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Shadowrun: The Trading Card Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: CCG Journey Week 3 - Shadowrun rss

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Mike Haverty
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This is the third in my ongoing journey back in time to the CCGs I own and used to play (or never actually played, as the case may be, too often), chronicled in this meta geeklist: My Journey Back to CCGs.

The Game
I bought 4 starters (I can tell because I have 4 rulebooks and reference cards) and a few boosters when this came out, as I like the Shadowrun setting. I'm not sure if I ever got in a full play... I seem to recall playing it a little, but it seemed a little flat. In any case, I appear to have about 350 cards or so.

The Decks
I decided to try making 3 decks out of this as it seems like multiplayer should be as fun as 2-player. After sorting the cards, I saw a dwarf runner that gave a bonus to other dwarves on the run, so the first deck was an (almost) all-dwarf deck, with a sub-theme of riggers. I threw in a smattering of weapons and other gear, plus some vehicles and drones for the riggers. It seems like my card collection is lite on specials, and the rulebooks suggests 10 specials (oddly, it suggests exactly 10, as opposed to the other card types where it suggests a range of numbers), so I ended up only putting about 4-6 per deck. I wanted to make sure people always had something to play, so I went on the high end of characters and challenges in every deck as well. The dwarf deck came in at 60 cards.

The second deck was a mix of runners, with a focus on gangers (I had a couple ganger-specific cards) and shaman. Again, a smattering of gear plus a handful of spirits for the shaman to use, and slightly more miscellaneous cards than the dwarf deck, like contacts and locations, and a Doc Wagon (Platinum). I'm "concerned" this deck might be the most balanced because it includes two runners with Biotech (healers, basically) and a more balanced assortment of cards and skills (I think - what do I know?). It also came in at 60 cards.

The third deck was focused on elves with street samurai, deckers and mages. There was a lot of Melee skill in here, so this deck got four copies of Hand Razors, plus a variety of spells for the mages and some programs for the deckers. It was here I found a "flaw" in my deck-building strategy. About half of my programs were "attack other decker" type cards, which were unusable for me since I didn't put any deckers in the first two decks; the deckers here had to content themselves with a few shadowrun helpers, which the rules seem to indicate they can use remotely, so that's nice. These guys got the dregs of the specials, but I did save some of the more potent-looking challenges to put in their deck, so hopefully it would all work out. This deck came in at 63 cards, the first deck larger than minimum in three weeks of the CCG Journey so far. Since I am notorious for fat decks (historically), I'm pretty impressed that it took this long, haha.

The Play
So, I camped out in Carls Jr. with my usual accomplice:

John Bowman
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Owasso
Oklahoma
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We randomly picked decks and he ended up with the Dwarf deck and I got the Elves. We played two games back to back.

The first game didn't last too long. We both tried running with just a couple guys out and got slapped back pretty quick. Once we got a couple more guys and some gear on, though, we were completing some runs. This game ended fairly anticlimactically, though, as I flipped a big 40 point objective (Dunkelzahn's Black Book) that had no requirement for completion, and my opponent could not lay down adequate challenges. He forestalled me one turn by intercepting my run, but was unable to mount much defense on the objective the next turn and I cakewalked it.

We discussed the card management after the first game. It seems like we both blew all our challenges right away and then ran into issues with not drawing enough later (even using the "forfeit income to refill hand to seven" option). We both felt like we needed to pay a little more attention to keeping challenges in place on both objectives, possibly making good use of bluff cards covered by (tough) challenges or alarm-triggering cards.

The second game lasted a bit longer. He got a Kromagnus the rocker out right away and generated money with him the whole game. He also got a couple of Moonlighting cards for extra money. He eventually built up to a solid group of runners and raked in the reputation. I felt the pinch on money the whole game. I drew too many runners that cost 7 or 8 nuyen, and I had to keep giving up income to draw cards to try to keep the challenges coming on the objectives. I was crushed, something like 95 to 10 (I only completed Milk Run).

The Verdict
I can definitely tweak my decks now. I see that money is pretty huge. I have too many high cost runners, and in fact it seemed like I never had a problem drawing runners, such that I can probably trim them down a bit (I think each deck has between 17 and 19 runners, which is the high end of the range suggested in the rulebook) to make room for some other stuff. Unfortunately, I only have a few runners with Fame and I think I put both copies of Moonlighting in the one deck; I don't see anywhere else in my small collection to boost income, although I did add the bonus objectives where appropriate (bonus money for street samurai or riggers, for example).

I really look forward to trying this out with 3 players. It seems like a game that benefits from more players - more diversity in challenges being placed and less dependence on just one person trying to defend them all. I did enjoy the game, though, and bumped my old half-remembered rating from 5.5 to 6.0, possibly moving a little higher with multiplayer.

Notes on the Journey

I thought I would provide a short recap of the previous games in my CCG Journey, to sort of see which ones maintain our interest as the number of "rediscovered" games grows.

So far, both Magic and AGOT are still holding our interest. We're logging plays in both each week, enjoying Magic for the quick-playing series of games and AGOT for the theme and interplay of plotting and planning and brutality.
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Mike Haverty
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I can't believe this is the first and only session report for this game, heh. I guess it really didn't gain much traction in the wild?
 
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James Casey
United Kingdom
Caversham
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I have a similar number of cards for this game in a box, and I think I played it a similar amount when it first came out. I can't remember exactly why it just got forgotten, I seem to remember thinking I would need to spend quite a bit more in order to make a half decent deck, and the game just didn't seem good enough to warrant it.

I am tempted to dig them out and make some decks off the back of this report though. I've done the same with some other games I fizzled out on and had fun. Playing with a fixed pool of cards removes the "arms war" of spending money and can actually make a CCG more balanced and enjoyable.
 
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Joshua Risner
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Oklahoma
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Good stuff Mike!

It's Joshua from GCG. Sorry I haven't been to any of the Summer gaming sessions. Life got into the way. I picked up two starter decks of Shadowrun on ebay back in the spring but I have not had a chance to try it out. We will have to play it some Saturday. Also, if you want to try CoC I have been keeping up with the Asylum Packs. I haven't completed a game yet but we can try.

-Joshua
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Mike Haverty
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I'm interested in checking out CoC. From what I understand, it's sorta like AGOT 2.0 mechanically (I'm saying this without ever seeing/reading anything directly about it).

A week from tomorrow is the Wizards Asylum game night -- no idea if I can make it or not, as we get back from a short vacation and my wife has started working on Saturdays.
 
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