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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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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

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

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
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.

WBC Coverage: Dominion Semifinals

By Brian Durkin

Some say that second place is the first loser. Not in my book. Laura Dewalt doesn’t believe in that saying either. Extremely proud and happy with her accomplishment in the Dominion Tournament at the World Boardgaming Championship, Laura sits down with me to discuss her strategies in the final two rounds of the event. By the way, the finals are stacked: An avid board gamer who’s attended the WBC since the beginning (quite an exclusive club of approximately ten or twenty members), Edward Fu (yeah he’s the guy who runs, and Randy Buehler (Magic: the Gathering Hall of Famer who skipped a finals for another game to keep playing Dominion). Laura had no problem killing most of this tough crowd. She what she had to say about her strategies for playing Dominion in the video below.


Additional Information

Interested in the World Boardgaming Championship? Check out the link.
For more information about Dominion check the product page on
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.

Ascension Strategy: How to Win Solo Games

By Brian Durkin

Snapshot of Today’s Challenge

“The bickering that came in war’s wake must end. A Godslayer must take up arms a second time. The Fallen has returned.” – Ascension: Return of the Fallen Rulebook
Are you ready to fight once again? Are you prepared to do this journey alone? In order to tank a god you will need to know what support cards will allow you to slay the mighty Samael. Before entering the ring with The Fallen, draw upon your experience for guidance.

Arbiter of the Precipice
If It Works Then Don’t Fix It
Minimizing your deck size still pays off during solo play. Samael can acquire points fast, so banishing alone will not make your deck degenerate; however, you still need to see your best cards as often as possible to keep pace with The Fallen. If banishers do not present appear try acquiring constructs or heroes that draw cards. This strategy at least keeps your deck from theoretically growing. Building your deck this way will exploit a powerful hero and allow you to defeat a god.
Find the Achilles Heel
In order to defeat any enemy you must know his weaknesses. In solo play, Samael suffers from his inability to choose which cards to defeat or acquire. Take advantage of his tunnel vision by planning on cards to come back to you on future turns. For example you may need to prioritize acquiring Arbiter of the Precipice in a game with other humans, but Samael cannot take Arbiter until it finds its way to the end of the center row. You might find it difficult to break your normal habits of play at first, but remember that taking on a god requires some new ways of thinking. You need to exploit every advantage, especially anything that involves the center row and what Samael will defeat and acquire.
God Complex
Askara of Fate

If you can manipulate what cards Samael will take at the end of your turns you put yourself in a great position to win the game. Prioritize cards like Seer of the Forked Path and Askara of Fate. Effects that banish cards from the center row allow you to control everything in solo play: what cards Samael acquires, what monsters Samael defeats, how long the game will take to play. Assuming you do not defeat monsters yourself, preventing Samael from defeating monster through banish effects extends how long the game will last. This puts you in a great position to acquire better cards than Samael and ultimately score more honor tokens.
When to Let Samael Tap Out
Combining all the fore mentioned strategies can create degenerate scenarios. If you banish your entire starting deck, acquire only constructs and heroes that draw cards, manipulate the center row so no one defeats monsters, and earn more honor than Samael through acquiring cards you could theoretically continue the punishment forever. Of course eventually the deck or center row will consist of only monsters. You might find yourself in a situation where the last honor tokens must go to someone; however, that does not mean the game will end. Hopefully through your expert control of the board and deck building you assembled a deck that can take infinite turns. Do not know about this combo? Check it out.
Infinite Turn Combo
  • Banish Tablet of Time’s Dawn
  • Hedron Link Device or play Dimension Diver
  • Use Reclamax’s effect
  • Replay Tablet of Time’s Dawn
  • Repeat

You can insure the combo works on a consistent basis with other support cards. Rocket Courier X-99 makes it so you do not need to draw Tablet of Time’s Dawn and replay it because it will start in play again. Any player able to take infinite turns will usually pilot a deck that draws itself every turn as well. Lucky for you the almighty Samael just consumes and does not understand which cards he should take away from you. Punish his ignorance by taking the banish effect cards. With a deck that decreases size over time and controlling the board you will end up in a position where you might score infinite honor tokens. Be the better god and mercy rule Samael. You need to finish up that game somehow so you go tell your friends about it.
Today’s Challenge
You start a solo game. You open with the five Apprentices and the center row contains the following cards in order from their distance from the center row.
  • Arbiter of the Precipice
  • Askara of Fate
  • Wolf Shaman
  • Snap Dragon
  • Hectic Scribe
  • Tablet of Time’s Dawn

What would you acquire first? How do the cards Samael will acquire affect your decisions? What do you acquire on your second turn? Do you play in a way that attempts to prevent Samael from acquiring Tablet of Time’s Dawn?
Let us know what you think.
Additional Information:
For more information about Ascension: Return of the Fallen, check the product page on
Interested in purchasing a copy of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer? Try the following links.
You can purchase Ascension: Return of the Fallen from here:
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Almost every staff member knows how to play, and most of the MTG community that hangs out in the store enjoys playing pick up games as well.

Alternate Universes – Ascension

Nightfall Strategy: Using Diplomacy to Win Games


Brian (Left) and Summer (Right) playing a game of
Nightfall against other people
Have you played a game of Risk were the group did not stop the one player who dominated the table? Did you ever trash talk so much in a game of Hearts that someone went out of his or her way to screw you over? Were you ever the first person eliminated from a game of Commander because everyone at the table hates your general?
If these scenarios happen to you then you need to review some basic tips about how to play a game involving multiple opponents. Succeeding at multiplayer games requires a certain set of transferable skills that will help increase your ability to win; furthermore, Nightfall plays best with more than two people, making it a great game to use as an example. As everyone remembers from Survivor, you need to make alliances to survive.
Common Enemy
The easiest way to make friends comes from helping one player take down another player; however, the player that you help gang up on will not forget who you allied with. Try to make sure the opponent you gang up on either does not pose a real threat to you or demonstrates clear signs of pulling ahead of everyone else at the table. When picking on the leader, other players will support your alliance and consider it not as threatening. Always keep an eye on your perceived power level and score because the rest of the table might find you as the common enemy.
Brian (Left) and Summer (Right) discuss how to take
down an opponent’s army of minions
The Little Red Dot
Nobody ever wants to see one of those on their forehead. If you start smashing on everyone at the table, they will all aim their rifles at you. Sometimes you need to avoid a battle to win the war. Staying quiet helps your chances at placing high among a group of people. If you do not show up on their radar, they will not think of attacking you. Do not take an oath of silence, especially when players ask for your help. This could violate the common enemy principle. People who play multiplayer games do not forget who screws them over and who chose not to help. Pick your battles wisely and try to learn which conflicts you can afford to act as Switzerland. Try not to abuse this strategy either. Some people will attack you just for appearing too quiet, as if your opponents sense a storm brewing.
Brian (Left) hopes that Summer (Right) does not notice
his five minions in play
Attention Versus Power Level
Anyone who can master this relationship will succeed in weathering the storm of multiplayer games. You need powerful cards to defeat multiple opponents, but powerful cards could force the table to gang up on you out of fear that you will grow too powerful. In Nightfall, I advise not advertising or developing the best combo at the table. In the first few turns all the players will notice how everyone’s decks will turn out. The group will come to a consensus on which player they believe poses the most dangerous threat and the group will make an extra effort to attack that player. Make sure the cards in your deck can help you survive, help other players when needed, and can deal damage when opportunities present themselves. The increased power level of cards in Nightfall appears to generate a diminishing returns affect depending on how many players you play with.
Brian (Left) reacts with fear as Summer (Right) resolves
an impressive chain that includes three Tag Team Takedowns
Nightfall does not allow players to count how many wounds each player’s deck contains. Unless you can count cards well, you need to guesstimate the approximate score of the players. Most people factor into this guess what they think the scores will look like in future turns. This evaluation hurts players who sprint into first early on in the game. Players who cannot count every single card between four or five players tend to overcompensate attacking or hurting the perceived leader. You can win many games of Nightfall with subpar cards if you stay quiet, help your opponents to build alliances, and seek out less devastating combos.
Brian (Left) celebrates a victory as Summer (Right) sits
confused how her powerful deck received so many wounds
Do you feel diplomacy plays a big part in Nightfall? Do you think the best cards always win or will the best politics prevail? Share your thoughts about how table talk and other outside the game strategies affect the outcomes of multiplayer games.
Let us know what you think.
Additional Information
For more information about Nightfall check the product page on
Interested in purchasing a copy of Nightfall? Try the following links.
Amazon: Nightfall.
If you live in the tri-state area, consider stopping by AU to pick up a copy and play with the staff. Most of them make up my play test group. We play usually every Monday.