Ashes Deck Tech Talk – Coal Roarkwin Starter

Coal Roarkwin – Phoenixborn of Rustwatch

Coal Roarkwin | Board in ToledoHealth 16

Spellboard 5

Battlefield 6

Ability: Slash [Side Action] [Discard a card] : Deal 1 damage to a target unit. If an opponent has no units in play, you may instead deal 1 damage to their Phoenixborn instead.

The deck I was least interested in turned out to be my favorite. The Iron Men are straightforward and strong, and Coal makes for a perfect aggro deck. Interestingly enough, Isaac Vega gave his swordsman character the least health, and biggest spell-board. His battlefield is a whopping six, making his stats even out nicely.

Strengths and Power Cards

Before we get into cards, I’d like to talk about Slash. At first I was weary of discarding cards for a 1 damage ping, especially in a 30 card game. But 1 damage as a side action (as Natural dice users know) can make or break the game. My strategy with Coal? A.B.S. Always be Slashin’. Keep those opposing units down, keep their battlefield low. Is their battlefield empty? Don’t think about it – Slash. When faced with bigger threats, you’ll want to plan your slashes and other pings accordingly, but for The Phoenixborn of Rustwatch, slashing is the way he deals with things.

Coal’s strength lies within his Iron Men. Hell, one of his cards even depicts him supporting his units instead of taking to the battlefield. All the allies in Coal’s deck are useful, but two I felt rise above the rest.

Iron Worker A2/L2/R1 [Main Action] [Two Basic] Resourceful 1 Overtime Hard work pays off in Rustwatch it seems.Overtime, especially if you let it build up a little, will let you unleash a wave of pings that can clear an opponent’s board. Take 3 status tokens, and poof, you can slash twice and ping with 2 Frogs if needed, enough to deal with mostunits. Keep this guy alive, as his ability is inexhaustible, and useful even if he has attacked.

Anchornaut A0/L1/R0 Cost: [Main Action] [1 Basic] Throw 1. I love these little guys. Put them in the field, Throw 1, and don’t worry about it. Did they die? Ceremonial dice power brings them back without so much as a ping to yourself. Your opponent may make the mistake of ignoring them, allowing you to build up a team of free pings, considering Throw takes neither a main or side action.

Those two are the basis for the team, allowing you to cut through defenses, but you need some more meat to actually get damage through, which is where the following card comes in.

Summon Iron Rhino [Main Action] [1Leaf] Pay [Main Action] [Exhaust] [6Basic]: Place an Iron Rhino Conjuration onto your battlefield EXPENSIVE. This is the first thing that comes to mind. This thing takes a Leaf just to ready, and six more energy to summon. Focused just right, the least you can pay for a single Rhino is seven energy. In the end, I would say this card is worth it because

Iron Rhino A5/L4/R0. I would play this card for the flavor text alone. The sheer image in my mind of a Rhino crafted of crude iron crushing through opposing units on the docks as Coal yells “Welcome to Rustwatch, you bastards!” is almost as satisfying as doing it in-game. This guy is a big, meaty, threat that few things in the game can deal with. Get him out, and do not swing with him until your opponent has an open field, or you have a particularly annoying unit to get rid of. Let him sit there. Let them fear.

One Hundred Blades [Main Action] [2 Basic]. Oh glory, another great card with great flavor text. Coal’s unique card cuts down everything. You can ping away with the aforementioned cards/abilities until everything has just one left, and then unleash this bad boy. It deals one to the Phoenixborn as well, which is nice, AND allows for a card draw, getting you an extra slash, or even an extra One Hundred Bladesfor the turn. Wonderful card that I can’t imagine a Coal deck without. Night night, Mist Spirit Swarm

I find that the above more than serves against most decks. Most of Coal’s spellboard helps, but is not really necessary. You may look into other cards to fill the slots Strengthen is a nice spell to buff up your unblocked attackers. Protect I haven’t play-tested as much, but when cast I’ve been so aggressive I’ve yet to find it useful. All cards you don’t want to use becomes slashes anyway, so there is no bad card in a Coal deck.

Weakness and Counters:

Coal has the least HP of any Phoenixborn. Fifteen is a dangerous number especially against direct pings. ThreeMolten Gold action spells will reduce him to a meager six health, ALL of which can be ping’d away by Stormwind Sniper since Protect only targets units and not Phoenixborn.

In general Coal’s deck is pretty cheap, aside from the Iron Rhino. If your opponent casts Steady Gaze or Gazes one with a Blue Jaguar, you can expect trouble. Manage your energy well, and summon only when needed, becauseExpand Energy isn’t going to save you when you’re 6 mana dice down.

Slash, while Coal’s most useful tool, is also a double-edged sword. Discarding a card in a 30 card game must always be a tactical decision, and before long you can mill yourself out. Saria’s Three-Eyed Owls will limit the usefulness of your Slashes by making you discard cards. When you’re one ping away from an open field for your Iron Rhino, this can really hurt. Because most her units have more than 1 life, it makes it a little harder to clear the field. She can alsoStrange Copy an Iron Rhino for protection. My goal when playing Coal against Saria is pure aggro. Slash and get a Rhino out before she gets her mill set up. Let her exhaust her allies for their special abilities. It will hurt a little bit, but your opponent will be a little more reluctant to make you discard a card when she just took an Iron Rhino to the face.

Jessa. Good God Jessa. Blood Puppets will drain either a card from you slashing or an energy Coal desperately needs. With his large battlefield, the slot occupation won’t bother much, so these little guys can be dealt with later in the turn. Living Doll and Leech Warrior are great against most decks, but against Coal, they become a nightmare worthy of their card art. Undying Heart makes them borderline invincible, and puts a halt to Coal’s slashing. Fear is ridiculous, as it cost nothing but a main action, and can be used to put your 6 cost Iron Rhino right back where it came from. Blood Archers have Battle Advantage, and Blood Oath, enabling them to take an Iron Rhino in a straight-up fight. When something actually dies, Jessa pops a Final Cry which whittles away at Coal’s already low health. I usually deal with Jessa by targeting the unit’s first. Yes, you will lose a little momentum, but if you can manage your energy right, and kill them right before you get the first player token, you can deal some nice damage. Much like Saria, she needs these units for blockers, and their abilities are no good when exhausted, so she’ll be reluctant to retaliate from your full attack.

Other than those two, I’ve had little trouble smashing everything down with the Iron Men. Look out for buffs like Root Armor that’ll interrupt your oh so carefully planned card + energy pings.

Tweaks

I’ll be honest. I’ve had so much fun with the Iron Men that I haven’t yet played much with tweaked cards. That being said here are some ideas. What is wonderful about coal is that Anchornaut, Iron Worker, Iron Rhino, and 100 Blades all use the Basic energy face, allowing him to be extremely diverse with his mana pool.

I want so badly to include Stormwind Sniper in this deck, it may be worth it just to bring 1 or 2 Spirit dice in place of a couple of your nature ones. More ping, high attack, more quick aggro is a good inclusion.

I’ve had a little success in bringing Small Sacrifice and pinging my own Anchornauts after their Throw for an extra damage, as in my experience most players will get rid of those little guys as quick as possible. Still need to playtest more.

Summon Sleeping Widows – is an idea. It’s a little expensive when considering your cermony dice, but once your Anchornaut dies it could be nice to have two more attackers to take his place.

Final Cry – is something to consider as well. If you’ve got the ceremony dice to spare, 2 direct damage for a reaction can be worth more than bringing your little guy back.

Spiked Armor – is good to throw on Iron Worker or even Iron Rhino, but I feel as if this card slot could be better used for something more aggressive.

Mist Typhoon – Essentially, a not-as-good One-Hundred Blades, but the board wiping capabilities combined with a card draw is wonderful for Coal. And if you’re bringing the Illusion dice for Stormwind Sniper anyway…

Refresh – Save a dice slot or two for Charm Dice. Because this card is a must have. Bring back an Iron Rhino from his slumber, and then crush them.

Conclusion

The Iron Men is a wonderfully build aggro deck that with just a few minor adjustments can have your opponent staying on the defensive for the entire game. Plan your energy carefully, utilize your Overtime, and Always be slashin’

 

Overview by /u/Sonokym.

Incoming Data: The Underway

Incoming Data: The Underway

Welcome to our first installment of INCOMING DATA, where we’ll be reviewing the new Android Netrunner Data Packs, as they’re released.

Joel’s Runner Reviews:

Faust — I typically play Criminal Runner decks, and I usually don’t have much recursion, so this card kinda scares me. Throwing away cards seems like such a waste. However, it definitely seems like a good “in a pinch” icebreaker, like most AI breakers.
Street Peddler — Throw this in a Hayley deck, use it on the Corp’s turn and boom! You’re rig-building even faster than you thought! You can also think of Street Peddler as an Anarch’s Clone Chip/SMC. You’re able to install something on the fly, and the Corp won’t know what’s coming. Also a nice include in our next card…
Armand “Geist” Walker: Tech Lord — Geist has arrived! Perhaps we finally have an ID that allows the breaking and entering suite(Crowbar, Shiv and Spike) to be viable. Geist also has synergy with your normally good cards, Same Old Thing, Clone Chip, SMC, etc. Might be worth trying some form of Crescentus in a Geist deck. As with most new IDs, I’m sure there’s more support coming later in the cycle, or perhaps in the next cycle.
Drive By — Possibly an answer to Caprice? Also would be a nice include for a Silhouette/Blackguard deck. Force HB to rez their Eve Campaign, and then make them trash it. Seems like this is better than Infiltration, especially if you’re already using a Criminal ID. Saves you another click of having to run and some credits to trash a particularly unsightly asset.
Forger — The jury is still out, on this one. Perhaps if you’re in a tag heavy meta? I don’t see wanting to include this over Desperado. Ever.
Shiv — Filling out the Breaking and Entering suite, that I mentioned above. We have our Cloud Killer. I recently built a Geist deck, with all three of the breakers, and it was pretty good. I wouldn’t consider it better than standard breaker suites, but it’s definitely not bad. The free install cost is nice, but so is Faerie, and Faerie can take care of a 5 subroutine Komainu easier.
Gang Sign — I’ll be honest. When I opened the pack, I read Gang Sign, and I didn’t really think much of it. Then, I played against it. Wow. Obvious synergy with HQ Interface, or even Nerve Agent, if you’re playing Anarch. I’m considering an Edward Kim deck, with a few of these in it.
Muertos Gang Member — Would it be awesome to lay this down, and force Blue Sun to derez their Oversight AI’d Curtain Wall? Yes. Would it be sad if the Corp just derezzes a Jackson Howard? Yes. It’s very situational, which I guess could be said about most Netrunner cards, but this one seems to be overhyped, in my opinion. Even if there’s ONE more piece of ICE rezzed, or any other asset, chances are, the Corp will be able to derez something cheap/free, and then when they find a way to trash this, they can rez their expensive stuff. Consider this a high risk card.
Chameleon — Hello, London Library. You’re looking mighty fine, today. Mind if I throw a Chameleon onto you? No? Okay, good. LLDS Processor might be coming out of the woodwork, too, with Chameleon.
Hyperdriver — Seems pretty straight forward. You want more clicks on a turn? This is how. Combine a few of these with a Data Leak Reversal, or a Wanton Destruction, or whatever else you might want. Better throw them on Leprechaun, too. Save yourself some MU.

Andrew’s Corp Reviews

Test Ground — Probably the worst card in this pack as it has minimal viable use cases and all of them are pretty fringe. Do you want to recycle an Adonis or Eve campaign? Sure. But there’s already Archived Memories and Interns that do that at a better efficiency. Best case scenario, Test Ground derezzes an ICE the runner Parasited so the Parasite ends up stuck in limbo taking up MU.
Defective Brainchips — Pretty strong current if there were an easy way to force a brain damage… oh yeah, we have that now in our new favorite sysop. I can see Defective Brainchips seeing minor play in Batty Cybernetics decks, but probably no where else.
Allele Repression — The best of the new Advanceable Trashable Asset Suite (TM) of The Underway, Allele Repression allows a unique way of card recycling. Best use case is turning your late-game extra ICE into more Sundews out of RP or getting back the winning agenda after a Jackson pump-and-dump. At 2 to rez, the big question is whether or not it is economically a good play since it costs a minimum of 2 clicks + 3 credits to get a single card back and you most likely won’t ever see this advanced more than twice. If you’re trying to add this into your decks, you may just want to stick to Interns purely based on the credit savings.
Marcus Batty — What’s there to say besides this is one of the most powerful cards in the game. Even just using this to fire an ETR is crazy powerful out of modern RP forcing the runner to win two back-to-back psi games when coupled with caprice to get into your scoring remote. Batty also single handedly opens up the viability of blacklist lockouts, just general rig-destruction to slow down the runner, and even Brain Damage focused kill-decks. Midrange HB that runs 2x Caprice will now be running 2x Batty instead with two extra influence for another Tollbooth. Runners will forever fear the mad scientist… well at least for 5 more cycles.
Exposé — NBN Bad Publicity removal. Doesn’t seem like a bad card, but I don’t think there are many decks that care about getting rid of Bad Publicity. The Bad Publicity mechanic doesn’t seem to even exist outside of Valencia Estavez and it’s pretty hard for the runner to capitalize on a corp that intentionally takes Bad Publicity. My feelings are this card is maybe going to be relevant in the future depending on how the Bad Publicity mechanic expands in functionality.
Pachinko — A really solid barrier for NBN is nice to see. Combos well with some other powerful ICE. Put it behind a Data Raven or Gutenberg on R&D and you have a pretty strong server for cheap. It’ll definitely see play out of Making News Tag Storm style builds.
Underway Renovation — A nice addition to the utility 3/1 agendas, but I doubt this card will see much play. I could see it going into some sort of Blue Sun glacier build that likes to take it’s time to set up. It seems like a good way to add awkward pressure while you’re waiting for the runner to stall out. This could be a solid tech card against Prepaid Kate specifically because hitting her econ is a hard thing to do these days.
Contract Killer — A mini-Ronin mixed with a cheaper version of Snatch and Grab? Awesome. Kill the runner or kill their friends. Really strong against a few certain runner archetypes. Headlock Reina with a dead Kati Jones can’t vamp. Noise that can’t pawn off his junk is going to have a really bad time. If your Weyland deck is packing Snatch and Grab, you might want to swap it out for a Contract Killer.
Spiderweb — A great anti-lady card all around. A pretty decent barrier just in general. A bit easy to hit with parasite, but is a really solid taxing barrier for 0 influence for Weyland. I think it’s a decent Hive replacement or maybe best used side-by-side with Hive. Has anyone built a good Midway Station Grid deck yet?
Underway Grid — A good card that doesn’t quite fit in the current meta. Both the anti-expose and anti-bypass mechanics specifically hit Criminals and it is widely accepted that criminals are at the bottom of the totem pole right now. Unless everyone starts playing that stealth Silhouette deck from Belgium, I doubt this card makes the cut in any of the top decks.

Global Ability Highlights – Uncanny X-Men

Global Ability Highlights – Uncanny X-Men

The first Uncanny X-Men Draft at Frogtown went really well. Joel ended up winning first place, with Mark just one win away from tying for first place. As the day went on, we learned a lot more about the new Dice Masters Uncanny X-Men and the Global Abilities on some of the cards.

Here’s a few that really stood out:


Professor X – Recruiting Young Mutants(Common) & Trainer(Rare)

Global: Pay [1 Mask] . Move up to 2 Sidekick dice from your used pile to your prep area.

This seems like one of those characters you just HAVE to bring, regardless of if you plan on actually buying the dice. The global ability is just so good. It definitely helps get your higher cost characters into the game a LOT faster.


Ant-Man – Pym Particles(Uncommon) & The Insect World(Rare)

Global: Pay [1 Fist] . Switch the A and D values of one of your characters.

Pair this up with Magik and Relentless , when your opponent least expects it, and WHAM! You’re dealing 4/6/7 damage directly to your opponent with a 1 Total Field Cost card!


Relentless – Basic Action Card

Global: Pay [1 Mask] . Target character cannot block.

I think this is an obvious choice. You can get heavier hitters faster in UXM, so it only makes sense to have them be able to attack unblocked. I paired this up with Iceman – Mister Friese in a Rainbow Draft and just steamrolled my opponents.


Selective Shield – Basic Action Card

Global: Pay [1 Fist] . Target blocked character deals no damage.

If you’d rather go for a control match, where you keep your characters in the Field Zone, this is a must. Doesn’t matter how hard someone is hitting you, all of their attack just goes to waste.

 

 

The next Uncanny X-Men Draft at Frogtown Hobbies will be November 22nd at Noon.

Earlybird Review of Harbour

Earlybird Review of Harbour

Harbour is a micro-euro, worker placement game, being put on Kickstarter, this month, by Tasty Minstrel Games. The game was designed by Scott Almes, the designer behind another popular micro game, Tiny Epic Kingdoms.

In Harbour, players move their worker from building to building, each turn, using the buildings’ actions to load up on a supply of stone, wood, fish and livestock. When enough resources are collected, the player can choose to place his worker on a building that has the special ability to allow him buy one of the buildings. Players buy a building by declaring which resources he’s shipping. Those resources are worth $2, $3, $4, or $5, individually. To be able to ship the resources for those prices, players must have the matching quantity of the specific resource you are trying to ship. For example, if wood is worth $5, you must have 5 wood in your inventory, before you’re able to ship the resources away for $5. The amount of money you get for each resource is random at the beginning of the game, and it changes quite frequently throughout the game. Once a player ships resources, all non-shipped goods get moved to the most expensive slots available. The value for each shipped resource changes so the most valuable resource that was shipped becomes the least valuable, and so on.

Buildings that each player owns, give various amounts of victory points at the end of the game. Just by owning buildings, players will also deter opponents from wanting to use these building’s special abilities, as each time they use one of your buildings, they allow you to gain a resource.

Harbour Card

Of course there are plenty of special actions on each of these building cards, each different from the rest. Each player is also given a unique player card at the start of the game, which has its own special abilities, such as being allowed to play on others’ buildings without giving them a resource. Each player card has a building combined with it. These attached buildings typically give you resources and allow you to buy a building.

The first player to buy 4 buildings, triggers the final turn for everyone. After that, the victory points are tallied up, and the winner is decided.

Now it’s time for our opinions on the game:

JOEL
Harbour adds a nice shipping theme to a pretty straight-forward worker placement mechanic and packs it all into a micro sized final product. It’s definitely not going to eat up hours of your time to play. A few layout and wording changes could be made to make the instructions easier to understand, but other than that, the game, as a whole, felt pretty solid. The game pieces provided to us were just extra pieces from other Tasty Minstrel titles, but we’d imagine the final product will include high quality pieces. The card art was fantastic. Excellent illustration. If you’re looking to add a micro worker placement game to your collection, you should definitely consider backing Harbour.

LARRY
Harbour has quite a number of mechanics and features that make you think just a bit harder about your next move before you take it. Variable market prices for goods, dynamic action outcomes, player opposition, risk vs. reward, resource management and perfect timing make Harbour a game that is packed with replayability. We had a great time, cutting off each other’s supply of goods to capitalize on a market that could change with the drop of a token. Our character abilities gave both of us a slight advantage in certain areas of the game as we chose specific paths that would either yield great rewards or result in marginal losses that matter in the long run.

While the mechanics of Harbour are not revolutionary, the simplicity of the actions are similar to Agricola rewarding the player a similar experience with much less complexity. Place your player token on a card to gather resources, store them, and save up for buildings that earn you victory points and special benefits that bring higher yields as the game progresses.

With greater than two players, your decisions become incredibly more difficult to make with three additional cards on top of the number of players. Making the decision to run with a strategy too early on in the game and you could fall prey to the ever-changing atmosphere of advantageous cards. But wait too long to form your plan, and you’ll find yourself falling behind while others are yielding double and triple per turn what you are. Carefully plot your moves, react to your opponents stepping on your toes, and attack their own plans as you struggle to build the structures awarding the most VP.

Rampage First Impressions

Rampage First Impressions

So, Rampage came in the mail today. I was pretty excited, because who doesn’t get excited about getting a new game in the mail? After reading a lot of people’s opinions on the game, online, I was kind of worried that it wouldn’t be that great. Now that I actually own it myself, and I’ve played it, I must say, I’m pretty darn impressed. It was designed EXTREMELY well, and I don’t just mean gameplay-wise. The attention to detail, in what seemed like insignificant parts of the game, is astounding. Every little piece was given great thought.

Rampage Board, set up and ready to play!

Enough fluff, let’s talk about actual gameplay. It’s not a hardcore strategy game by any stretch of the imagination. You are literally flicking, dropping and blowing pieces all over the board, in order to score points. Yes, that sounds extremely silly, but it truly is a ton of fun. You score points by eating the different colored meeples, eating the floor layers, and eating other players’ teeth. You eat the meeples and floors by knocking them off of the built towers and then having your monster be sitting in the same “neighborhood” as them at the end of your turn. The other players’ teeth, you eat by knocking over their monster, so it’s no longer standing upright. The towers are built out of layers of meeples holding up cardboard “floors”. You are dealt some “Power Cards” that give you special abilities, but for the most part, you have a choice of 2 actions, out of 4 possible actions, each turn. I won’t delve into completely explaining the rules right now, but hopefully that gives you a little idea as to what to expect when playing Rampage.

If you’re looking to add a dexterity-style family/party game to your collection, please consider getting Rampage! You and your friends/family will love it!

Buy Rampage on Amazon or at your local game store!