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Subject: CCG Journey Week 4 - VS rss

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Mike Haverty
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This is the fourth in my ongoing journey back in time to the CCGs I own and used to play/never played, chronicled in this meta geeklist: My Journey Back to CCGs.

The Game
I think I only ever bought a starter deck and maybe a booster or two -- I'm not really sure because all I've found so far is my one constructed, sleeved Brotherhood deck. I've not encountered any other VS cards in my Closet O' Doom yet.

Consulting Ye Olde Statistics shows I played 13 times back in 2004 and that's it. There were five of us with some cards -- I think mainly because the other guys are comic book fans (note Brian's avatar and badge):

John Bowman
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Owasso
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Brian Vogle
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Jenks
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I recall enjoying the game okay (I gave it a 6.5) but finding it a tad light. I'm not sure why we quit playing it after the summer of 04' - we probably ended up sticking with Game of Thrones as our main CCG.

The Decks
As I mentioned, I have a constructed deck that's been sitting in its sleeves for the last five years: all Brotherhood. I'm not sure if it had any theme beyond that, as it looks like the plot twists and locations are all oriented toward attacking (or maybe that's what the Brotherhood mainly came with?). Johnny B. had his old X-Men deck. I suspect that we traded between us to focus our decks like that.

The Play
Another day, another trip to Carls Jr. Have I mentioned that our CJ is clean, seldom crowded, and has free WiFi? Anyway...

We didn't have a rulebook, naturally. Bman had the Quick Start foldout sheet, which seems like it covers everything you need for the most part. We brought out some lightweight guys initially before the bigger 5-cost guys hit the table, and then it was like a paradigm shift when the 6-cost guys came out, with stats like 13/11 Sabertooth and 11/12 Colossus. Wow, what a change in power level! At the end of the first game, I had beaten down my opponent to just a handful of Endurance... even though I wasn't far behind, he simply could not attack my guy without a game-losing stun on one of his attackers. This game was fairly short, resulting in a win for me.

The second game was much better. Perhaps we had simply gotten the hang of arranging our rows better and using range, flight and reinforcement more effectively. In the end game, I had Sabertooth and a middling Mystique and Magneto out, when he dropped mega Magneto - the 16/16 guy who doesn't let stunned characters recover. I was getting low on Endurance, but actually used the "Pay 10 Endurance to stop Sabertooth from being stunned" ability, because that meant that he was still out there preventing any direct attacks against me. Bman didn't have another guy big enough to take him on again, so I lasted another round.

On my turn, I had just Sabertooth and a new Mystique, along with a Team Tactics card. This and some gear let me mount a big 26 point attack with Sabertooth on an un-reinforced Magneto, stunning him for 7 and plus another 10 breakthrough, for 17 total Endurance loss, but Bman's 25 let him hang on until his attack step and he finished me off.

The Verdict
We both enjoyed it, but I doubt either of us will seek out more cards, cheap or otherwise. I'll keep my Brotherhood deck around for when the mood strikes -- and it may very well do that, as a couple guys in the Green Country Gamers are VS fans, so if we can ever get a stinkin' CCG night together we'll probably get more play out of it.

Notes on the Journey
This SR is close on the heels of the Shadowrun SR, but this puts me about even on the "one per week" goal since I was out of commission a week when I was ill. I'm still making new Magic and AGOT decks out of my stock, so those remain the most popular games so far on the Journey.
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I think that there's more to this game than GOT CCG, but that's just me. I find the theme of AGOT pretty dry and I love Comic Books - I love the way that Vs. matches its theme to its gameplay. Just a great game.

I appreciated your review either way.
 
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Michael Denman
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I don't see how anyone who doesn't love the books could get much theme from AGOT. VS, on the other hand, is just a great solid system. I've played it a LOT with a non-comics fan so the theme isn't needed to carry the game.
 
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Mike Haverty
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wytefang wrote:
I think that there's more to this game than GOT CCG, but that's just me.


Well, just to elaborate a little, I think it is the limited paths to victory, for one thing. Now, this may be a product of our limited card pool, but there is only a single win condition: reduce opponent's life (endurance) to zero. In VS, that's done by direct damage and by attacking the opponent's characters (or him if possible).

Compare this with, say, Magic. Same basic win condition (reduce to zero), but it seems like there are a lot more ways to go about it. It also has the alternate win condition of decking out the opponent (reduce draw stack to zero).

In AGOT, the win condition is to reach 15 power. Unlike Magic or VS, this can be claimed from the general pool, but it can also be taken from opponents. There are multiple challenge types with different effects (killing characters, forcing discards, taking power), which allows decks to focus on different aspects of the game.

All three games, of course, feature a variety of card abilities and events (plot twists, instants, sorceries), so as in any CCG a lot of variety and interaction comes from those effects, so I'll call it a wash there.

I think AGOT CCG carries a lot of the flavor of the books, especially some of the harsher effects and the tenuousness of life, but I also agree that VS system completely captures the feel of superhero/villain battling. Although it's tough (and different from most other games), I like that strong characters in VS are essentially untouchable by weaker characters without boosts or teamwork.

Anyway, I respect that everyone has their own favorites. I certainly wouldn't turn down a game of VS, and I look forward to seeing "real" decks from the GCG guys in the near future.
 
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James Casey
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Just want to say I'm enjoying this series of reviews. I have a ton of "dead" CCGs gathering dust in my loft, makes me want to break them out and revisit them.

I have the PC version of this (Marvel Trading Card Game) and I really enjoy it. Its definitely quite luck dependant though - if your cards don't draw in the right order and you are left stuck on 5 cost cards when your opponent gets his 6 pointers out, its hard to recover. There is definitely strategy to it though, and often tough decisions to make, which for me is the hallmark of a good game.
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Andre Metelo
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SiddGames wrote:
wytefang wrote:
I think that there's more to this game than GOT CCG, but that's just me.


Well, just to elaborate a little, I think it is the limited paths to victory, for one thing. Now, this may be a product of our limited card pool, but there is only a single win condition: reduce opponent's life (endurance) to zero. In VS, that's done by direct damage and by attacking the opponent's characters (or him if possible).

Compare this with, say, Magic. Same basic win condition (reduce to zero), but it seems like there are a lot more ways to go about it. It also has the alternate win condition of decking out the opponent (reduce draw stack to zero).

In AGOT, the win condition is to reach 15 power. Unlike Magic or VS, this can be claimed from the general pool, but it can also be taken from opponents. There are multiple challenge types with different effects (killing characters, forcing discards, taking power), which allows decks to focus on different aspects of the game.

All three games, of course, feature a variety of card abilities and events (plot twists, instants, sorceries), so as in any CCG a lot of variety and interaction comes from those effects, so I'll call it a wash there.

I think AGOT CCG carries a lot of the flavor of the books, especially some of the harsher effects and the tenuousness of life, but I also agree that VS system completely captures the feel of superhero/villain battling. Although it's tough (and different from most other games), I like that strong characters in VS are essentially untouchable by weaker characters without boosts or teamwork.

Anyway, I respect that everyone has their own favorites. I certainly wouldn't turn down a game of VS, and I look forward to seeing "real" decks from the GCG guys in the near future.


Based on the game description, it seems you got just the MOR Cards. Back then that was virtually the only way. You could control, rush, but it came down to beat down.

On Later series they start printing cards with different win conditions. Increased the amount of Burn. But character combat is the main focus of the game.

If you really want to avoid combat, I think you could win with burn and stall. One of my favorite decks was a life gainning sentinel deck that played only 1's and 2's all the way to turn 9 for onslaughter to stun the oponent board for the win.. And of course, the main thing of the deck: Boost El Guapo! Nobody knew what El Guapo was. Fun as hell. Other fun (not competitive was a Green Latern 0 hour kill deck).
 
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Andre Metelo
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waferthinninja wrote:
Just want to say I'm enjoying this series of reviews. I have a ton of "dead" CCGs gathering dust in my loft, makes me want to break them out and revisit them.

I have the PC version of this (Marvel Trading Card Game) and I really enjoy it. Its definitely quite luck dependant though - if your cards don't draw in the right order and you are left stuck on 5 cost cards when your opponent gets his 6 pointers out, its hard to recover. There is definitely strategy to it though, and often tough decisions to make, which for me is the hallmark of a good game.


Try a fantastic four, doom, or avengers deck, you should have the tutors to make the luck virtually none. Did they ever make the sets that have Mobolize and Enemy of My Enemy in the PC game? with them all your character misses are virtually gone.
 
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