I headed down to Element Games in Stockport on Tuesday night (one of my regular FLGS haunts) for a casual constructed event. We had eight players and we’re playing three rounds of Swiss, 45 minutes a round, best of three.
It was a strong turnout and it’s definitely a growing scene. It’s tremendous to see an increasing reliable core community building up as some more new faces start to come along and they start to become regular faces. Onwards & upwards.
I played my version of a “Johnny Swarm” team (you can find the team overview HERE) with the ‘Millenium Puzzle’ swapped out for a ‘Storm – Wind Rider’ (As per one of my reflections from a previous event I attended, re-capped HERE). I’m considering this team for Nationals in June so thought a bit of practice with it wouldn’t go amiss.
Round 1 – Win
My first round was against a brand new face and, honestly, was more of a tutorial session than a round. My opponent (Rob) was playing for the very first time (at an event no less) so we went good & steady. I fielded some of his questions and helped him out as much as could.
I love helping out the new blood and hope that I set Rob off with a good start to DiceMasters – so much so he sticks with it.
It seemed to be the case: as a seasoned gamer Rob picked things up quick and after a few initial rounds of finding his feet I was definitely getting a run for my money. He had some characters out with some pretty solid stats and my dice rolls were not being favourable. Rob landed some firm, beefy combat hits and had weakened my Weenies with ‘Emma Frost – Graceful’.
I pulled through in the end though and took the wins for my games of the first round. My Plan B move of pinging ‘Hulk – Green Goliath’ to clear the board (with ‘Johnny Storm’s’ character aimed burn when I field a character) meant I could take the ‘Hulk’ and a small squad of weenies across an open field to take the lead in the games and win the round.It was close – and I was pleased to see a new player make the games a narrow win for me.
Round 2 – Win
My next opponent (Si) was fielding a ‘Human Torch – Johnny Storm’ centric team also.
While I was using the Swarming weenies as my mechanic to feed my Johnny Storm burn machine Si was utilising a neat little trick with ‘Angel – Air Transport’ to feed his by fielding ‘Angel’ and then plucking a sidekick from his used pile.
My team’s Plan B ‘Hulk’ play was the route to my success here but I really had to hold my nerve while I lined it up. Si was managing to whittle me down with burn fielding sidekicks efficiently as I failed to burn him down with dodgy rolls.
Eventually though, all came through as intended. Here’s the scoreboard, screen-capped off my life tracker app, at the moment the ‘Hulk’ did his thing in the first game for the win:
After clearing Si’s field, surrounded by a horde of little ones, the ‘Hulk’ charged through and 20 points of damage was dealt in one foul swoop.
The second game went much the same way. my nerve was once again tested as I sweated through some damage before I had ramped up through Swarm for my ‘Hulk’. This time though I had a better time of getting my own ‘Johnny Storm’ damage in and achieved my win much quicker.
It had been brutal, but I managed closed it in the end, once again with the mighty power of ‘Hulk – Green Goliath’.
Round 3 – Tie
My third opponent, Guy, was playing a Control-style team that was loaded up with cards designed to limit my choices and some muscle to put the pressure on.
One card that really slowed me down was ‘Professor X – Principal’. I had never realised how restrictive locking out your opponent’s re-rolls could be – I was painfully paying two life a turn to get a re-roll as I repeatedly chased my ‘Human Torch’ and failed to roll it time and time again.
In fact – the absence of a re-roll really hit me hard as I was struggling to get a character out at all, and it took aaaaaaages to get a ‘Kobold’ and ‘Goblin’ die in the field to get the swarm gametext going.
To really top it off – whenever I did get one or two characters out Guy was clearing them out with attacks from ‘Storm – Goddess of the Plains’.
I genuinely thought it was over and had all but given up hope – but all was not lost though, and eventually it all came together. My decision to pay the two life for my re-rolls was soon justified and the Plan B ‘Hulk’ maneuver was pulled off to perfection once again. (which, with its frequency of play, is perhaps really Plan A!) Guy was left a bit dumbfounded by the move (I don’t think he’d seen that particular ‘Hulk’ before) as he watched three separate hits to my ‘Hulk’ deal a total of nine damage to each character in the field. (Take that ‘Professor X – Principal’!)
The second game of the round was much closer. My rolls went a bit smoother and more in my favour – so I was direct damaging each turn as much as Guy was sneaking through combat damage. We finished with exactly five life each after five rounds following time.
I finished up the event in the top spot – the second event in which the team I’m considering for Nationals has done so.
To put the icing on the cake; when I opened up the boosters I had won I pulled this big guy:
No better way to spend a Tuesday night.
BTW – any keen-eyed regular readers wondering where my awesome Mr Six custom mat is watch this space – the journey to further customise my DiceMasters experience will be blogged about soon!
Any thoughts & reflections?
“Plan B” is in fact “Plan A” The board-clearing might of ‘Hulk – Green Goliath’ has now directly contributed to winning 7/9 formal games played with this team. He isn’t just my back up plan, he is the plan. Most of the time, if I can hold my nerve until I can ramp up & field him, he’s almost a dead cert. for a win, and I’ve been totally relying on that. I think it’s time to consider just purchasing him at the first opportunity to do so.
Still not used ‘Jinzo’ #justsaying. I need to put some thought into this guy – I’ve played in two events at two different stores with my list, and in a handful of casual games, and am yet to field him.
He’s a bit on the costly side, but I don’t think that’s the issue. I just don’t think Globals & Actions are all that prevalent in the two metas I played it in. ‘Elf Thief’ seems to have taken good care of any Mask energy held back for PXG or ‘Distraction’, and the ban on ‘Relentless’ and ‘Sword of Revealing Light’ has taken away those worries.
I keep racking my brain to consider what I’m possibly not considering – but at this stage ‘Jinzo – Trap Destroyer’ may be facing the chop.
Thanks for reading – let me know what you think in the comments below. Am I crazy to cut ‘Jinzo’? Got a neat suggestion to improve the team? I’d love to hear from you…