Friday, June 01, 2007

Two Tix Forward: Deck Building

Deck Building

If you are reading this on Friday or over the weeekend, take heart in the fact that I am busy deck building. Oh no, not the fun kind of deck building that involves CCG cards...I mean good old fashioned carpentry work building a deck. Rest assured, I'd rather be building decks of cards, or better still, building new Attacktix squads.

The number of different squads you can build, even at 100 points, is a staggering number. AND, that number grows exponentially as each set is released. Think about it like this, just taking into account point can make a team of ten 10 pointers, eight 10 pointers and one 20, seven 10 pointers and one 30, six 10 pointers and one 40 or two 20's, even five 10 pointers and one 50 once some of the newer figs are get the idea. Then you multiply all of those variations with the different numbers of figures available at each point gets a little nuts real fast. You could spend years just trying to make up each different squad, playing it in one game, then building a new squad and playing that once, and on and on and on.

But of course, some squads work better than others. All Medic Droids and R2's? Eh, not so great. But because any attacking figure has an inherent can play most any figures together and have some chance at victory. The odds are always better when the powers work together, but hey, the beauty of the game is that you can mix and match your favorite characters from across the different universes and give it a go. Today I also want to talk about squad building and scenarios. Anyone at TixCon probably saw "The Bar With No Name" setup we had, in a way it's own scenario thanks to the large amount of terrain provided by the setup. But there are other ways to run scenarios without needing much in the way of props, let's look at three examples.

Mirror Master - Not just the name of a cool Flash villain, Mirror Master as a scenario or format involves players using identical teams to duke it out. Players could agree on teams beforehand, or even have a third party pick a team that both players need to play. Maybe in Marvel it's a battle against your own evil clones, or in Star Wars a clash between two squads have have split their allegiance. Whatever the dramatic backdrop, this easy to run scenario removes the squad building element as difference in strategies, and allows players to focus solely on superior tactics. In a tournament format, this would work well for a small side event, with the squads being a surprise to all players.

Bob the Stormtrooper - This scenario works best in games where players are using a lot of Troopers or army builder type figs in any universe. The ideal setup would be something like this, build a squad of all say, Stormtroopers with a Heavy Stormtrooper or two. Now, secretly choose one of the Stormtroopers to be "Bob", or Mike or Elizabeth...the idea is, this Stormtrooper is unique, but your opponent doesn't know that yet. Mark the bottom of the base with a small pieces of tape or other label. Then choose a new special power for that figure that works "If Black". I'd tend to not use simply something like "Recover > Any", because let's face it, that's boring. This is your chance to get creative, or use one of your favorite powers on a low cost fig that normally wouldn't have it. Write this power down on a hidden slip of paper. Then, play your game like normal, but when "Bob" is defeated, reveal his new special power.

The Great Wall of Attacktix - The standard Attacktix game uses no terrain, making formations the key to group movement and providing the best cover for the figs you are trying to defend. The Great Wall scenario changes that. Chris on the design team pointed out that Jenga blocks are the perfect size and weight to use as terrain in 'Tix games. As a scenario, start out with each player building a six Jenga brick wall on the board. Then, on your turn, you may give up an attack to place two more bricks adjacent to one of your figures. Not only does this continually change the landscape, but it really allows you to play defense and offense if you plan your wall right.

OK, so there are some ideas to chew on. If you haven't ever tried a scenario, I recommend giving it a go. You'd be surprised at how even the smallest rules changes effect the way you play the game, and how much more you will appreciate it.

Two Tix Forward
is a new weekly column by webhead, member of the Attacktix design team. Check in every Friday to see what is new! Click here to see all of webhead's articles.

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