I headed down to Element Games on Tuesday night for the regular weekly Casual Constructed event down there.
Numbers were a bit lower this time around with just four players. It’s been up & down with attendance over the last few weeks from what I gather: lots of our growing number of regulars are pretty busy at the moment with civvy stuff like jobs and family Summer holidays.
Nevertheless; the four of us got good & stuck-in to a “Round Robin” event. We played three sets of 45 minute rounds, first to two, and highest life wins at time. I played a Villain Retaliation build I’ve recently been tinkering around with, which can be found HERE on the DiceMasterDB.
Here’s how it went…
Round One – Loss
My first round was against Si, who was playing a Justice League Retaliation that centred the usual suspects of: ‘Batman – World’s Greatest Detective’, ‘Wonder Woman – Champion of Themiscyra’, and ‘Aquaman – Arthur Curry’.
When I arrived at Element Games in advance of our event I found Si in a relaxed game training up the newest batch of Dice Masters players round those parts: a Father & Daughter combo called Anthony & Gracie. Simon is one of the big driving forces around Element Games for recruiting new players to the joys of the game and makes the time for anyone wanting to know more. I’d be remiss in not pointing out at this stage that Simon was promptly thrashed by Gracie, who gave much top notch banter like “You’ve just been beaten by a ten year old girl” – she can come again!
We settled into our round shortly after. I got into a good early groove with my ‘Black Manta’ & ‘Foot Ninja’ die and got some good early Retaliation damage in as I KO’d the Ninja to ramp up to ‘Krang’ and start setting up my ‘Baron Zemo’ strategy.
It was to no avail though – once Si had his core ramp in place with ‘Aquaman’, ‘Zatanna’ & ‘Wonder Woman’ he soon started to re-coup the lost life and deal his own Retaliation damage with ‘Batman’ and ‘Cyborg’.
It turned into a single game round that took the whole 45 minutes in one match up – I just couldn’t get enough damage through to mitigate the life gain as he whittled me down.
I had lost my first round.
Round Two – Win
Next up i was playing Matt, who was playing a Villain-centric team that entered around ‘Rocksteady – Armed & Dangerous’ and ‘Bebop – Troublesome’.
In the first game of the round I got out the gate swift using ‘Big Entrance’ and a great roll to set up my ‘Foot Ninja’ Swarm nice and quick. I knew how devastating an Overcrush-ing ‘Rocksteady’ could be so wanted to get my ‘Krang’ out for his beefy defense stats.
All went according to plan and my core field unit of ‘Black Manta’, a ‘Foot Ninja’, and ‘Krang’ were all set up nicely to hold the line for me to focus on my ‘Baron Zemo’ win condition.
It wasn’t a smooth journey though – Matt had ‘Bane – Professional Criminal’ and used his forced attack global to interfere with my plans, and on a number of occasions took a damage hit from the likes of ‘Black Manta’ to get him sent to the used pile and out of his hair.
Matt was also playing with a card I hadn’t given much attention before, ‘Lex Luthor – Kansas Native’, but I’ll be paying more attention to it from now on. ‘Lex’ really neutered my ‘Baron Zemo’ strategy as a single unblock-able die was only going to deal one point of damage. Thankfully, even with shennanigans to remove him as often as possible, ‘Black Manta’ picked up the slack and Retaliation damage eventually won the day.
The second game I got waaaaaay lucky with some dodgy rolls on Matt’s part. There were a few instances when his characters eluded him and this gave me the edge in a few turns. The Overcrush-ing ‘Rocksteady’, for example, I recall didn’t get rolled on two separate occasions.
I was doing a good four points of Retaliation damage every time I KO’d a ‘Foot Ninja’ for ramp and this meant the field was well softened for some unblock-able ‘Baron Zemo’ die to finish the job.
I had won the round with two games.
Round Three – Win
My final round was against Guy, who was playing an aggressive, in-your-face team made up of cards like ‘Punisher – McRook’ and ‘Pyro – Saint John Allerdice’.
As we set up I immediately clocked ‘Imprisoned’ in Guy’s Basic Action Cards. I was right to pay it attention – Guy won the coin toss and it was his very first purchase. Seeing this I rushed to buy up my ‘Mr Mxyzptlk’ to work as a dis-incentive – if Guy was going to fire off his ‘Imprisoned’ then I was intending to copy the effect.
This didn’t serve as a dis-incentive at all and Guy fired off his ‘Imprisoned’ to clear my field quite willing to take the hit of his own die getting ‘Imprisoned’ too. What this created was a weird stand off while we both started to re-build our fields but didn’t want to do anything with them. I was certainly conscious that Guy had a second ‘Imprisoned’ floating around and was clearly building up a force to do lethal damage in one foul swing.
I was looking at my team and struggling for any sort of strategy to get myself out of this pickle. I realised that ‘Mr Mxyzptlk’, while perfect to deal with a number of BACs common in the Element Games meta (‘Betrayal’, ‘Cloudkill’, and ‘Delayed Blast Fireball’ to name but a few), was not very suited to preventing ‘Imprisoned’ if my opponent factors it in to their strategy.
So… I did the only thing I could do: I bought up ‘Krang’ to increase the “Total Fielding Cost” of my field and bought up some ‘Scarecrow’ to try and use Guy’s pesky ‘Punisher – McRook’ against him.
My strategy didn’t really work – but I was saved by a miscalculation on Guy’s part. Guy built up his force and came rambling over… for NINETEEN points of damage! Guy had a clear field and all of my ‘Imprisoned’ characters were released back to me! After softening Guy a little with some Retaliation damage through the game I had enough to deal a lethal point blow of my own! Whew!
The second game went much better. With my own first turn advantage I grabbed up some ‘Imprisoned’ of my own (Buying two in round 1 & 2) to prevent Guy from loarding that threat over me and used it to my own advantage.
I managed to get my core set up in place and was quite happy for Guy to KO my characters with his ‘Punisher – McRook’ as it dealt Retaliation damage. Between a combination of Retaliation damage, cheeky ‘Scarecrow’ ‘Punisher’ borrowing, and the unblock-able ‘Baron Zemo’ I was able to take a win in the second game of the round without the fear of ‘Imprisoned’.
I had one the round with two games.
Overall in the round robin I came second with 2W – 1L – 0T. Simon had gone undefeated and took the top spot (well done Si!).
I still think there’s a bit of tinkering to be done with the Villain team I’ve been playing. I definitely think taking out ‘Thanos’ was a good idea (HERE is a blog post about the original build) but there might be some fiddling to be done yet. I’m considering experimenting with ‘Blue Beetle – Jaime Reyes’ or trying out ‘Two Face – Double Deal’ instead of ‘Baron Zemo’. Watch this space for future re-caps with new variants of the Villain Retaliation team I’ve been playing around with.
Got any thoughts for me? What might have helped me deal with ‘Imprisoned’ better? Is there a better removal option than ‘Nitro’? How can I mitigate the ‘Lex Luthor’ Matt used? Let me know in the comments below…