping them hidden as fire cards and your opponent may have more incentive to call your bluff when fighting in fire (especially with Powdermaster Yuka Ko active - "The values of my active bluff cards increase to 4"). I'm particularly curious about how effective Buka will be if the Buka player never attempts to bluff.

The bluff mechanic is simple enough that I think players new to Blue Moon won't have too much difficulty coping with as the mechanic balances itself without requiring a ton of insight into the game, but I think dealing with the ships is going to require some creativity. Needless to say I'm excited about trying to "solve" them but I'm hoping it won't be too daunting to new players.

The games I played tonight were both vs. Terrah. I mentioned above they weren't really competitive, but it got my brain spinning on weapons Terrah has vs. Buka. Impenetrable Fog is completely disgusting because not only can it guarantee a successful bluff call, but it really nukes ship usage while it's active due to abolishment of the free icon. Thankfully this never showed up in either game. Baku But could prove to be pretty nasty since Buka only has one booster in the entire deck (Letter of Marque - "You may not call my bluff.") and Letter isn't a card you want to be forced to throw at an inopportune time.

Can't wait to get some good session reports up here.
 
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