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Welcome back.  I really don’t know how many Savage Worlds posts there should be at this time.  I just know that I haven’t kept up on every single one.  I am trying to do so, as this is a post from yesterday’s game.

The party met once again to try to have lots of fun, and apparently try to see if they could adequately show the other people in the game store how to have a good time while gaming.

Eric pointed out a CCG play mat and, it almost made me think that I needed to start playing CCG’s.  Almost.  Now, if I only had a reason to have a ginormous mouse pad at work.

I texted a picture of this to my 18 year old son, who does play Magic The Gathering.  I asked him if he needed a cool play mat.  He responded “is it regulation sized?”  Now that is something that never occurred to me.

Something cool that could be used in a game to show your awesome sense of self…  “is it regulation sized?”

And that is where I realized that I don’t need to play any game where the rules of play are more important than the swag you bring to the table.  Gavin and other MTG players have told me stories about how the card sleeves need to be “regulation”.  Bleh.  Give me a game where the primary need is to have fun, not to insure that your cards are properly sleeved.

MTG may be fun.  I have played it a few times, but some of the people I have played with are over the top competitive.  If you come into the game store for a few games on a MTG night, you never know if you are going to find a person who just wants to have fun, or if you have a person across the table who all about winning.

I played Netrunner, Lord of the Rings and Call of Cthulhu LCG for a several years.  I haven’t kept up on these for the last two or three years.  I like the format of a LCG over a CCG.  The main difference is, the CCG’s are all random draw.  You buy a packet of cards and you get 12 or 15 random cards.  Sometimes they are awesome.  Sometimes, they have nothing that you can work with for the deck or decks that you are playing.  Sometimes, you get a card in your random draw which is supposed to be worth big money, but unless you know someone who really wants that card, you either hang on to it, hoping to find the right person, or you trade it at a CCG shop, who gives you something like 15% or 20% of what the Internet says the cash value says (if you are lucky) or you trade it for another card where you trade it in for 20 to 35% of the “cash value”.

Most of the trades that I see in the CCG game stores involve a very excited person coming in saying “I have the ultra rare “Pepe” card!  The Internet says it is worth $200!

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To which the person on the other side of the counter responds either with one or more of the following:

  • We already have 16 of those in stock, and we will only give you $0.11 for it
  • That is cool, but only the foil Pepe is worth $200.  You have the common Pepe, which is actually only worth $0.05
  • Those only work in combo with Eternal Witness and Followed Footsteps.  If you had all three of those, we would buy all three from you for $0.35, but what we really need is at least four complete sets of Pepe with Eternal Witness and Followed Footsteps, which would be worth $0.75 in cash, or $0.94 in trade.
    • Check the math, this is actual MTG trade in value math from what I hear at the game stores
  • Yeah, those were powerful last quarter, but this coming quarter, WOTC is focusing on the new Pink deck which is a one time breast cancer special deck color.  This new deck color is supposed to smash Pepe into the ground, so it will be useless in 2 weeks.
  • Oh, you looked this morning on the Internet, and found that Pepe was worth $200?  Let’s check and see what the current value is…  checking…  “Wow, the Internet says it is only worth $0.99 now, I hope you didn’t invest a lot in that card.”

Or some other such thing.

So I see people buying entire boxes of MTG cards, or Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh, or Luchador A Go Go cards hoping that their investment of $300 for the box will yield enough cards to make their deck work better, and then they will be able to sell off the cards they don’t need to make up the balance of the $300 box.

Now, looking at my bookshelf of RPG books, I am in no position to poke at anyone who spends hundreds of dollars on their MTG deck.  After all, we all geek out in our own ways.  What I don’t like about MTG your success is based on two or three factors.

  • How much money you spend on your deck monthly to keep ahead of all of the new cards?
  • Can you balance your deck so that you get your overkill cards out faster than your opponent can get their overkill cards out?
  • Are you a complete and utter dick / asshole?
    • Yes, that seems to matter.  There are way too many MTG players who revel in exceptional poor sportsmanship, hooting and hollering when they play their card out and revel in destroying your cards on the field, and then when they win, they go out of their way to show their prowess of the 43 different ways that their deck would have smashed you regardless of how your deck played

Now this is a complete over simplification and exaggeration of how some MTG players are when they play.  But after reading my diatribe above, you really must agree that you have seen people who play this way.

Now getting back to a previous thread.  Luchador A Go Go CCG.  Now that could be fun if it existed.  Mexican wrestler CCG.

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Tell me you wouldn’t want to play a playing card game with art like:

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and

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That would be awesome!

Anyhow, I was rambling on about CCG’s, and how I like LCG’s better.

LCG’s are different than CCG’s in several respects.  First, LCG’s are “living card games”, as opposed to “collectible card games”  The primary difference is that everyone buys the same base box set for the game, then you can keep up and all have the same deck opportunities if you all buy every single expansion for the game.

Sounds good right?  Well, kind of.  I got into FFG’s Call of Cthulhu LCG after it had been out for several years.  The cards were still available at $15 per pack.  Now, FFG did spike the deal by making sure that if you bought one $40 box set, that you would have enough base cards to build about 1/3 of each deck you would need for the base game, but for 7 different factions.  That means that if you really wanted to be competitive for the base game, you need to purchase 3 base games, and then buy one of each and every expansion.  If you didn’t, you would show up to a CoC LCG tournament, and get your head handed to you.

Now, FFG’s Call of Cthulhu is awesome.  The game works such that in order to score victory points, you have to chose whether you want to hurt yourself more than you hurt your opponent, or just hurt yourself more than you hurt your opponent.  Yes, you read that right.

FFG’s Netrunner was pretty cool also.  I played that for about 2 years.  I played with a cool group of people. But the difference between me and the other people playing was I didn’t look on the Interwebs to figure out how to optimize my cards to be the perfect killing machine.  I wanted to experiment on my own.  The other players all went to the Interwebs, found the ultimate way to build their factions, and…. instant death for Rob’s faction.  So after a couple of years of this, I got tired of getting my ass handed to me.  I liked the people, but I sucked at the game.  I liked the game also, I just sucked.

Now, FFG’s Lord of the Rings was another awesome game.  I played that for several years.  It had the advantage that the mechanic could be played as a solo game.  I was working a job where I had every other Friday off, and the kids were in school and Molly was working.  I spent my Fridays’ playing LOTR LCG, and really liked it.  There were two problems with the LOTR LCG.  One was that there was really no rhyme or reason to how to store the cards.  Each monthly pack included a big wad of cards which needed to be worked into the player’s deck for that specific adventure, but they could also be useful for future adventures.  The problem was keeping all of the factions and bad guys cards straight.

The other problem with the LOTR LCG was that it was insanely hard to win.  After losing a bunch of games, I would put it up for a month or so and play other games until LOTR called me back.  There were so many mechanics in the game that would kill you, it was almost not fun.  The artwork, story, and mechanics were awesome, but it kicked my ass so many times, that I haven’t touched it for the last few years.

Now there are other non CCG / LCG games which I also enjoy.  The Pathfinder adventure card game is a lot of fun.  It is a very light RPG type of game with cards and dice.  It has a twitchy mechanic, where you all play against the game.  That is fun enough, but it gets repetitive and old if you play too many games in a row, and don’t mix something else in with it.  The other problem with the Pathfinder ACG series is that the decks are really crappy.  I bought some of the expansions for the first box, and found that some of the cards in the expansions were cut to a different size than the main box.  I understand what happened.  Paizo published the game, and it was a runaway hit.  They had to go to another printer to get more cards out, and the sizes were different.  Slightly so, but slightly is enough to notice.

The other problem with the Paizo cards is that they are incredibly cheap.  If you planned to play the game more than a couple of times, you need to sleeve the cards, all of them.  I found that trying to gently shuffle the cards without sleeving them resulted in most of them starting to show wear.  The edges would chip, and dent.

Now I am pretty anal about my games.  I didn’t keep good care of my games when I was a kid.  I went to my friends houses, and stuffed game boxes and RPG books / modules into my backpack, knocked them around.  I was tough on my games.

I am anal now about keeping my shit in good condition.  I just about leap out of my chair to swat a person who is bending a poker card at a Savage Worlds game.

I am very careful about what I do with my games.  When I carefully shuffle the cards, and the cards are showing wear on the third hand of the first game, there is something really wrong with the production value of the product.  I get it, Paizo has to find the balance between production costs and the ultimate price point on the box.  Figure in the cost of shipping, distribution, and the end retail sales, Paizo probably sells the $60 base box for about $15, and that need to include the printing costs in China and the long boat ride to the US.

For the record, I am OK with paying an extra $10 or $20 for better quality components.  You hear me Paizo?

The games I really like are card drafting games like Dominion, Ascension, Star Realms and the sort.  These games make the player start out with a crummy hand, and then they draft their hand to improve it on the fly against the current resources.  This makes you think on the fly as to how you are going to create a victory condition for you that will work while all your opponents are trying to do the same.

But enough blather about LCG’s, CCG’s and drafting CG’s (DCG?)

We were there to play Savage Worlds, an RPG.  There are cards here, but it is just a poker deck along with the deus ex machina cards for the players.

Now, I know that I have prattled on for a long time here about what different games mean to me, and you, dear reader would like to know just what the hell happened on Saturday, but I have to rant about something.

You see, Shari and Collin brought Oreo Peeps cookies.

There are three things that I despise more than CCG’s.

These include:

  • Marshmallow
  • Shortening based frosting
  • shell pasta

Now, Oreo cookies have shortening based frosting, and these are mocking me with their Peeps based marshmallow insides.

Marshmallow comes from Satan’s anus.  There is no other possible explanation.  IT is vile, and an abomination.

And after some searching on the Internet, I found a kindered spirit, at least when it came to the issue of the filling of an Oreo cookie.  My dislike of shortening based frosting includes the issue of store bought cake, where the frosting leaves a greasy residue in your mouth.  Bleh.

I can’t explain why I dislike shell pasta.  There is no specific thing that I can point to.  It is just disgusting.  The concept of mouth feel is important.  I knew a guy who couldn’t stand bread.  I dislike shell pasta.

Anyhow, Sue was back from her trek to Oklahoma.  Maybe it was Arkansas, maybe it was Missouri.  I don’t know, it was a southern state that was not home.  But Sue came back, and brought a special gift for Shari.

Now, I am not sure where exactly the following happened.  The session on last Saturday was one extended “Sue is back!” celebration.  I am not sure what specifically set it off, but the entire session needed some margaritas, maybe some other type of tropical foo foo drinks with pineapple chunks and umbrellas.

There was no reigning in the players.  At one point, I am trying to keep the adventure going, and Mike and Collin start into a dance routine.  I think this was where Shari decided that her character needed to open up boxes of cereal and dump the contents out so she could turn the bags inside the cereal boxes into jelly fish for a song and dance routine.

Pretty soon, I see Mike and Collin doing a dance routine, snapping their fingers, like they were out of Cats, or a Streetcar Named Desire.   I tried to get some video, but Mike and Collin became shy.


I am not really sure of what happened other than that.  I was caught up in the overall excitement of Sue being back.  We ad all hoped that her presence would help keep the group on track.  Her presence didn’t help.  Not at all.  It was 4 hours of…. something?

Anyhow, in a brief recap of the game, since it is the first nice weekend of the year, and I want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather for a little while before we have Easter dinner.

The party left the church, and the RV was very full of people.  All of the NPC’s from the church who survived came with the party.   The RV included the sick little girl.  Sue decided that she should check out the little girl, to make sure that she was OK.

I took Sue aside, and explained to her that even though she was a nurse, it was important for the story that no one know if she is bitten or just sick.  Sue played well with that.  We decided that the father would keep a close eye on the nurse, and anytime the nurse got too close, the father would freak out.

Eric decided that the best thing to do would be to isolate the girl and her father in the bedroom.

The father comes out from the bedroom, and Eric decides that he is going to take a close look at the girl.  The girl’s father is having none of this.  He hits Eric.  Eric pulls out his Desert Eagle pistol and shoots, and misses.  He shoots a 1 on his hit die, which results in the random shooting of another person.  Eric drops old Joe, the Vietnam Veteran.  The old man man with a cane.  Joe is now  a corpse.

At this point, Collin slams on the brakes of the RV.  After all, shooting off a Desert Eagle handgun in an RV travelling 40 mph is not normal.  Collin fails his drive roll, and the vehicle pitches and all of the cupboards open up, spilling plastic cups, Correlle plates, and cans of food.  All of the players and NPC characters slam into the side, causing the RV to almost turn over.  The RV hits the guardrail and does severe body damage.  Luckily none of the damage will keep the RV from moving.

Joe is still dead.

Brian decides that he is going to drag Joe’s body out, before he can turn to a zombie.  Brian pulls the body through the cans of food, dragging the food with him.  No one else thought that was a good idea.  They needed to get rid of the body, but keep the food.  Shari’s character punches Brian’s character.  Brian responds that he is going to kill her with a gun.  Now, the party thought that this was not a good resultant force for a grown man (named Jesus no less) to shoot an 8 year old girl after the 8 year old girl punches Jesus for trying to pull a body through the cans of food possibly wasting them by having the food drug out of the RV by the legs and body of the corpse.

It takes a while, but Brian finally agreed that shooting an 8 year old girl with a shotgun for punching him was probably not the best solution.

The party continues for a while.  The little girl comes out all sweaty.  Everyone thinks she may be a zombie.  Before she speaks, some of the players make a notice roll, and sees that she is crying.The first two players in order of initiative don’t say anything.  Bill, notices, but initially doesn’t say anything.  After realizing it may be important, he announces to everyone that she is crying, and zombies don’t cry.

Everyone stands down, and the party rearranges everything in the RV as they continue on.

After a while, the party comes to Jacksonville, or at least what was Jacksonville.  They see a tall chain link fence with barbed wire on the top, with a bunch of tents inside.

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As they stop the RV, they see a human wave come crushing towards the fence, behind them are soldiers firing guns into the air. Behind them are waves of fast moving zombies. These zombies move faster than anything the party has every seen before.  Before, there was the zombie baby, which was pretty nasty.  These fast zombies are even nastier.

The human wave hits the fence, with the lead people being crushed from behind.  The fence collapses and the human wave crashes forth.

The wave of people and soldiers crush past the RV.  Hands pound on the van.  Bill lets in six soldiers who immediately demand that the party drop their weapons.  They do.

Just as things are getting bad, a military humvee crashes into the RV, flipping the RV on the side.  Everyone takes multiple fatigue points.  They have to run as fast as they can, following the soldiers.

Long story short, the party runs up a hill with the sprinting zombies behind.  They just make it to a grocery distribution center, break in, and discover a fully stocked warehouse.  Inside the warehouse are 40 civilians and 4 soldiers.  Everyone rests, then agrees that they need to find some medicine for the little girl who miraculously was also able to outrun the sprinting zombies even though she had a high fever and was uber sick.

Next week:

We switch to some D&D.

 

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