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Subject: My 50th Play...and My 1st at Level 5 rss

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Mo
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I have been playing this game for the 100 Play Challenge and blogging about my experiences throughout. I have reached the halfway point and thought I should give the infamous Level 5 a try. And to celebrate, I have decided to write a full session report...

Play #50

10/10/2012

Difficulty Level = 5
Pirate #1 = +2 Hazard Points for Each Aging Card
Pirate #2 = 22-Point, Half of All Face Up Fight Cards Count
Result = Win
Score = 77


GREEN

Fight Hand #1
Starting Life = 16
Cards Added = 0/+2 Cards, 0/+2 Cards, 2/+1 Life
Cards Destroyed = 7x 0/Weak, 5x -1/Distracted, Stop Age

My first hand was a good one. I picked up three cards that all allow me to add cards to the table, if necessary, for “free.” This will help to keep my Life token use at a minimum. Plus I was able to get rid of that pesky Stop Age card, in my opinion, the most troublesome of the Age cards.

Fight Hand #2
Starting Life = 3
Cards Added = 1/1X Below, 0/2X Exchange, 4/Weapon
Cards Destroyed = none

Picking up the 4/Weapon is definitely a score with my second hand of play. Most of my Fight cards of value ended up bunched together at the end of the deck. Keeping track of what I had used already allowed me the pleasure of knowing I could win the strong Weapon card with ease. The 2X Exchange action should help me move Age cards out of the way until I can win one of the Destroy cards. Unfortunately, the -1 Life Age card survives this hand.

Fight Hand #3
Starting Life = 5
Cards Added = 1/+1 Life
Cards Destroyed = none

Only one battle is fought before needing to shuffle the Hazard deck.


YELLOW

Fight Hand #3 continues
Starting Life = 5
Cards Added = 2/1X Destroy, 0/Phase -1
Cards Destroyed = 0/Weak

There it is...my first Destroy card. Just in time too as both the -1 Life Age and High=0 Age cards make it through to the next hand. During my plays at Levels 2 and 3, I found that the Phase -1 card was more in the way than useful, and I stopped trying to win it. However, after several attempts at Level 4, I have come back to using it again.

Fight Hand #4
Starting Life = 6
Cards Added = 3/1X Destroy, 2/+1 Card
Cards Destroyed = -1 Life Age

Woo hoo! Another Destroy action is added to the mix. I will need them as two Age cards, again, survive...-1 Age and High=0 Age. My stash of Life tokens are slowing increasing though, and I pick up my first 3-valued Fight card. I'm feeling good about this one.

Fight Hand #5
Starting Life = 6
Cards Added = 3/Sort 3, 4/Weapon, 0/1X Copy
Cards Destroyed = -3 Age, 1/Focused

A lot of strength is added this hand with the 3-value and 4-value Fight cards, plus I grab the very versatile Copy action. I am able to remove the Very Stupid Age card, but those same two from the previous hand are still at large.

Fight Hand #6
Starting Life = 8
Cards Added = 0/2X Exchange, 1/1X Destroy, 2/Weapon
Cards Destroyed = -1 Age

I pick up a few random Fight cards this hand...nothing too special. A Destroy card is always of use, but I already have enough Exchange actions and a basic 2/Weapon card is only so useful this late in the game. I'm mainly looking for cards with abilities on them at this point...anything that will help me manipulate my tableau and keep my deck moving along. I don't want to start spending Life tokens to add cards against the upcoming Red Phase. I finally destroy that -1 Age card, but two others still remain.


RED

Fight Hand #6 continues
Starting Life = 10
Cards Added = 3/+1 Card, 2/1X Exchange
Cards Destroyed = -2 Age

There will only be a total of six battles during this Red Phase. I complete this hand with a couple of nice pickups and destroy another Age card. Only the High=0 Age card is still hanging on.

Fight Hand #7
Starting Life = 9
Cards Added = 3/1X Exchange, 2/1X Double
Cards Destroyed = High=0 Age

I wrap up the main part of the game with a couple of good wins and removing one of the now two High=0 Age cards in my deck. I am in a strong position with Life tokens and I still have one more hand of cards before I would reach the stronger White Age cards. I should have everything I need to take on the Pirates.


AGE PIRATE (+2 Hazard per Age)

Fight Hand #7 continues
Starting Life = 8
Hazard Strength = 14
Free Cards Allowed = 5

My five free cards start me off with 9 points...I am almost two-thirds of the way there already. I add one more free card and draw the 2/1X Destroy card. Not only do I have 11 points, but I am able to destroy the other High=0 Age card showing on the table. Very nice. Time to shuffle.

Fight Hand #8
Starting Life = 8

I use two Life tokens to add two more cards to the table. I reach a total of 16 points and the first Pirate has been defeated.

22-Point PIRATE (Half of All Face Up Fight Cards Count)

Fight Hand #8 continues
Starting Life = 6
Hazard Strength = 22
Free Cards Allowed = 9

Again I have a strong start as my free cards bring me almost three-fourths of the way to victory with 16 points. I exchange three of my cards to increase my total to 21 points. I add a card using a Life token and remain at 21 points, but the card I drew allows me to draw two more cards. I am at 22 points and a victory for my first attempt at Level 5. Yes!

Comments
Well, that went as well as I could hope. My plan in the early part of the game was to get actions that would let me add cards to the table without needing to spend Life tokens to do so. I used the exchange ability to move Age cards off the table in the first part of the game when I was not able to destroy them.

In the middle and late part of the game, I was able to increase my Life tokens and add stronger fights cards to my deck. By the time I reached the Pirate battles, there was nothing left to do but head toward the finish line.

When I first started playing Friday, I had very little experience with deck-building. I struggled early on, even at Level 1. Eventually, I improved my play and learned the ins and outs of the game. I worked on different strategies as I moved up in difficulty levels. Now, not only being able to play at Level 5 but to actually win there, I feel my hard work has paid off. Don't get me wrong though, I had a lot fun along the way too.

And I look forward to continuing with this game and the enjoyment it has to offer.

Thanks for reading!
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Rob Rob
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Quote:
22-Point PIRATE (Half of All Face Up Fight Cards Count)

I hate this pirate. Not so much because it's difficult to beat but I find it so hard to keep track of just when I have enough to win. Invariably I find I've wasted life points buying superfluous cards.
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Mo
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Robrob wrote:
Quote:
22-Point PIRATE (Half of All Face Up Fight Cards Count)

I hate this pirate. Not so much because it's difficult to beat but I find it so hard to keep track of just when I have enough to win. Invariably I find I've wasted life points buying superfluous cards.

Yes. This one and the 52-point Pirate, I find myself having to add up my score over and over again...especially when you add a new doubling action. Even when I think I've won, I find myself double and triple checking just to be sure. They are both on the annoying side, but as you said they aren't as difficult to beat as the extra work makes it seem.
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