Welcome to the Guardians CCG Page

This is a site dedicated to the Guardians collectible card game released by FPG in the mid '90s. This was a great game featuring beautiful artwork and a complex battle system. The game is now out of print and some cards are extremely difficult to find.

Here you will find alternate rules and game mods (including solo play), homebrew cards, and links to other Guardians sites.

Search This Blog

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa's Beer Sled has arrived

Thanks to an astute reader for pointing out that the Solo Adventures 2.0 document was not shared. That should be fixed now.

Sorry about the lack of content lately. Old St. Nick brought me a PS3 on Black Friday and I'm knee deep in games. Look for more new material after the holidays. Speaking of holidays, I hope yours are a blast! Until later...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two more minor (but important) changes to Solo

The Vitality limit under your Shield has been reduced from 50 to 36. Fifty was way to high and made the game to easy, without fear of advancing the Doom Counter. 36 is still more than the base game, but not much more.

Your Champion's Vitality no longer increases for the reasons listed above. However, your Shield's Vitality limit will still go up by 2 for every 100 experience points.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Solo Adventures 2nd Edition Tweaks

More rules changes/clarifications that need to be made...

1. Creatures can move out to your Shield to reinforce it, just like in the regular rules. Your Shield is turned to receive the reinforcements and can't move for that turn. This advances the Doom Counter.

2. Opposing Ranged Attackers may not be used as primary or secondary attackers, and may not be attacked unless their ranged attack was used to modify a matchup.

3. Paladin replaces Wraith as a potential opposing Champion. Not only is Paladin more powerful, it also makes more sense thematically; you would expect a Paladin to be a Champion!

4. Unused opposing ranged attackers are shuffled back into the Ranged Attack Deck. They only go on a Threat Track if they were used in combat and survived.

5. When your Champion gains 100 experience points and its Vitality increases by 1, your Shield's maximum Vitality increases by 2 instead of 1.

6. Teleport Tower is modified as follows: replace all text with "Place ANY one Creature in the Teleport Tower during the Draw and Organize Phase. This Creature may teleport to your Shield after your movement roll (but before you move). For 1 Power Stone you may start with the Teleport Tower in play, but draw 1 less card for your opening hand."

7. The option to return to your Stronghold at the end of a turn for a number of Power Stones equal to the number of creatures under your Shield is only available on the easiest (Gloomy) level. I may change this after I evaluate it more.

More is sure to come as I continue to test out the 2nd Edition...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Solo Adventures, Talking Strategy Part 1 – Restrictions, Themes, Deck Construction, Setup, Maps, and Card Draw

While I'm working up the post for a sample game in Solo Adventures, I'd like to talk about strategy. This is the first of a 4-part series dealing with strategies in Solo. The series will break down as follows:

Part 1: Deck Restrictions, Themes, Deck Construction, Setup, Maps, and Card Draw

Part 2: Movement, Encounter Rolls, and constructing the opponent’s combat hand

Part 3: Combat, including Stronghold Combat, Champion Challenges, Guardian Challenges, wounds, and healing

Part 4: Experience, Treasure, the Threat Track, the Doom Counter, and beating the game

As you would expect, Solo requires completely different strategies than the base game. This is mostly due a number of factors:

• random creatures faced in combat, rather than a themed or planned opposition;
• little need to worry about losing due to controlling spaces or Shield kills;
• protecting your Champion from wounds;
• having only 1 Shield;
• a completely different movement system;
• different deck construction rules (no Magic Items or Terrain in your deck).

Your strategy must take into account all of the factors listed above.

We start our discussion with a look at restrictions, theme, and deck construction. When we refer to restrictions, these are the ways in which your deck does not change from game to game. These rules apply limits to what you are able to do. For example, a minimum deck size of 50 cards, a maximum of 3 Shields in your deck, and drawing 10 cards to start the game are all examples of restrictions.

A theme is a deck design in which there is some kind of commonality among the cards that allow them to work well together and conform to an idea or characteristic. An example of this would be an Undead-recycle theme, where the creatures are mostly Undead, with Spells and Magic Items that support Undead creatures, and the ability to recover them from your discard pile and put them back into play.

Deck construction is building your deck so that it fits a theme, conforms to restrictions, and is as efficient as possible. A well-designed deck should give you a good chance to win.

Let’s take a look at restrictions as they apply to deck construction:

• Minimum deck size: 50 cards
• No Magic Items and no Terrain
• No more than 3 shields
• No more than 5 of any one card
• No copies of your Champion in your deck
• Shields must match

In beginning deck construction, we start with a Shield in play. Subtracting the other 2 Shields from a total of 50 cards leaves 48 cards slots left to fill. Let’s look at a few essential building blocks. First, we need at least 2 Stronghold Upgrades. Why is that? Two reasons: a) they provide some kind of bonus or ability that, unlike a Spell or Magic Item, can’t be dispelled and b) if you don’t place Upgrades on your Strongholds, your opponent can place Downgrades there and cause you some pain. Keep in mind every time the Doom Counter changes, there’s a chance a Downgrade is coming at you. For your upgrade choices, a Teleport Tower is almost a given; it’s the best way to get creatures out to your Shield. You might even want 2, although a Sacrificial Altar may be more desirable for its ability to generate Power Stones. You should also consider having 2 Downgrades, one for opposing Stronghold #1 and one for Stronghold #3 to make your path through a little easier (Stronghold #2 can usually be taken right up the center). Remember, creatures defending in Strongholds usually get good bonuses for doing so, and a quick look at the Encounter Table reveals that Stronghold combat is tougher – a higher encounter chance, a greater chance to use bribery and ranged attacks, and a tougher level mix. Do yourself a favor and make it a little easier to punch through those Strongholds to the opposing Guardian. So that’s a total of 4 Upgrades/Downgrades, leaving you with 44 cards remaining.

You now have creatures, spells, and bribery cards to consider. I recommend a bare minimum of at least 3 of each bribery card (total of 9) to deal with sticky situations, so that leaves 35 card slots remaining. Spells in Solo are a little restrictive – you have to earn experience to learn new Spells, so try to limit Spells to no more than 2 or 3 different ones at 3-4 copies of each. Dispel Magic is going to be the most useful in countering opposing Spells and Command Cards. Three copies each of two Spells leaves us with 29 card slots. These remaining cards should be creatures, which are going to be invaluable for replenishing a depleted Shield.

Themes come into play based on the type of deck you want to run. Besides the undead-recycle theme, you can have flying, heavy channeling, stompy (large creatures), weenie (lots of small creatures), Terrain bonus, Demons & Devils, Knights & Angels, Barnyard Animals, Slag Beasts, Card Advantage, and lots more. For examples of some good deck themes, check out CJ’s blog.

Setup

For Terrain, you’ll want to choose types that are favorable to you and not favorable for the opponent. For instance, having Woods means you won’t have to face opposing ranged attacks, and using Jungle prevents your opponent from using Command cards. Add in a third Terrain that gives your creatures bonuses, such as Swamps or Rivers and Lakes, and you’ll be in good shape.

When it comes to Magic Items, there are a few that are almost a must-have. Anvil of Heaviness is a big help in getting through a Stronghold space. Footlocker of Conflagration is invaluable for finding a Shield when you need to remove a wound. Sarcophogus of Haidra works great at getting upcards into your hand, and gives you more room in your Storage Depot by not taking up space there.

Finally, choosing your Champion is the most important decision you can make. Of the 6 “standard” champions, the two weakest are Paladin and Beelzebub, and are best suited for the two easiest difficulty levels. Paladin is a good choice for a Knights deck, for the bonus he gives to other Knights, and an immunity to fear for your other Mortals. Beelzebub’s special ability does not really give you any kind of advantage, so he’s probably the weakest Champion.

The next highest difficulty level should be played with either Eternal Witch Lord or Old Nick. If you are leaning towards an Undead theme, Eternal Witch Lord is a strong choice for his ability to keep them alive after combat. Combined with an Altar of Takuli, you can expect very little attrition under your Shield. Old Nick, like Beelzebub, doesn’t have much of an ability, but his high vitality usually helps discourage ranged attacks and secondary attacks against him, and he typically uses fewer Power Stones to defend himself.

For the hardest difficulty levels I recommend Dragon Wing Lord or Lake Serpent. Both use AOEs that are very useful, as many of the opposing creatures you face will come from Deck Levels 1 & 2, most of which are going to get blown away by that AOE and help limit secondary attacks. Wing Lord has a little stronger AOE, but his cousin Lake Serpent gives you a good AOE combined with a Rivers and Lakes bonus, so play it with Rivers and Lakes Terrain and creatures for maximum effect.

If you decide to go with some other creature as your Champion, if it has a Vitality of 12 or less, make sure you put in plenty of healing safeguards (Altar of Takuli, creatures that can heal like Arwyddyn or Slag Bunny), and don't forget to pack your Power Lunches before heading out on the job. For example, Death would be a really cool Champion, both functionally and symbolically, if you could keep it alive and Power Lunch it for Champion combats.

Maps

There are of course 4 maps that reflect the different difficulties of the game. Map 1 is your standard map, the Gloomy difficulty level. You have more movement options on this map than any other map. Maps 2 – 4 restrict movement, and in some cases you can only move in one direction. In these cases a flying Shield often comes in handy for reducing encounter rolls. I’ll cover movement in the next installment.

Card Draw

The ability to draw cards is usually not a big factor in the game. For one thing, once your Shield ventures out, it’s hard to get creatures under it, so most creatures you draw will be sitting on your Strongholds. Second, as you take down opposing Guardians, you start to gain a card advantage by first eliminating your LDL modifier, and then gaining the MDL modifier. If you really want to get a lot of cards in your hand, Finn is your best option. When you place Terrain, use Swamps and Tomb of the Bulzuru as 2 of your Terrain choices. There’s a good chance that when Terrain is placed at the start of the game, you will already have 5 Swamps in play, giving you an extra 2 cards to draw each turn. P’Tal is a solid alternative by being able to roll a D6 for your draw (with a re-roll on a 1, you are guaranteed at least 2 cards).

I hope you find this post to be useful. Next post, we’ll look at movement, encounter rolls, and setting up the opposing combat hand.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two Player Version of Solo Adventures

I was doing some thinking today (thinking is good, most of the time) and realized that Solo Adventures, despite the name, is playable for two players with some minor tweaks. I have updated the rules to reflect this. Here is the text as it appears in the rules:

"All Solo rules are followed, with exceptions listed below. The opposing player (player 2) has two objectives: get the Doom Counter to 8, and inflict wounds on Player 1's champion. Player 2 plays all 3 opposing Guardians, their Champions, and all opposing cards. Here's how it works:

1. Player 2 takes over all opposing rolls. This includes rolling for Spells, Bribery, Ranged Attacks, and opposing creature abilities that require a die roll. Player 1 still rolls for movement and encounters, stronghold survival, and his own creature, Spell, and Magic Item rolls.

2. After Player 1 has selected a Guardian and Stronghold, instead of making a die roll, Player 2 chooses the 3 opposing Guardians, their 3 Strongholds, and which location to place them at. After that is done, Player 2 chooses a Champion for each of the 3 Guardians, without showing Player 1, and puts them face down under each Guardian. Each Champion is only revealed at the time its Guardian is attacked, and Champion/Guardian combat resolves per normal rules.

3. Whenever Player 2 is required to play a card from one of his decks, he may pick up the top 3 cards (instead of just the top card) and choose which of the 3 cards to play. This includes the Spell Deck, Bribery Deck, Spell Deck, Command Deck, Shield Deck, Stronghold Deck, Ranged Attack Deck, and all Encounter Decks. In the case of Encounter Decks, if Player 2 is required to pull 2 cards from 1 deck, he may choose 2 of the top 3 cards. If he is required to pull 3 cards from 1 deck, he must use the top 3 cards and does not get to choose. Also, in the case of the Stronghold Deck, player 2 only draws and chooses when the Doom Counter changes, and gets to choose which Stronghold to place the upgrade or downgrade on. Unused cards are shuffled back into their deck.

4. Combat is played like the original game instead of the Solo version. AOE attacks resolve immediately, and primary attackers are played simultaneously. Additionally, player 2 may play creatures in his combat hand in any order, and may use bribery, channeling and ranged attacks at his discretion. He must still observe the "How to Play Opposing Guardians and Spells" rules for channeling and Spells. Remember that player 2 must choose his cards before combat starts, and may not bribe player 1's Champion."

If you and a friend are tired of the same old game all the time, give it a shot and let me know what you think. If it's too easy for player one, you can always start the Doom Counter higher or go with a harder map. I have no way of testing this, but if the two player version is viable I might have to change the name to reflect the fact that it's not just a solo game anymore...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Solo Adventures deck

Before I run through a sample game of Solo Adventures, here's a post of the deck, Terrain, & Magic Items I'll be using:

Terrain chosen: Jungle, Woods, Tomb of the Bulzuru

Magic Items: Altar of Takuli, Anvil of Heaviness, Champs the Wonder Dog, Footlocker of Conflagration, Gift of Isis, Heliopolos Temple of Re, Medallion of Skyphos, Petrified Heart, Sarcophogus of Haidra, Scarab of Bounty

Guardian: Rak Nam

Stronghold: Carreg Amroth

Champion: Dragon Wing Lord

Starting Shield: Hescox Egyptian Motif 15

Additional Shields
2x Egyptian Motif Standard Bearer 11

Creatures
2x Rock Spirit
2x Rey, Overlord of Trees
4x Cherub
4x Greater Energy Elemental
4x Bob, Snapping Gob
4x Nob, Rapacious Gob
4x Zob, Gurgling Gob
4x Wraith
4x White Unicorn
4x Energy Well
total = 36

Spells
4x Limited Big Time Rebate
4x Dispel Magic
total = 8

Upgrades/Downgrades
1x Sacrificial Altar
1x Teleport Tower
3x Sewage Backup
total = 5

Bribery
3x Babes
4x Beer
5x Gold
total = 12

total cards = 63

I chose Rak Nam because this deck is heavy channeling and dude can hammer thanks to a large CMP, which is enhanced by Gift of Isis. I went with Dragon Wing Lord because of the AOE value for wiping out small opponents, which cuts down on secondary attacks against you. The Egyptian Shields are for generating Power Stones, and Limited Big Time Rebate is far superior to Make Juice for getting Power Stones, especially during a round of Champion & Guardian combat. Sacrificial Altar is also capable of generating Stones if needed.

Rock Spirit, Sewage Backup, and Anvil of Heaviness are great for overcoming opposing Stronghold bonuses. With Jungle, Woods, Tomb, Dispel Magic, and Rey, I should be able to prevent either Command cards or Ranged Attacks so I'm not hit with both during a combat. Dispel Magic is also very useful for negating nasty opposing Spells like Pestilence and Pepe's Slowdown.

Greater Energy Elemental and Wraith are in there due to excellent receiving of channeling. Energy Well makes a good channeler to other copies of itself and Elemental. Petrified Heart lets you count Well's base vitality of 4 under a Shield instead of the red penalty of 7.

Cherub and Unicorn get good bonuses or destruction of lots of creatures, plus Cherub can receive channeling. The Nobs make great situational secondary attackers.

Teleport Tower is a must for getting a creature to your Shield when you're out in the middle of nowhere, and Medallion can get Cherubs and Nobs out to your Shield too, while the Sarcophogus gets them into your Storage Hand and onto the Teleport Tower or Sacrificial Altar.

Scarab of Bounty boosts card draw.

Altar of Takuli can keep a creature alive after a critical battle, and Footlocker of Conflagration does the same for your Champion.

The name of the deck is "Channel Surfers". Let's see what happens...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Solo Adventures 2nd Edition tweaks

I've made a couple of changes to the 2nd Edition rules:

EDIT: One huge change I considered and forgot to incorporate was giving your Guardian 3 times its normal amount of Power Stones. It is impossible to beat 3 cooperative Guardians, their Champions, and all their creatures, while trying to return your only Shield home every now and then, with your normal amount of Stones. Unless you add about 15 Make Juice in your deck -and how much fun would that really be? Your increased level of Power Stones is also the reason the other Guardians are working against you - you have become far too powerful. This is what has led them to team up and marshal all their forces against the threat you represent to them individually. This has now been incorporated.

Opposing ranged attackers do not count towards control of the space (but Command Cards that are creatures do).

Tes Let and K'Hutek have been replaced with Sikura and Thak.

Shadow Strike and Summon Loghammer's Sapper were added to the Spell Deck. Voodoo Hat was moved from the Spell Deck to the Stronghold Deck.

An entire new section has been written to address how to play opposing Guardian channeling & special abilities, and opposing Spells (you'll find this section right before the Draw and Organize Phase rules).

You may remove any 3 movement die to move onto a space with Terrain that you chose for the game with a -1 modifier to your encounter roll. This was done because I was finding that winning a space and replacing the existing Terrain with one from the Terrain deck actual penalizes you by limiting your movement options. By the time you place 3 or 4 Terrain cards, if you don't roll that Terrain type you've really screwed yourself. So this option has been added to make sure you benefit from placing Terrain that is favorable to you, with only a very slight encounter penalty (-1), while avoiding getting hammered by the Doom Counter for not being able to move.

You may remove any 1 movement die for each opposing Stronghold space that you move onto.

I will soon be adding a Channel Deck for the higher difficulty levels that will allow opposing Guardians to place and use channelers under their Strongholds when the Doom Counter changes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Summary of Changes for Solo 2nd Edition

As promised, here is a list of the major changes incorporated for Solo Adventures 2nd Edition:

1. Shield Deck. With one drawn for each combat, this allows Standard Bearer abilities for opponent creatures, and cards that refer to opposing Shields no longer need errata. You still can't win the game on Shield kills, though - you still need to beat all 3 Guardians.

2. Stronghold Deck. Stronghold upgrades for the opponent, Stronghold downgrades for you, each time the Doom Counter changes. Brutal.

3. Ranged Attack Deck. This is a roll for each combat. The top card of the Ranged Attack Deck is turned over. If it can't be used to win the first matchup, it is saved for the next matchup and so on.

4. You can have up to 5 of any card (except your Shields and Champion).

5. Moving 0 or 1 spaces advances the Doom Counter.

6. 4 different difficulty levels (Gloomy, Sinister, Horrific, and Forbidding), and a total of 3 Encounter Tables. Each difficulty level is tied to a different map, with map 1 being the base map. Although maps 1 & 2 have the same number of cards and use the same Encounter Table, movement on map 2 is a little more restrictive, giving it a higher difficulty level than map 1.

7. On Terrain spaces your Shield is defending; on opposing Stronghold spaces your Shield is attacking. This allowed the inclusion of cards that refer to your Shield as attacking or defending.

8. Gold from combat has been changed to Treasure to eliminate redundancy and confusion with Gold Bribery.

9. Burn Stones equal to the number of creatures under Shield to return to one of your Stronghold spaces at the end of any turn.

10. The Stronghold Survival roll goes from 3D6 to 2D6, but instead of an automatic rubble, combat takes place. If you win, the Stronghold is saved. If you lose, it is rubbled. Lose all 3 Strongholds and the Doom Counter goes to 8.

11. 4 Different maps (or game boards if you prefer) in full color with complete layouts and movement options. Ignore the fact that all Guardians and Strongholds are all the same - I was too lazy to scan in other images.

12. Optional inclusion of Seven Seas cards, complete with incompatible and errata cards.

13. Optional inclusion of Champion's Odyssey cards, complete with incompatible and errata cards.

14. Optional inclusion of both Seven Seas and Champion's Odyssey cards.

That was a lot of work. I know most of you still have others to game against, but for those of you out there like me, with no opponents, I hope you enjoy this. As always, I welcome any feedback.

Here's what's coming up on the blog in the future:

Solo Adventures 2nd Edition sample game
Solo Adventures 2nd Edition strategy
More card revisions
Applications of Math in Guardians, Part 2

Cheers,
Jackalwere

Big news: Solo Adventures 2.0 is online

This is what I've been working hard at: Guardians Solo Adventures Second Edition (also known as v2.0) is online. The link to the right will take you there. New changes are in red text. I'll go over the changes in another post later tonight or tomorrow. Happy All Hallow's Eve!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reversal of Desert Terrain

After much consideration I have decided to remove all references to Desert Terrain on Champion's Odyssey cards. There are two reasons for this. First, after reviewing cards from the base sets like Desert Giant, who gets a Dry Heaps bonus, and reading the Guide to the Mid Realms, it is apparent that Dry Heaps was to be synonymous with desert. Also, I didn't like the fact that it penalized one group of creatures with a bonus (Rivers and Lakes) without a balancing penalty for other types (such as Dry Heaps creatures trying to swim in Rivers and Lakes while fighting!).

All Champion's Odyssey Terrain that referred to Desert will either have the Desert removed, or replaced with Dry Heaps. Creatures that had Desert bonuses will have those bonuses replaced with either Valley of the Gods or The High Steppes, which also serves to tie them to the Champion's Odyssey set more closely.

New versions of these affected cards will be posted soon.

Also, stay tuned for news either later today or tomorrow. There's a reason why this blog has been quiet (I promise I have been working hard on content!)...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bribery Mechanic solution for Solo 2.0

So I've been struggling with the Bribery mechanic for Solo Adventures 2.0...in the first edition it falls to the player to decide when the opponent's Bribery should be used. My goal was to take this out of the player's hand and automate it. I think I have a solution.

How it works is as follows: when an encounter happens and Bribery is in effect, and before combat starts, the top card of the Bribery deck is turned over. The player separates all his creatures that are bribeable by that Bribery type and assigns a number to each. Then simply roll dice and remove the creature that corresponds to the number you assigned. Here's an example:

My Shield consists of my Champion (Old Nick), Zombie, Rye Beaner, Baal-a-gog, Vesuvious Rex, and Cleric. I turn over Babes Bribery. Remembering that my Champion is not bribeable, Zombie is also not bribeable, and Cleric is only bribeable by Gold, I assign 1-2 to Rye Beaner, 3-4 to Baal-a-gog, and 5-6 to Vesuvious Rex, I roll a 5. Vesuvious Rex is bribed. Combat now ensues as normal with no further bribery from the opponent, while the player may still bribe creatures.

This allows for a Bribery mechanic that isn't too complicated and still affects the player's combat hand. Now if I can just figure out a similar mechanic for channeling and ranged attacks...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Guardians Stack Attack! Sample Game

Here's a sample game of Stack Attack! intending to show how the rules work, strategy tips will follow in another post...

I place 2 Power Stones in front of me. Then I shuffle all the creatures and deal cards face down into 4 piles to make the Creature Stacks, until there are 9 in each stack (total of 36 cards dealt). I shuffle the Standard Bearers and deal 1 to each stack: Stack 1 gets Brom Standard Bearer Goblin 16; Stack 2 gets Brom Angelic 13; Stack 3 gets Maitz Standard Bearer Dark 16, and Stack 4 gets Brom Standard Bearer Dem Bones 19. I'm left with Brom Standard Bearer Skull 16. Finally I add the Terrain, Magic Items & Spells, the special Creatures, and Bribery cards to the remaining creatures and shuffle. It's time to attack the stacks!

I turn over the top card of each creature stack: Stack 1 is Giant Penguin; Stack 2 is Grilbus; Stack 3 is Baal-a-Gog, and Stack 4 is Slakback Chak.

Turn 1 draw: Gold Bribery.
I set it off to the side.

Turn 2 draw: Big Groaning Cankerd.
Cankerd can beat Grilbus and Baal-a-Gog (thanks to standard bearer's +2 OCB). Attacking Slackback Chak would be a push. So Cankerd's 14 (8 + 3 Ability + 1 OCB + 2 standard bearer) beats Baal-a-Gog's 12. Both cards are discarded, and the next card turned over on Stack 3 is Icky Bugs.

Opposing cards: Giant Penguin, Grilbus, Icky Bugs, Slakback Chak
Turn 3 draw: Prince of the Lost.
Prince can beat all except Giant Penguin; with his OCB he could take out a big Elemental. I could try to bribe Icky Bugs to see if a big Elemental pops up. This could backfire if I need the Gold Bribery later, or if I draw a low vitality creature later that could have beat Icky Bugs and ends up being discarded. This is all irrelavant however since the Stack 3 standard bearer allows no bribery. So Prince is used to beat Slackback Chak. Stack 4 is now Snow Daughters.

Opposing cards: Giant Penguin, Grilbus, Icky Bugs, Snow Daughters
Turn 4 draw: Spirit Mountain.
The terrain in play is now Spirit Mountain; the card is placed above the opposing standard bearers.

Turn 5 draw: Devil Hedgehog.
The only creature Hedgehog can beat is Icky Bugs, so Hedgehog attacks and wins. Stack 3 is now Phil, Bar Fly.

Opposing cards: Giant Penguin, Grilbus, Phil Bar Fly, Snow Daughters
Turn 6 draw: Lake Serpent. Phil Bar Fly is crushed by Lake Sepent's AOE, revealing Brown Backs, who also get crushed. Fangis the Hunter is now on top of Stack 3. Lake Serpent still gets to attack, so I take down Giant Penguin, and Rock Giant is revealed. Good turn for me!

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Fangis the Hunter, Snow Daughters
Turn 7 draw: Earth Elemental.
Unfortunately Earth Elemental can't beat Rock Giant, who is 20 Vitality (thanks to OCB, the Spirit Mountain in play, and the Stack 1 standard bearer), so Elemental attacks and beats Snow Daughters instead, and Wild Nymph is turned over on Stack 4.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Fangis the Hunter, Wild Nymph
Turn 8 draw: Giant Babe.
Giant Babe beats Fangis and Captain is now on Stack 3.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Captain, Wild Nymph
Turn 9 draw: Shadow of Ashes
Shadow beats Captain and Archangel Magnus is now on Stack 3.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Archangel Magnus, Wild Nymph
Turn 10 draw: Tiny Whining Cankerd
Cankerd can't beat any of the Creatures on the Stacks. However, if I use my Gold bribery card it's possible I will turn over a Creature it can beat. I decide to use the Gold Bribery on Wild Nymph (the only opposing Creature in play bribeable by Gold). Wild Nymph is discarded and Kikijub is now on Stack 4. Cankerd cannot beat Kikijub and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Archangel Magnus, Kikijub
Turn 11 draw: Rivers and Lakes
Spirit Mountain is discarded and Rivers and Lakes becomes the Terrain in play. This is good for me because Rock Giant and Kikijub lose their Terrain bonus.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Archangel Magnus, Kikijub
Turn 12 draw: Great Black Ri'shar
None of the opposing creatures are affected by Ri'shar's AOE. Ri'shar barely beats Kikijub, and River Giant is now on Stack 4.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Archangel Magnus, River Giant
Turn 13 draw: Arnath, Lord of the Skies
Arnath destroys Magnus and Lorg Mole is now on Stack 3.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Lorg Mole, River Giant
Turn 14 draw: Summon Entropy Storm. This spell is set to the side until I am desperate enough to use it.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Grilbus, Lorg Mole, River Giant
Turn 15 draw: Water Nymph
Water Nymph beats Grilbus and Wailing Specter is now on top of Stack 2.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Wailing Specter, Lorg Mole, River Giant
Turn 16 draw: Sand Lord
Sand Lord is not affected by Wailing Specter's AOE and beats Lorg Mole. Sloarch is turned over for Stack 3.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Wailing Specter, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 17 draw: Na'Boob
Na'Boob beats Wailing Specter. Axeman is now on Stack 2.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Axeman, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 18 draw: Kurgan, Blademaster of the Exiled
Kurgan is not the only Knight in play, so he doesn't get his bonus and can't beat any opposing creatures. With nothing to lose I decide to play Summon Entropy Storm and have Kurgan attack Rock Giant. I roll a 3. Kurgan bites the dust.

Opposing cards: Rock Giant, Axeman, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 19 draw: Death
Woohoo! Goodbye pesky Rock Giant! Death destroys Rock Giant; Land Drake is now on Stack 1.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Axeman, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 20 draw: Fire Walker
Fire Walker can't beat anyone and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Axeman, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 21 draw: Succubus
Succubus can't beat anyone either and is discarded. Bummer.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Axeman, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 22 draw: Etherwave Magna Lock
Etherwave is set to the side.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Axeman, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 23 draw: Rock Rat
Finally, a ranged attack! Rock Rat is also set to the side.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Axeman, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 24 draw: Iron Crag Brew Mountain
Rivers and Lakes is discarded and Iron Crag Brew Mountain is now the Terrain in play.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Axeman, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 25 draw: Vampire Hunters
Vampire Hunters beat Axeman and Yard Rat is now on top of Stack 2.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Yard Rat, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 26 draw: Tanniker Smith
Tanniker beats Yard Rat and Corporal is now on Stack 2.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Corporal, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 27 draw: The Dry Heaps
Iron Crag Brew Mountain is discarded and The Dry Heaps becomes the Terrain in play (I sure could have used this BEFORE I drew Tanniker last turn!).

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Corporal, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 28 draw: Beer Bribery
Beer Bribery is set to the side.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Corporal, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 29 draw: St. Ballantine's Evocation
I'm not sure there are any Knights left in my deck, so I discard the Evocation and keep the Etherwave Magna Lock, which is far more useful.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Corporal, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 30 draw: Polar Ice Ogre
Ogre beats Corporal and Dreaded Doom Dog is on Stack 2.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Dreaded Doom Dog, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 31 draw: S.S. House of Babes
The Dry Heaps is discarded and House of Babes is now the Terrain in play.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Dreaded Doom Dog, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 32 draw: Snogwart
Snogwart beats Dreaded Doom Dog and Valley Troll is now on Stack 2.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Valley Troll, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 33 draw: Hammer of Doom
I choose to discard Etherwave Magna Lock and keep Hammer of Doom, since House of Babes prevents me from using Babe Bribery, and I might need to get rid of House of Babes to beat a Creature with a Rivers and Lakes bonus.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Valley Troll, Sloarch, River Giant
Turn 34 draw: Golden Fleecer
Golden Fleecer can't destroy any of the opposing creatures. Merchant, Supermodel, and White Unicorn could be in 1 of the Stacks, or they could be in my deck. I decide to Beer Bribe River Giant to see if one of the 3 is under it, but the card turned over is Greater Air Elemental. I use Golden Fleecer to push Valley Troll, then use my Rock Rat as a ranged attacker to beat Valley Troll. Cyclops is turned over on Stack 2.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Cyclops, Sloarch, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 35 draw: Angel of Righteousness
Angel can't beat any opposing Creature (thanks to the standard bearer on Cyclops) and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Cyclops, Sloarch, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 36 draw: Power Lunch
Since I can use it any time, I put the Hammer of Doom to S.S. House of Babes so that I don't have to discard Power Lunch, and Power Lunch is set to the side. There is now no Terrain in play.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Cyclops, Sloarch, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 37 draw: Crystal Flash
Crystal Flash can't beat anyone, and I'm running out of cards, so Crystal Flash attacks Sloarch and I Power Lunch it, spending 1 Stone. With the OCB bonus from my standard bearer, Sloarch is defeated. Stack 3 is empty!

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Cyclops, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 38 draw: Bantam Drake
Bantam Drake can't beat anyone and is discarded. My chances of winning grow slimmer.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Cyclops, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 39 draw: Babes Bribery
Finally! Babes Bribery is set off to the side.

Opposing cards: Land Drake, Cyclops, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 40 draw: Druk
Druk can't beat anyone. I decide to use Babes Bribery to bribe Land Drake, who has been a real pain in the ass. Now Thackle is on top of Stack 1. Druk can't beat Thackle either, and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Cyclops, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 41 draw: Big Groaning Cankerd
Big Groaning Cankerd can't beat anyone and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Cyclops, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 42 draw: Water Spout
As if. Goodbye, Water Spout.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Cyclops, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 43 draw: Buzzard
This is one of my special Creatures, a secondary attacker, and is set off to the side.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Cyclops, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 44 draw: Warrior Spirit
Spirit pushes Cyclops. Buzzard is used as a secondary attacker, and Cyclops is beaten. Ice Ogre is turned over on Stack 2.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 45 draw: Moon Spirit
Moon Spirit cannot beat anyone and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 46 draw: Bone Shambler
Bone Shambler cannot beat anyone and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 47 draw: White Unicorn
White Unicorn cannot beat anyone and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 48 draw: Jibber
Jibber can't beat anyone and is discarded.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Greater Air Elemental.
Turn 49 draw: Watcher
Watcher beats Greater Air Elemental and Black Lung is on Stack 4.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Black Lung.
Turn 50 draw: Super Model
Wham! Super Model destroys Black Lung, and Dragon Wing Lord is on Stack 4.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Dragon Wing Lord.
Turn 51 draw: Cherub
Cherub falls to Dragon Wing Lord's AOE.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Dragon Wing Lord.
Turn 52 draw: Merchant
Merchant also falls to Dragon Wing Lord's AOE.

Opposing cards: Thackle, Ice Ogre, Dragon Wing Lord.
Turn 53 draw: Desert Giant
Desert Giant beats Thackle and Beelzebub is now on Stack 1.

Opposing cards: Beelzebub, Ice Ogre, Dragon Wing Lord.
Turn 54 draw: Joomjaba
The last special Creature card is set to the side.

Opposing cards: Beelzebub, Ice Ogre, Dragon Wing Lord.
Turn 55 draw: Wind Spirit
Wind Spirit can't beat any of the opposing creatures, so it attacks Dragon Wing Lord. Joomjaba is used as a secondary attacker and Dragon Wing Lord is destroyed. Ice Spirit is now on Stack 4.

Opposing cards: Beelzebub, Ice Ogre, Ice Spirit.
Turn 56 draw: Festus
Festus beats Ice Spirit and Stack 4 is empty!

Opposing cards: Beelzebub, Ice Ogre.
Turn 57 draw: Magnate Justice
Magnate Justice beats Ice Ogre and stack 2 is empty!

Opposing cards: Beelzebub.
Turn 58 draw: Lancer
Lancer stomps Beelzebub and Greenback Chak is on Stack 1.

Opposing cards: Greenback Chak.
Turn 59 draw: Ice Elemental
Ice Elemental blasts Greenback Chak and Lizard Skin Lynn is now on Stack 1.

Opposing cards: Lizard Skin Lynn.
Turn 60 draw: Zombie
I spend my last Stone to channel to Zombie and beat Lynn. Sun Spirit is now on top of Stack 1, but I'm out of cards. Only Sun Spirit and Angel remained on Stack1, giving me a final score of 19.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Guardians Stack Attack! (A Solitaire Game Variant)

Guardians Stack Attack! is a game variant for one player. The object of the game is to clear all creatures from the stacks before you run out of cards. The rules are as follows:

You will need the following cards (100 total):

Angel
Angel of Righteousness
Archangel Magnus
Arnath
Axeman
Baal-a-Gog
Bantam Drake
Beelzebub
Big Groaning Cankerd
Black Lung
Bone Shambler
Brown Backs
Captain
Cherub
Corporal
Crystal Flash
Cyclops
Death
Desert Giant
Devil Hedgehog
Dragon Wing Lord
Dreaded Doom Dog
Druk
Earth Elemental
Fangis the Hunter
Festus
Fire Walker
Giant Babe
Giant Penguin
Golden Fleecer
Great Black Ri'shar
Greater Air Elemental
Greenback Chak
Grilbus
Ice Elemental
Ice Ogre
Ice Spirit
Icky Bugs
Jibber
Kikijub
Kurgan, Blademaster of the Exiled
Lake Serpent
Lancer
Land Drake
Lizard Skin Lynn
Lorg Mole
Magnate Justice
Merchant
Moon Spirit
Na 'Boob
Phil, Bar Fly
Polar Ice Ogre
Prince of the Lost
River Giant
Rock Giant
Sand Lord
Shadow of Ashes
Slackback Chak
Sloarch
Snogwart
Snow Daughters
Succubus
Sun Spirit
Super Model
Tanniker Smith
Thackle
Tiny Whining Cankerd
Valley Troll
Vampire Hunters
Wailing Specter
Warrior Spirit
Watcher
Water Nymph
Water Spout
White Unicorn
Wild Nymph
Wind Spirit
Yard Rat
Zombie
Spirit Mountain
The Dry Heaps
Rivers and Lakes
Iron Crag Brew Mountain
SS House of Babes
Babes Bribery
Beer Bribery
Gold Bribery
Etherwave Magna Lock
Hammer of Doom
Power Lunch
St. Ballantine's Evocation
Summon Entropy Storm
Rock Rat (ranged attack)
Joomjaba (secondary attacker)
Buzzard (secondary attacker)
Brom Standard Bearer Goblin 16
Brom Standard Bearer Angelic 13
Maitz Standard Bearer Dark 16
Brom Standard Bearer Dem Bones 19
Brom Standard Bearer Skull 16

Put all the creatures (except for Rot Rat, Joomjaba, and Buzzard) in one large creature deck (separate the Bribery, Terrain, Spell, Magic Item, and Standard Bearer cards and put them off to the side). Shuffle the creature deck.

Keeping all cards face down, deal the cards into 4 piles side by side until there are 9 cards in each pile. These are called Creature Stacks 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Take the Standard Bearers and shuffle them. Place one Standard Bearer, face up, above each Creature Stack; the Standard Bearer will only affect Creatures in that Creature Stack. Deal yourself the last Standard Bearer. Your Creatures will use this Standard Bearer for the rest of the game.

Now add the Spell, Magic Item, Bribery, Terrain, and 3 special Creature cards into the remaining creature deck and shuffle well. This is called your Play Deck. Play begins by turning over the top card of each Creature Stack and placing it face up on that stack. You will draw 1 card from your Play Deck each turn and place it face up in front of you. The object of the game is to defeat all the creatures in each Creature Stack.

Drawing from your Play Deck results in getting one of four card types: Bribery, Terrain, Spell/Magic Item, or Creature. Here are the rules:

1. Drawing a Creature. Use that Creature to try to defeat one or more Creatures on the Creature Stacks. Think of it as a primary matchup from the original rules. If your Creature has an AOE, it may be applied to all Creatures on the Creature Stacks, including the next card in the stack. Otherwise, if no Bribery is taking place, matchup your Creature against one of the Creatures on a Creature Stack. Take into account destruction effects, off-color bonuses, Standard Bearer effects, and Terrain bonuses. If you beat the opposing Creature, it and your Creature go into the Discard Pile, and you turn over the next card on that Creature Stack. If you can’t beat any opposing Creatures, your Creature goes into the Discard Pile.

Special Creature cards: Rock Rat, Joomjaba, Buzzard. When you draw one of these 3 Creatures, you must set them off to the side to use during a subsequent turn (you cannot use them as regular (primary) attackers). If you find that you have a Creature that cannot beat any opponents and you have one of these 3 special cards available, attack with your Creature, then modify the matchup by playing the special card as a secondary attacker or range attacker, after which the special card is discarded.

2. Drawing a Bribery card. Set the card off to the side. You may use the Bribery card at any time. When using the Bribery card, discard it and the opposing Creature you use it on. Turn over the next card on the Creature Stack. You do not have to discard a Bribery card if another is drawn.

3. Drawing a Terrain card. Place the Terrain card above the Creature Stacks. If there was already a Terrain card there, discard the old Terrain card and play the new one. Both the opposing Creatures and your Creatures receive Terrain bonuses if their card text matches the Terrain in play. A Terrain card stays in play until a new Terrain card or Hammer of Doom forces it to be discarded.

4. Drawing Spells and Magic Items. Spells and Magic Items, when drawn, must be set off to the side. Play them at any time, following the instructions on the card. You may only have 1 Spell or Magic Item set aside at a time; if you draw another Spell or Magic Item, you may choose which one to discard.

Place 2 Power Stones in front of you. You may channel to one of your Creatures that can receive it, equal to that Creature’s vitality, by removing one Power Stone. If you play the Spell Power Lunch, you must remove 1 Stone to do so; if you have already used both Power Stones, you can’t use Power Lunch.

Note: When an opposing creature is revealed that has an AOE, that AOE applies to your next creature played. If your creature falls to the AOE, your next creature also must face it. This continues until you play a creature that withstands the AOE.

That’s it! Either you wipe out all the Creature Stacks and win the game, or you use all your cards and don’t defeat all the opposing Creatures, in which case you lose.

I'll post a sample game, along with some general strategy. I've playtested twice and lost both times. It's tough!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Magic Feedback

I've currently suspended the Argammond's Visions for awhile, it just doesn't feel right to spend so much time talking about a set I just spent so much time on, when I could be working on other stuff I've promised. So right now I'm working on:

1) Solo Adventures 2 rules completion
2) Full color maps for Solo Adventures 2
3) A couple more solitaire variations

Right now I'm struggling with the Bribery & Channeling mechanics of Solo 2, it's just not very intuitive. I'd like to have a system that works smoothly, but I'm not there yet. The first map is done (there are two maps of higher difficulty to come), so the Bribery/Channeling problem is the only thing holding me up. More brainstorming needed, I guess.

I'll try to have the Solitaire games posted soon, I'm playtesting them now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Argammond's Visions #2: Balor

Balor is the Guardian for the Champion's Odyssey set (you can find Balor here.

Feared throughout the Mid Realms, Balor literally is the "Lord of the Pit" as cards fall like fiery rain into the discard pile or vanish from the game through removal. As creatures, items, and other goodies are sacrificed to Balor, his power grows stronger. Other Vierkuns shudder when facing the monstrous resources Balor is able to focus into energy for channeling.

Obviously, cards that work well with Balor are cards that cause discarding or removal from the game, such as the Crypts of Damnation, Mordred the Summoner, or Stanley the Wonder Goat. With the ability to build up Power Stones, creatures that receive channeling are also good choices, as well as cards that require Power Stones for other uses like healing, or the Egyptian Standard Bearer 25 (that cancels an opposing AOE for 1 Stone). Sacrificial Altar has the potential for Balor to gain double the Power Stones (with good dice rolling). Use Small Mox to create more Stone disparity, or use Limited Big Time Rebate and a few accessories that also generate Power Stones to turn Balor into a Power Stone machine. With Rocks of Skull Cracking it is not unusual for Balor to decimate entire multiple flying shields.

Balor does have a few drawbacks. First, the ability usually only works 50% of the time (4-6 on a D6). Also, Balor has a low number of starting Power Stones, as well as a low Vitality and an average CMP. Cards that shut down channeling can negate Balor's Power Stone advantage in combat.

Still, it can be daunting to sit across from a player with Balor as Guardian, usually accompanied by a huge stack of cards to facilitate sacrifices to the "Lord of the Pit".

Developer Notes:
This was probably the most difficult card I created, as there was no Guardian template from Phil, so I created it completely from scratch. In doing so I learned a few things about Photoshop that I didn't know how to do before. The artwork is selected from a larger painting, which I first tried to use as Terrain, and then as a Stronghold. After some time I focused in on Balor and it seemed like a good fit both in appearance and in theme as "Lord of the Pit", so I extracted it from the larger artwork. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Champion's Odyssey Card Revision/Argammond's Visions #1

This was intended to be a simple post about a revision to card#3, the Crypts of Damnation. However, when I thought about describing the revision, it seemed that much of this information would have been appropriate for the series of posts in which I take a look at Champion's Odyssey cards in detail. These posts will be referred to as "Argammond's Visions", which I will start as weekly and increase in frequency if necessary. So let's start Vision #1 with the Crypts of Damnation.

Background: During the early stages of planning the set, I really loved the Brom work "Allura of Damnation". I knew this would be the first card to start the set with (although it ended up being #12 due to some difficulties). I wondered how could I incorporate "Damnation" as a place in the set that would help define her story? When I saw the artwork by Parkinson, I knew that would be the Crypts of Damnation as a Terrain card. But what would that Terrain do?

Since I already knew the deck would have many undead based on the amount of Brom artwork, I decided to make this Terrain beneficial to certain undead you were likely to find in the Crypts. Being new to card design, I decided to use channeling as the benefit because channeling is really easy to slap on a card. So Vampires, Bats, Rats, and Ghouls all received channeling on the space.

When the set was complete, some of my faithful readers felt the card was to powerful, so I adjusted the CMP by -3. Another quick fix, but not very creative. It was bothering me that I had taken the easy, non-creative route, and I was unhappy with the card. Furthermore, it didn't really tie in to the set's Guardian, Balor. So I decided to change it again. The trick was to not make it too powerful, but still make it desirable to use and tie it to Balor.

Some of the creatures in the set already get a bonus when on the space (in their card text). But what if the card's main benefit was if you weren't on the space? And a benefit to ease the pain of losing a combat instead of a "yet another way to crush the opposing card" ability. Drawing from the Demon of Kabod ability, which I really like, the final change to the text is:

"If you retreat to this space, you may heal one Vampire or Ghoul for each creature discarded from your Creature Pen." I feel this is really not too powerful: first, you have to lose combat to retreat, so it doesn't help you win the space in any way - in fact, since combat wasn't on the space, your Vampires and Ghouls probably didn't get a bonus; second, there is a cost to healing that is not cheap (discarding creatures in the Creature Pen); third, you can't use the ability if you have no creatures in the Pen! Finally, the benefit is limited to Vampires and Ghouls only.

So why use it? Well, normally when you retreat you don't get to heal your creatures; like Demon of Kabod, this is an exception to the rule. And if your Guardian is Balor, each creature discarded from the Pen gives you a chance to gain Power Stones. Plus, if you get attacked again while on that space, some of those creatures you healed will probably get their Crypts bonus.

Who benefits from this card: Allura, Crypt Ghoul, Crypt Guard, Balor, Revenant, Shrine Ghast, Buzz Vampire Mosquito, Vampire, Vampire Lord, Carrag the Black (if your sacrificed creatures are undead), Death Pit of Djoser, Rogue Spectre, Standard Bearer Goblin 16, Tablet of Ancathus, Mummy's Fist*, and Well of Souls* (bring those discarded undead back!). Nebbuch also has the Command ability to convert any Terrain to this one during combat.

Threats to this card: Hammer of Doom. Obviously, Deceiver, Holy Spear*, Vampire Hunters, Ice Spirit, and White Unicorn are threats to undead, period.

* = Seven Seas

Uses: Power Stone disparity is the main use. You're gaining some Power Stones discarding unused creatures if you're using Balor, while your Vampires are draining your opponent's. Vampires and ghouls aren't bribeable, either.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guardians Total Combat! Sample Game

As promised, here is a sample game that illustrates how this rules variant works:

Player One's Deck:
Dry Heaps
Dry Heaps
Babes Bribery
Babes Bribery
Beer Bribery
Beer Bribery
Gold Bribery
Gold Bribery
Warhola Snake Standard Bearer 17
Warhola Snake Standard Bearer 17
Amber Well (e)
Ancient Ogre (m)
Angel of Death (e)
Archangel Magnus (e)
Arnath Lord of the Skies (m)
Axeman (m)
Ba Choomba (e)
Baal-a-Gog (e)
Bantam Drake (x)
Barrow Wight (x)
Big Groaning Cankerd (m)
Black Lung (x)
Black Unicorn (x)
Bold Mold (x)
Bone Fright (x)
Captain (m)
Cyclops (x)
Dead Cats (x)
Death (e)
Energy Toad (e)
Fangis the Hunter (m)
Festus (m)
Fire Walker (e)
Hook Toed Gnasher (m)
Flame Geyser (e)
Goldthwait Jumper (x)
Great Ba’te (m)
Great Black Ri’shar (m)
Great Fanged Ogre (m)
Greater Air Elemental (e)
Greater Energy Elemental (e)
Haba Naba Kaba (m)
Ice Ogre (m)
Inititate of Entropy (e)
Koset of the Light (e)
Kurgan Blademaster of the Exiled (m)
Na' Boob (m)
Magma Elemental (e)
Magnate Justice (e)
Marshal (m)
Mendu Sada the Havoc (e)
Monolith of Chaos (e)
Mummy (x)
Nubian slave Girl (x)
Plague Walker (x)
Prince of the Lost (m)
Rachur Field Marshal (e)
Razor Sliph (x)
Roaming Steam Geyser (e)
Rot Rat (x)
Sloarch (m)
Shadow of Ashes (x)
Skeletal Minion (x)
Slackback Chak (x)
Snogwort (m)
Succubus (e)
Tanniker Smith (m)
Vampire (x)
Wailing Specter (x)
Water Nymph (x)

Mortals: 20
Elementals: 20
External: 20


Player Two's Deck:
Standard Bearer Dark 16
Standard Bearer Dark 16
Babes Bribery
Babes Bribery
Beer Bribery
Beer Bribery
Gold Bribery
Gold Bribery
Power Lunch
Power Lunch
Bone Shambler (x)
Brap Back Goblins (m)
Brown Backs (m)
Corporal (m)
Corruption Stream (e)
Crackhatch at Large (m)
Crystal Flash (x)
Dead Cats (x)
Death (e)
Desert Giant (m)
Devil Dog (e)
Devil Hedgehog (e)
Dragon Wing Lord (x)
Druk (e)
Eats, Cockroach king (x)
Golden Fleecer (m)
Gorgal Skag (e)
Greenback Chak (x)
Grilbus (m)
Grim Skull (x)
Groatie (m)
Grotto Troll (x)
Haba Naba Daba (m)
Humungus Fungus (x)
Ice Elemental (e)
Ice Spirit (e)
Jibber (m)
Joomjaba (e)
Kikijub (x)
Lancer (m)
Land Drake (x)
Light Elemental (e)
Lizard Skin Lynn (e)
Lorg Mole (e)
Merchant (m)
Moon Spirit (e)
Orella of the Mist (e)
Pesky Varmit (m)
Phantom Stalker (x)
Phil Bar Fly (m)
Plague Walker (x)
Polar Ice Ogre (m)
Razor Shiefa (x)
River Giant (m)
Rogue Spectre (x)
Rotten Guy (m)
Roving Force Inferno (e)
Schneeble (x)
Shadrune (x)
Sleeping Spirit (e)
Silver Server (m)
Sun Spirit (e)
Swordsman (m)
Thackle (m)
Valley Troll (x)
Vapor Elemental (e)
Vesuvious Rex (x)
Water Spout (e)
Wind Spirit (e)
Wraith (x)

Mortals 20
elementals 20
Externals 20

Player One chooses Harkin as his Guardian. Player Two chooses Rak Nam. Both players shuffle their decks and draw 12 cards.

ROUND ONE

Player One draws: Ancient Ogre, Baal-a-Gog, Babes Bribery, Black Lung, Black Unicorn, Dead Cats, Energy Toad, Great Black Ri'shar, Mendu Sada the Havoc, Razor Sliph, Rot Rat, Succubus. Upcard: Hook Toed Gnasher.

Player Two draws: Babes Bribery, Death, Groatie, Gold Bribery, Ice Elemental, Ice Spirit, Phantom Stalker, Polar Ice Ogre, Roaming Steam Geyser, Roving Force Inferno, Smoke Spirit, Swordsman. Upcard: Gorgal Skag.

Hook Toed Gnasher's 12 is higher than Gorgal Skag's 4. Player One goes first. Since neither player has drawn an Event, Standard Bearer, or Terrain, both players pass. They form up their 30 Vitality combat hand.

Matchup #1: Dead Cats (Player One) vs. Swordsman (Player Two). Leading with Dead Cats is the obvious move, because you *want* it to die and give all your other creatures +2 Vitality. Dead Cats is 3 Vitality, Swordsman is 6. Dead Cats is beaten, mission accomplished for Player One.

Matchup #2: Black Lung (player One) vs Smoke Spirit (Player Two). Black Lung is 14 Vitality, +2 Dead Cats for a total of 16, no ranged attacks per Smoke Spirit, and Spirit is 7 and accepts channeling. Player Two bribes Black Lung with Babes. Smoke Spirit is now unchallenged.

Matchup #3: Mendu Sada the Havoc (Player One) vs. Roving Force Inferno (Player Two). Mendu is 11 with +2 Dead Cats for a total of 13, Inferno is 12. Mendu wins.

Seconary Attacks: Player Two has an Ice Spirit, which is a 5, and plays it next to Roving Force Inferno. Spirit + Inferno are 17, Mendu is beaten.

Round 1 goes to Player Two, with 17 Vitality; he gets the MDL. Player One ends with 0 Vitality and gets LDL. Dead Cats and Mendu Sada go to Player One's discard pile and Black Lung goes back to his Creature Pen. Roving Force Inferno goes to Player Two's discard pile and Swordsman, Smoke Spirit, and Ice Spirit go back to his Creature Pen. Player One still has a Babes Bribery, while Player Two is still holding a Gold Bribery.

ROUND TWO

Player One draws 2 (Harkin's Base 3, -1 LDL): Hook Toed Gnasher and Flame Geyser, upcard is Greater Air Elemental (16). Player Two draws 4 (Rak Nam's Base 3, +1 MDL): Gorgal Skag, Rogue Spectre, Grim Skull, and Crackhatch at Large, upcard is Bone Shambler (3). Player One goes first, but both players end up passing. They choose their combat hands.

Matchup #1: Razor Sliph (Player One) vs Polar Ice Ogre (Player Two). Sliph is 5, Polar Ice Ogre is 10. Player One bribes Ogre with Babes and Sliph is unchallenged.

Matchup #2: Rot Rat (Player One) vs. Rogue Spectre (Player Two). Rot Rat is 2, + 1 for Fear, for a total of 3. Rogue Spectre is 6. Spectre wins.

Matchup #3: Great Black Ri'shar (Player One) vs. Death (Player Two). Ri'shar is 17 with a 3 point fear AOE (ineffective here), Death is 7 and destroys Mortals affected by fear. Ri'shar is not immune to fear and is destroyed.

Secondary Attacks: Player One has an Energy Toad, which is a 5, and plays it next to Rot Rat. Toad + Rat are 7, Spectre is beaten.

Round 2 goes to Player One with 10 Vitality; He gets the MDL. Player Two ends with 7 Vitality and gets LDL. Great Black Ri'shar and Rot Rat go into Player One's discard pile, while Razor Sliph and Energy Toad return to his Creature Pen. Rogue Spectre goes into Player Two's discard pile, while Polar Ice Ogre and Death go back to his Creature Pen. Player Two still has the Gold Bribery card.

ROUND THREE

Player One draws 4 (base of 3, +1 MDL): Greater Air Elemental, Skeletal Minion, Archangel Magnus, and Standard Bearer Snake 17, upcard is Plague Walker (5). Player Two draws 2 (base of 3, -1 LDL): Bone Shambler and Druk, upcard is Valley Troll (3). Player One goes first and plays the Standard Bearer, which gives him +2 CMP when channeling. Player Two passes and both players make their combat hands.

Matchup #1: Archangel Magnus (Player One) vs. Ice Elemental (Player Two). Magnus is 11 and can receive channeling. Ice Elemental is 15. Player One spends a stone and channels 8 (Harkin's 6, +2 standard bearer). Magnus wins 19 to 15.

Matchup #2: Baal-a-Gog (Player One) vs. Gorgal Skag (Player Two). Baal-a-Gog is 12, Gorgal Skag is 4. Skag gets fragged.

Matchup #3: Flame Geyser (Player One) vs. Swordsman (Player Two). Flame Geyser is 6, Swordsman is 9 (6 + 3 OCB). Swordsman wins.

Secondary Attacks: Player Two has Ice Spirit, which is a 5, and plays it next to Ice Elemental. Elemental and Spirit are 20, Magnus can't receive channeling now and is beaten.

Round 3 goes to Player One (his second round won), 12 Vitality to 11 Vitality. Archangel Magnus, Ice Elemental, Gorgal Skag, and Flame Geyser are discarded. Baal-a-Gog, Swordsman, and Ice Spirit return to the Creature Pens. Player Two still has that Gold Bribery.

ROUND FOUR

Player One draws 4: Plague Walker, Shadow of Ashes, Great Ba'te, and Greater Energy Elemental, upcard is Wailing Spectre (8). Player Two draws 2: Valley Troll and Devil Hedgehog, upcard is Joomjaba (5). Player One goes first but both players pass and head to combat.

Matchup #1: Black Unicorn (Player One) vs. Roaming Steam Geyser (Player Two). Black Unicorn is 13 and can accept channeling. Geyser is a 6 and gets crushed.

Matchup #2: Succubus (Player One) vs. Phantom Stalker (Player Two). Succubus is 9, Phantom Stalker is 14. Succubus is beaten.

Matchup #3: Rot Rat (Player One) vs. Smoke Spirit (Player Two). Rot Rat is 2 + 1 fear, total of 3. Smoke Spirit is 7. Rat is beaten.

Matchup #4: Energy Toad vs. Bone Shambler (Player Two). Energy Toad is 5 and shuts down channeling, Bone Shambler is 3 and can't receive channeling because of the Toad, Toad wins.

Player Two wins again with 21 Vitality to Player One's 18 Vitality. Both players have won 2 rounds.

ROUND FIVE

Player One draws 2: Wailing Spectre and Ice Ogre, upcard is Haba Naba Kaba (4). Player Two draws 4: Joomjaba, Orella of the Mist, Standard Bearer Dark 16, and Moon Spirit, upcard is Silver Server (7). Player Two goes first and plays Standard Bearer Dark 16 (which prevents his creatures from being bribed), forcing Player One to discard the Standard Bearer Snake 17. Player One passes and combat begins.

Matchup #1: Hook Toed Gnasher (Player One) vs. Crackhatch at Large (Player Two). Gnasher is 12, Crackhatch is 17. Gnasher is beaten.

Matchup #2: Wailing Spectre (Player One) vs. Druk (Player Two). Spectre is 8 with a 4 pt. fear AOE (ineffective here). Druk is 8 with an OCB of +2 for a total of 10. Druk wins.

Matchup #3: Skeletal Minion (Player One) vs. Ice Spirit (Player Two). Minion is 5 and can receive channeling, Ice Spirit is 5 but immune to Undead. Matchup is a push.

Secondary Attacks: Player One has Energy Toad and plays it next to Wailing Spectre. Toad and Spectre are 13, Druk is beaten.

Round Five goes to Player Two with 22 Vitality to Player One's 10 Vitality. He earns a third win.

ROUND SIX

Player One draws 2: Haba Naba Kaba and Axeman, upcard is Bantam Drake (8). Player Two draws 4: Silver Server, Corporal, Beer Bribery, and Land Drake, upcard is Corruption Stream. Player One goes first, but both players pass. Player Two has 3 wins and announces he is challenging Harkin and builds a combat hand. Player One chooses a card to play next to Harkin and prays for luck.

Matchup #1: Ancient Ogre (Player One) vs. Ice Spirit (Player Two). Ice Spirit is essentially a sacrifice so that the heavy hitters can go after Harkin. But Player One has been saving Ancient Ogre as a defensive measure to shut down channeling against Harkin. Player Two does not have a Babes Bribery to play on Ancient Ogre. Ogre wins and shuts down channeling.

Matchup #2: Harkin (Player One) vs. Smoke Spirit (Player Two). Smoke Spirit is 7 and can receive channeling but Ancient Ogre has shut channeling down.

Secondary Attacks: All Player Two has left is Land Drake. The plan was to have Land Drake attack Harkin, then have Smoke Spirit come in as a secondary attacker, receive channeling and win the game, but Ancient Ogre screwed that up. Land Drake and Smoke Spirit are not enough to beat Harkin, but Player Two can get rid of that pesky Ogre. Land Drake attacks Ancient Ogre and Ancient Ogre is beaten.

Player One has survived! Ice Spirit, Smoke Spirit, and Ancient Ogre are discarded, and Land Drake returns to Player Two's Creature Pen.

ROUND SEVEN

After a Guardian challenge, there is no MDL or LDL. Player One draws 3: Bantam Drake, Ba Choomba, and Fire Walker, upcard is Slakback Chak (10). Player Two draws 3: Corruption Stream, Phil Bar Fly, and Lizardskin Lynn, upcard is Plague Walker (5). Player One goes first but both players pass.

Matchup #1: Haba Naba Kaba (Player One) vs. Corporal (Player Two). Kaba is 4, Corporal is 8. Corporal wins.

Matchup #2: Greater Air Elemental (Player One) vs. Devil Hedgehog (Player Two). Elemental is 16, Hedgehog is 4. Hedgehog is beaten.

Matchup #3: Skeletal Minion (Player One) vs. Orella of the Mist (Player Two). Minion is 5 and can receive channeling, Orella is 4 with an OCB of +1 for 5, but Orella also has the ability to destroy creatures. D6 result is 1 (destroys Elementals, no effect on Minion). Player One channels to Minion for 5 CMP (now has 7 stones left), and Orella is beaten.

Matchup #4: Plague Walker (Player One) vs. Swordsman (Player Two). Walker is 6 (5 + 1 OCB), Swordsman is 6. Result is a push.

Secondary Attacks: Player Two has Joomjaba and plays it next to Devil Hedgehog. BLAM! Joomjaba destroys large creatures as a secondary attacker, and Greater Air Elemental goes down.

Player Two wins the round with 19 Vitality to Player One's 10 Vitality.

ROUND EIGHT

Player One draws 2: Slakback Chak and Standard Bearer Snake 17, upcard is Rachur Field Marshal (4). Player Two draws 4: Plague Walker, Babes Bribery, Greenback Chak, and Dead Cats, upcard is Haba Naba Daba (5). Player Two goes first but passes. Player One plays his Snake Standard Bearer and Player Two's Dark 16 Standard Bearer is discarded. Player One passes. Player Two announces he's challenging Harkin again, so Player One picks a card to play next to Harkin.

Matchup #1: Ba Choomba (Player One) vs. Groatie (Player Two). Ba Choomba crushes Groatie.

Matchup #2: Harkin (Player One) vs. Phil Bar Fly (Player Two). Phil is crushed, but that paves the way for...

Secondary Attacks: Player Two has Phantom Stalker and Corruption Stream. Not enough Vitality to kill Harkin, but Corruption Stream beats its opponent as a secondary attacker, and Harkin goes down.

Player Two wins!

Player One mutters about how he couldn't get a break - he was ready to pound Rak Nam with his Greater Energy Elemental, but couldn't get that third combat win...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Guardians Total Combat! (A Game Variant)

Welcome back, everyone! I managed to fight off Idiots and Pink Flamingos on my vacation, but I did have a brush with Death. Luckily I'm immune to fear, so I made it through. However, I've been very sick for the last week and a half. Now that I'm feeling better, I'm ready to be bribed by Babes..err, I mean, I'm ready to post more.

Let's get back into form with Guardians Total Combat! This is a game variant that boils the game down to, well, quite simply, lots and lots of combat. There's no movement, strongholds, or terrain spaces. It's meant to be fast-paced, in-your-face combat. It doesn't replace the standard game...the purpose of a variant is to try something new if you're feeling adventurous.

Without movement, terrain, and strongholds, your strategy is to focus on deckbuilding, combat order, and when to bribe and channel. Here's what you will need:

A 70 card deck
A Guardian
Power Stones

Your 70 card deck must consist of:
55-60 non-Command Card Creatures, which must have an equal amount of Externals, Mortals, and Elementals
10-15 Standard Bearers, Spells, Magic Items, Events, Terrain, or Bribery cards

What your deck may not have:
Extra Guardians
Strongholds
Upgrades & Downgrades
Regular Shields
Shield/Terrain

The Rules

Each player places their Guardian and Power Stones on the table in front of them.

Shuffle your 70 card deck and have your opponent cut it. Place it face down in front of you to your left. Your discard pile will be on your right; the discard pile is where you will discard non-creature cards and beaten creatures.

The basics:

1. Only one Event, Terrain, or Standard Bearer may be in play at a time. For example if you play a Terrain card and there was already one in play, the one that was in play is discarded and your Terrain card becomes the one in play.

2. Events and Terrain affect combat globally. If you play a Woods and your opponent plays a creature that has a Woods bonus, he gets the bonus.

3. Your Standard Bearers only affect your creatures, and your opponent's Standard Bearers only affect his creatures.

4. If your hand is out of creatures, your opponent plays secondary attackers and vice-versa.

5. Command Card conflicts resolve before combat, and are handled the same way as the base game.

6. All non-creature cards remain in play until an action occurs that forces them to be discarded.

7. Guardians start with all their Power Stones but do not get any more except through card effects and combat wins. Use the Stones wisely!

8. Creature special abilities are not used unless they are specific to combat (i.e. ranged strikes, secondary attacks, channeling, etc.)

That's it! pretty simple, huh?

Both players draw 12 cards to start the game. Separate your cards into a single-border pile and a double-border pile. Each player turns over an upcard. High upcard goes first. The player going first may play an Event, Terrain, or Standard Bearer; if the player chooses to pass, he may not play any of these cards until next turn.

Player Two follows with an Event, Terrain, or Standard Bearer. Remember that any new card played causes the card that was in play to be discarded.

Players alternate playing Events, Terrain, or Standard Bearers until both players pass. Now combat begins! Players make a combat hand from their Creature Pen, and may use up to 30 Vitality of creatures there.

Combat is very similar to the base game. This is the order of actions that occur during combat:

1. Command cards are placed. If there is a conflict, high upcard wins.

2. Command card AOEs are resolved unless bribery of the AOE creature occurs.

3. If bribery occurs, it must be before any further actions occur. Bribed creatures go back to the Creature Pen. The bribery card is discarded.

4. Check for destruction, AOEs, immunities, text boxes, etc.

5. Look at base vitalities. If there are no other modifiers or actions, this decides who wins the primary matchup.

6. Off-color bonuses, Standard Bearer bonuses, and Terrain and Event bonuses, if there are any, are added in.

7. Ranged attacks, spells, and channeling. This is the same as in the base game, except only Guardians can channel. Your Guardian spends a Stone to channel its CMP. The receiving creature cannot receive more than its vitality.

Once one player runs out of attackers, secondary attacks occur as normal.

When combat is over, players add up Vitality for all creatures that survived but weren't bribed.

Players put bribed and unbeaten creatures back in their Creature Pen. Opponent's creatures that are beaten go in their discard pile, and your creatures that were beaten go in your discard pile. Whoever won the last turn gains the MDL for the next turn while the other player has the LDL.

For the next turn, draw your Guardian's base draw modified by HDL/LDL numbers, using whichever is appropriate, and making sure to draw your upcard as your first card.

Play continues in the same manner as the first turn.

The first player to win 3 rounds may challenge the opposing Guardian on his next turn. The defending player may use one creature in his Creature Pen to help defend the Guardian. If the attacker succeeds, he wins the game. If not, he cannot challenge the Guardian again until he wins another round. If the opposing player wins his third round before then, the opposing player can challenge your Guardian. The first player to beat an opposing Guardian wins.

Example: Player One wins his 3rd round. On the next turn he challenges Player Two's Guardian but can't beat it. He wins the next round and challenges again, but still can't beat it. Player Two wins the next round (his 3rd round won) and challenges and beats the opposing Guardian. Player Two wins.

EDIT: Changed the victory condition from: the first player to run out of cards challenges the Guardian, to: a player can challenge the Guardian after winning 3 rounds. Also changed back to max of 30 Vitality during combat, and changed winning round based on surviving Vitality. Game closely mirrors original now.

Up next: a sample game of Guardians Total Combat!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Getting your Guardians fix

It will still be a few weeks before I resume adding content. I finish my degree with a final in my last class this week, then I'm getting my self-bestowed graduation present...I'm going on a trip to a major theme park for 9 days. When I come back, I'll start working hard on adding new content. I'll have some time as I don't start my graduate work until February.

In the meantime, check out C.J.'s blog. He's fired it back up for the summer and he's adding all the cool trifectas from his old site. Also, he's done a follow-up on my Applications of Math in Guardians with more detail, including a visual representation in Excel. Very cool! You can find it here.

Finally, through trades and auctions I've finally completed my collection, picking up the hard to find Black Locust and Gateway to Mystfall cards. Lately I've been receiving cards that have the cutting problem, where part of the bottom text containing artist info and FPG's copyright is cut off. It doesn't make the card unusable, but I can imagine the frustration of people paying good money back when they were new and opening booster packs only to find their cards had QA issues. I'm in QA myself, so maybe I'm making it a bigger deal than it really is. Anyway, the only card I don't have now is a Tweezle the Sneaky, but I suspect that 99% of people with Guardians cards are in the same boat, since very few were made...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shhh, don't wake the Sleeping Spirit

Ah, summer. The time of year when the blog suffers as I pursue that rarest of creatures in the Northwest, sunshine...Hence the reference to Sleeping Spirit, as the blog has been quiet lately. Plus I'm taking a very demanding night school class...I only have 2 more classes left before I get my degree, so that should be done and out of the way soon.

I have more card revisions I'll post next week. I'm currently in the process of modifying every Champion's Odyssey card to make the ability text font size bigger. After printing out the cards, I noticed that the text body was so small it was hard to read. In resizing the text, it is easier to read but doesn't always fit in the space allotted. I've had to change some of the text to make it fit. I'll be updating every card to reflect this.

Small text is also a problem with some of the Seven Seas cards, making them hard to read. I've changed my copies of some of them because the English didn't read properly...no disrespect to Phil and the gang, as English is not their native tongue (anymore than French is mine!) So it's not a leap for me to adjust text size as well.

I'm also working on the Solo Adventures 2.0, a major task by adding the optional inclusion of Seven Seas and Champion's Odyssey cards. I've also developed 2 other game variants that I'm testing.

Look for more entries soon...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

House Rules for Desert Terrain

With all the references to Deserts in Champion's Odyssey, I'd like to clarify exactly what Desert Terrain is.

In the Seven Seas release there is a Terrain called Lost Desert. Lost Desert has the following text:

"Any Rivers and Lakes or Seven Seas bonus is reversed (ex. +2 Vitality in Rivers and Lakes is now -2 Vitality). No Vitality reduced below 0."

Any Desert Terrain referenced in Champion's Odyssey should be considered to have that same text, with one exception: no Vitality is reduced below 1.

Final note: Desert Terrain is not the same as Dry Heaps. They should be treated as 2 different Terrain types.

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Card Revisions

Destroying Angel changed (see update in previous post)

Crypts of Damnation

Added -3 CMP to channeling

Valley of the Gods

Added no spells allowed

The High Steppes

Added Mountains, no AOEs allowed

Desert Island

Added may be entered without a ship, no healing allowed

Sweet's Grotto

Added may be entered without a ship

All cards above had text size increased to make it easier to read them...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Card revisions

At the suggestion of some of my devoted readers, I have made a revision to some of the cards.

First, Destroying Angel

Limited to 1 per space per player and destruction effect now only works on Stronghold spaces.

EDIT: After more feedback, it was felt Destroying Angel was too weak, so its effect works under defending Shields once again.

Next, Sand Howler and Spiked Groper

Changed to Slag Beasts and picked up a Dry Heaps bonus.

On to Pell, Elven Hunter and Orlan D'bloom

Added Fairy class and changed them from medium to small. However, they are still Mortal instead of External (for now).

Next is Naga Serpent

Changed from Wanderer to Demon (for those Demon & Devil decks).

Card stats in the previous post have been edited to reflect these changes. There may be more changes to come...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Champion's Odyssey is complete

Well, it's finished. 100 cards. I didn't think I would make it.

It was a lot of work but it was fun. I learned a lot about Photoshop. I even bought a Wacom tablet to paint with.

Are some cards too powerful? Assuredly. Are some useless? Possibly. Without playtesting we'll never know. But if someone does use these and has feedback, I'd love to hear it.

Set Breakdown by Artist
Achilleos: 4
Beauvais: 9
Brom: 34 (wow!)
Hescox: 2
Hildebrandt: 3
Kelly: 2
Maitz: 6
Parkinson: 14
Ploog: 14
Rowena: 2
Sweet: 1
Warhola: 4
Whelan: 4

Set Breakdown by Card Type
Downgrade: 2
Elemental: 11
Event: 16
External: 16
Guardian: 1
Magic Item: 7
Mortal: 13
Shield: 2
Shield/Terrain: 1
Ship: 1
Spell: 17
Standard Bearer: 2
Stronghold: 3 (1 Set)
Terrain: 5
Upgrade: 2

Creatures By Type
Angel: 2
Animal: 1
Centaur: 1
Chak: 1
Demon: 4
Devil: 1
Dragon: 2
Elf: 2
Evil Twin: 1
Fairy: 3
Goblin:1
Knight: 3
Manifestation: 1
Ogre: 1
Pirate: 1
Sea Monster: 1
Slag Beast: 2
Sliph: 2
Undead: 11
Wanderer: 3
Wizard: 1
(Note: some creatures that are double-classed were counted twice)

Creature Stats
Flyers: 7
Bribeable by Babes: 13
Bribeable by Beer: 10
Bribeable by Gold: 12
Not bribeable: 17
Channelers: 2
Channeling receivers: 5
Small: 3
Medium: 23
Large: 14

Card List
Abracadabra
Allura of Damnation
Ancient Grimoire of Knowledge
Arcane Summons
Archangel Sophia
Arnathoid
Autumn
Baba Yaga
Balor
Barbed Lasher
Barricade
Belial
Blood Charge
Breach the Gates
Buffo the Cartographer
Captain Crook
Cataclysm
Cave Ogre
Centaur
Ceremony of Twilight
Chess Piece Shield/Terrain
Chess Piece 12 Shield
Chess Piece 15 Standard Bearer
Chess Piece 19 Standard Bearer
Chess Piece 3 Shield
Circle of Protection
Creeping Doom
Crown of Command
Crypt Ghoul
Crypt Guard
Crypts of Damnation
Deadlands Center
Deadlands Left
Deadlands Right
Deceiver
Desert Island
Desert Scout
Destroying Angel
Doom
Dracolich
Dragon's Wrath
Flametongue
Forcefield
Ghoul Queen
Gloom Jabber
Grizzle and Goolp
Gypsy Caravan
Happy Hour
Helm of Underwater Breathing
It Takes Courage
Jackalwere
Keeper of Souls
Magic Item Meltdown
Mordred the Summoner
Mudback Chak
Mummy's Curse
Naga Serpent
Nebbuch
Ned the Infernal
Night Watchman
Orlan D'bloom
Pawn of the Vierkuns
Pell, Elven Hunter
Peter Pun
Point Blank Range
Possessed!
Prophecy Revealed
Razor Shaman
Razor Specter
Reckoneers
Reincarnation
Revenant
Sand Howler
Scouring the Mid Realms
Shadow Wicker
Shrine Ghast
Sigmund, Sea Monster
Sign of the Unicorn
Skretch
Slave Auction
Spiked Groper
Stanley the Wonder Goat
Stygian Ferry
Sweet's Grotto
Temple of Takuli
The High Steppes
The Open Tomb
Throne of the Gods
Tomes of Transference
Treasure of the Sea Witch
Tusk Raider
Valley of the Gods
Vigil of Bones
Voodoo Skull
Voodoo Staff
Warwick's Dislocation
Witch Queen's Curse
Wraith Lord
Zeenah, Eradicator of Standards

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #100

Balor, Lord of the Pit:

Champion's Odyssey Stronghold set

Here is a display that shows the completed Stronghold set as it would look on the play area in front of you...

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #99

Deadlands Stronghold (Right):

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #98

Deadlands Stronghold (Center):

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #97

Deadlands Stronghold (Left):

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #94

Brom's Chess Piece Standard Bearer 19:

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #93

Brom Chess Piece Standard Bearer 15:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #92

Brom Chess Piece 12 Shield:

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #91

Brom Chess Piece 3 Shield:

Champion's Odyssey update & what's next

Well, the base set for Champion's Odyssey is almost done. The Stronghold set and the first Shield set are complete. I just need to make the Standard Bearers and a Ship, and the set will be finished. The Shield turned out ok, but maybe someday when my Photoshop skills improve I'll redesign it.

So what's coming up once the Champion's Odyssey set has been completed and posted? Well, here's a look at some of the things I'll be working on in the next few months (not necessarily in this order)...

1. Solo Adventures 2.0
2. Sample Solo game posting
3. Solo strategy discussion
4. Discussion of Champion's Odyssey cards
5. Applications of Math in Guardians, parts 2 & 3
6. Guardians Total War!, a game variant
7. Guardians Tactics, a game variant
8. Guardians Board Game variant
9. Possible hosting of C. J. Burke's .sig cards (as a homebrew set perhaps?)
10. Discussion of Necropolis Park and Drifter's Nexus cards
11. Devoting time to my other (neglected) blogs

As you can see, this blog should be quite active for some time. So keep stopping by and I'll do my best to make sure I have good stuff for you. Comments are highly encouraged, I'll always respond!

Cheers,

Jackalwere

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #90

Sweet's Grotto:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #89

Slave Auction:

Change to Card Preview #11, Desert Scout

I've made a change to Card Preview #11, Desert Scout. One of the themes of this set is Desert Terrain, and I wanted the card to reflect this, especially since it has "Desert" in its title. So a new version of the card has been posted. This is bound to happen when you start creating cards and by the time you're almost done, the set has evolved beyond your original vision...

Desert Scout can be found here...

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #88

The High Steppes:

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #87

Desert Island:

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #86

Deceiver:

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #85

Sigmund, Sea Monster:

Champion's Odyssey Card Preview #84

Happy Hour:

Bringing Homebrew Cards To Life, Wrap-up

As promised, photos of my results...

A Seven Seas Terrain card, with a Dry Heaps card for comparison:



The backside of both cards:



There are some color differences, and the edges of the Seven Seas card are a little ragged from cutting. Still, it's kind of cool to see the Petrified Valley as a real card...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bringing Homebrew Cards to Life, Part 2

This continues the discussion about how to bring homebrew cards to life.

Part 1 can be found here

A trip to Fedex Kinkos revealed that color copies are $.59 each. For 50 pages of Seven Seas cards, that's $30. Add Event cards and Champion's Oddyssey cards and it's less than $50...but that's just for one set. Printing 4 sets would cost almost $200. I could try to squeeze more cards on a page to drive that down, but it's a moot point. My friend was right - Kinko's refused to print the copyrighted images without some kind of written permission from the copyright holder, which isn't going to happen.

As an alternative, I looked into purchasing my own color laser printer. The price needed to be under $300 and have very good customer reviews. However, after searching, I couldn't find anything I was comfortable with for that much money. My roommate had ditched his Epson R1800 for a new Epson Color Stylus 1400, which makes beautiful prints, but won't take the cardstock thickness.

In the end I decided to print at work and reimburse the company if they complained about my printing. However, I still wanted to reduce the amount of printing, which would cause fewer problems and use less paper. A "real" Guardians card is about 2.5" by 3.5". So I came up with a new layout, the 4 x 2 which looks something like this:



It only prints 1 less card than the 3 x 3 Seven Seas PDFs, without any resizing or printing errors, and the size is the same as a "real" card.

The most important things to consider when making the layout are:

1. Make the document size 8.5" x 11", rotate 90 degrees, and print landscaped.
2. Keep the distance from the edge of the document to the edge of the cards the same for opposite sides. I used .5" from card to edge on all sides.
3. Put the edges of the cards up against each other so that when they are cut, there won't be any white showing if the cut is slightly off.
4. When copying images into Photoshop, copy the images from the PDFs rather than the large jpegs (they seem to be higher quality with less noticeable defects).

I then created a backside single border sheet:



And a backside double border sheet:



You merely print the front side, flip the paper over, then print the backside.

Once you have your sheet, use an Exacto blade and a ruler to cut the cards.

The corners are still sharp, though. So you'll need something like this from Fiskars:



It's called "Round the Corner" and it works really well. You can get it at most craft stores in the scrapbooking area. You stick one corner of the card in the slot of the punch and line it up to the "V", back it out slightly, then press the handles together to round off the corner. If you don't back the corner out slightly, the punch will cut off too much card. You'll still have a rounded edge, but if you place next to a "real" card you'll see it cut off too much.

I'll add some photos later tonight to show how the finished homebrew card looks compared to the "real" cards...