Sunday (March 18) was Week 6 of the latest round (or season, if you prefer) of the local Achievement league. How the league works was discussed by Jourdo here.
In this kind of league, building teams than can satisfy the challenges is crucial to overall success. Wins are nice, but points for wins are a relatively minor part of a player’s overall points total in the league.
Remember, the more players who complete a given challenge, the fewer points they each get for it. For that reason, when deciding what kind of team to build, I tried to focus on challenges that few, if any, players had already done this round.
That meant I ended up focusing on team building (as opposed to game play) challenges this week. Specifically the challenges I decided to meet were ‘Create a team using only cards from Organized Play (blue stripes)’ and ‘Create a team using only unaffiliated characters’.
Before The Mighty Thor introduced the Warriors Three to Dice Masters, I would have said few unaffiliated characters synergize well with one another. The only other ones I can think of off-hand are
- Steve Trevor and any of the Wonder Woman cards from World’s Finest
- The Bombshell Lois Lane card which gives Superman Overcrush and Trinity War Superman.
Hey, the two cards from the latter are both promo cards – how convenient. Deciding what other characters to put on the team wasn’t difficult, mostly given the lack of options. According to the Team Builder, there are only 11 character cards that are promos without affiliations.
Here’s what I wound up with: Unaffiliated Blues
Poison Ivy was an easy choice, as she could potentially mitigate the drawback of the Superman – Trinity War card – the die goes to the Used Pile when Superman would be KOed. Poison Ivy’s ability to sacrifice a character to damage an opponent means if I can see a Superman die is about to be KOed, I can sacrifice it to deal the damage (since it would be going to the used pile anyhow).
Squirrel Girl and Iron Fist were cheap and useful. Bat-Mite can be very useful against overcrushing opponents.
I threw Nova and Strahd on the team, mostly because I had the cards and dice for them, but I had no real plans to use them, and never bought a die for either.
I used Focus Power and Pandora’s Box as the basic actions, mostly because they were promos. I wasn’t sure whether or not the BACs needed to be promos to satisfy the challenge criteria, so I decided to err on the side of caution.
Game 1 was against Jourdo, who was running a variation of Laurier-Joseph’s “You Shall Not Field!” team. (The original is discussed here: http://www.dm-north.com/you-shall-not-field/).
Things started a little slow. I got a Superman die out, then the first Lois Lane die I pulled, I rolled energy on both the roll and re-roll. That hurt, because if I could have fielded her at that point, Jourdo would have either lost most of his field or taken a healthy chunk of damage. By the time I had another chance to roll her Jourdo had his Triceratops out, which meant I only had two character faces she could usefully be fielded on (at least until he got his Black Cat out).
Between that and the ramp edge from his Intellect Devourer depriving me of the ability to use the Golden Age PXG global he had brought, it was only a matter of time. Although it did take one more turn than it should have. Jourdo had lethal, but didn’t realize it, mistakenly thinking I was still at full life. I wasn’t able to do enough with my reprieve, and Jourdo delivered the coup de grace on his next turn.
Game 2 was against a player running an 8-dice team, 1 die per card (the challenge doesn’t actually require that distribution, but most players completing this challenge seem to prefer the 8 cards with 1 die each approach).
Thinking the Superman and Lois Lane combo had been too slow to get going in Game 1, I instead bought Squirrel Girl and Iron Fist early. I also rolled a ton of sidekicks on my early turns. By Turn 4 I had something like 5 sidekicks in the field, along with Squirrel Girl, one Iron Fist, and one Squirrel Token. My opponent had bought an Imprisoned basic action die which he would draw on his next turn, had one blocker in the field, and I had three sidekick dice total in my combined bag and used pile. So I attacked with everything and hit him for 9.
Then he got out his Punisher-McRook and kept pounding me with it. Until I used the Imprisoned die I’d bought to capture it. He had two of my Iron Fists and my Squirrel Girl captured under his Imprisoned die. There was a period of several turns where we each were between 6 and 10 life and avoided attacking because we wouldn’t do enough damage and we didn’t want to release our captives. I had just realized the third Imprisoned die was still available to be bought when my opponent got forgetful and attacked with two sidekicks and one other 2A character. I declined to block, going from 9 life to 5. I got three dice back in my field, one of which was Squirrel Girl, which allowed me to field a Squirrel Token on my turn, so it was more like four, plus the dice I drew that turn. The increase in the size of my wall and the reduction in the size of his proved just enough to get me to lethal.
Game 3 was against a Warriors Three team. It was all commons, so only Overcrush and Intimidate, with no Deadly (as the Fandral card with Deadly is actually an Uncommon). I was on the defensive most of the game, but between the high Ds on Superman and Iron Fist, a steady stream of Squirrel Tokens and Bat-Mite (when not Intimidated) I was really slowing him down. The problem was I was paying fielding costs for Iron Fist and Superman quite regularly, and that prevented me from buying either Lois Lane or Poison Ivy as quickly as I would have liked. I slowed him down enough the game went to time. Unfortunately, I’d allowed a couple of Volstaggs to go through unblocked over the course of the game and hadn’t done any damage myself when time was called, so my opponent got the win from being ahead on life.
An interesting and fun team, but with some serious flaws – hardly surprising given the limitations I was working with. Trinity War Superman is the lowest base cost Superman in the game, but that comes at the expense of an ability that is detrimental. It proved to be a real problem when trying to defend beefy overcrushing Volstaggs with him. Jimmy Olsen would have been helpful, but for the pesky Team Superman affiliation he has.
It was highly amusing to see what a thorn in the side Bat-Mite was to the Warriors Three team – a puny 1A 2D character who was constantly being Intimidated.
I didn’t really give enough thought to the Basic Actions – my opponents got more use out of Focus Power on the day than I did.