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Still working hard to get this new site up to speed. In the meantime, you should be writing. Yes. You!

NLCG is always looking for guest writers or regular contributors. Feel free to pitch an idea to admin@nextlevelcardgames.com. Just use the subject line: “Article Pitch: __________”. Fill in the blank with your concept, then give us a brief description of what you want to do. Hope to hear from you soon.

Day of the Dead Strategy: Timing Spirit Effects

In Evan Raisner’s new game Day of the Dead, players should adopt Dr. Logan’s philosophy and train their zombies (preferably for combat against other undead). Unfortunately you do not have a freezer of dead military personal for your army of Bubs to feast on like Popeye with spinach; however, in Evan’s game a team of undead are enhanced each round through three different spirit effects: Double, Power-Up, and Unearth. Power-Up boosts the value of each fighter by two for the purposes of winning fights only. Double activates the power of a fighter twice. Unearth lets the player choose one of his cards (including the spirit card), and unearth it; he looks at the top three cards in the respective deck and replaces the old card with one of them. During the course of the game, each player must play two copies of each of these effects. The effect a player chooses each round will make all the difference.

X + 2 = I Beat You

Don’t underestimate the importance of Power-Up. Yes it’s the most boring effect you can use. Using a card’s game text multiple times and looking at new cards always trumps basic math. But boosting your undead army’s value can result in winning more fights, and winning fights is pretty damn good. You don’t earn points for how many times you activate Spook’s unearth effect. You earn points by turning opposing undead down, and Power-Up does not mess around when it comes to helping out in this department. Opponents find a Power-Up spirit card incredibly infuriating when both players manage to play similar strategies, because the plus two from the Power-Up spirit card will squeak out victories or break ties.

Once is Good, but Twice is Real Nice

The most successful strategies in Day of the Dead work off of undead fighters with synergistic powers. Once a player fills the field with undead that work together, expect him or her to drop a Double into the spirit zone. Nothing hurts more than your opponent scoring ten points off of Twin copying Hoard because of a Double spirit effect. Try saving your Double effects for later in the game, or when you can set up a situation that pays off big with multiple effects. Look for fighters like Mimic, Spook, Hoard, and Greed to take advantage of doubling. Also try to arrange your fighters so the powerful effects happen first in the chain. If the undead fighters you want to double do not activate until the later turns, this could prevent you from switching your fighter from a loss in an earlier fight because it could switch your spirit effect to something other than Double.

Unearth the Phoenix

A smart player knows when to lose. The Unearth spirit effect can help you win a fight, but most of the time it shines when you want to set up for a bigger turn. Unearth also provides the fastest way to change a fighter for a particular battle. Unearth can allow you to switch a losing Gray into something with a higher value. Depending on what you draw off an unearth effect, you could set up great synergistic set ups like placing a Paranoid next to a Forget. Don’t fear switching out an undead for a new one that has a good effect but will lose the fight. Just make sure you choose an undead that has a spirit effect you may want to switch to during the round. Unearth also provides the best way to improve the quality of your hand, since players are not permitted any type of mulligan in this game.

Did I Just Hear You Say “Get a Free Copy?”

Interested in trying Evan Raisner’s Game?

Check out the Kickstarter page here: Day of the Dead.

Don’t forget to watch the video, ask questions, leave comments, or support the game if you’re interested. Your donation could award you with a free copy, some exclusive promos, and or a limited edition playmat.

Let us know what you think.

If you live in the PA, NJ, or DE area, feel free to contact us at Next Level Card Games and we will try to set up a demonstration.

Ascension: Storm of Souls – A Gamey Proposal

Many guys will describe themselves as non-artistic or uncreative, but these men fail to realize that at least one important life moment presents an unparalleled opportunity for creativity and individuality. Boy takes girl to a scary movie to give her a great excuse to jump into his arms; however, the boy also enjoys seeing the reaction. Guys play tricks all the time on their mate because they want to see the shock and awe and spender of surprising him or her. Positive emotion always trumps negative emotion, and the best creative surprise that will guarantee an emotional reaction is proposing to your partner. Regardless of the style of the proposal, everyone can recognize a good one. It takes careful planning. It takes intimacy.

It takes help.

Alan reached out to Gary Games to make his creative personalized proposal possible, and they delivered in spectacular fashion by creating an original card for the occasion. Check out the video of the proposal.

 

 

I want to thank Justin Gary, Eric Sabre, Ryan O’Connor, Shari Lesser, and everyone at Gary Games for their contribution to this beautiful moment. Let’s not forget to thank Alan and Crystol for sharing this moment with us as well. Best of luck to both of them, but I’m sure they won’t need it. 🙂

Additional Information

For more information about Storm of Souls, check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

Resident Evil Deck Building Game: Best Character

Free. A radical price according to Chris Anderson, but a price people must begin to accept in the future. The future is now. Free is the cost of ammunition for your future arsenal. Free is not the cost of your character.
How Can a Character Have a Cost?
Some characters are more powerful than others. Some people prefer to play as certain characters because of their preferences from the video games. Wagering for characters allows players to choose characters in a fair way, without preventing someone from playing as the character they truly want to play as.
What is Wagering?
A player chosen at random nominates a character and starts the bidding at some amount of declaration points. Players cannot make bids in smaller increments than a half of a point. Players take turns around the table bidding on the character, until every player passes in one round. Players may pass one round of bidding but make a bid later if the same character has not sold. Once a character sells, another player nominates a character to bid on. A player may never nominate a character that has already been sold or a character that has the same name as a character already sold. At the end of the game, players subtract from their score the amount of declaration points they paid to play the character.
Won’t the Board Affect My Choice in a Character?
Below you will find a scenario for the Resident Evil DBG. It lays out which cards compose the mansion deck and which cards players can gain from the center. Check out the details of the scenario below and think about what character you would like to play as during this scenario.
Scenario
World Be Free
  • Outbreak Mode
  • Standard Infection Deck
  • Sets Required: Base, Alliance, and Outbreak
Resource Piles (21 Total)
  • Ammo x10
  • Ammo x20
  • Ammo x30
  • Treasure
  • Parting Ways
  • Any Means Necessary
  • Struggle for Survival
  • Wesker’s Secret
  • The Merchant
  • Uroboros Injection
  • Desperate Escape
  • Fierce Battle
  • Green Herb
  • Red Herb
  • Submission
  • Handgun
    • Burst-Fire Handgun
  • Combat Knife
    • Survival Knife
  • Stun Rod
  • Flash Grenade
    • Grenade Launcher
  • Grenade
  • Flamethrower
Mansion Deck (60 Cards Total)
  • 1x MA-007 Nemesis T-Type
  • 1x MA-012 Rocket Launcher Case
  • 1x MA-013 Gatling Gun Case
  • 3x MA-014 Gatling Gun Majini
  • 3x MA-015 Cerberus
  • 1x MA-016 El Gigante
  • 1x MA-017 Executioner
  • 3x MA-023 Infected Bat
  • 2x MA-025 Duvalia (Las Plagas)
  • 3x MA-028 Kipepeo (Las Plagas)
  • 3x MA-030 Cephalo (Las Plagas)
  • 1x MA-031 Proto Tyrant
  • 2x MA-035 Los Illuminados Monk
  • 3x MA-037 Guardian of Insanity
  • 1x MA-038 Collapsing Floor Traps
  • 1x MA-040 Laser Targeting Device
  • 1x MA-041 Tyrant T-002 {only boss monster}
  • 2x MA-042 Yawn
  • 3x MA-044 Grave Zombie
  • 2x MA-045 Wasp
  • 2x MA-046 Web Spinner
  • 3x MA-047 Reinforced Zombie
  • 2x MA-048 Crimson Head
  • 3x MA-049 Reinforced Licker
  • 3x MA-051 Zombie Cop
  • 1x MA-053 Lisa Trevor
  • 1x MA-054 Kevlar Jacket
  • 2x MA-055 Antivirus
  • 1x MA-056 Laser Trap
  • 1x MA-057 Rock Trap
Characters
William Wallace, The Prince of Mid-Air and George Michael all fit both requirements: they love freedom and they are characters. Unfortunately players cannot play as them in the Resident Evil Deck Building Game (yet!). Of the characters available from the sets used to build this scenario (Base, Alliance, and Outbreak), what character would you play as? Which character do you think is the most powerful on this board? How much would you wager to play as a specific character?
Let us know what you think.
Additional Information
 
For more information about Resident Evil: Outbreak, check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

Ascension: Storm of Souls – Interview with Justin Gary

by Brian Durkin

Later this week Gary Games will release Storm of Souls, the third installment to the hit deck building game Ascension. Storm of Souls adds a new card type and new mechanics to the game. Visit the Ascension Official Website for more details about product information, and how you can receive a copy.

Justin Gary is the lead designer and creator of Ascension. I was lucky enough to ask him several questions about Storm or Souls, game design, organized play, and much more. Below is a copy of our conversation through e-mail.

Interview with Justin Gary

What was you and your design team’s inspiration for the new mechanics featured in Storm of Souls?
Storm of Souls was really the opportunity for us to flourish as a design and development team.  Chronicle of the Godslayer was an introduction to the game, and so we had to keep it as simple as possible.  Return of the Fallen finished that arch and introduced a lot of the mechanics (like Fate) that were originally in the game but pulled to streamline it.  Storm of Souls, as our first full size expansion, really takes Ascension in a new direction, introducing our first new card type (Events) and new Monster type (trophy).  While Storm of Souls is fully playable by itself, it is recommended for generally more sophisticated players, as the mechanics give you a lot more options and interesting decisions to make throughout the game.
What do you hope Storm of Souls will add to the gaming experience that was lacking in previous sets of Ascension?
While I believe each card and mechanic in storm of souls adds a lot to the Ascension game experience as players learn and evaluate the new effects, I believe in particular Trophy Monsters add a ton to the gaming experience.  One of the challenges of the heavy power strategy is that players rarely have a lot of decisions to make on the mid-late turns (i.e. kill biggest monster, buy more power).  Trophy monsters let you decide when you want to get the reward effect, allowing you to strategically plan the best course of action from turn to turn.
What criteria do you and your design team use to gauge and balance the two basic ways a player may build his or her deck (Runes versus Power)?
This is a pretty involved question- the short answer is that we playtest a lot (along with getting feedback from our large playtest group of Ascension fans) to make sure no one strategy is too dominant. 
It took approximately a year to release an expansion to Chronicle of the Fallen. With two new sets out this calendar year, what kind of release schedule should players expect from Gary Games as far as new content for Ascension? How many promos, base sets, and expansions will Gary Games produce each year?
We don’t have a set release schedule- our focus is on quality first, so we will only release a set when we believe it is awesome.  I’m hoping this amounts to about 2 sets a year with enough promos to keep people excited about new content in between, but we aren’t committing to that. 
Gary Games recently announced Organized Play events with top finishers receiving electronics. This type of marketing contains many parallels to the OP of a trading card game. Will the future of organized events and marketing of Ascension model itself like a trading card game? Are these types of events something players should expect on a regular basis, similar to the Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour? Does this type of marketing aim to capture TCG players or provide a service that your company feels is missing from the board gaming community?
Ascension is a game that appeals to both board game players and TCG players, and since our team is made up of many Pro Tour players (and champions), of course we are inspired by that organized play model.  This summer, we had over 140 people come to Gencon to play in our Godslayer tournament- where Aaron Sulla was crowned the Godslayer (and will appear as a card in a future set).  Ascension’s most successful OP program is its Game Day program, where players can get free promo cards by going to their local stores.  We will continue to try different styles of Organized Play with the focus being more about getting people to enjoy hanging out and gaming more so than a focus on the top end prizes. 
Is there any official guidelines for players to build their own custom center decks? Do you have any rules you would like to share with us? What type of conventions should players follow if they want to play with cards from every set, but limit the amount of cards in the center deck? What do you feel the maximum amount of cards players should play with in the center deck?
In general, I recommend keeping a similar rune/power cost ratio to what we currently have – if the acquire/defeat costs get too high, then the game can stall out and won’t be as much fun.  Players can play as many cards as they want – the more cards you have, the more variation you will have from game to game but the less you can rely on key cards coming up to support a given strategy.  Otherwise, I don’t want to restrict players at this point- I built the center deck(s) I think are best already – I’d like to see what fans create and how they work!
One could argue that Lionheart is a almost strictly better version of Nairi, Hedge Queen. How do existing cards affect your team’s ability to design new content? When do previous cards inspire new card designs? Have preexisting cards hampered new content, and if so, what is the solution to fix that problem?

We still have a lot of space to design cards in Ascension and I don’t feel hampered by old designs- Lionheart and Nairi fill different niches in the game, even if they look a bit similar.  Every set is going to need some ratio of cards to fulfill the basic functions of the game (banish cards from deck, banish cards from center row, gain power/runes/honor, etc.) but we like to make each set’s cards combine together in a way that feels coherent and highlight’s that sets mechanics.  The example you mention above shows what I’m talking about.  Nairi was  the first card we made that produced honor but didn’t replace itself or provide any other effects.  Lionheart fills a similar niche but highlights one of the set’s core mechanics (Unite) to make it even more powerful if you build your deck correctly.

Final Thoughts

Storm of Souls will add a lot of great dimension and new levels of strategy to the game. Adding more decision making to power heavy decks is a step in the right direction. Gary Games’ focus on quality versus quantity really shows in the new content in Storm of Souls. Ascension should demonstrate positive growth over the next year or so given the company’s point of view on organized play. The fact that Gary Games organizes events show great initiative to build interest in the product; however, keeping the goal of organized play limited to building interest as oppose to competition for prizes allows the gaming atmosphere to stay friendly and minimizes sharks. So many trading card games have failed in the last several years in part because their OP efforts gave away too many prizes. It shaped a player base that cared about winning stuff as oppose to the product, the actual game players were playing. If players are not already excited about Storm of Souls and Ascension, they should be. The product looks great and the company possess great values for producing quality products and programs.

Special Thanks to Justin for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions.

Special Thanks to Shari for organizing this interview.

How do you feel about Storm of Souls? What kind of organized play would you like to see? Let us know what you think

Additional Information
 
For more information about Storm of Souls, check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

Resident Evil Deck Building Game: How Would You Play This Board? #1

Leon, Sheva, Ada, Rebecca
Below is a suggested scenario to try with a group of friends. You don’t need four players, but it’s recommend. You need the Base Set and the Outbreak expansion in order to play. The details for the scenario are listed below.
Scenario:
Deck Manipulators
Injectin, Wesker’s Secret,
Escape from the Dead City,
Ominous Battle
  • Story Mode
  • Standard Infection Deck
  • Mansion Deck: 40 Cards (list posted below) 
  • Sets Required: Base and Outbreak
  • Players must choose one of the following characters when playing this scenario
Characters and Starting Decks:
Leon S. Kennedy (CH-026)
  • 6x Ammo x10
  • 1x Power of the T-Virus
  • 2x Standard Sidearm
  • 1x Returned Favor
Ada Wong (CH-006)
  • 7x Ammo x10
  • 2x Master of Unlocking
  • 1x Hangun
Sheva Alomar (CH-004)
  • 7x Ammo x10
  • 1x Deadly Aim
  • 2x Bolt-Action Rifle
Rebecca Chambers (CH-010)
  • 7x Ammo x10
  • 1x First Aid Spray
  • 1x Shattered Memories
  • 1x Green Herb

 

Handgun, Assault Machine Gun,
Bolt-Action Rifle, Six Shooter
Actions, Items, and Weapons
  • Injection
  • Item Management
  • Wesker’s Secret
  • Umbrella Corporation
  • The Gathering Darkness
  • Ominous Battle
  • Escape From the Dead City
  • Green Herb
  • Handgun (Burst-Fire Handgun)
  • Assault Machine Gun (Full-Bore Machine Gun)
  • Bolt-Action Rifle (Semi-Automatic Rifle)
  • Six Shooter
The Gathering Darkenss, Green Herb,
Umbrella Corporation,
Item Management
Mansion Deck
  • 1x MA-012 Rocket Launcher Case
  • 1x MA-013 Gatling Gun Case
  • 3x MA-015 Cerberus
  • 1x MA-016 El Gigante
  • 1x MA-017 Executioner
  • 1x MA-041 Tyrant T-002
  • 2x MA-042 Yawn
  • 1x MA-043 Nemesis 2nd Form
  • 3x MA-044 Grave Zombie
  • 2x MA-045 Wasp
  • 2x MA-046 Web Spinner
  • 3x MA-047 Reinforced Zombie
  • 2x MA-048 Crimson Head
  • 3x MA-049 Reinforced Licker
  • 2x MA-050 Grave Digger
  • 3x MA-051 Zombie Cop
  • 2x MA-052 Eliminator
  • 1x MA-053 Lisa Trevor
  • 1x MA-054 Kevlar Jacket
  • 2x MA-055 Antivirus
  • 1x MA-056 Laser Trap
  • 1x MA-057 Rock Trap
  • 3x IT-002 Yellow Herb
Game Ends when someone defeats Tyrant T-002 (MA-041) or when all but one player is eliminated from the game.  Cards that start in a player’s deck that do not have supply piles in the center are removed from the game entirely if an effect removes them from a player’s deck.
What strategy will you use to succeed at the table? Do you think the game state could allow a player to turn into a zombie and still win? Which character would you like to play as? How many negative Decorations would you take in the beginning of the game in order to play as the character you want?
Let us know what you think.
Additional Information
 
For more information about Resident Evil: Outbreak, check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

Penny Arcade the Game – Gamers vs. Evil Strategy: Top Five Gamer Cards

By Brian Durkin
Going green requires an environmentally conscious mind. You need to know how to prioritize the best cards for taking down bosses. The following list breaks down the best tools for cleaning up all the points.
Honorable Mention: Sorcelator
Sorcelator
Although Sorcelator does not provide a lot of tokens or power, Penny Arcade provides players with little options for drawing cards; therefore, anything that draws cards should immediately grab your attention. A card that replaces itself theorethcially keeps your deck size down. This helps players see their best cards more often and sooner because a smaller deck lets players reshuffle faster. Sorcelator also enables players to build strategies that do not focus on just one resource type.
#5: Werewolf with a Top Hat
Werewolf in a Top Hat
Of course you should really only consider a strategy of building up both resource types if this bad boy, I mean wolf, is in play. Werewolf with a Top Hat gives players a huge boost in both resource categories simultaneously. Cards like World’s Biggest Grape seem unplayable when creatures with fancy head gear lurk on the table. Players should consider picking up Werewolves even in a deck dedicated to tokens. Three tokens from one cards still provides a big boost for taking down bosses, and the extra power will come in handy near the end game to pick up some extra points.
#4: Faerie Candymancer
Faerie Candymancer
Another sly way of picking up extra points involves removing negative values from you deck. Nothing rewards you more for deleting PAX Pox then Faerie Candymancer. The mechanic of deleting pops up in every deck building card game, and players should take advantage of it. Remember the benefits of drawing extra cards to keep you deck size down? Well deleting literally keeps your deck size small. The fact that Candymancer provides two tokens as well insures you won’t lose too much purchasing power as you thin out your deck.

#3: Robot Cowboy Angel
Robot Cowboy Angel
You may not need Faerie Candymancer to remove PAX Pox if Robot Cowboy Angel stops you from ever receiving any. This cards shuts down PVP attacks better than anything else in the game. The fact that it discards to draw two actually benefits you when players use an attack card. It also puts you in a position to absorb a hit from Laser Squid if you don’t draw another PVP Defense card. Even if players don’t attack you on their turns, the Robot replaces himself on your turn. You really can’t ask for more. Well you can, but don’t get greedy. The only thing this card doesn’t do is provide the player with tokens.
#2: Pickle Recognition Engine
Pickle Recognition Engine
If the Robot draws you into this card than theoretically it can add a lot of tokens. Players need to dedicate their decks to a Token strategy in order to maximize the benefits of this card. The more green cards you acquire, the better the chances are that this card will always provide five tokens. Since this game does not restrict the amount of cards  you can buy in a turn, you will almost never waste the extra tokens the Pickle Recognition Engine provides. Almost no other card in the game will help you take down Green bosses faster. Almost.
#1: Bat Milk
Bat Milk
Yes. You read this card correctly. It’s the most broken card to ever exist in any deck building card game system. By itself it provides an engine to delete cards from your deck and draw a bunch of cards. Assuming you buy enough copies, this card can lead you to draw your entire deck. When this card hits the table, anyone not playing Gamer will lose. Whoever buys the most copies of Bat Milk usually will win. Some test groups in the area have already nominated banning the card from play because of its negative impact on the game. If your friends still allow it in play, make sure you corner the market on this deadly dairy product.
Do you agree or disagree with this list?

Let us know what you think.

Additional Information

For more information about Penny Arcade: The Game – Gamers vs. Evil, check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.

If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Deck Building Game Strategy – Tips and Tricks to Win in any Scenario

By Brian Durkin

Different starting flagships for different scenarios
Star Trek TNG (The Next Generation) adds several new features and variants to the DBG (Deck Building Game) genre. Except for Resident Evil, no other DBG can compete with Star Trek’s several different types of play: Exploration, Borg Invasion, and Klingon Civil War scenarios. Each of these different scenarios forces players to adjust their strategies, but some general rules still apply. Besides general DBG strategy, the Star Trek DBG demands that its players learn how to exploit certain parts of the game.
Diplomatic Immunity
No matter what cards make up the Space Deck, you need to add cards to your deck that provide Diplomacy. Upgrading your flagship gives you the best chance of victory. Think of swapping to a new ship as a way to bank the bonuses you accumulated in one turn, and then you use those bonuses every turn after that! The winner of the Exploration scenario usually comes down to one of the first people who won a diplomacy battle. In order to defeat stronger Borg Cubes, players will need stronger ships. Even though the Klingon Civil War scenario provides many different ways for players to boost their stats in combat, winning a diplomacy battle to change your flagship still pushes you ahead. Every player needs to prioritize cards that provide Diplomacy.
Examples of cards with Diplomacy
The Search for Spock
No matter how many plus searches you receive in a turn, you will never find Spock (remember this is Piccard Trek); however, don’t forget about your free search every turn. This game mechanic allows players to mix up the board so they can try and find that one card they need. It’s a great way to dig for cards with Diplomacy, or remove them from play so other players can’t gain them. Don’t fret about hitting a Barkon Wormhole. When playing against several opponents, you cannot rely on a card staying in the Starbase Search Area. Too many cards will leave play because of searches or players gaining them. I recommend using every instance of search available to you in a turn and to search away characters over maneuvers and set ups (some exceptions apply to this rule). I prefer to clear the Starbase Search Area of characters because only one copy of any character exists in the deck. By removing them  you eliminate the possibility of any player gaining the card until the deck reshuffles.
Tricorder and  Barzan Wormhole
Space … The Final Frontier
Examples from the
Exploration Scenario
These are the decisions of any starship player. It’s continuing dilemma, to explore into possible death, to not explore and miss out on new missions and new ships, to boldly explore where no wimp has gone before. Never forget to explore when you should, but how do you know when to explore? This really comes down to the scenario, but as a general rule of thumb explore any time your starship has significant Speed and Diplomacy. The Space Deck always contains fifteen starships you can take over in a diplomacy battle. You really shouldn’t explore in the Exploration scenario unless you think you can win a diplomacy battle. You can try and rack up points by exploring with just high Speed and Attack; however, the high variance of different requirements for missions makes predicting what you need difficult. Revealing missions also just makes the next player’s turn that much stronger, because he or she has more information and can possibly work towards completing the missions in play. Winning a Diplomacy Battle against a powerful starship will put any player in a position to explore freely for the rest of the game, so I recommend only exploring when you’re ready to take over ships. Players should explore more often in the Klingon Civil War versus the Exploration scenario. Most of the cards do not harm players and players won’t keep missions in play for their opponents to complete. You could win the lottery and hit an Influence card.
Examples of friendly cards from Klingon Civil War
Want to influence the discussion? Do you players could use more pointers?
Let us know what you think in the comment section below.
Additional Information

For more information about Star Trek the Next Generation Deck Building Game, check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.

If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

Gosu Strategy: Back to Basics

By Brian Durkin
Do you like Race for the Galaxy? Do you like the mechanics and card interactions of a trading card game? Do you like goblins? Well then Gosu is the game for you. Even if you don’t fit into any of the above categories, Gosu provides a unique gaming experience that all board game players should try out. Players need to demonstrate tight resource management in order to succeed in this game. How do you do that?
Cards in Hand?
Mind

A frequent question in high level tournament play, the amount of cards in a player’s hand equals his available resource pool in Gosu. Cards are everything. You need them to pay costs. The more cards you hold, the more options you have available to you. Most importantly, without any cards you probably don’t have any plays! The simplest way to keep your hand size up comes from draw effects. Unlike other games, Gosu does not have a standard draw phase; therefore, you must rely on abilities to replenish your hand. Mind provides one of the most effective ways in balancing the scales. If you’re almost out of cards and your opponent(s) hold a hand full, slap this guy on the table and the game will change fast.
Sometimes You Must Go Minus to Go Plus
Goblins with (+1) abilities

Many goblins give you bonus effects and draw you extra cards if your opponent(s) have more victory points than you. Take notice of how many of these types of goblins you draw. With a grip of several of these types of goblins, you may want to concede a round or two and maximize their benefit. The additional cards from these characters will sometimes push you over the edge, allowing you to take a commanding position after initially falling behind. Be careful of discard effects from you opponent. When you pass early, a hand disruption strategy will foil your ability to hold all these types of goblins for more epic turns in the next round.
The Rainbow Tastes Bad
Leave your craving for Skittles at home. Attempting to support all five colors of goblins on your field will inevitably cost you too many cards. You may end up with every color after several mutations or in the final round of the game, but this should happen by accident. Do not plan to support every color. The cost of discarding extra cards for each level one goblin and mutating several times to achieve this goal with not return an appropriate amount of utility to your army. Focus on no more than three colors.
Level Three Goblins with Draw Abilities

Don’t Block the Box
When concentrating on a couple of colors, avoid filling up your first and second row too quickly. Take advantage of the mutate mechanic, and always leave space for level one goblins that will not cost you anything. Take a look at the picture below. Assume you have Meka Goblin Fiddler in the first position, Ancient Goblin Psi in the second position, and Meka Goblin Scout on the end. Instead of discarding two cards to play Fire Goblin Teleporter in the fourth slot, mutate out Meka Goblin Fiddler. Both ways will cost you two cards, but now you leave yourself with two spots open to play three different colors of goblins for free. Since Meka Goblin does not have a mutate power, you don’t even have to worry about not maximizing his effect.
Replacing Meka Goblin Fiddler with Fire Goblin Teleporter
by paying the mutate cost.

Mutation from the Grave
Dark Goblin Avenger

Knowing when and how to mutate your level one goblins will preserve several cards in your hand throughout the game. Most level one goblins mutate for two cards, but all level one goblins with zombie mutation require three cards. I recommend that you avoid mutating a dark goblin with zombie mutation unless you actually use the effect to switch to a goblin from the discard pile. You cost yourself an extra card compared to the other level one goblins. A player needs three cards to perform a standard mutation on a goblin with a mutation cost of two (two cards to discard and the goblin in hand that will replace the old one). A level one goblin with a zombie mutation cost of three costs a player four cards if they replace him with a goblin in his or her hand (three to discard and the replacement); however, replacing it with a goblin from the discard pile only costs a player three cards, allowing the player to preserve a card in hand.
Is This Material Immaterial?
Some people might argue that some of the advice here splits hairs. A gamer might say, “Well what if the goblin in my hand is the best guy to mutate into play versus my options in the discard pile for zombie mutating?” I want to stress that many games, including Gosu, require some kind of “game time decision,” where no handbook or guidelines will explain every move. Just keep in mind that a couple of cards can cost anyone from winning, so make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to maximize the cards in your hand.
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Additional Information

For more information about Gosu check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.

If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with just about anyone. Many gamers know how to play this game and enjoy playing with anyone.

WBC Coverage: Dominion Finals with Randy Buehler

By Brian Durkin

If someone wagered with another spectator over who would win the Dominion Championship, that person better hope they did not bet with someone from the MTG community. Those players know Mr. Buehler is a force to be reckoned with. Skipping a finals for another board game, Magic: the Gathering Hall of Famer Randy Buehler wins the Dominion Championship at the 2011 World Boardgaming Championship. Check out the video below to see how he overcame the competition, which included Dominion Strategy Founder Edward Fu.

 

 

Additional Information

Interested in the World Boardgaming Championship? Check out the link.
For more information about Dominion check the product page on BoardGameGeek.com.
Or check out Edward Fu’s site: Dominion Strategy
If you live in the tri-state area, consider the following stores to pick up a copy and or play with local players.