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Subject: "Building the Band" preview rss

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Several weeks ago, Fantasy Flight Games announced the upcoming Rockband Manager. In this electrifying card game, three to six players take the roles of band managers and guide their group of rockers to the top of the charts. This week, we take a closer look at building your epic rock band, using some of the fantastic characters that populate the game.

Recruiting a Rockstar

At the start of the game, players get the chance to start auctions and sign one of the colorful characters to their bands in the Rockstar Recruitment phase. Each manager selects one of the five available stars, one for each instrument, and offers them a contract. Rival managers then have the option of offering a larger contract, or simply passing on the star and allowing another manager to sign the talent. The player who offered the largest contract gets to add the star to his or her band in exchange for the appropriate amount of money. Then, another Rockstar card is revealed and the next player starts a new round of bidding. This process takes place until every player has a complete five member band with one character of each instrument type.

So, what makes a good band? Well, each star has three stats that represent his charisma, talent, and opportunism levels. Generally, you are going to want to recruit musicians with higher skill levels, but having members with low skill values doesn’t necessarily hurt a band. Characters with low skills values still play an important role in the game, as we’ll see later on.

Band-building strategies

There is no right or wrong way to build your band in Rockband Manager. In fact, there are multiple valid strategies that could pay dividends. Let’s considers some possible routes...

You may want to be aggressive and try to sign only the best musicians right from the start. This straight-forward tactic is sure to land you some prime talent, but be careful not to blow all your cash, because you only have nine cash envelopes to spend. For example, Doc Dark is an appealing band mate, but going after such a star could be costly. One downside to this strategy is that sometimes there are only mediocre artists available, and you don’t want to kick yourself for signing one of these ho-hum stars later in the Rockstar Recruitment phase when better musicians become available.

Waiting until the end of the Rockstar Recruitment phase to sign stars works too. Players can’t participate in an auction when they already have signed a star to an instrument, so if an excellent bassist becomes available and you are the only player without a bassist, you can sign the star for any amount of cash. When a star like Kaylee Sung shows up and all your rivals already have keyboardists, you can add this talented musician for a mere pittance. Additionally, if all your opponents have already signed stars to a particular instrument, you can even mill the Rockstar decks trying to find the best available star, since you can pay musicians you don’t want in your band to disappear. However, this strategy can backfire if the only performers left are not very skilled, and you can only pay three performers to go away.

Although it seems counter-intuitive, signing only the least talented stars could be a track to success in the future. While having a group of Ursula Red-like characters has little lure, you do score decibels (used to track victory) at the end of the game for having money, so remaining frugal does pay off. Also, at the end of the Rockstar Recruitment phase, the least talented band gains the Most Promising Award, which gives them a seven decibel bonus. This strategy is dangerous, because you’ll have fewer options in the Career Phases of the game, but you gotta live dangerously if you want to rock, right?

With 40 Rockstar cards from which to assemble your band, there are all kinds of options from hardcore rockers, complete wannabes, and every level of musician in between. These stunning and often amusing characters cards set the energetic tone for the game, and it’s your task to find the best ones to make rock history.

Once every player has formed their band, the next, and maybe most important, step is to come up with a killer band name. After that, the game moves onto the Career phases, which we will discuss in more detail in the next Rockband Manager preview. Be sure to check back for more info on this killer card game.

In the card game Rockband Manager, 3-6 players attempt to guide their bands to rock stardom. the manager who hires the best musicians, books the biggest gigs, and cuts the highest selling album wins the game. In this fast-paced game anything goes, and only one band can become rock legends.
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