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Blue Moon: Buka Invasion» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The old-school (Vulca) versus the new-school (Buka) rss

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Ken B.
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Managed to pick up the new Buka deck for Blue Moon at the local shop on Saturday, so naturally lunchtime at work was spoken for...it was Blue Moon time!

I had read the rules and they seemed to add quite a bit of cleverness and new CCG-esque stuff without being overly complicated. The one thing that did concern me was the better-than-average raw power of the Buka characters, but their lack of "real" support and booster cards seemed to hurt them.


Anyway, I took the Buka, and my brother took the Vulca. The Vulca to us are just real powerhouses, capable of throwing massive amounts of strength out there, and we soon found out that we were right!



The first battle was the longest, and I'm not sure now whether I should've retreated earlier or I just underestimated the Vulca. During our first battle, it was a back and forth affair. I landed two ships during the fight and loaded up one of them with Buka as the fight went on. The power continued to escalate. He used his Mutant to shift it from Fire to Earth, but I used Ghost-Buka Guy to put it right back to fire.

He had limited my playing of Support cards at one point, but I played the guy who cleared out HIS support cards to help.

I wasn't going to use my ship but as the battle raged it seemed like a must. Still, dropping 10 points of Buka strength still didn't help as the battle raged on.

What was bugging me was the fact that I had trouble getting the appropriate "Bluff" cards. Playing the 'wrong' bluff and then having it called would've been disastrous, as he would've gotten the free dragon for the bluff plus two because we each had so many cards out during the battle.

He finally played the 7 STR Vulca with the Fire-doubler + his existing support cards, and I couldn't match him any longer. Retreat, and lost two dragons. Bah! Our decks were already half depleted, I believe we each had 14 cards used during that fight...


Still, the natural strength of the Buka let me crawl back in it. First, he didn't want to match raw strength with one of the captains, so he backed off, putting him at 1-0 for Dragons. Then I played a Bluff card on the next fight and he called the Bluff...but I had the right element, so a free dragon for me! We were at 0-0.


Our last few fights were trade-offs as dragons bounced back and forth. Mostly the raw strength of the Buka were keeping me in it but a few Vulca tricks plus their own natural strength kept things even.

Finally, I was out of cards, so the last series of battles began. Still at 0-0, in our next to last fight with Fire I couldn't match what he had, retreat. 1-0. Then I played the 0/4 Earth Buka, which he couldn't match, but that was my final card while he still had three left in hand. He couldn't match the 4 earth, and retreated...0-0, but I had run out of cards first, so I lost the tie-breaker.



Just a closely fought game. I was amazed that a designer could have his newest deck be a close fight for one of his earliest...coming from the CCG world as I did, I'm just used to "power creep" being the nature of business.


It's possible I need to 'figure out' the Buka--their Bluff ability specifically seems very tricky to master. It's possible by getting to know them better would allow them to defeat the Vulca more easily.


However, I'm not sure how the poor Hoax will do, coming out on the whipping end of the Vulca as they seem to do (I think the Hoax are 10-1 or something ridiculous in matchups with the Vulca).


Great fun, really enhanced Blue Moon, these extra decks are great!


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Christopher Dearlove
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franklincobb wrote:
I was amazed that a designer could have his newest deck be a close fight for one of his earliest...coming from the CCG world as I did, I'm just used to "power creep" being the nature of business.


Given what you've written, especially the above, you might find my article at http://www.mnemosyne.demon.co.uk/bgames/bluemoon (the Buka one) of interest.
 
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Matthew M
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When playing against the Buka it is very important to know your own deck and which cards you need to save as Ship-Killers. A ship is good at making a really huge sudden strike, but if you can prevent it from landing, prevent the Buka from making full use of the landing, or get past the full onslaught the Buka are set back to square one.

The Hoax have five Ship-Killers:

Hank Highflyer Hawk "character cards ignored except Flits"
Bethenitana the Storyteller "If I retreat, you may not attract dragons" (opponent won't play the ship against you if she is active)
Brain Drain "On your turn, you may not play more than one card."
Var-dis-Nar (Mutant)
Inscrutable Armor (Fire armor booster)

If they draw these, they need to be saved for when a ship hits ground. The Vulca aren't nearly as well prepared against in this respect, so you may find the Hoax fare a bit better.

-MMM



 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Octavian wrote:
The Hoax have five Ship-Killers:


These split into two groups, as you've partially indicated.

Play before ship is landed to dissuade/prevent it

Quote:
Bethenitana the Storyteller "If I retreat, you may not attract dragons" (opponent won't play the ship against you if she is active)
Brain Drain "On your turn, you may not play more than one card."


Play in response to ship landing

Quote:
Hank Highflyer Hawk "character cards ignored except Flits"
Var-dis-Nar (Mutant)
Inscrutable Armor (Fire armor booster)


(HHH may look like he fits in both groups, but if played before a ship, the ship can still land and the Hoax player will have to cover HHH and match the ship.)

To the Buka, the second group are those to fear, you can see the first group coming. (That isn't to say you don't fear Brain Drain, in fact as it prevents you loading a ship or playing a bluff card it's particularly annoying - but not just as a ship killer.) Three of them, three ships. But of course it doesn't necessarily work that way.

OK, who wants to count anti-ship cards in each deck?

 
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Jack Wraith
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Dearlove wrote:
OK, who wants to count anti-ship cards in each deck?


Octavian already listed the Hoax. I figured I'd list cards that not only stop ships from landing, but can absorb the hit and keep the other player in the fight, like mutants.

Vulca:
Ember, if the Buka don't have text.
Infernal Armor, if the fight is in Earth.
Zig-nur-Don.

Mimix:
Neth-sur-Pot, assuming the card number is right.

Flit:
Highchirp can save a fight by getting rid of the right character.
Tittertweet, if the Buka are coming with text.
Cheepchirrup
Proud Phoenix Phil, if the fight is in Earth.
Fel-nar-Gan, but typically not if the Buka have waited to land a couple rounds into the fight.

Khind:
CoolCat and CoolCop together.
TopDog, if he can get the right character with a Bluff icon.
Drown Resistance
Den-bal-Ton

Terrah:
Ferro Fos, if the Buka have text.
Kabu Kat, if it's not the Sea Falcon landing.
Baku But, if it's not the Sea Falcon landing.
Corona Cos, if the Buka don't have text.
Silento Sol, if the fight is in Fire.
Cloying Mud, if any Buka has a power great than 4.
Provoke Earthquake
Ras-mus-Pan

Pillar:
Heat Haze, if the Buka have text.
Pen-dor-Nith, but rarely.

Aqua:
Aquatic Armor
Sas-van-Son, but rarely.

Now, here's the big question. The rules state that 'Buka character cards on the landed ships MAY be played as if they had the FREE icon.' That doesn't say that they have the Free icon, so I left out all of the cards that state 'your icons are ignored' or similar prohibitions. Correct or no? If they do count as having the Free icon, then they can be stopped by cards like:

Impenetrable Fog (Terrah)
Mekarthas the Shrewd (Hoax, but in Aqua)
Rout Retainers (Hoax, E&I: the Allies)
Man-shu-Ran (E&I: the Allies)

Otherwise, the only other cards that work are three of the best:

Evil Eye (Terrah, E&I: the Allies)
How dare you! (E&I: Blessings)

(Would these two be used to prevent the play of the ship in the first place, or its landing? Or both?)

Erupta (Vulca, E&I: Blessings)
 
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Ken B.
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Awesome analysis! I'm glad my session report generated the great strategy discussion.
 
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Matthew M
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Jackwraith wrote:


(Would these two be used to prevent the play of the ship in the first place, or its landing? Or both?)


Ships (or any cards) are considered played when they come out of the hand and placed anywhere other than the discard pile or deck. So How dare you! only works when the ship first comes out. And should certainly be used for that effect!

Of course, another anti-ship strategy is to simply not allow the Buka to load them. Keep the power high enough that they don't have an opportunity to continue, or need to use the Support phase to match power.

I wonder how an anti-Buka strategy revolving around playing strength fast and declining to start after a retreat would work. Declining to start serves two purposes: you flush weak cards from your hand and you always force the Buka into the first play, which means they miss another Support phase and you can hit with full power again in retaliation. A third purpose is it speeds up your own deck, countering that strength of the Buka - you'll get to more of your powerful cards, even if the Buka burn through their deck.

-MMM
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Jackwraith wrote:
Now, here's the big question. The rules state that 'Buka character cards on the landed ships MAY be played as if they had the FREE icon.' That doesn't say that they have the Free icon, so I left out all of the cards that state 'your icons are ignored' or similar prohibitions. Correct or no?


No. See the FAQ. But they only have it for long enough to play the cards. So "before" cards that affect FREE icons can be useful, but "after" cards aren't. Specifically

Impenetrable Fog (Terrah) - before, effective.
Mekarthas the Shrewd (Hoax, but in Aqua) - before, effective
Rout Retainers (Hoax, E&I: the Allies) - ineffective
Man-shu-Ran (E&I: the Allies) - needs a real FREE card for it to be playable, i.e. Letter of Marque

also

Evil Eye (Terrah, E&I: the Allies) - stops you playing the ship, but does nothing to stop it landing
How dare you! (E&I: Blessings) - ditto
Erupta (Vulca, E&I: Blessings) - after, effective

Incidentally there's an FAQ on which ship functions can be blocked and which can't. You can't stop a ship from landing, but you can make landing it a bad idea.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Octavian wrote:
Declining to start serves two purposes: you flush weak cards from your hand and you always force the Buka into the first play, which means they miss another Support phase and you can hit with full power again in retaliation. A third purpose is it speeds up your own deck, countering that strength of the Buka - you'll get to more of your powerful cards, even if the Buka burn through their deck.


(Looks like the Spanish Inquisition arrived - unexpectedly of course - with the third purpose.)

Declining to start, whether against the Buka or not, is a tactic which, rightly or wrongly, I tend not to use much. (I'm referring here to declining to start when your hand is OK. Declining to start when you have problems - e.g. just the one character - is another matter.) Of course the Buka (or whoever) can decline back, and they can even play a ship while so doing. If you get into a declining match, it's advantage whoever is already dragons up. Declining is obviously best for those circumstances where you are (naturally, or just by chance right now) fairly agnostic to the choice of element.
 
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