Arthur Williams
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After a short recess in which I could obsess briefly over a different game, we now return to your regularly scheduled Sentinels. Today's session is a Dawn Tribunal of the Celestial Citizens; no doubt they are trying to convince the killer space robots that Earth belongs to them and that the powerless humans should be exterminated....and it turns out that they have a pretty good argument to that effect.

Advanced Citizen Dawn [80] in the Celestial Tribunal, vs. Redeemer Fanatic [31], G.I. Bunker [27], Prime Wardens Tempest [27] and Termi-Nation Absolute Zero [25].

Setup: From a deck that appears to have shuffled itself back into a largely sequential order, Citizens Battery [7], Summer [4] and Winter [4]; Absolute Zero is overjoyed. Fanatic draws Divine Focus, Brutal Censure, Zealous Offense and Chastise. Bunker draws Gatling Gun, Turret Mode, Maintenance Unit and External Combustion. Tempest draws Vicious Cyclone, Shielding Winds, Chain Lightning and Ball Lightning. AZ draws Onboard Module Installation, Isothermic Transducer, Frost-Bound Drain and another Transducer; he is only slightly less overjoyed not to immediately have an NPCU.

Villain 1: Healing Light is wasted. Dawn deals 3 to Fanatic [28]. She’s still the highest, so she takes 4 more from Battery [24]. Summer hits Bunker [23] and Fanatic again [20] for 4 each, then Winter deals 3 across the board [Fanatic 17, Bunker 20, Tempest 24, Zero 22].

Fanatic 1: Citizen Summer gets put in a box with Chastise. Fanatic uses Redeem [18] and draws End of Days and Divine Sacrifice.

Bunker 1: With no cards he’s desperate to play and no need for his power, he takes the draw-2 turn, getting Grenade Launcher and Recharge Mode.

Tempest 1: Likewise draws Gene-Bound Shackles and Otherworldly Resilience.

Zero 1: OMI fetches NPCU; I accidentally fetched the card before drawing, and drew another OMI. Playing this, I drew first and got Modular Realignment, then took and played another NPCU. Declines to activate his power and draws Frost-Bound Drain.

Enviro 1: Celestial Executioner [6] enters play.

Villain 2: Citizen Assault [4] enters play. Dawn deals 3 to Tempest [21], then Battery deals 6 to Zero [16]. Winter and Assault each deal 3 across the board, but the damage to Zero cancels out since Winter is healing him; the others all drop by 6 HP [Fanatic 12, Bunker 14, Tempest 15]. So much for just burning Dawn down and enduring the Citizens’ attacks.

Fanatic 2: Takes 2 self-damage [10] to keep Chastise, then plays Brutal Censure on Dawn [78], drawing Smite the Transgressor, using Redeem [11], drawing Zealous Offense, and drawing Undaunted at the turn’s end.

Bunker 2: Plays Maintenance Unit and heals [16]. Draws Auxillary Power Source.

Tempest 2: Left with the chief responsibility of saving his companions’ skins, plays Otherworldly Resilience, then activates Arc of Power. Plays Gene-Bound Shackles and takes 2 damage [13]; plays Chain Lightning for 4 damage to Citizen Assault [X], 5 to Dawn [73], and 2 to the Executioner [4], takes 2 damage [11], then plays Ball Lightning to kill the Executioner and takes 2 damage [9]. Draws Elemental Subwave Inducer.

Zero 2: Gently sets down the Isothermic Transducer, comically holding his hands near it after letting go, as if expecting it to tip over immediately. With it securely in place, he still dares not activate Violent Shivers and simply draws Hoarfire.

Enviro 2: Another Executioner [6] shows up, with some words for Tempest (none of which are fit to repeat here).

Villain 3: Citizen Spring [6] enters play. Dawn deals 3 to Zero [13], Battery deals 4 to Bunker [12], and Winter heals Zero for 3 [16] while hurting everyone else [Fanatic 8, Bunker 9, Tempest 7]. Spring heals Dawn [74].

Fanatic 3: Drops Chastise at Zero’s request. Unconvinced she’s going to survive, Fanatic tries to go out in a blaze of glory with Divine Focus, Redeeming [9] and drawing Divine Sacrifice and Final Dive.

Bunker 3: At start of turn, Fanatic discards Zealous Offense to hit Dawn [72]. Bunker plays Gatling Gun, heals [11], draws another AuxPS, and discards ExComm to keep the Gat running.

Tempest 3: Fanny drops Divine Sacrifice [Dawn 70]. Tempest plays ESI and draws another OR.

Zero 3: Fanatic discards End of Days [Dawn 68]. It’s clearly all up to AZ to handle minions this round, so he plays Frost-Bound Drain, dealing 3 to the Executioner [3], 3 to himself [13], and transducing out 3 more cold to Finish Him. Not exactly a Flawless Victory. Calculating that he will take 5 and then 6 before he can Transduce if he uses Violent Shivers, he still dares not, and draws an NPCU.

Enviro 3: Redeemer ditches Undaunted [Dawn 66]. The Celestial Chamber enters play, so those dead Executioners are coming back next round, and will instantly activate. The bonus card is Called to Judgment, so actually that won’t happen, but the guest hero will not be safe in Winter’s presence. As to who the guest is, with Tempest’s wad having been shot for the moment, it seems reasonably safe to go on the offensive and help out AZ’s math, so Legacy arrives and performs Galvanize.

Villain 4: One more Divine Focus discard: Divine Sacrifice again, dealing +1 damage this time [Dawn 63]. Citizen Blood [5] enters play. Dawn deals 3 to Zero [10], and Battery lambasts Bunker [7]; Summer targets Tempest for sure [5], and Zero intercepts the second hit, using the Transducer to feed it back to himself as +1 cold damage, so the net effect is that he heals 1 [11]. He heals 3 more as Winter goes off [14], but the others all suffer [Fanatic 7, Bunker 4, Tempest 5], as does the imprisoned Legacy [7]. Spring heals Dawn [64], and Blood hits Bunker [2].

Fanatic 4: The last blast of Divine Focus is also the best (tied with its predecessor); Zealous Offense is discarded and Dawn takes 3 more [61]. Final Dive, the sub-final card in Fanny’s hand, is then played; over Zero’s objections, Summer is picked up and smashed into Blood, killing them both. Redeems [8] and draws Consecrated Ground and Prayer of Desperation.

Bunker 4: Deals 3 to Dawn [58], then drops an AuxPS, heals [4], and draws Omni-Cannon.

Tempest 4: Selects Cold damage to reduce, plays Vicious Cyclone on Dawn, and skips his power to draw another Vicious Cyclone.

Zero 4: Plays Frost-Bound Drain for 4 damage to Dawn [54], dealing 4 fire to himself which transduces into 5 cold to himself [15]. Thanks, Legacy! With Dawn and Battery both pointed at him, he still barely dares to turn on the Violent Shivers, but Hoarfire is burning a hole in his pocket and Legacy has now been gagged by his jailors, so it’s time to take the chance. Draws Fueled Freeze.

Enviro 4: Character Witnesses enters play; Bunker and Tempest are unwilling to discard to heal Legacy for more damage than he’s taken, so nothing else happens that round. If the heroes and the Earth both survive for a round, Leagcy’s gag will be removed and the heroes will really start fighting back!

Villain 5: Return With The Dawn enters play. Dawn shoots Zero for 5 [10], then Battery for 6 more [4]; Winter then heals him 5 [9], while almost killing Bunker [1] and ravaging the others [Fanatic 5, Tempest 4, Representative Legacy 4]. Dawn heals [55], then I have a nearby friend pick from the three dead Citizens; I was hoping for Summer, but instead she got Blood, who pops out of nowhere and shanks Bunker to death.

Fanatic 5: Smites the Transgressor on Dawn [53], then Redeems [6] and draws Final Dive and Embolden.

Bunker 5: Of the available options, his best shot is to make AZ Shiver even more Violently through his next turn, with no downside on the villain turn. Except no, that would be death! Instead he targets Fanatic [7], who finally draws her Aegis of Resurrection.

Tempest 5: Discards two cards, keeping only Shielding Winds, to hit Dawn for 6 total damage [48]. Again chooses Cold damage to resist, plays no card, uses no power, and draws Into The Stratosphere and Electrical Storm.

Zero 5: Though Fueled Freeze is desirable, Hoarfire has to be the priority; dealing 2 cold damage to himself instead heals him for 6 [15], then deals 4 fire to Dawn [44], 5 cold to himself [20], and 5 fire to himself [15] which Transduces to heal himself for 9 [24]! If he’d had 1 more HP, he could have had the double-Shivers running this round, targeting something other than himself with the initial cold damage...y’know, the 10 damage to himself would have been 10 healing, so he could have survived in fact (I mixed up the NPCU’s “heal instead” with the Transducer-Plus-NPCU’s “heal yourself with cold, but only if the fire didn’t kill you”). So he either could have dealt out 6 damage twice instead of 4 once, while healing 9 and then taking 9 damage and then healing 15 (good god!), or he could have healed himself 10 and then 9 before taking the 9 damage...yeah, I was definitely in no danger there. Oh well, this version’s not bad; he’s almost at full HP. The Shivers expire and he chooses not to renew them, since he’s not holding another Hoarfire; he draws Modular Realignment, which I could play as a mini-Hoarfire despite not needing any Equipment out of the trash, but I’d rather wait.

Enviro 5: Legacy starts cheerleading again; Called to Judgment is then played, allowing him to Galvanize a second time! The three surviving players all discard (Embolden, Shielding Winds, and another NPCU) to heal him by 4 [8].

Villain 6: Other Return with the Dawn is played. Tempest will die without having the chance to unload his remaining two cards and hit Dawn for 8; first, Dawn hits Zero [21], then Battery piles on [17], and Winter heals him [20] while hitting Fanatic [4], Tempest [3], and Legacy [5]. Spring heals Dawn [45], Another friend helps me with Return from the Dawn; I get my preferred result of Summer first, then Assault, and Blood hits Tempest [2]. Summer hits Zero and Tempest; even if I’m allowed to hit Zero first despite him having fewer cards, doing so would Transduce out enough damage to kill Summer before Tempest dies, but then Assault would do just enough damage to finish him anyway. So I’ll just let Tempest die to Summer first (about this moment, I found Citizen Hammer somehow separate from the rest of the villain deck; he must have been on a special assignment that separated him from Anvil somehow). Summer then does 4 to Zero [16], who Transduces back for 6 to himself [22], and then Assault does 3 across the board [Fanatic 1, Zero 19, Legacy 2].

Fanatic 6: The Aegis will protect her, though she’s not much better off than Legacy at this point; some Citizens absolutely have to die or the Earth will be doomed! Redeem doubles her HP [2] and she draws Divine Focus and another Aegis.

Bunker 6: This time for real, Zero starts Shivering on Bunker’s turn.

Tempest 6: Since Fueled Freeze is charging up, he doesn’t want to destroy the Returns from the Dawn, so he just gives Zero a draw, which is Modular Realignment yet again.

Zero 6: The Return With The Dawns are destroyed, along with every Citizen except Battery [1], and Dawn takes 6 [39]. Draws Thermal Shockwave.

Enviro 6: Found Wanting is played; it must be played next to Battery so that the heroes can use Character Witnesses, as it’s not an acceptible risk to leave Legacy at 2. Prayer of Desperation and Isothermic Transducer are discarded; Battery rises to [5] and Legacy to [6].

Villain 7: Citizen Autumn [6] enters play. Dawn and Battery do their usual 7 to Zero [12], and Autumn does nothing proactively, although her very existence complicates AZ’s life; if he plays Thermal Shockwave, he must use it in such a way as to kill her with the Transducer output, rather than healing himself of at least (and preferably at most) 6 damage, and Galvanize means that his damage is +1, so....

Fanatic 7: Has no card she really wants to play, so she Redeems [3] and draws Holy Nova and Sanctifying Strike.

Bunker 7: Helps AZ do the math on his Thermal Shockwave, determining that Violent Shivers must not be activated at this time, so he lets Fanatic Redeem [4] and draw Consecrated Ground.

Tempest 7: Feeds AZ another card, which is an Onboard Module Installation.

Double Zero 7: Plays Thermal Shockwave and activates it, dealing 2 damage to Autumn [4], 3 damage to himself [9], and 4 more damage to Autumn [X]. He is in deep danger of being killed on the Citizen turn because of this gambit, but since he is otherwise dependent on One-Shots for all his damage, he feels like risking it.

Enviro 7: A Celestial Executioner [6] arrives, and now the heroes are really in trouble. Up until now, the Environment has been their friend; now, Legacy is about to get clobbered, and the Celestial Chamber makes it impossible to prevent this by killing the Executioner, so the heroes will need to get Legacy out of there. He has Galvanized them for this one last time, but of course nobody heals him.

Villain 8: Blinding Blast is played; Zero falls to [7] and Fanatic to [2]. She discards Divine Focus and Holy Nova, but Zero doesn’t have to bother, since he’s still ahead on HP for just long enough that Dawn hits him [4] and Battery kills him. At least now Fanatic will be able to take two full turns each round among the various incap abilities, albeit that one is in an eccentric order (Power, Draw, Play). Oh wait, that isn’t right: Legacy is there too! He had 6 HP before the Blinding Blast, so he had 4 afterward, and thus Battery kills him instead. So I guess Fanatic doesn’t get to finish the game after all. Ironically, fewer Redeems would have resulted in her being killed, resurrected, and taking the hits for AZ and Legacy; no doubt she and her priest will be discussing this situation.
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Crazed Survivor
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The Orzhov welcome you. Please leave your belongings with the Obzedat. They are not yours anymore.
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Hi, I'm a european crested tit, and a very small punk rocker!
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Ah Helena, why you be cautious?
 
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Arthur Williams
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It's amusing to paint this as a failure on Fanatic's part, since I was playing the least self-destructive version of her, and she was the only survivor. But in truth, the reason I lost this game is because I gambled with Absolute Zero; he was perfectly well stabilized, and could have retained the upper hand for a long time, but he wanted to play Thermal Shockwave so that he could be more proactive with his power uses on Bunker's incap turns. Because I was willing to take that risk in order to get rid of Citizen Autumn, rather than just accepting that I couldn't play the Shockwave yet, I risked letting AZ go un-healed that round, and Dawn played exactly the card that ensured that both AZ and Legacy would die. I'm happy to have lost under this circumstance; it's only the second time I've gotten the alt-loss of the Celestial Tribunal, and it's a very different way for the guest hero to die (making a fun scene to picture, where the Executioners have trapped Legacy and Citizen Battery into a trial-by-combat for the fate of the earth, while Dawn and Autumn stop AZ and Fanatic from interfering; the other time it was just a full-party wipe due to massive AOE damage). To have won this game, I'd have had to play in a more boring way, so I prefer this outcome (even though it worsens AZ's already abysmal record).
 
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