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Subject: Deck Strategy Series rss

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Brad Durandetta
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I am considering writing a series of strategy articles on Blue Moon to post on the Geek. Each article would focus on how to play one of the decks (for a total of 8 articles). I've almost finished one on the Hoax, but before I continue, I'd like to gauge interest and elicit some help.

First off, some details are in order:
1. I am writing these articles on the preconstructed decks. I know there are a lot of players that frequent these forums and play consolidated decks, but I have two reasons for sticking to the precons. Firstly, that's what I play with. Secondly, I want these to be accessible to newer players, who will likely start off by playing the original decks (for example, in the base set).

2. The format so far looks like this:
-General: General strategy about playing the deck.
-Card Strategy: Exploring the intricacies of individual cards.
-Mutant: How to best take advantage of the Mutant
-Combos: What combinations of card should a player watch for in his or her hand.
-Anti-Combos: What combinations of cards represent imperfect play.
-Match Strategy: Detailed strategy against each of the other decks.
-???Anti-Deck Strategy: General strategy against the article's deck.

3. One of my goals with this project is to follow the example of Chris Dearlove's excellent FAQ, and be very thorough. Therefore, many of the strategies in the article are going to be nothing new for veteran players. I hope that there will still be one or two tidbits in each article that will make even veterans reconsider their playing styles. Also, this results in very long articles. I'm hoping to organize them so that it will be easy to find pieces of information without reading the entire articles, but I also don't want them to be too daunting.

4. These articles take a lot of time between the playtesting - I've been playing the Hoax exclusively for nearly two weeks while writing the article - and the writing. If these do catch on, don't expect me to churn them out too quickly.

On to my calls for help: to begin, is there enough interest to warrant these articles? If you want to see them, please post to this thread and say so. If you think they are a big, fat waste of time, post that too. I need to know if you guys and gals would make use of these, and if they are worth the effort.

If I make the series, it would be nice to have someone to look over the articles before I post them. One of my frequent opponents is an English major, and he has volunteered to check my writing style, spelling, and grammar, but I'd really like to have an "expert" for each deck check my strategies and offer suggestions. If you think you're a pretty good Hoax player, and you wouldn't mind taking the time to look over my article, please let me know.

I would also like some suggestions on the format, but I'll post those concerns later, if there is enough interest.
 
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Miikka Rytty
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tubalord wrote:


On to my calls for help: to begin, is there enough interest to warrant these articles?



Yes. At least I am looking forward to see them.

 
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Joe Stude
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Man, I'm having major brain problems today. Forgive all the edits in my messages - I keep doing dumb stuff.

Anyhow, this is a great idea. If you need help of any kind (creative input, writing, whatever), lemme know. I'm a spelling/grammar-phile, so I could probably help a lot in the proofing department. I'd probably be less useful on most of the preconstructed decks (all but Hoax and Vulca) as I consolidated all the decks before playing the preconstructed versions, but I might be able to provide some input on Hoax and Vulca if you need/want that sort of thing.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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tubalord wrote:
1. I am writing these articles on the preconstructed decks.


I think this is the right decision. (I'll expand on that if anyone disagrees, but if no one does, obviously that won't be necessary.)

Quote:
Anti-Combos: What combinations of cards represent imperfect play.


Might on occasion be worth pointing out what isn't just imperfect, but illegal.

Also, you're taling about preconstructed decks, not constructed play, presumably in the interests of being actually able to finish the project. But this project might naturally at least spin off comments of the form "what this deck really needs is ..." or "personally I've never found much use for ...". For example when you get to the Mimix/Khind we all know they want to put pairs/gangs together. How well can they do this, could they do with being able to do it better, or do they have more glaring holes? (Is the Mimix's lack of ignore/remove a bigger problem?)

Quote:
FAQ


This sort of project may well spin off comments/suggestions. Always welcome.

Quote:
4. These articles take a lot of time between the playtesting - I've been playing the Hoax exclusively for nearly two weeks while writing the article - and the writing. If these do catch on, don't expect me to churn them out too quickly.


So will the Buka be out before or after you get to them? I'll be especially interested in that article.

Quote:
On to my calls for help: to begin, is there enough interest to warrant these articles?


I'll read them. Can't say more than that.

Quote:
If I make the series, it would be nice to have someone to look over the articles before I post them. One of my frequent opponents is an English major, and he has volunteered to check my writing style, spelling, and grammar, but I'd really like to have an "expert" for each deck check my strategies and offer suggestions.


Ah, well, that rules me out. I never claimed to be any good at this game.
 
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Jon Greisz
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I recently purchased Blue Moon along with the Mimix, so I'd definitely be interested. I'm now working on finding opponents.

PS. I picked the Mimix due to the Todd Lockwood art, I've got a couple of his pieces framed and hanging on my wall, http://www.toddlockwood.com/galleries/magazines/01/silver_dr... and http://www.toddlockwood.com/galleries/dnd/01/dragonlance.sht.... So when I found out he had done a deck, I had to purchase it.
 
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Bill Herbst
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I like the idea for the series of articles and I would be glad to offer my suggestions regarding the strategies that you discuss. I am certainly no expert on the game but there are a few decks where I feel I can contribute something that might not be obvious (at least there are some combinations I've learned through play that were not obvious to me for the first several times that I played with the deck).

I can at least guarantee that I will read all of your articles.
 
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Ava Jarvis
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This kind of resource is important for any game---but it's even more important for something like Blue Moon with such a large variety of cards and strategies. I think many people would be interested---including me.
 
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Matthew M
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Sounds like an excellent endeavor! One suggestion:

Blue Moon isn't only about what a deck does by itself, but also how it plays against the opposing deck. I play the Hoax very differently against the Khind as compared to against the Vulca. That being the case I think it would be useful to highlight which cards in the deck are good against which other decks. A reader should walk away knowing that card X is pivotal when playing against one deck and more of a throwaway when playing against another.

-MMM
 
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Jeff M
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Nothing of value to add to this thread other than "Yes please!"
 
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Joe Stude
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I've been trying to do some of that in some of my posts in the strategy section, Octavian. Check out the Mimix vs. Flit most recently. This is obviously opening a huge can of worms (work) though. Is anyone interested in this sort of info for the consolidated decks as well?
 
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Matthew M
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Jowjow wrote:
I've been trying to do some of that in some of my posts in the strategy section, Octavian. Check out the Mimix vs. Flit most recently. This is obviously opening a huge can of worms (work) though. Is anyone interested in this sort of info for the consolidated decks as well?


I read that post - lots of good stuff there.

It'd definitely be a fair amount of work, and would require working knowledge of all the decks for writing even just the Hoax article. There's no reason such a section couldn't be included as a 'work in progress' - to be returned to and edited at a later date. It also could be more general than speaking of specific cards.

The Mimix or Khind, for example, can be played as a very fast deck or at a slower pace - which you choose depends somewhat on the deck you are playing against. Or take the Vulca - obviously their strength is in fire, but there are some decks that they can hold their own in earth against as well. Such information should definitely be in any strategy article about how to play as the Vulca.

-MMM
 
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Joe Stude
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It depends how it's written, actually. If you're going to tackle Hoax vs. all other decks in a single article, you definitely need to know the entire game thoroughly (or allow that single article to be built by multiple contributors). If there were multiple articles, though, not only might they be easier to consult and read, but people who weren't necessarily intimate with Hoax's interactions with every deck in the game (me, for example) would still be able to contribute.
 
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Allen Doum
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While there are obviously some who play with "consolidated" decks, if the articles are specific enough that there would be differences from a posting on the pre-construced decks, I would like to see them in a seperate thread.
 
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Brad Durandetta
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That's certainly enought positive response that I'll continue with my project, at least through the Hoax article (after which you may not want any more ).

Again, I'd like to find someone who feels they are a solid Hoax player, and would have the time to look over my draft and make suggestions, to please post or GeekMessage me. I'm sure that my article can be improved in places, and I'd like to have at least one more person look at it before I post it.

I have two questions on the formatting that I think should be posed to the forum:

1. Do you think the Mutant deserves a section all to itself, or does this belong with the other single card strategies?

2. This issue I've been on the fence about for a while. Should I include a section in each article for general strategies against the article's deck? The alternative would be to put these strategies in the section with the individual matchups.

Let me give an example. One stratagem I would offer to anyone playing against the Khind is to attempt to start fights at around 4 or 5 total power. This forces the Khind player to play more than one character at a time, thereby shortening the longevity of his or her Gang and making the Top Gang's special power text hurt a little less. I would offer this advice regardless of the specific matchup, so where does it belong? Should it be intermingled with the specific matchup strategy or should it have it's own section at the end of the Khind article?

Own section pros:
-It will save me time, since I won't have to repeat information.
-It will significantly shorten the articles
-It will offer another perspective on the deck I'm writing about in the article.

Own section cons:
-It will split the information about how to play a certain matcup into two different sections, one for matchup specific strategy and the other for general anti-opponent's deck strategy.
-It will delay access to information. For example, when my Hoax article debuts, you will have specifics of how to beat the Khind with the Hoax, but not the tidbit mentioned above or any others like it. That won't appear until I write the Khind article.

Spread around pros:
-All the information for playing a matchup will be in one location.
-All the information for playing a matchup will be available at the same time.

Spread around cons:
-More work for me, because information will have to be repeated from article to article (and I'll have to make sure it's consistent).
-The articles will significantly lengthen.

What do you think?
 
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Brad Durandetta
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Dearlove wrote:
tubalord wrote:
1. I am writing these articles on the preconstructed decks.


I think this is the right decision. (I'll expand on that if anyone disagrees, but if no one does, obviously that won't be necessary.)


I don't disagree, but I'm interested in hearing your reasoning.

Dearlove wrote:

Quote:
Anti-Combos: What combinations of cards represent imperfect play.


Might on occasion be worth pointing out what isn't just imperfect, but illegal.


I have done this on occasion already (for example, you can't trump Flickering Fires with Enthrall Opposition), but I'll look into expanding this.

Dearlove wrote:

Also, you're taling about preconstructed decks, not constructed play, presumably in the interests of being actually able to finish the project. But this project might naturally at least spin off comments of the form "what this deck really needs is ..." or "personally I've never found much use for ...". For example when you get to the Mimix/Khind we all know they want to put pairs/gangs together. How well can they do this, could they do with being able to do it better, or do they have more glaring holes? (Is the Mimix's lack of ignore/remove a bigger problem?)


Yes, I want to finish someday, so no, I won't be discussing constructed decks at all. If there's interest, I assume a discussion would appear in the same thread as the article.

Dearlove wrote:
So will the Buka be out before or after you get to them? I'll be especially interested in that article.


I started this project two days before the Buka announcement. I falsely assumed I was working with a complete product. I guess I'll just have to edit all the articles later to include Buka information (and possibly others).

Of course, if you'd like me to have the articles done ahead of the Buka debut, please feel free to have the good Dr. send me some playtest cards and a non-disclosure agreement for me and my friends to sign.
 
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Brad Durandetta
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Octavian wrote:
Sounds like an excellent endeavor! One suggestion:

Blue Moon isn't only about what a deck does by itself, but also how it plays against the opposing deck. I play the Hoax very differently against the Khind as compared to against the Vulca. That being the case I think it would be useful to highlight which cards in the deck are good against which other decks. A reader should walk away knowing that card X is pivotal when playing against one deck and more of a throwaway when playing against another.

-MMM


I must not have been clear in my original post, but this is precisely what I plan to do. In fact, right now the individual matchup strategy portion of my Hoax article takes up over half of the article. I would even go so far as to say that this issue was the impetus for writing these in the first place. Hopefully, these will suffice as a resource for when people have trouble with individual matchups.
 
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Brad Durandetta
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Jowjow wrote:
I've been trying to do some of that in some of my posts in the strategy section, Octavian. Check out the Mimix vs. Flit most recently. This is obviously opening a huge can of worms (work) though. Is anyone interested in this sort of info for the consolidated decks as well?


Again, I plan on doing this in my articles, and yes, it is a whole lot of work.

As far as consolidated decks go, if you feel they play sufficiently similarly to the originals, you can use the threads for my articles to discuss consolidated deck strategy. If they don't, some people would have to write new articles, but they could always link to my articles for some basic information. It might save them some time.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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tubalord wrote:
What do you think?


I'd work on the basis that the X deck gets information specific to the X. So the advice you give about playing 4 or 5 against the Khind would go in the Khind deck, and not be repeated anywhere. But where there's a really specific X vs. Y comment (no I don't have an example right now) put it in both.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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tubalord wrote:
Of course, if you'd like me to have the articles done ahead of the Buka debut, please feel free to have the good Dr. send me some playtest cards and a non-disclosure agreement for me and my friends to sign.


I note the smiley, and it's a bit late now. However you might be interested to know I've never actually signed an NDA with Reiner, not just on Blue Moon, but including when I had some really sensitive information (that he was working on a Lord of the Rings game) - though he did, unusually, stress the confidentiality in that case. And there's someone out there with the Buka playtest material whom Reiner has never even met (though I have). There's some trust in this business.
 
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Joe Stude
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I do feel that the decks play very nearly the same as the preconstructed, just that they're "better" at what they were designed do and the random effects that don't really fit are gone. This DOES change some of the deck relationships a bit (Hoax really misses HHH against Vulca, while Vulca losing Pandemonium takes a hit vs. support heavy decks), but not the underlying play mechanism. This stuff could be very easily written up in some sort of addendum.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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tubalord wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
tubalord wrote:
1. I am writing these articles on the preconstructed decks.


I think this is the right decision. (I'll expand on that if anyone disagrees, but if no one does, obviously that won't be necessary.)


I don't disagree, but I'm interested in hearing your reasoning.


Oh, all right.

First, as you noted, the preconstructed decks are what everyone has access to and (some regulars here notwithstanding) I suspect the most common choice.

Second, as the FAQ notes, it is the preconstructed decks that were playtested and balanced. Now it is true that the consolidated decks therefore should also be reasonably balanced, but ...

Third, some of the comments I've been seeing recently suggest some places where the consolidated decks are a bit off-balance compared to the preconstructed decks. For example the Flit getting HHH and MMM back but losing two boosters useful for increasing power makes them more focussed, less rounded - which biases who they are good or bad against. And two peoples lost those characters. [Note that in constructed deck play where you start consolidated, you get the opportunity to solve any such problems yourself.]

Fourth, which consolidated decks? E&I confused the matter rather a bit there.
 
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Joe Stude
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The choice to balance the preconstructs and not the "pure decks" still kinda baffles me. It seems that if they were intending on this course of action they would have chosen the swapped cards a little more carefully - some decks benefit quite a bit from these "orphan" cards (Titanic Gauntlets, Henry Highflyer Hawk, etc) , but others have cards (NoProblem is the best example here) that break the theme, lose their intended special functionality in the swap (gang, in this case), AND don't really help the deck they're in one iota. In exchange for NoProblem, the Mimix instead lose Fearsome Chant, which is like stealing water from a dying dehydrated man (the Mimix need every bit of what little "special text" ability they have). If the preconstructs were balanced and not so thematically jarring, I don't think I'd mind them.

I haven't seen much in this vein, but I'm curious what some of these imbalances might be. Some random comments regarding the Flit in particular: in the handful of games I've either played them or played against them, I've only seen them lose once (and that particular game the person who lost with them had the game won and didn't realize it until too late). They don't seem particularly weak against anyone. Another added benefit of the return of HHH and MMM to the Terrah and Hoax decks: now neither of those decks has a complete throwaway card when playing the Flit.

Compared to the rest of y'all, however, I'm a complete newbie, so I may be completely off the mark with this.
 
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Matthew M
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Jowjow wrote:
In exchange for NoProblem, the Mimix instead lose Fearsome Chant, which is like stealing water from a dying dehydrated man (the Mimix need every bit of what little "special text" ability they have). If the preconstructs were balanced and not so thematically jarring, I don't think I'd mind them.


I think you're thinking about it backwards - the Mimix didn't lose Fearsome Chant - they never had it to begin with. Considering that the Mimix were balanced with NoProblem in the mix you could say that subbing it out for Fearsome Chant it unbalancing in favor of the Mimix.

The theme of the game is that the heirs are recruiting help from Leaders of Blue Moon to put forth armies. Those leaders get help largely from their own peoples, but not exclusively. So having the out of place cards does fit the theme in that respect.

And of course having an out of place card acts as a scratch in the small of the back of us completists - making it assured that we have to get the rest of the decks to put them back together again

-MMM
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Jowjow wrote:
Some random comments regarding the Flit in particular: in the handful of games I've either played them or played against them, I've only seen them lose once (and that particular game the person who lost with them had the game won and didn't realize it until too late). They don't seem particularly weak against anyone.


That's not necessarily a good thing - they are meant to lose 50% of the time! I'm afraid I've lost track of if this is a preconstructed or consolidated deck comment.

Specifically any comment of the form that if people X get their cards back they get better is an argument against consolidation, as is an argument they get worse - in either case unless all decks do. But an argument they just get different is a "pays your money, takes your choice" argument.
 
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Joe -

Think of NoProblem as being in the Mimix deck as a way of balancing it to the other decks. Yes, it is a weak card, but the Mimix have a lot of strong cards. Considering that the Guardians were also left out, there seams to be a definate attempt to weaken the Mimix preconstructed deck.

It should also be pointed out that NoProblem could be seen as stregthening the Khind deck, as it means that the No gang has another member. So having NoProblem in the Mimix decks weakens both decks.

I understand your arguements about theme, but for play balance, you may have abandoned the pre-constructed decks too quickly.
 
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