Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Greetings Fellow WizKids Fans!

 

I know that many of the HeroClix and Dice Masters players out there are also fans of the superheroes that are represented in those two amazing games. If you’re following me on Twitter, Instagram, or both, then you’ll see lots of crossover content; everything from my weekly comic book haul and cosplay pictures all the way up to celebrity meet and greet photos. On occasion, I find the need to write an article about my experiences whether they’re good, bad, or both.

This past weekend was the 39th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois.

Program Cover

2017 marks the 45th year that Metropolis, IL has been designated as the adopted “Home of Superman.”About Us on the Superman Celebration website.

Metropolis is almost two hours from my home in Tennessee, and since we knew we couldn’t attend Origins this year, we thought we’d take a one day road trip to visit Metropolis to experience the celebration, and hopefully get to meet Dean Cain (best Superman in history – in my opinion). There was a nice line up of artists that were scheduled to attend, as well as a few other big stars of Superman related media, such as Margot Kidder (Lois Lane) and Sarah Douglas (Ursa) from the classic Christopher Reeve Superman movies.

The Superman Celebration allows for free entry into the celebration, but many of the attractions will cost you a little bit. The Superman Museum has a $5 entry fee, which I didn’t do this year due to time constraints. I want to be able to look at everything and enjoy all of the museum and not rush through it. I have plans to venture into it next year!

There are lots of food trucks that line the streets along with many outdoor vendors. I saw several of the shops that are located on Market Street had their doors open and signs on to attract some of the celebration attendees. There are plenty of things to do besides shops and food. There were lots of free panels with the artists and celebrity guests that you could attend. There were costume contests, inflatable playgrounds, and so much more! There was even a fair offsite that was there for the celebration.

But our day started out long before any of the vendors or attractions were open. We left home at 3:00 am, because there were going to be free tickets to meet Dean Cain handed out at 7:00 am. We really wanted to be sure we gave ourselves a good chance to get at least one ticket. Leaving that early got us there at 5:00 am, and put us in line behind roughly 50 other folks. We were very fortunate to have gotten there when we did, because shortly after, lots of folks started rolling in. At 7:00 am, they started handing out the tickets and all five of us got into the same session time!

Tickets

Once the tickets were acquired, we took Market Street to browse the booths! But none were open… I think that’s my only complaint. They scheduled a ticket handout at 7:00 am and nothing was opening until 9:00 or 10:00 am. We all just sat around together for about two hours, taking a few pictures of the local scenery, until the gift shop opened up.

The street began to bustle with cosplayers and celebration-goers somewhere around 9:00 am. Hannah and I were darting off at every opportunity to snap pictures of cosplayers. Not all of the pictures below were taken early in the morning, but these were most of the cosplayers that I had a chance to see. A few pictures were taken by North or Hannah – which I’ll note.

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Once we were able to grab some of that awesome carnival style food, we headed to Artist Alley around 10:00 am. The artists were happy to sign the program book for free and many artists were signing several books for free too. I even saw a few giving out some quick sketches!

Artists 1Artists 2

And speaking of sketches, I knew that Mr. Todd Aaron Smith didn’t work on Batman Beyond, but I still wanted him to do a sketch on my blank Terry McGinnis card.

Todd Aaron Smith Sketch

I’ve heard more than my fair share of artists say that these cards are not easy to sketch on. I hate asking for sketches knowing the difficulty they face with the gloss finish on the cards. WizKids – this definitely needs to be fixed so that the artists can do sketches they’re proud of. I love that he was able to get some pencil work on the card and I love that he did the Bat shadow. It feels like he’s watching over Terry!

There was a large building that they called the ‘Super Con’ on Market Street, around the corner from Artist Alley and down from Thor’s Gym (yes, there is a gym there called Thor’s Gym). There were lots of vendors with lots of awesome goodies for sale. There were comics, collectibles, toys, Pops, memorabilia, gaming items, and so much more! It was such a great place to browse and I didn’t get to spend near as much time in there as I wanted to.

The official Superman of Metropolis had just finished with his photos at the statue around 11:00 am, but I was lucky enough to catch him for a quick shot before he left.

Metropolis Official SupermanMetropolis Superman

Around 11:15 am, Dean Cain was going to be at the Superman statue for folks to take pictures. This was one of the many free events taking place. We rushed over a little before 11:00 am, just to be sure we got a good spot. There were some timing issues, from what I was told and Dean Cain didn’t make it to the statue until about 11:45 am. Thankfully, the temperature wasn’t too high, but being in the sun without shade was brutal. But he made it up to the statue and posed and chatted with fans for a few minutes before heading to his Q&A.

We walked around for a little while longer, trying to see as much as we could, take what photos we could, and just taking in everything before we needed to head over to the Dean Cain signing. We ventured back to Artist Alley to finish collecting some of the autographs that I showed earlier, and found ourselves in some pretty long lines. I had planned to talk to Gwenda Bond again and purchase some books, but I was only able to get those few autographs I still needed before we needed to head down to the Baymont Theater to meet Dean Cain.

I searched all over north west Tennessee for a copy – any copy – of her Lois Lane books. Since I began writing my blog, I’ve become more appreciative of the character, Lois Lane. I used to not like her at all, but that was before I truly understood her. Many of us are lucky to have an role model or idol fall into our laps at an early age. I had Helen Slater as Supergirl and Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman to admire and idolize. They helped me grow into the person I am today. But since I found a side of myself that I didn’t know was there in journalistic type writing,  I wanted something else – and I found it in Lois Lane. But because I wasn’t able to make it back to see Gwenda Bond again, I had to take my search to Amazon. I did secure a paperback copy of Fallout, the first in the Lois Lane series, and I patiently await its arrival.

It’s definitely a good thing that we left early for the Baymont. It’s was an offsite location for Dean Cain and James Marsters to do their signing and table photos in a large, air conditioned atmosphere. There were already folks there lining up at 1:45 pm. The line moved rather quickly, even though he was taking time to talk to folks and interact with them in a personal fashion. I’ve been to several celebrity signings in my day, and hiss appreciation of his fans shows. We paid for our autograph and we got to choose a print from the huge selection that was available. I even got to snap a photo with one of his assistant folks that was dressed as Supergirl.

Cosplay Evil Supergirl and Supergirl

When we approached the table, Dean Cain was very outgoing and polite. He asked our names instead of just reading them off of the paper they handed him, and made quick, but meaningful conversation with us. I apologized for the little one being asleep and that I wish she hadn’t passed out so quick. I got to tell him how I always ‘knew’ when it was time for Lois and Clark to come on the TV (no DVR back then!) and I would make a break for the living room to watch it. And now my little one, no matter where she is in the house, if she hears the theme music start up, she comes running for the TV. He thought that was incredible and told us to take a picture of them together. He signed our print and then knelt down next to her stroller and gave us a picture for her to see later.

Dean Cain AutographDean Cain with the little one

I asked for a hug and when he gave me a hug, I couldn’t hold back the waterworks. I started crying! I had done so well until that point, too. I cried my eyes out when I met my hero, Robert Englund. I didn’t cry when I met Robin Lord Taylor, Sean Pertwee, David Mazouz, John de Lancie, or Rory McCann. I did cry when I spoke to Michael Cudlitz about my friend that I was getting his autograph for, but that’s a special circumstance. I also cried when I met artist Ed Beard Jr. but it’s because of his art that I’m a gamer.

But I thought I would hold it together better, but when I meet someone who helped shape my childhood and some of my best memories, I tend to get a little emotional. He hugged me again when he saw I started crying and didn’t let me walk off until he knew I was okay. This will go down as one of the best moments in my celebrity greeting memories.

After our adventure with one of the greatest Superman actors of my lifetime, we headed to the vehicle and began the trek home. If we weren’t so exhausted from having to leave so early, we probably would have stayed longer. I think we’re going to try for VIP tickets next year, depending on who the guests are of course. I want to spend more time there next year as well. It was so worth the trip and I can’t wait for next year! We also get to go to Origins the week after the Superman Celebration next year (hopefully!).

The trip cost us a half tank of gas, $50 for an autograph, $5 for some cute buttons, and $8 in food. Not bad for so many memories if you ask me!

Taken any cool trips recently?
Have you met any actors/artists/writers/etc?
Leave me a comment and let me know about your experiences!

As always, thanks for reading and remember to like/follow my social media!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

If you live in the United States, then you might be among the many that are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday or this weekend. There is also this crazy thing folks do that’s called Black Friday shopping that happens on Thanksgiving now, instead of the Friday after Thanksgiving – which I think is silly. But, I will unfortunately be one of those folks out looking for deals. I don’t fight over towels and sheets. We don’t wait in lines for TVs or phones – we just like to pick over the leftovers. We do not sacrifice family time for Black Friday/Thanksgiving shopping. We go out and scavenge over the DVDs and try to grab an electronic or two if they’re still available.

We also decorate on Thanksgiving weekend, which takes up quite a bit of time. This article will likely be my last article until next Tuesday (Wednesday at the latest). I will also be absent from all my social media outlets for the weekend, so if you send me a message on Facebook or make an inquiry on Twitter, I likely won’t see it until next week.

I will be back next week with a fresh CCW article. I want everyone to have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Eat your fill, be merry, enjoy your company, and recruit as many new Dice Masters as you can!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you Dice Masters out there! May you be surrounded by loving family and friends with a table full of delicious food!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

thanksgiving

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

We’re roughly two weeks away from the release of the next set, Marvel Deadpool! I’ve got my gravity feed pre-ordered and I’m totally ready to get my review article done. I don’t have anything new to share in the way of spoilers, but I wanted to make it a point to direct players to the WizKids Deadpool official site.

You can find loads of pictures and various information on the official site, including the rules insert with affiliations and new keywords! You can find a direct link to that rules insert, here.

We see two new affiliations, Deadpool and Inhumans, and the return of Villains and X-Men.

We also see the return of the Impulse ability, which I’m super happy about! I really like Impulse and I can’t wait to see all the new ways to use Impulse. There are also two new abilities, Back for More and Deadly. I’ll go more into detail about these in my review article, but you can read what they do on the rules insert.

I did a review article on the eight super rare cards, found here. In my review article for my gravity feed, I’ll highlight my favorite pulls.

I think I’m most excited for the introduction of the Deadly keyword and I have to give kudos to WizKids for introducing keywords for already existing abilities and keeping other keywords alive, while letting others go.

Speaking of WizKids, they do contests from time to time on their Facebook page for a variety of their great games. They’ve done some really cool Dice Masters contests, but they recently did a Star Trek: Attack Wing contest. I was lucky enough to be selected as the random winner for that contest! I won an expansion ship for Attack Wing as well as a Star Trek Online (PS4) code for an add on, which is super cool too. I was super excited because of how much I love Star Trek and the Attack Wing game! If you like space fighter type games, this is one to check out. If you like Star Wars: X-Wing, but you like the Star Trek universe, how have you not heard of Attack Wing?! Don’t get me wrong… I like Star Wars too, but Star Trek is my favorite of the two universes. I do not like the X-Wing game though, because I feel way too limited in my fleet creation. Attack Wing brings so many different factions, options, and variables. Nothing is more fun to me than being able to have Worf captain a Romulan ship while in a fleet with Picard captaining a Borg ship.

Attack Wing is very specific to the Star Trek universe, unlike Dice Masters which spans several different universes. If you don’t like Star Trek at all, then you’ll have to pretend the characters and ships are something else.

I’ve played STAW since it released, even though I only play casually with our group of four players. Getting a scene up for STAW is very difficult, especially in such a small town, but I won’t ever give this game up (like Dice Masters).

We got to meet John de Lancie and I was able to get my Q Admiral card signed, which is super cool!

admiral-q-signed

If you like space themed things, games that play like giant chess matches, and want to try another game from WizKids, I would recommend Star Trek: Attack Wing. There is also a Dungeons and Dragons: Attack Wing game that is themed around the Dungeons and Dragons universe. So if space isn’t your thing and fantasy is more appealing, check out the D&D Attack Wing. It has a few different mechanics than the Star Trek variant.

I want to give a shout out to WizKids and thank them for all the work they do on their games and all the extra stuff they do, like the contests, which they are not obligated to do in the first place. I also want to thank their Dice Masters Rules Team for all the work they do, and I know they’re working on rules when they can. I appreciate every bit of communication we get from them.

Thanks WizKids! Without your games, I’d be forced to play other games and I wouldn’t be anywhere near as happy!

Comments on this article are welcome, but please, be kind. I will not approve nasty or hateful comments.

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I just wanted to give a shout out to a fellow blogger from across the sea and also to The Reserve Pool.

We’ll start with True Mister Six, British Dice Roller, who was one of the first likes on my blog. I enjoy reading his blog as well because he has a good understanding of the game and he also appears to enjoy a growing and thriving community. I love seeing how folks from different countries can come together and share ideas and thoughts about a common interest. I recommend that anyone who enjoys reading my blog should visit his (if you don’t already) and give him a follow as well!

My next shout out goes to The Reserve Pool. I post a link to this blog in my blog on TRP. Had I started on TRP, I probably wouldn’t be on WordPress. I didn’t know that TRP had a blog section for members though. As much as I visit TRP, you would think that I would have known, but I thought the blogs were for official TRP crew and staff. What I wouldn’t do to be part of the TRP! But then again, I think most of the serious Dice Masters players would almost give an arm or leg to join TRP. But I want to thank TRP for allowing me to promote my blog on their site.

The Reserve Pool just announced this contest that sounds like loads of fun! They have playmats from Turn One Gaming Supplies which winners of the contest can get. The prizes are a Roll Master Playmat or a Roll Master Mini Playmat. I wish I had these products to do a review on, but I do not. From the video review on TRP, the regular size mat looks really cool. I agree with all the pros and cons that they listed in the video, just from what I can see in the video.

One thing I have to add is that I would like to see some different styles with the same or upgraded layout. I would like to see the Turn Order bar on the mats. I think the reason the Transit is above the Used Pile is because when a character attacks and is not blocked, it goes out of play or ‘in transit’ until the end of turn. At the end of turn, it then goes to the Used Pile. But I agree with Dave on this too, I prefer Transit to be under the Used Pile. I have used the Dice Bag section on the WizKids mats as my Transit since they added that to the game back in Uncanny. That will be a hard habit for me to break! It wouldn’t be hard for WizKids to swap the words ‘Dice Bag’ for ‘Transit’ (hint hint WizKids!). But overall, the mats look cool and the layouts are superior to WizKids mats. If I had a My Little Pony one featuring Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Luna, I would just die! Or maybe just a girl-themed one would be cool too (hint hint T1!).

Back to the contest info – sorry for getting off topic a little.
You can enter the ‘Pimp My Mat’ contest via The Reserve Pool. They want you to show them what your worst Dice Masters play surface is! Due date is April 18th to their mailbag address (mailbag@thereservepool.com). Be creative, have fun with it, and show your worst!

~ No product destruction.
~ Has to be a play surface – no bare tabletops though, too easy.
~ Don’t put yourself in the picture. They plan to do a blind judging type thing.
~ No due date flexibility, April 18, 2016.

I’m not completely sure if I’m going to enter this contest or not. I think I might, if I have time to come up with something. I also don’t like trying to win prizes if I don’t need them. I prefer seeing others that need the prizes win them. This contest is totally worth entering though. And if you don’t win a mat, you can always get one directly from T1.

You can also find The Reserve Pool on Facebook and Twitter.

If you know of a blog about Dice Masters that I should be reading, drop me a line here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty.
Thanks for reading!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

As of about ten minutes ago, I officially have an Instagram account. I’ve never felt the need for one for personal use, but I feel like it’s a great opportunity for the public face of Dice Dice Kitty.

We are planning to go to the Owensboro, Kentucky WKO in May and having an Instagram will help me get pictures out faster to my followers. I’ve added my Twitter and Instagram links in the sidebar.

In case you’re on a tablet or phone that’s picky, I’ll go ahead and link mt accounts here as well.

Facebook – Dice Dice Kitty
Twitter – Dice Dice Kitty
Instagram – Dice Dice Kitty

Give me a like and a follow! Add your comments and opinions!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

 

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

We finally were able to pick up our Faerûn Under Siege gravity feed. This set seems to be very popular and it sells out quickly. We were lucky enough to have a draft with nine people on release weekend. We bought a little over half a feed after the draft and had to wait until late this past week to be able to get our sealed feed. We were not disappointed in our pulls!

Gravity Feed

Commons
We pulled 116 common cards. We got all the commons in multiples except for one that we only got one copy of.

x3     #35     Bahamut
x2     #36     Balor
x3     #37     Beholder
x3     #38     Black Dragon
x2     #39     Blink Dog
x2     #40    Bronze Dragon
x4     #41     Bugbear Ambusher
x2     #42     Clay Golem
x4     #43     Cockatrice
x3     #44     Displacer Beast
x3     #45     Drizzt
x3     #46     Dwarf Wizard
x3     #47     Elf Thief
x2     #48     Erinyes
x3     #49     Flesh Golem
x3     #50     Gelatinous Cube
x4     #51     Ghost
x3     #52     Giant Spider
x4     #53     Glabrezu
x3     #54     Gnome Ranger
x3     #55     Goblin
x2     #56     Gorgon
x4     #57     Half-Elf Bard
x3     #58     Half-Orc Barbarian
x3     #59     Hell Hound
x3     #60     Hill Giant
x3     #61     Human Fighter
x3     #62     Intellect Devourer
x3     #63     Iron Golem
x1     #64     Lich
x2     #65     Lizardfolk
x3     #66     Lolth
x3     #67     Oni
x2     #68     Orcus
x2     #69     Potion
x4     #70     Ring
x4     #71     Rust Monster
x2     #72     Storm Giant
x3     #73     White Dragon
x4     #74     Wraith

Uncommons
We pulled 46 uncommon cards. We got all but two of the uncommons in the set.

x1     #75     Bahamut
x2     #76     Balor
x2     #77     Beholder
x1     #78     Black Dragon
x2     #79     Blink Dog
x1     #80     Bugbear Ambusher
x1     #81     Clay Golem
x2     #82     Displacer Beast
x1     #83     Drizzt
x2     #84     Dwarf Wizard
x1     #85     Elf Thief
x1     #86     Erinyes
x1     #87     Flesh Golem
x1     #88     Gelatinous Cube
x1     #89     Ghost
x1     #90     Giant Spider
x2     #91     Goblin
x2     #92     Gorgon
x2     #93     Half-Orc Barbarian
x3     #94     Human Fighter
x0     #95     Intellect Devourer
x1     #96     Iron Golem
x1     #97     Lich
x0     #98     Lizardfolk
x2     #99     Lolth
x3     #100     Oni
x2     #101     Orcus
x1     #102     Potion
x1     #103     Ring
x1     #104     Rust Monster
x2     #105     Storm Giant
x2     #106     Wraith

Rares and Super Rare
You won’t get all the rares in one feed, but you get a decent amount of them. We pulled 16 rares and none of them were duplicates. We also pulled two Super Rares. You will almost always get a Super Rare in every feed. I’ve heard of at least one feed that didn’t have one, but we’ve been lucky and gotten two in almost every feed we’ve bought.

#108     Balor
#109     Black Dragon
#110     Blink Dog
#114     Elf Thief
#116     Flesh Golem
#119     Giant Spider
#120     Goblin
#121     Gorgon
#123     Human Fighter
#124     Intellect Devourer
#127     Lizardfolk
#128     Lolth
#129     Oni
#130     Orcus
#131     Potion
#134     Wraith

#139     Deck of Many Things, Epic Magical Object   (Super Rare)
#140     Hammer of Thunderbolts, Epic Magical Object   (Super Rare)

Favorites

I’m not doing a review of the entire set. I’m only going over a few of my favorite cards, because I can’t go over all my favorites since there are too many. I picked a handful that will also work outside of the Dungeons and Dragons set. If you need a ruling question answered, leave a comment and we’ll delve into it and review the individual card.

FUS Favorites 1
Cockatrice, Lesser Monstrosity (left) – This particular card is almost identical to Cockatrice, Minion Monstrosity. The wording is slightly different, but they do the exact same thing and their purchase costs are the same. This is super convenient for those that don’t buy the starters. This card has a super handy ability for getting around some of those characters that are difficult to get around. If you don’t buy a starter for this set (which I highly recommend getting one!), then you can still get this great character in the set.

Elf Thief, Lesser Harper (center) -This character here is too cool! I plan to do a CCW about this one so be on the lookout for it. But the ability to field any character for free is awesome and then you get to ‘steal’ an energy from an opponent which is amazing. You can’t go wrong with this character and his purchase cost of two energy and he’s a Mask character to top it off! This character is probably going to be popular and if not, I would be very surprised.

Flesh Golem, Lesser Construct (right) -I really like these Fabricate cards. They give you an alternate purchasing option and that’s something we haven’t seen a lot of yet. I’m not really sure just how popular these type of cards will be, but I really like them. This is just the common version of Flesh Golem, and there are several other type of Golems and Constructs that all do similar things. Many of them direct X amount of damage to themselves from characters or players. That ability could be useful for certain teams. These cards are worth checking out.

FUS Favorites 2
Intellect Devourer, Lesser Aberration (left) -Any card that causes your opponent to lose resources of some kind can be very useful. Intellect Devourer is another card that does just that, reducing the amount of energy your opponent has to use during your turn. This card is another option for many teams out there. The fielding costs are really good – some of the best. With the Blue-Eyes White Dragon global, you can potentially utilize this character multiple turns in a row.

Balor, Greater Fiend (center) -I love the Gate ability! This type of ability works best within the D&D sets, but you can still use it on other teams as a way to potentially get more character dice without having to purchase them. There are other fiends that cost a little less than this Balor, but most of them only allow the Gate ability for their dice. This particular character can get you any fiend (potentially). Any card that has an alternate purchasing ability is one that deserves a little consideration.

Displacer Beast, Greater Monstrosity (right) – This Displacer Beast gives you the ability to pull a character of your opponent’s into the attack and also gives you the ability to choose the blocker for it. This is probably going to be another CCW post later as well. Cards that give a player a level of ‘control’ are probably going to be popular among several players. I personally want to find room for this one on several of my teams. He only cost four to purchase, which can be reduced, and his fielding cost and stats are great! Not only that, but he’s also a Mask character. This character deserves some looking into.

FUS Favorites 3
Oni, Greater Giant (left) – There was a need for more answers against Action Dice. The Oni may not be pretty, but his cost is good for his ability. His level one and level two fielding cost isn’t bad, and his stats are okay, but you would be using him for his ability and not for his stats necessarily. I really like him and I love the choice of colors for his die. He’s a good alternative to help you get rid of some of those Action Dice like Imprisoned, that are making your games difficult.

Blink Dog, Paragon Fey (center) – I can’t tell you how much I love this card. I drafted this particular card and several dice and he’s so much fun! He may not work with your Blue-Eyes, but he makes your opponent think twice about attacking or even blocking this character. This character is easily KO’d and has a chance to do two damage to your opponent. Even if he doesn’t get his ability to go off, you’re still getting to reroll him on your next turn. I almost would have liked to see this character be a Bolt or even a Fist character, but even though it’s a Shield character, I can still find room for him.

Potion, Paragon Spell (right) – Fast is a new ability in the Faerûn Under Siege set. I really like the potential for this new ability and it raises many new questions, so be on the lookout for CCW posts about this card too. Being able to give a character the ability to do damage before normal combat damage is incredibly useful. Just imagine being able to increase your blocking character’s attack, then use something like Potion to give them Fast so that you KO their blocked attacking character before it has a chance to do anything to your blocker. There are so many possibilities with this new ability and I can’t wait to see characters with a built in Fast ability.

 What are some of your favorite cards in the set?
Leave a comment and let us know!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Posted: December 24, 2015 in Miscellaneous
Tags:

Greetings Fellow Dice Masters!

There won’t be a Confusing Card of the Week post this week. I sincerely hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday! We will return next week with our CCW!

Holiday Pic

Greetings Fellow Dice Masters!

 

I have been in the tabletop gaming community a very long time. I’ve judged for Magic: The Gathering events, Pokemon events, and many other competitive events over the years and ran casual play for those games. One thing I saw a lot of was the mindset of, ‘if I’m not winning, then I’m not having fun’. I would see a player at an FNM or Pokemon League and they would look like twenty of their best friends just died. I’d ask them what was wrong and the answer was always the same.

“I’m not winning.”

I would try to encourage them and it always failed. These casual events shouldn’t make players feel defeated and they shouldn’t walk away feeling like they need to win all the time. There is no way to change the attitude of players without a collective effort. The only way to help casual players out of a slump is to continue to encourage casual play in a less competitive atmosphere.

Many venues make the mistake of offering huge prizes for events that don’t need them. Venues breed a highly competitive atmosphere among players and inadvertently crush their casual players. The venues need to change their tactics a little to help cultivate a casual atmosphere.

I want to express the competitive versus casual theme from several viewpoints and address the major concerns I’ve heard from each one.

So looking at it from the venue’s point of view, I’ve had these questions come up in conversation among others and naturally, it’s mainly about money.
Why not keep it all competitive? Don’t competitive players spend big money?

Well, if you cultivate and grow a casual community, you will not only gain customers, but you’ll grow a loyal and dedicated community that will purchase their product from your venue and not the competition that doesn’t hold events. Places like Wal-Mart, Target, major bookstores, Hastings, etc., all sell the gaming products but not all of them host events. And while competitive players spend big money on occasion, your casual group will spend money on packs, snacks, and accessories more often. The casual player will buy a booster box or a gravity feed, pack by pack. That brings more profit over time than the competitive player that only spends two hundred dollars every three months on boxes. It can be financially beneficial for a venue to grow a casual community over only hosting competitive events.

Then the main concern I hear from the exclusively competitive players is about how diluted their competitive scene becomes.
Why is everyone trying to turn competitive events into casual play?

Nobody said that. Smart venues will schedule a teaching night where they can demo the game and maybe hand out promos or free cards to new players to help encourage them. There should be strict limitations on what players can use at these events, like no Super Rares for example. At my FLGS, we have Dice Masters Monday, which is casual, and competitive play on Saturday. We have done fun formats in the past on our casual days to inspire players to build different teams. Some of the stuff we’ve done for different holidays are only characters with certain colored dice. We’ve done special affiliation days and even a battle of the sexes with male characters versus female characters. For our competitive days, we don’t limit what our players can use, with one exception – Houserule, banned Ring of Magnetism, Action Attraction. We collectively banned that particular card because when you pair it with any one of several cards, it makes for a very unpleasant game.

But nobody, at least that I know of, is trying to dilute competitive play with casual players. You will always have the rogue casual players that want to try competitive play and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! As an exclusively competitive player, be a little more understanding when you see a new player or someone that isn’t running the best cards on a team. Maybe give them some advice on what to change. If they like their team, then maybe suggest a casual atmosphere, if one is available. If not, you could always mention to your venue that some of the players aren’t as skilled or don’t have the best teams and propose a tournament format from time to time that could accommodate those players.

The concerns and views I hear most from the semi-competitive/semi-casual players are usually about conflicts between everyone.
I can play casual and I’m a decent competitive player. I love the game and play any chance I have. What can I, as a player and lover of the game do, to help quell the fire between everyone?

There are a few things people can do if they want a more stable gaming atmosphere. It takes some initiative and creative planning in some cases to get the ball rolling. Going to your venue and proposing a separate night for casual play, with limits on what can be played is a good place to start. You can also ask the venue if they would consider giving out older promo cards or maybe some extra cards that they have lying around to help cultivate the community. Some venues that do that will require that the players spend a small amount of money in the store to get the freebies. That’s fine too because it helps the store get a little something back. Most players just buy some packs so it’s helps the players grow their collection and helps the store move product.

It also helps if the venue knows they don’t have to keep up brackets or even monitor the group more than they would a normal customer. If you run brackets, it’s best to use the old-fashioned method of pen and paper, or Challonge if you have access to internet.

As for exclusively competitive players, there isn’t much you can do except offer them an invitation to a friendly, casual game with limitations. If they decline, whether politely or rudely, don’t antagonize them or belittle them. Just politely let them know that you understand and wish them luck in their next tournament.

To help encourage the exclusively casual players, you can assure them that it’s not competitive play. We don’t run brackets on our casual nights. We just all get together and play which ever teams we feel like playing, and play against who we want to play against. Our casual nights are literally that – relaxed atmosphere, hanging out, having fun. The best way to get your casual group going is to offer the relaxed, fun get together at first and then maybe offer up a fun tournament from time to time.

For the other players, like myself, that can be competitive and play casual, you’ll likely have more luck appealing to them. Pitch the idea to them, get a group together and go as a group to discuss it with the venue, and maybe take up donations of extras to occasionally give out to new players. This group is definitely the easiest to get into casual as well as competitive. They’re typically players that just love to play the game on any level they can, which you know if you’re one of them.

This brings me to the exclusively casual players. These are the players that you will hardly ever see at a competitive tournament and their major concerns are about how they’re treated as players.
When I go to play in tournaments, other players get mad when they play against me and tell me that I’ll ruin their tie-breakers. What can I do to be able to play and not have to worry about rude players?

Unfortunately, you can’t force people to be nice. The best thing you can do as a casual player is to go to your venue and ask if there is a casual night. If there isn’t one, you can always ask to start one or just have people meet you up at the venue when they have open play time. It’s very important to keep communication open with the venue. If the venue feels like they’re being left out, they could shut down any casual play and that would be bad. If you want a more casual tournament, you can ask the venue to run some fun events with limitations on cards. If they don’t like that idea, you can always offer to run them yourself using pen and paper, or Challonge if you have internet access. If you’re really just wanting to play and not run anything, you could ask some of the competitive/casual players to help start up a casual night and see if they would run it.

One of the most important things to remember about running events or casual nights – starting and maintaining them is like a job. It requires dedication and without a love of the game and the community, it will not thrive. These communities don’t spring up overnight usually. I’ve done this so long and for so many different games over the years, it’s like second nature to me to be able to start a community up. I do everything from making promotional pamphlets, hosting demos, giving out some of my extra stuff as incentive, helping the venue with OP kit expenses, encouraging players, teaching intermediate players combos, doing blogs, running Facebook groups, enforcing rules – venue rules and my own for the community, and always keeping casual fun. It’s a thankless job, but I don’t mind. I think some people get the idea to start a play group and imagine other folks hoisting them aloft and singing songs of their awesomeness. I don’t want anyone to take the role of organizer too lightly. But I also don’t want to scare anyone away from it. I thoroughly enjoy being an organizer and I get to play in almost every single event. The only time I don’t get to play is when my child is being difficult and throws a fit.

Organizers are not perfect, which is something everyone needs to remember. If you’re an organizer and make a mistake, don’t sweat it. Stressing the small stuff with make you lose your cool later. When you make a mistake, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep going.

So if you decide to be an organizer, don’t go into it lightly. Understand that it is hard work at times, but when your community starts growing and folks are having a good time, it’s very rewarding to see and it gives you that fuzzy feeling inside. I have a difficult time imagining not being an organizer.

Remember to keep it fun and friendly!
If you have other ideas or methods that work in your area, feel free to add them in the comments!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

My husband and I decided to give in and buy a gravity feed of Amazing Spider-Man this week. I thought it could be useful to some if I posted a list of what we pulled in our box.

Amazing Spider-Man Box

Commons
We pulled 117 common cards. We had a mispack in one of our packs. We got two Blink common cards, and one Blink die with an Aunt May die. Here is a list of all the common cards and how many of each we pulled.

#35     Agent Venom              x3
#36     Aunt May                     x4
#37     Black Cat                      x4
#38     Black Widow               x2
#39     Blade                             x5
#40     Blink                             x4        (One of these came with an Aunt May die.)
#41     Carnage                        x3
#42     Cloak                            x3
#43     Dagger                          x3
#44     Daredevil                     x3
#45     Doctor Octopus          x4
#46     Drax                               x3
#47     Electro                          x3
#48     Firestar                         x3
#49     Ghost Rider                 x2
#50     Gladiator                      x2
#51     Goblin Glider               x3
#52     Green Goblin               x3
#53     Gwen Stacy                   x3
#54     Hobgoblin                     x2
#55     Hulk                                 x3
#56     Iceman                            x3
#57     Iron Spidey                    x3
#58     Kingpin                           x3
#59     Kraven the Hunter      x1
#60     Lizard                              x2
#61     Luke Cage                       x3
#62     Mary Jane                       x2
#63     Mysterio                         x4
#64     Rhino                              x3
#65     Sandman                        x3
#66     Scarlet Witch                x3
#67     Silver Sable                   x3
#68     Spider-Girl                   x3
#69     Spider-Man                  x3
#70     Spider-Woman            x3
#71     Vulture                            x2
#72     Web Shooters               x2
#73     White Tiger                    x3
#74     Wolverine                       x3

Uncommons
We pulled 46 uncommon cards from our box. Here is a breakdown of how many we pulled of each one. There are only two uncommons we didn’t get, Blink and Goblin Glider.

#75      Agent Venom             x2
#76      Aunt May                     x2
#77      Black Cat                      x2
#78      Black Widow               x2
#79      Blade                             x3
#80      Blink                             0
#81      Cloak                              x2
#82      Dagger                           x1
#83      Daredevil                       x2
#84      Doctor Octopus           x1
#85      Electro                            x1
#86      Firestar                          x1
#87      Gladiator                       x1
#88      Goblin Glider               0
#89      Green Goblin                x1
#90      Gwen Stacy                   x2
#91      Hobgoblin                      x2
#92      Hulk                                x1
#93      Iceman                           x1
#94      Iron Spidey                   x2
#95      Kraven the Hunter     x2
#96      Lizard                             x2
#97      Luke Cage                     x1
#98      Mary Jane                      x2
#99      Mysterio                        x1
#100     Rhino                             x1
#101     Sandman                       x2
#102     Scarlet Witch               x2
#103     Spider-Girl                   x1
#104     Vulture                          x1
#105     Web Shooters              x1
#106     Wolverine                     x1

Rares and Super Rare
You won’t get all the rares in one box, but you get a decent amount of them. We pulled 16 rares and none of them were duplicate rares. We also pulled one Super Rare. Most boxes only have one Super Rare, but we’ve seen folks pull two from a box.

#109     Black Widow
#110     Blade
#114     Daredevil
#116     Electro
#117     Firestar
#118     Gladiator
#120     Green Goblin
#121     Gwen Stacy
#122     Hobgoblin
#124     Kraven the Hunter
#125     Lizard
#126     Luke Cage
#127     Mary Jane
#130     Sandman
#133     Web Shooters
#134     Wolverine

#141     Morbius, Unliving Vampire (Super Rare)

Favorites

I’m not doing a review of the entire set. I’m only going over a few of my favorite cards. If you need a ruling question answered, leave a comment and we’ll delve into it and review the individual card.

Favorites 1Agent Venom, Thunderbolt (left) – I can absolutely see this character on casual teams. He’s affordable, has an interesting ability, really good Global, and his fielding cost isn’t too bad for his stats. I really like this version of Agent Venom.

Black Cat, Felicia Hardy (center) – I love, love, love this Black Cat. She’s not expensive to buy at all and she’s a Mask Energy character. Her fielding costs are okay, but her level three stats are decent. Her ability is a great ‘block me, I dare you’ taunt, and there are other cards with abilities that force opponents to block. She could easily be paired with any of them. I think this character is wonderful for casual play and could possibly see some competitive play.

Cloak, Tyrone Johnson ( top right) and Dagger, Tandy Bowen (bottom left) – The key to using these characters to the best of their ability is the right team build, as with any Underdog character. When you pair Cloak with a good attacker like Dagger, you can do some decent damage. I wouldn’t attack with Cloak unless necessary because he makes an excellent blocker. Cloak and Dagger would be a great pair to build a casual team around. Not sure how well they can do in the competitive scene though. They both have decent stats for their fielding cost. As for their purchase costs, Dagger’s is great and Cloak’s is okay. I think they would be fun to play with and even trying them on a rogue team in competitive play could be fun.

Favorites 2Drax, Infinity Watch (center) -I really like this version of Drax, a lot. I’ve been toying with two from the starter for my casual Guardians team, but I really can’t wait to try this one. He gives you an alternate fielding option that can be harmful to your opponent. I would make sure I had the energy to field him though, just in case my opponent decided to pay the life to prevent me from fielding him for free. There’s no drawback to using him. His purchase cost is not bad and his stats are good. His fielding cost is high, but with his alternative fielding method, I can’t complain about it too much. I can’t wait to try this guy on my Guardians team to see how he works out.

Goblin Glider, Goblin Tech (right) – I have trouble on my Villain team with getting too many Sidekicks in my bag, even though I use Professor X, Recruiting Young Mutants. This particular action is definitely high on my test playing list for my Villain team. I like that it lets you prep the die and not roll it. Many Villains have a high fielding cost and with my luck, I’d roll my Villain and not be able to field it. The purchase cost isn’t that bad considering most Basic Actions are three or four to purchase and with Blue-Eyes, you can reduce it. I’m not sure how viable this card will be in competitive play, but I’m sure it will be on many casual Villain teams.

Favorites 3Gwen Stacy, Public Menace (left) –  For a Spider-Man team, you can’t go wrong with a cheap character! She has okay stats and fielding costs, but she’s a nice early buy to help get things rolling. I also have a Bolt team that could really use a cheap character like her. Her fielding cost for level three is better than Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze even though her stats aren’t better. I can’t count how many times Ghost Rider screwed me over with that level three fielding cost. I plan to do some test playing with her as well, but for now, I think she’s my favorite version for variety teams.

Mysterio, Dr. Ludwig Rinehart (center) – I’m a Mysterio fan, as well as Sinister Six fan. I really want to use a Mysterio and I think this is as good as it gets. He gives you a ‘prep-a-die’ ability that isn’t energy specific which is really good. The down side is that he has to be active to use it. He cost six to purchase and his fielding costs are horrible. Thank goodness he has a big defense because you do not want this guy leaving the field. He could make a good attacker, but there are plenty of other attackers that are much better. I really like his Global though. If your opponent is counting dice and leaving exactly four in their used pile (via Professor X’s Global moving Sidekicks), you could get extra dice into your Prep Area that aren’t just Sidekicks. I think that’s the most exciting part of this card and I can’t wait to give it a shot! I’m pretty sure I can find room on my Villain team for him, or I can make a Sinister Six team, which would just be for casual play.

Sandman, Million Little Pieces (right) – I love this Aftershock ability on Sandman. What I really don’t like is that he cost four to purchase and his stats are not good at all. But his stats work in favor of Retaliation teams because he can get KO’d easily and he’s one of the cheaper Villains in the game. He makes a decent blocker against teams that don’t use Overcrush. I plan to test him with a Villain Retaliation team and see how well he works in casual play. Not sure if this card will see competitive play or not.

Favorites 4Black Cat, Probability Control (left) – For as much as I love the common version of Black Cat, I love this one just as much or maybe a bit more. You just need to field this version and you get to force a reroll of one of your opponent’s characters. She’s basically a smaller version of Storm, Wind-Rider. She makes a great Spider-Team character with her purchase cost and fielding cost, and her stats aren’t too bad on level two and three. I can’t decide which one I want on my Spider-Team, but I plan to test play with both.

Cloak, Secret Defender (center) – This Cloak would go great with Dagger, Tandy Bowen. Both the common and uncommon Cloak cards would make a great pair with Dagger, so it all comes down to personal preference and play style. I like both Cloak abilities personally and think they both make for a great casual team option.

Doctor Octopus, 8 Dangers (right) – This Doctor Octopus is devastating! I really like these new abilities that give you something, but make your opponent pay life to turn it off. This would be a late game purchase, but could be a serious game changer. His level three stats and his ability make the level three fielding cost a little less painful to pay. I really can’t wait to try this Doctor Octopus on a casual team with Sandman and Mysterio.

Favorites 5Green Goblin, Goblin Grandmaster (left) – His purchase cost is great and his stats on level two and three are good. His fielding costs aren’t as big an issue because of his ability. He also has a personal Polymorph type ability, so if you fielded him on level one, you could sacrifice a character to spin him up a level. He’s a Mask Energy character and a Villain too, which could help speed up some of the Villain teams in casual play. Not sure he’ll see competitive play, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.

Lizard, Sewer Dweller (center) – Here is another cheap Villain die. Villains will have their day! I really like the idea of pairing this Lizard with Green Goblin, Goblin Grandmaster. His ability is great when paired with a character like that Green Goblin or Blue-Eyes White Dragon. I can’t complain about his fielding cost too much when you look at the potential with his ability. If you have enough Sidekicks or expendable characters in the field, this Lizard is going to get to an opponent unopposed. He would even go good with Doctor Octopus, 8 Dangers and his awesome ability. I think my Villain team is going to get an overhaul!

Favorites 6Firestar, Amazing Friend (left) -I like Firestar’s ability, a lot, but I don’t like her purchase cost or her level three fielding cost. I do like that she’s a Bolt character so she would fit in really well on my Bolt team. Her cost can be reduced with Blue-Eyes White Dragon and her stats aren’t too bad for my Bolt team. I can’t see her making it into the competitive field though, even with a good ability like hers.

Green Goblin, Goblin Legacy (center) – Another ability that I love. Sure, he hits you with it too, but to field him for free makes it totally worth it. He only has a purchase cost of four and he’s also a Mask character. Villains totally needed cheaper characters and we’re seeing plenty of them now.

Gwen Stacy, The Amazing Spider-Gwen (right) – This Gwen Stacy is awesome for Spider-Teams. As long as you have another Spider-Man affiliated character out in the field, you can field her for free. Her purchase cost is cheap, at three, and her stats are decent for a cheaper character. I really like this Gwen for Spider-Teams more than my Bolt team. I plan to test this Gwen and the common version on my Spider-Team to see which I like better.

Favorites 7Hobgoblin, Mad Fashion Designer (left) – Oh my goodness! This Hobgoblin can be a total nuisance for your opponents. His fielding cost isn’t all that nice for anyone playing him and his purchase cost is high, but I would still love to try him on a team though. His ability is too good to not try out.

Lizard, Scientist (center) – I like that this version has a defensive ability, even though his defense is awful. Every time your opponent uses Blue-Eyes, Lizard is going to get a bigger defense and that’s not something your opponent will want to deal with while attacking. He’s a cheaper Villain which is also good for any Villain team.

Mary Jane, MJ (right) – You can’t have a Spider-Team without Mary Jane and this one is the best! She has Ally and when you field her, you can target any non-Villain character that you control and give them Overcrush for the turn. If you target Spider-Man specifically, he gets +1A as well. MJ helps to get the job done! She’s my first choice on a Spider-Team. Her purchase cost is only two and she’s a Mask character. Her fielding cost is great, and her stats are what you’d expect from a character without super powers or technology. I honestly think that this character could possibly see some competitive play. I’m sure she’ll see lots of casual play. I love this Mary Jane so much, I think Peter Parker might get jealous!

 What are some of your favorite cards in the set?
Leave a comment and let us know!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

I’m pleased to announce that I have completed the transfer of all our previous Confusing Card of the Week posts from our Facebook group to here. It’s taken a little while to get it done, but it’s worth the effort. I was able to add card reviews and links to my favorite site, the Reserve Pool, in almost all the posts. I’m hoping to put a CCW post up every Tuesday from here out.

I’m looking forward to posting about the new Amazing Spider-Man set that just released this week! We have a starter and a collector’s box that I plan on doing a review of later (hopefully today). Well, better get to work on that then!

Roll on Dice Masters!