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Hello! This is where I write down all my game reports for the amazing Cauldron SOTM decks (made by Matthew Bishop). I'll post the first issue here and the following issues in the comments of this thread.

CAULDRON CLASH 1: BEGINNING AND THE END

Scenario: “Beginning And The End” sees the oldest and youngest heroes and villains face-off in a showcase of Cauldron’s beginnings and most recent ending. When Dynamo and his Rogues endeavour to heist sacred relics from the secret vault, the old guard mentors the new and previous enemies are now allies when they form the team that will stop the hardened criminals!

Setup: Dynamo vs Vanish, The Knight, Pyre and Drift in Vault 5.

Result: VICTORY! The heroes pummelled Dynamo and The Rogues with no incaps!



Report: The first damage of my Cauldron experience came from Dynamo, who bunkered up with damage reduction (Hardened Criminals) first-play and neutered Drift and Vanish’s damage output right from the start. Python joined the party not long after, twice in total … but both times falling under an atomic avalanche from Pyre! Dynamo got to charge-up twice this game, but he just could not beat the wall of armour the knight had no matter how many ongoings he played. Dynamo was defeated at the hands of the heroes, with no kills to his name and cursing that Copperhead missed the memo on the heist.

Pyre ruled the roost here! Vanish had set up with early plays so he had Fission Regulator and Containment Breach by the turn 1 power phase. This meant he set up obscene waves of Energy damage on Python both times, nuclearizing Dynamo’s red pants and even blowing himself up down to low health with real risk of death by thermonuclear cascade! He ended up on 5hp, with the cascade on top of his deck!

Knight was a great first-choice for a new hero for me to try: simple but super impressive! Getting Whetstone and a sword out early meant he was shaving dynamo’s Mohawk for big clumps each round, and tanked tons of damage later with his helmet and shield. He ended up on 16hp sitting behind tons of armour and Dynamo’s dented skull.

Drift mainly stayed stuck behind Dynamo’s constant reduction, but also spent her game with a future focus that could punch through. She mostly stayed in her own world and did her own thing; healing, plinking off environment targets, and playing other people’s cards for them. She finished off Dynamo for the final hit with a cheeky Transition Shock trigger, ending on 9hp.

Vanish was more unfamiliar to me than the others and was a slow build, walled by Dynamo’s damage reduction at first. But at the very late stages she came into her own, taking a whole turn out of sync thanks to Drift and increasing damage dealt to Dynamo to really finish him off. Vanish also handled the relics superbly, especially the map. She ended the game on 10hp.

Vault 5 was quite a friendly environment, with sudden spurts of “uuuhhhwot?”, such as prohibiting Vanish from drawing cards or clocking nearly everyone for 3 with Byrg’s Nail. Map Of Lost Choth was especially fun, played by Vanish. We wish Director Wells a lavish funeral after being caught in Pyre’s collateral irradiating damage.

Play of the game: Play of the game this issue was what the team calls “expert crisis management”. Pyre is near-meltdown, having just saved a Thermonuclear Cascade with his Fission Regulator and has the naughty explosion sitting on top of his deck. Drift plays Destroyer’s Adagio in the past, allowing The Knight to play Battlefield Scavenger for everyone. So, Pyre as a result put the Regulator back on top of his deck over the cascade to delay it much longer than it had any right to. Considering he was on 3HP at the time, I can imagine Pyre in his suit scrabbling at the controls trying to stop a meltdown!

NEXT TIME: Unusual indivuduals run amok in a frighful fight: "Cauldron Clash #2: The Monsters"!
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Cauldron Clash #2
CAULDRON CLASH #2: THE MONSTERS

Scenario: In “The Monsters”, we see monstrous and unusual individuals team up to face a grotesque and terrifying foe. Anathema is on the loose and must be stopped at the Halberd Research Center! Fighting fire with fire, a team of cursed or strange individuals have banded together to take down the ever-shifting nightmare: a necromancer, a molten giant, an undead trickster and a commander of otherworldly djinn!

Setup: Anathema vs Baccarat, Necro, Titan and Malichae in Halberd Research Center.

Result: VICTORY! Anathema is forced back into the shadows with no incaps.



Report: Anathema started really spiky: his Enhanced Senses plus Razor Scales peppered the team, and later he combined a Thresher Claw. But his Whip Tendril ended up stuck on Undead targets from Necro and Djinn, while his late game dried up; by the end, I felt like I got the “easy” Anathema game where he wasn’t dealing any damage at all, getting redundant arms and ongoings that didn’t do enough. By the end he was gone, with only his barely-alive Metabolic Armor remaining to stop him flipping.

The showstopper was Baccarat in the end; he was like a poker master that just kinda buried his head down and held his cards until BAM, he wrecks shop and steals the chips! Ace Of Sinners was the swinger here: first turn after that, “All In!” decimated Anathema’s arms and the Euchres clocked Anathema for a further 6 damage. Next round, Baccarat got his power twice and destroyed Anathema for his remaining 12HP. I could have kept Ace Of Sinners going a few turns more after that; that’s power in budgeting! He was left with 14HP.

I feared playing Malichae the most as I knew little about him bar his central gimmic and started with a hand full of djinn… but you know what, he’s alright! Malichae focused around healing this game: in fact, almost everyone but Baccarat did. High Ezael was an important presence in the game for sure. More importantly, Malichae became responsible for handling Halberd environment destruction with Zephanael’s Compass. Twice he pocketed his sjinn to blow up chemical triggers and the rest of the environment targets. He ended the game on 15HP.

Necro screams potential, much like his zombies. He got his healing ritual out early which added serious longevity to a team that was getting clocked hard by both Anathema by the early stages and the environment late-on. His second ritual ended up being the KABOOM one and with Ace Of Sinners out that was a real gut-punch to Anathema and the environment. Wish I got to see more of him. Necro ended proceedings on 14HP.

Titan was a slower burn but incredibly solid. This was a non-Titanform game but no matter; with Unbreakable out Anathema has little to say against him. The Chaplain was a great source of damage and he even offered cards around…including offering Anthema a very friendly Immolate-ing handshake. He ended the game on a buff 17HP.

And sheesh, Halberd Research Center is scary. Subject 04: Alpha helped us out a bit before a chemical trigger got stuck in, and before I realized what the fuss was all about 012: Omega made things real bad. Once Malichae nailed the trigger and Omega…the trigger came out that brought Omega straight back! It’s lucky we had such consistent environment destruction, otherwise this game would have been a lot nastier.

Play Of The Game: Baccarat’s “nuke your everything and also your cat” turn. It wasn’t even that special: just a whopping “All In!” with Ace Of Sinners out which destroyed two arms and mauled Anathema, who further kicked his own biological booty with the downside of Biofeedback. Followed by a double Afterlife Euchre after this power, Anathema was clearly living on borrowed time. Anathema clearly doesn't play a good game of Underworld Hold'Em, which is a bit unfair considering he lost both his hands.

NEXT TIME: Circuits buzz and wires are crossed in "Cauldron Clash #3: Technological Onslaught"!
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Cauldron Clash #3: Technological Onslaught
CAULDRON CLASH #3: TECHNOLOGICAL ONSLAUGHT

Scenario: “Technological Onslaught” sees The Ram somehow infiltrating cyberspace! To save the internet, a bunch of tech-savvy heroes have been plugged together: a rifle-wielding assassin, a billionaire playboy, a man made of nanomachines and a mysterious energy-draining terrorizer of others. It will take superb strategy and guile to overcome this rampaging mechanical juggernaut!

Setup: The Ram vs Cypher, Gargoyle, Tango One and Impact in The Cybersphere

Result: VICTORY! The Ram gets dismantled by the heroes, with no incaps!



Report: The Ram threw plenty of obstacles in the way of success during the fight: at least two Force Nodes and a Fall Back made keeping away difficult. Not knowing much about The Ram bar his infamous 4-of, I was wary of going Up Close too aggressively and played him half-and-half, with Gargoyle spending all game breathing his exhaust port. Personal Defense Spines showed up mid-game, not taking out any cards but giving a hefty 7-point wallop on Gargoyle and Tango One! Fall Back and several nodes made an appearance as well, trying to slow the heroes down. However, unfortunately for the mechanical monster, he had been outmanuevered…

…as the brawl quickly turned into The Green Mean Gargoyle Show, starting with Cypher putting a Retinal Aug on him. With freedom to play two cards a round, Gargoyle started with some intense Bioenergy Pulse/Dreamcatcher action to take out various nodes, and when the Spines put paid to that plan, he assembled Terrorize and Mark For Execution. With +2 damage from both augs and environment cards and Mark out, none of the other heroes needed to go Up Close: they just utilized his power to take The Ram apart. Gargoyle ended his energy-hungry hoovering with 15HP.

Cypher was obviously the dark horse of this fight, never needing to go Up Close and just piling stupid buffs on people. He started loading up Gargoyle with extra damage and card plays plus tons of cards on top of Gargoyle’s own card draw, and he gave Tango One an extra power with Fusion Aug… that she used to allow Gargoyle more hits with Mark Of Execution! Cypher finished with 14HP.

Tango One was great: as Gargoyle was busy picking holes in the nodes, the slippery sniper was firing big hits off at the Grid Viruses and The Ram. Thanks to Farsight later on she had little need to go Up Close to the metal hunk, and also received a Fusion Aug which she used to great effect.. In one turn she conked The Ram for 8 damage and, with Mark Of Execution out, let Gargoyle bulldoze him for a further 4. Tango One gotthe job done with 16HP left.

Impact is a hero I clearly need to practice, though he sure contributed small bits of damage here and there. He had a nice turn where he played Spatial Finesse to draw, blew up Decaying Orbit with his power and brought it straight back with Finesse, dealing another bunch of damage to The Ram. Impact finished up with 15HP.

As for The Cybersphere, the grid programs actually showed up more than the viruses, but the one that altered the game was just the simple +1 damage from Holocycle Race. System Crash entered late-on and even if the game went longer, I doubt the viruses would have stood much of a chance against Gargoyle’s rampant devastation.

Play Of The Game: The aforementioned Tango One turn, which I’m naming “kicking ro-butt with your friends”. This involved a Perfect Focus into a Critical Hit, and thanks to Cypher’s Fusion Aug she was ready to use two powers. Of course she flips a critical card and whacks The Ram for 8, while still having time to shout to the green Monster Energy Man “Oi, do your thing!” and let Gargoyle deal 4 damage to the metal beefcake. Of course this meant Terrorize forced The Ram to hit himself for 2. I love the idea of Tango One firing off a perfect shot whilst not even looking as she shouts to Gargoyle "Hey dude, wanna join in?"

NEXT TIME: It's a rare 3-hero brawl between aliens and nebulous beings in "Cauldron Clash #4: The Otherworlders"!
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Cauldron Clash #4: The Otherworlders
CAULDRON CLASH #4: THE OTHERWORLDERS

Scenario: “The Otherworlders” sees intergalactic villainy afoot, as Menagerie poaches herself a rolling alien racing tortoise for her collection! The call is out from the Nightlore Citadel, who sends one of their agents into the field along with an earthly incarnation of the four seasons of the planet Earth. Together they must stop this intergalactic collector, or face lifelong imprisonment trying!

Setup: Menagerie vs Starlight, Gyrosaur and Lady Of The Wood in Nightlore Citadel

Result: VICTORY (just!), Menagerie foiled in her poaching plans with no incaps.



Report: Well flippidy blue cheek-flaps. I knew this would be a close one with three heroes against target-heavy Menagerie, and (like in my proxy games with her) she did not disappoint. A flood of targets and enclosures attempted to stymy the heroes from the start, the insect and the Aquatic and Reinforced Spheres proving excessively annoying. Menagerie somehow got flipped quite quickly but sat upon a throne above target over target on her opposite side, suddenly calling forth Hired Keepers galore and bashing Gyrosaur nearly to death with Hive. Our card count was low for a while thanks to the Aquatic Sphere, and only once Lady Of The Wood kicked into top gear did Menagerie finally sit up from her chair and spit out her tenta-cocktail.

Gyrosaur hung on in there, as the Prized Catch at the beginning of the game. She was quite hard to use first-time as it was tricky to find the right amount of crash cards for various ongoing effects, as her crash cards were so needed to destroy numerous big targets. The main card I enjoyed was Hyperspin, and a very satisfying Sphere Of Devastation to break out of an Exotic Sphere. Gyrosaur turtled to the finish line with just 1HP!

Lady Of The Wood I was familiar with already and I knew she would be key for damage. Summer came out first and soon she found her Thundergrey Shawl and Crown Of The Four Winds to put the hurt on anything and everything. Menagerie was sharply taken from high-40s to gone once Lady had her turns with all four seasons out, healing, netering mercenary damage and laying down huge hits on the blue toady poacher. She blew through with 8HP left.

Starlight had a superb and transformative game where first-half she played constellations aggressively next to villains, Artemis Vector and multiple Stellar Winds helping flip Menagerie over. But after the flip her constellations found their way onto the heroes, powering a Retreat Into The Nebula aNightlore Armor to become near-indestructible and save Gyrosaur some damage. She also let Lady Of The Wood use her Crown twice per round, which proved to be the clinching Menagerie-squishing factor. She flew off successful with 8HP.

A huge key player… was the Nightlore Citadel! Sure it popped some ferocious Lonely Callings and Starlight Of Oros visited briefly, but Artemis Vector proved key in evening out the damage reduction against the Reinforced Sphere that Starlight had constellations nearby. Starlight Of Zzeck also provided superb damage, taking out crucial targets (especially kill-stealing drones). I can say that, with so few heroes taking Menagerie on, this turned out to be an excellent choice of environment.

Play Of The Game: The very simple play of the game was the “Starlight Seasonal Samba”: using the power of Golden Astrolabe (not taking any damage thanks to Retreat Into The Nebula) and letting Lady Of The Wood fire off her Crown Of Four Winds with all four seasons out. A starry night encompassing spring, summer, fall and winter seems like such a gorgeous image.

NEXT TIME: Helicopters, doctors, skyscrapers, oh my! It's "Cauldron Clash #5: Urban Warfare"!
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Cauldron Clash #5: Urban Warfare
CAULDRON CLASH #5: URBAN WARFARE

Scenario: “Urban Warfare” is afoot as Windmill City finds itself in the grip of terror and panic! Infected supersoldier Vector plans to conquer the city with his deadly supervirus, and only his nemesis good heroic doctor can stop him. The doctor can’t save the city alone though, and enlists the help of a young chirping acrobat, a senor tactical veteran and an alloy-skinned test subject to stop this dangerous biohazard!

Setup: Vector vs Echelon, Doc Havoc, Cricket and Quicksilver in Windmill City.

Result: VICTORY! Vector is neutralized with no incaps (just about!)



Report: I was familiar with Vector’s antics and even with the theme restriction I couldn’t have picked much of a better team to game against him. Vector fired off Supervirus straightaway followed by one or two whiffs and easy Virus cards, which flipped him within the first four rounds. Vector turned out to be far more dangerous once he got flipped though: he suddenly fired off three targets and had damage reduction up the wazoo, and with an Elite Training we couldn’t afford to destroy, he really piled on the damage. Vector is qquickly becoming one of my favourite villains to play against, really tense and tactical.

Cricket was in full team-leader mode this fight, with an answer prepared for nearly every situation: huge Chirps for when Vector loaded up targets, her base power to neuter Vector’s amage output. Cricket chirped on with only 6HP.

Echelon was very understated but rather powerful, namely by using damage-boosting tactics, via multiple copies of Surprise Attack and Break Through. This was key as it meant the team could keep Vector under control with fewer hits, and helped overcome his damage reduction later on. Otherwise she spent her time finding those tactics and whacking Vector and his helicopter real hard. Echelon fights to live another day with 5HP.

Doc Havoc had a very unusual game where I barely saw variety in his cards and a lot of minor backfiring happened: his main tricks were Stim Shots for Cricket to sneak in card plays via Telescoping Staff, plus using Field Dressings buffed by Rapid Regen. Phosphor Blast turn 1 was also fantastic. However, Rapid Regen also slightly improved Vector’s recovery, a fact that made me cringe as Vector’s last turn started 1HP and produced two very damaging card plays. Echelon’s Surprise Attack was also a nonbo with Doc Havoc’s power, though I was still happy to give Cricket more card plays even if it was a whack for 4 each time. Doc Havoc scraped through with 3HP.

Quicksilver spent much of the game with low hand sizes that limited what she could do, but her damage output was still pretty impressive and gave the team a much-needed lethality. Her typical turn was one combo and one finisher, her irreducible Whispering Steel and powerful Forest Of Needles proving especially effective against Vector’s flip side. Her incidental bouts of smaller damage also gamed excellently around Anticoagulant. Quicksilver made it through with 7HP left.

Windmill City did very little to harm the heroes (bar tagging Vector for 1 for an errant extra card play) and helped out immensely. The Intrepid Reporter and Sedrick helped alleviate, but the real star was Gray’s Pharamaceuticals, providing a hefty boost to Echelon’s base power and Cricket’s Scope.

Play Of The Game: Less a tactical masterstroke and more a humorous WTF, this is Doc Havoc’s “Immediate False Evac”. Doc Havoc used an Immediate Evac to heal Vector back from 3HP to 5HP… but only so Quicksilver can return her Whispering Steel and whack him back down to 1HP on her turn. I love the idea of Quicksilver climbing up the emergency helicopter ladder, only to then seconds later drop off the helicopter to smack Vector at terminal velocity.

NEXT TIME: Disappearing acts and mystical oddities are aplenty in "Cauldron Clash #6: Curses And Tricks!"
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Matthew Bishop
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Love reading these. Sorry to break the flow, but just wanted to say that!
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Thanks!
Thank you very much! And absolutely break the flow, I don't mind at all!

Once I do tonight's issue (including The Stranger, Magnificent Mara and Terminus), I'll have played every hero deck from Cauldron once! I'll probably break up the issues with an initial impression (e.g: favourite decks, differences from regular Sentinels, etc.)
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Caldron Clash #7: Curses And Tricks
CAULDRON CLASH #6: CURSES AND TRICKS

Scenario: In “Curses And Tricks”, an intangible thief by the name of Phase has been spotted in the Blackwood Forest. A trickster just as strong has been called to outsmart the ever-phasing saboteur, and to work through the forest she has recruited a cursed wooden man and a ghostly gun-toting cop to assist her. The thief, and many more monsters, could be hiding anywhere…

Setup: Phase vs Stranger, Magnificent Mara and Terminus in Blackwood Forest

Result: DEFEAT! Phase escapes and incapacitates all the heroes with 27HP left!



Report: Oh dear. As glad as I’m keeping on theme on tricky and cursed individuals, two support-heavy heroes in a team of 3 against “Two-Card Conquistadora” Phase was setting a heck of a challenge, and it did not go well. Started well enough with Reinforced Wall getting knocked out quickly and keeping control… but soon the ongoings started showing up, and thanks to various Distortion Nets on Terminus the damage was so stymied Unimpeded Progress wrecked the shop (turns out three villain plays versus three hero plays is a recipe for disaster)! Residual Synchronization was also back-breaking, and sadly a team with a couple of good answers to ongoings found nothing to solve the issues. By the end of the game, you can see in the picture how hopeless it all was: Phase has ran her deck to 0 and has half of it in play. She never flipped though. I guess it's okay to die for the cause of stopping the thief making off with Mad Staxx to pay her next hair dye appointment.

Magnificent Mara proved the weak link here: she couldn’t damage much once Desynchronization was out and her cards… well, they didn’t offer anything in such an urgent, time-sensitive game. At best she used her Misdirections very well, Stranger’s Mark Of Breaking helping to clear Distortion Nets off Terminus and allowing her to deal with those obstacles. She got an Improbable Escape to resurrect herself at the end, but the game was lost by that point. She was the last hero to fall, falling prey of the Density Regulator damage. I feel accurate in saying this game did not show her full abilities, and I think she will shine with a larger team of heroes to support (and obviously, a lot more practice!)

Stranger tried his branch-growing best, that’s for damn sure. He threw Marks Of Breaking on targets (most notably Vault Door and Distortion Nets) to assist their destruction, he threw Marks Of The Blood Thorn on Terminus to combo with her self-damaging powers, and he threw a Mark Of Binding on Phase… which later became useless once “Almost Got Her!” turned her irreducible. Mark Of Quickening on Terminus was also great until she run out of cards. Stranger got wiped out on the last turn by a Distortion Grenade. Poor guy, he tried his darndest to give Terminus a leg-up, and was the better of the two supports by far.

Terminus obviously was key here, and with a Graven Shell and Chain Conductors to get more mementos, her plan was clear: buff her damage and tear through these obstacles and Phase like crap through a ghost. Unfortunately she lost her Immortal Coils to destruction early on which meant not only did she end up with NO outlet for Wrath tokens (she had 11 by the end with none spent lall game), but she also had to rely on self-damaging powers like her base power and Jailbreaker. Which, with her damage buff, definitely took their toll on her HP; Graven Shell could not give enough HP back. She got eliminated first, after taking reaction damage from after blowing up a Precarious Rubble.

Blackwood Forest wasn’t exactly the most unfriendly, but the heroes progress at dealing Phase enough damage to bash Unimpeded Progress was frankly crippled and strangled to death by a very untimely Dense Brambles, making an annoying environment target and Precarious Rubble immune to damage. Otherwise, the environment never helped the heroes but wasn’t unfairly damaging either, though Desolation was a pain for sure. It was mere salt to add to Phase's CONSTANT STABBING.

Play Of The Game: The classic three-person team manoeuvre known as “Escalating Conflict”. Magnificent Mara destroys a Post-Hypnotic Cue on her turn to allow Terminus to fire her Jailbreaker at some obstacles… but not before damaging herself, firing off Stranger’s TWO Mark Of The Blood Thorn to throw 2 damage each (thanks to the Graven Shell buff) at two targets.

NEXT TIME: Things don’t get any easier as we see heroes lost in the wastes! A deadly struggle for survival awaits in “Cauldron Clash #7: Warriors Of The Wastes”
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Cauldron Clash #7: Warriors Of The Wastes
CAULDRON CLASH #7: WARRIORS OF THE WASTES

Scenario: In “Warriors Of The Wastes”, the frozen hostile Northspar is hiding a terrible blight behind its snowy veil: Outlander, the amalgam of evil warriors from different timelines! A group of heroes tasked with patrolling the waypoints have assembled to hunt this gestalt entity,

Setup: Outlander vs Wasteland Ronin Cricket, Wasteland Ronin Pyre, Wasteland Ronin Gargoyle and Wasteland Ronin Impact in Northspar.

Result: VICTORY! Outlander is sent hurtling back to the rift with no incaps!



Report: I dreaded this one. Outlander is no slouch, though I was lucky with his trace order: Warbrand first was an easier start, though Dragonborn afterwards made that tough. He finished with Archangel and Crusader. His ongoings were the main threat, Knight’s Hatred and Dimensional Insinuation proving to be particularly vicious. However, I was just about doing enough consistent damage to avoid Anchored Fragment triggering, and as he played a few of them it effectively blanked a few of his card plays. Damage reduction proved his stickler, courtesy of the magnificent Impact, and GTFOutlander (my affectionate name for his flipside) only lasted the 1 round.

Impact went from being a bit of a wet weed in my first game with him to being the unquestioned star of the show this time, thanks to the power of his Wasteland Ronin variant. This let him cycle Hurled Obstruction with ease, keeping Outlander’s end-of-turn trace damage under control. Inescapable Pull frequently knocked the stuffing out of our evil kngihtly friend, which only got weird once Archangel popped up later He collected quite the selection of ongoings, and on the last turn he was able to tag GTFOutlander’s damage reduction away with Obstruction’s ETB, crack him for 7 with Mass Driver and finish him for 5 with the power of Inescapable Pull. Impact survived the wastes with 10HP.

Cricket had a pretty similar game to last time, mainly because I ended up focusing round her Telescoper again. The flexibility of two card plays has proven very useful, especially when Cricket is so good at refilling her hand of cards. Cricket also contributed a healthy chunk of damage with Chirp and took out an annoying early Knights Hatred with Infrasonic Collapse. Crickets lives to chirp another day with 12HP.

Pyre mainly played his support role by utilizing two Cherenkov’s Drives early on, irradiating cards with powers: this proved especially cool with Cricket’s Telescoper so she could then play a different type of card! Pyre actually drew enough to see both his cascades, but his irradiation was low enough that his damage to him and Gargoyle was minimal, or redirected to help tag GTFOutlander. An obvious star early-game was Hull Cladding: ditched later on for cards, but his damage reduction was superb. He ended his isolation on 13HP.

Gargoyle did not repeat the Gargoyle show, but was certainly responsible for some shenanigans. I went for Terrorize, which quickly proved to be a horrible choice when Outlander triggers his own Warbrand power: thank god for the damage reduction! Gargoyle provided some solid hits turn after turn; I’m especially impressed with Grim Herald and Your Strength Is Mine. Gargoyle had plenty of energy in reserve: 11HP!

The only thing that irked me was Northspar. I took a brief look and liked the thematic look of some of the cards, but the ones we got were very "do-nothing" and I struggled to see where it was all leading. We got the First and Second Waypoints in short order, but a lot of the cards seemed to care about this mercenary fella who only turned up late, did some damage and then got exploded by Gargoyle's environment destruction. I'll have to look the deck over and piece it together in my head, but I like to have surprises so this will happen now and again.

Play Of The Game: This goes to Pyre and Gargoyle’s “Speak To The Radioactive Claw” for sheer pettiness. Outlander plays Disarming Blow aiming at Pyre and Impact… but Gargoyle blows up Your Strength Is Mine to suck away 2 damage aimed at Pyre. With Pyre’s Hull Cladding out, he takes no damage and prevents discarding a card, while Gargoyle hoovers up damage for later. Those two heroes are my favourite heroes so far, mainly for being totally badass jerks.


NEXT TIME: There’s an outbreak of deja vu in the grand old time of 1929! Mark the date for “Cauldron Clash #8: When The Clocks Go Back”!

EDIT: Hurled Obstruction, unfortunately, should not have remained in play: even when returned, it still dies (again) within the confines of the start of turn. That's an error from me, and an apology to Outlander.
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Initial Thoughts
Having played every hero at least once now (a couple twice), here are some initial thoughts:

-These villains are awesome, and these guys are just some of the easier ones. I was concerned even the easiest villains would be tough stuff, but Dynamo and Anathema are very fair while still packing a good punch. It's true though some do require a bit more thoughtful team-building than most: Menagerie and Phase with three-person support-heavy teams was certainly asking for trouble, though I was willing to go with that for thematic reasons. I'm not even into loads of the amazing Adrift villains yet: some of those come next!

-I am loving these heroes, many of them living up to my expectations of how cool they would be. Pyre and Gargoyle were always gonna be a hit with me and both bring a complexity that leaves me stretching my brain in a good way. Tango One, Knight, Necro and Baccarat I can't wait to get into, and I know I'm still scratching the surface of what heroes like Cypher, Titan and Vanish can do.

-Like expected what with it being my first time with the majority of these heroes, I will be looking to practice these decks. Misreading cards and other errors have happened of course, but beyond that I haven't been able to do certain decks justice, notably Mara and Doc Havoc due to various circumstances. I think this will change with different setups, variance and more experience, and Impact's two games are ready examples of that.

-I've really liked the environments so far, with only Northspar confusing me and Windmill City being underwhelmingly vacant first-time. Vault 5 was an interesting challenge, while Nightlore Citadel actively played a key part in the game it was in. Halberd Research Center has been my favourite so far, I can't wait to play in that one again!
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More awesome stuff, thanks for continuing to share these.

Regarding learning the decks, I couldn't quite tell from one of your Impact game descriptions but it sounded like you were using the Wasteland power to keep Hurled Obstruction in play? Even if it gets replayed on death, it should still be the start of his turn, meaning it'll do some damage and then die again for real. (Avoiding abusing it was one of the reasons for wording the power as it is.)
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Ah cripes, you're right. That's a bummer. I'm not surprised I'm missing stuff like that though, considering these decks are new and I'm playing solo. Still, I feel sorry for Outlander, not giving him a fair shake by accident.

I'm sure once I do enough plays I'l have gone round all the villains so I can play each one again, and Phase and Outlander will be top of my list for a second play (Phase to get revenge, Outlander to do him justice).

EDIT: Absolutely adding Mistress Of Fate to that list now!
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Cauldron Clash #8: When The Clocks Go Back
CAULDRON CLASH #8: WHEN THE CLOCKS GO BACK

Scenario: Something has gone terribly wrong with time! Not only have some of our heroes gotten trapped in the year 1929, but they are living the same days over and over again! This must be the work of the godly Mistress Of Fate, manipulating the strings of time to tear the world apart! Our old-timey heroes must unite and break the time loop before fall foul of this temporal terror!

Setup: Mistress Of Fate vs Knight 1929, Stranger 1929, Baccarat 1929, and Tango One 1929 in Catchwater Harbor 1929.

Result: VICTORY! Mistress Of Fate is cast back into time with… and I can’t believe it but it's true... not a single incap!



Report: Poor Mistress Of Fate; she got so unlucky this game, as this fight lasted just under 4 ROUNDS. Her first Day was Day Of Saints which did hefty damage, but Necessary Correction (while nearing her win condition) also undid her work and also destroyed a very dangerous environment card for us. When Day Of Saints came back, Tango One had neutered her damage. Her second day (Sinners) saw a double To Dust turn, and the third day saw a Can’t Fight Fate that got blocked by Stranger having three one-shots in hand. Residual and Warped Malus also made an aapearance, but could only chip in at heroes that had the situation under control. It’s a shame too that she went so quick as her deck looks gorgeous and feels epic to play against. If Mistress had enough time (ironically) she may have had a more impressive game.

What put paid to that was The Stranger, who showed off what Mark Of Breaking can really do. He put TWO of them on the Mistress in the first two rounds, which not only turned his own 1929 power into a hefty damage source but made the other heroes jump for joy. He barely needed any more glyphs than that: I was happy to pass his whole turn and draw two, which turned crucial as he neutered a Can’t Fight Fate. Stranger survives the time loop with 19HP left.

Baccarat was gonna be key as well, and his first turn with his opener and 1929 power was ridiculous: a double Card Toss and a double Afterlife Euchre made it clear that the Mistress was living on borrowed time. His power this game was superb even without the damage increase on the Mistress and nemesis bonus, me getting to use Graveyard Bridge for the first time ever to delicious effect. Baccarat steals the villain’s deck with 11HP.

Knight 1929 only got to use his power once on his first turn, but what a doozy it was: putting a Plate Helm on Baccarat helped him perfectly eat a To Dust. After that the Knight fetched his trusty sword and started beating the Mistress over the head, very much like last game. This hero is the real deal: straightforward, effective and powerful, and I wished the game lasted longer so I could play this variant more. Knight snuck through with

Tango One’s 1929 power is an unusual one, but against a villain with not too many targets I didn’t mind waiting around for extra damage on the Mistress. Her big contribution was completely crippling the villain’s second turn by using Psionic Suppression on the Mistress to invalidate her second Day Of Saints; obviously, stopping 14 damage to your team is a good move! She also got her Chameleon Armour out, preventing some damage against Residual Malus and could have potentially nuked some of Mistress Of Fate’s damage had the game gone on longer. Tango One finished the villain off with Wet Work and lives to snipe another day with 16HP left.

Seeing as Catchwater Harbor only got three turns it couldn’t do a lot to grab my attention… but Turn 1 Left Behind sitting next to Baccarat certainly did! If it wasn’t for the Necessary Correction that undid the environment, this game would have been extremely difficult not to automatically lose, what with Mistress Of Fate able to incap people so easily. Frightened Onlookers didn’t last long as I was just whaling on the villain, and Ominous Loop didn’t even get to fire its payload as the game was over

Play Of The Game: Baccarat’s last turn showed me the lengths the git was willing to disrespect the deck of magic cards he stole from the Mistress Of Fate; I call this “Card Toss 101”. He uses Card Toss for 4 damage into his last card “I Fold!”, drawing three cards. His power lets him play the Graveyard Bridge he just picked up, shuffling away a Card Toss to play another Card Toss (4 more damage), which plays ANOTHER “I Fold” from his hand to drop and draw a new hand of three. He ends the turn with 5 cards in hand (one from the draw on his power, one for natural draw) and a whole bunch of crap in the trash. What an incredible douche!

NEXT TIME: It's time to grab your magnifying glasses and uncover the real culprit in "Cauldron Clash #9: Dangerous Mystery Inc."!
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Cauldron Clash #9: Dangerous Mystery Inc.
CAULDRON CLASH #9: DANGEROUS MYSTERY INC.

Scenario: In “Dangerous Mystery Inc.”, whispers and rumours lurk in street corners and dark alleyways as the secretive Forgotten Order is on the rise. The Ministry Of Stragetic Services has been assigned to investigate the Forgotten Order’s operations in St Simeon’s Catacombs and prevent the dastardly machinations of its sinister and unfathomable leader… the skeletal Mythos!

Setup: Mythos vs MSS Magnificent Mara, MSS Terminus, MSS Malichae and MSS Titan in St Simeon’s Catacombs.

Result: DEFEAT! Mythos brings about the doom of mankind, identity revealed but with 21HP left.



Report: Well, I knew the MoSS were boned when I looked through Mythos’s deck and saw the first clue was about 8 or 9 cards down, and it only got worse when it turned out Mythos’s managed to hit two Otherworldly Alignments in two turns. We played his deck aggressively to counter his damage and did well to beat up Faust and Aclastyph, but were losing heavily to those ongoings until Terminus blew them up. Plus, every Clue came in clusters which the team wasn’t prepared to play past and set off loads of other cards with Madness or Danger… meaning Mythos was instead annihilating Titan as the lowest HP guy every time (Bathiel barely kept him alive). By the time he flipped after 5 rounds, Mara and Titan were on their last legs and Mythos had burned through pretty much his whole deck: by the end he did shuffle. Without Revelations healing for 12HP this game may have looked a lot closer, but it wasn’t really. Mythos was a beast tonight.

Terminus was a delight to play and the MoSS power is so fun! Acting both as a massive damage-dealer and tanking well thanks to the HP gain, Terminus was this time really utilizing the full power of her wrath tokens, not just for her power but for Light At The End to finally remove the two pesky Otherworldy Alignments among other ongoings. She hung on long enough to see Mythos shuffle his deck away with the aid of Mara’s incap, but multiple Panics from the Catacombs drained her wrath tokens in the end and losing Jailbreaker to Poltergeist also hurt Also, with all the attractive one-shots and wrath tokens I had a hand full of mementos left unused, and I just wished I could have a couple more card plays with her.Terminus was finally finished off by the Clockwork Revenant.

Titan got the short end of the stick, which was a shame since he did pretty well with the tools he had. His power was stymied by having barely ANY Ongoings around unfortunately, but he drew intoMolten Veins. Sadly it got Titanform out too late: Titan had already suffered tons of multiple pings where it WOULD have helped, but now Mythos was delivering unto him his patented Fishbowl Headbutts(tm) with his constant double-Clue stacks. In fact, his highlight came thanks to DR from Grand Somael, letting him use Forbidden Archives with impunity. He did at least get to Immolate Mythos, which gives Titan the flavour win. Titan was finished off by the Coal Kid.

Malichae was sensational, stuck with a rubbish hand that became awesome with his MoSS power. He discarded both Grand Somael and Grand Eziel for epic tanking which covered for the horrible start of the game. Bathiel became crucial for directing Otherworldly Alignment’s damage away from Titan. Once Mara and Titan fell however he suffered at the hands of the ghosts possessing him, only to come back with a sensational turn and give Mythos a right hard kicking before the end. Malichae was choked to death by a Breath Stealer.

As for Mara… god, I wish I had more nice things to say about her. She was more useful this time round than last time, blowing up a Rusted Artifact handily and used Misdirection to clear a Pallid Academic She improved Terminus’s damage with her own power and Mystical Enhancement. She got to use Convincing Double to fire off one of Terminus’s cards. Basically, she supported Terminus slightly, even after incapping with her damage reduction which didn’t help too much against all the instances of damage being dished out. Again, her cards seem so narrow and slow-to-work that she just couldn’t handle the urgency of any situation. She died from a chilling strike from the Terrible Presence.

St Simeon’s Catacombs is a nasty, nasty piece of work: I shudder to think what it was like BEFORE the 2E. The trouble was that Aqueducts was so useful after all the damage Mythos had done that I made the mistake of letting Scurrying Evil last the whole game, which (obviously) caused all sorts of problems later on. This became especially obvious when all the ghosts piled onto Malichae: Posessor, Breath Stealer and Dark Passenger were all on him at one point. Once I had enough cards to switch rooms with ease I could see that this environment was kinda fun and neat though, as unfriendly and annoying as it is.


Play Of The Game: Malichae’s “Back-thiel With A Vengeance” turn late-on after being freed from the Possessor by Terminus. The Possessor had set him up hard, so he used Bait And Switch to throw on High Bathiel and use three powers (courtesy of Unshackled):
-Power 1: Use Summoing Crystal to turn High Bathiel into Grand Bathiel
-Power 2: Grand Bathiel breaks Mythos’s funny bone for 7.
-Power 3: High Bathiel crunches Mythos’s other funny bone for 5.
And of course Bathiel finished with a cheeky two-fer after that. Maybe such a hideous djinn-based onslaught might have scared Mythos to jump out his goddamned pimp-ass throne for a brief minute before he finally crushed all reisstance with his skeletal pinkies.

NEXT TIME: A previous villain is back to wreak havoc…IN THE FUTURE! Fasten your gravitronic seatbelts and travel to the coming soon “Cauldron Clash #10: 2199 Problems”!
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