Posts Tagged ‘News’

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!

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Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

A huge announcement just dropped today from WizKids! The biggest parts of the announcement are rotation and a banned card! You can find all the details under the Articles section on WizKids, but here is the direct link to the announcement.

Rarity and Paper.png

For a little over a year or so, the community has been buzzing about wanting WizKids to introduce either an ongoing ban list, rotation, or some combination of the two. A WizKids representative told folks at Origins in June of 2016, that a rotation was in the works. This news got the greatest speculative minds churning and discussing possible rotation formats. Now, roughly eight months later, WizKids has officially announced rotation! I know I couldn’t be happier to hear the news! We will have two constructed formats for Dice Masters. Here is an excerpt from the announcement describing them:

Golden Age is the format that includes almost every card released – it’s the present format for constructed. It will continue to contain everything that is released, minus Golden Age banned cards. It’s the format you already know and love playing.

Modern Age will change from year to year. As new sets are released, they will become Modern-Age-legal per the tournament rules for card/die legality. As sets become old, we’ll rotate them from Modern Age and Golden Age to Golden Age only. We expect to make an announcement about which sets will rotate and which will stay once per year.

For those that have played HeroClix, these terms will look familiar. These are the names for the HeroClix formats as well. I love that WizKids kept with that wording when naming the Dice Masters formats. It will help with familiarity for the players that crossover between the two games.

Here is the What is rotation? and Why? – straight from WizKids:

What is rotation?

Rotation describes sets moving from being legal in Modern Age and Golden Age to only being legal in Golden Age. This will happen to the oldest product that is in Modern-Age-legal.

Why rotate?

Rotation keeps the metagame healthy for our most dedicated, competitive players. A smaller card pool means new sets are a bigger part of what everyone can focus on having fun with. For players that enjoy a large card pool, they can still play that way in friendly games and specified events.

Rotation keeps the game accessible to new players. As sets get old, they often become scarce. Staple cards are harder for new players to access, and getting into the game fresh can become challenging when there are very-many sets to collect cards from. Players getting started may even be overwhelmed by the number of gravity feeds and starter sets to choose from. New players are important to us, retailers, and dedicated players in order to continue building the Dice Masters community.

Rotation improves Dice Masters for retailers. The stores with the most successful Dice Masters communities may have the entire line in stock, but that’s a lot to ask for from every retailer who wants to support Dice Masters. Stores are able to keep the line accessible to their customers with fewer gravity feeds in stock, as well as a smaller variety of starters (which ties back to our decision to release fewer starter sets this year).

Rotation is definitely not a bad thing when you look at the bigger picture. You may not be able to play with those older cards, but it opens the door for you to experiment and find new things you like.

So the next thing that WizKids covers is the When? for the rotation.

When will rotation happen?

Modern Age begins on June 1st, 2017. Qualifying events, National Championships, and World Championships held after this date will be in the Modern Age format.

Okay, so they are giving folks three solid months to test play and adjust their teams accordingly for the Origins events. This is a vast improvement on the ‘week notice’ we were given about the first turn rule change for some of the WKOs. This shows they actually listen and care about what the community thinks.

So the next thing they cover is What Sets?.

What will Modern Age consist of initially?

To begin with, Modern Age will contain all sets from DC Comics Dice Masters: War of Light and newer, as well as all promos released after War of Light (September 16th, 2015). At the end of this announcement, see the full list.

Cool! So here is the list:

Comprehensive Modern Age List (announced February 22nd, for official use June 1st)

Modern Age includes the following sets :

  • DC Comics Dice Masters: War of Light
  • Marvel Dice Masters: The Amazing Spider-Man
  • D&D Dice Masters: Faerûn Under Siege
  • DC Comics Dice Masters: World’s Finest
  • Marvel Dice Masters: Civil War
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dice Masters: Box Set
  • DC Comics Dice Masters: Green Arrow and The Flash
  • Marvel Dice Masters: Deadpool
  • Marvel Dice Masters: Doctor Strange Team Pack
  • Marvel Dice Masters: Iron Man and War Machine Starter Set
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dice Masters: Heroes In A Half-Shell Box Set
  • DC Comics Dice Masters: Batman
  • Marvel Dice Masters: Defenders Team Pack

Future sets will be considered Modern Age one week after their release date.

The following promos, and any promos releasing in 2017 will also be considered Modern Age:

  • Batmobile: From Wayne Enterprises
  • Iron Fist: The Immortal
  • Robin: Teen Titans Team Leader
  • Starfire: Powerful Friend
  • Nova: Nova Prime
  • Thanos: Gauntlet Wielder
  • Lex Luthor: Legion of Doom
  • Scarecrow: Legion of Doom
  • Mummy: Legendary Undead
  • Gelatinous Cube: Legendary Ooze
  • Half-Dragon: Legendary Humanoid
  • Skeleton: Legendary Undead
  • Gwen Stacy: Spider-Ally
  • Mary Jane: Spider-Ally
  • Supergirl: Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • The Flash: Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • Melinda May: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Terry McGinnis: Batman Beyond
  • Daredevil: Marvel Knight
  • Punisher: Marvel Knight
  • Stargirl: DC Bombshell
  • Lois Lane: DC Bombshell
  • Villainous Pact
  • Ant-Man: Tiny Regret
  • Baron Zemo: Citizen V
  • Thrown Car
  • Mxyzptlk: Golden Age Superman
  • Bizarro: Golden Age Superman
  • Marvel: Amazing Hero
  • Loki: Angsty Asgardian
  • Focus Power
  • Green Arrow: Archery Advocate
  • Roy Harper: Adolescent Archer
  • Strahd: Master of Ravenloft
  • Ant-Man: Classic Avenger
  • Captain America: Classic Avenger
  • Barry Allen: Fastest Man Alive
  • Professor Zoom: Thief

So I thought it was odd that Squirrel Girl is missing from this list. But Squirrel Girl has a set symbol and number for Civil War, #143 of 142. They may just be including her in the Civil War set because of that. Belaphoss and Bat-Mite are missing as well, but also numbered the same with their respective set symbols (thanks! – to the folks in DM Unlimited for pointing this out!). It’s probably safe to say that they’re legal for Modern play so long as their set is legal. Also, I think Marvel: Amazing Hero is probably Ms. Marvel: Amazing Hero. You’ll notice that Black Manta: Deep Sea Deviant is missing. Here’s why:

Why are some promo cards rotated but others remain legal from the same OP kit?

Promo cards that share a collector number with a rotated card rotate with that card (for example, Black Manta: Deep Sea Deviant). Promo cards that are functionally identical reprints of rotated cards (with identical names) but have different collector numbers will remain in Modern Age (for example, Thrown Car and Villainous Pact).

But then, there’s this too!

Also, we’re announcing that Half-Elf Bard: Master Lords’ Alliance will be banned in Modern Age. As with all banned cards, we may unban it depending on metagame conditions. The Rules Forum will maintain a list of banned cards. An easy way to check this list is by visiting: dicemasters.com/bannedcards.

Oh my Pinkie Pie!!! One of the most problematic cards, and a card that shows up on more than half of the top eight teams at loads of events – is BANNED is Modern.

bard-banned

If you really love your Bard, you can still play him in the Golden Age format. He’s not banned in Golden Age, only in Modern. Along with that specific Bard, you won’t be able to play cards from these sets in a Modern format, as of June 1, 2017:

Which sets are rotating out of Modern Age as of June 1st?

  • Marvel Dice Masters: Avengers vs. X-Men
  • Marvel Dice Masters: The Uncanny X-Men
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Dice Masters Series 1
  • D&D Dice Masters: Battle for Faerûn
  • DC Comics Dice Masters: Justice League
  • Marvel Dice Masters: Age of Ultron

So there are only six full sets that are rotating out of Modern on June 1st. Compared to the huge Modern list, I’d say we definitely got a good deal here. As the game continues and grows, the Golden Age list will definitely be larger than Modern.

Here’s what they say about Golden Age:

What if my store wants to run Golden Age events?

Please clearly mark your event as Golden Age in your event’s description on the WizKids Info Network. If you are running a WizKids Premier Event, like a WizKids Open, please make sure this is not contrary to any direction that is given by WizKids.

Also, please note that dicemasters.com/bannedcards will include a list of cards that are disallowed for Golden Age play.

Golden Age Banned Cards

Banned Cards (Golden Age):

  • Relentless: Basic Action Card
  • Swords of Revealing Light: Basic Action Card

So, Golden Age is what most of us call Unlimited or Constructed. Now we have a much better name for it. And the same cards that were already banned, are still banned. Nothing was added to the Golden Age ban list.

Conclusion!

I’m just so happy that they’ve announced rotation earlier than I expected. I didn’t think we’d hear anything about rotation until Origins during Nationals or Worlds. I also didn’t predict a official rotation would go into effect for likely another year. I was off the mark on those predictions, but I did tell my locals that when they announce rotation, they’ll likely call it Golden Age and Modern Age since that’s what they call their Clix formats. At least I predicted that accurately! Golden Age and Modern Age are also descriptions of comic book eras, so it just makes sense. Too bad we can’t fit a ‘Silver Age’ in there somewhere.

I like that they started further back than PDC’s Prime format. PDC has a stricter set list, and I hope they keep it tight like that to balance all the different formats. The newest of players could work their way in at a Prime event, then move to Modern, and finally into Golden Age if they choose to go back that far. I can’t wait to see the reactions from my locals about this awesome rotation news. A few of my locals predicted rotation from WoL and up, which I agreed would be a great starting point.

This keeps Lantern Ring for Ring teams legal and also Guy Gardner for those aggressive players. Guy is definitely more manageable than Bard ever was. There are still lots of counter measures for those teams like Lex Luthor: Ex-Con, Blink: Exile, Bleez: Controlled Rage, and Oni: Greater Giant to combat Ring. Scarecrow: Legion of Doom is still viable to slow Guy Rush teams, not to mention Unstable Canister to reduce the amount of characters in the field, and also Blink – Transmutation to Blink dudes back.

There are so many options open to players now and there is a format for everyone! I don’t think I could have gotten any better news today. Only two things could top this announcement for me; Publisher’s Clearing House knocking on my door (but I don’t play, so it won’t happen), or WizKids finally letting me buy product early to do my article and video reviews before the day of release (but I’m obviously invisible to them!). It’s okay though. I still love them and this amazing game. That’s one reason I write my articles and do my videos – love of the game! The other reason, and probably the biggest reason, is that my articles and videos might help other players. Community is most important!

happy-tmnt

What do you think about the set choices for rotation?
Do you think any other cards should have been banned?
Leave me a comment here or on my Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

Thanks for reading and remember, I appreciate the efforts of every person that takes the time to click the like or follow buttons on my social media sites.

Roll on, Dice Masters!

 

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I’m sure many of you have already seen this announcement from WizKids today. I’m excited to see the prizing for Nationals and the surrounding events announced so early. I’m digging some of those prizes!

The following quotes are taken from the announcement:

DICE MASTERS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Entry Fee: Free for qualified participants

Format: Unlimited Constructed

Pairing Structure: Multiple Swiss Rounds followed by a Single Elimination Top 8 Cut

Prize Structure* (All prizing is cumulative):

  • Winner
    • Most Recent Dice Masters Factory Set Available at the Time of the Event
    • 2017-2018 Dice Masters National Championship Qualification
  • Top 2
    • Most Recent Dice Masters Super Rare Set Available at the Time of the Event
  • Top 4
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Constantine: Hellblazer Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Green Goblin: “Gobby” Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Constantine: Antihero Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Captain America: Super Soldier Foil Card
  • Top 8
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Scarecrow: Hallucinogenic Vapors Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Punisher: War Journal Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Wonder Girl: Cassie Sandsmark Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Ronin: Lone Warrior Foil Card
  • World Championship Qualifications
    • For every eight players entered into the event (rounded up), one player earns a 2016-2017 Dice Masters World Championship Qualification. If a player is already qualified, their qualification passes down to the next highest ranked player who does not already have a qualification.

CONSTRUCTED DICE MASTERS QUALIFIER

Format: Unlimited Constructed

Pairing Structure: Multiple Swiss Rounds

Prize Structure* (All prizing is cumulative):

  • Winner
    • Most Recent Dice Masters Super Rare Set Available at the Time of the Event
  • Top 2
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Constantine: Hellblazer Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Green Goblin: “Gobby” Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Constantine: Antihero Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Captain America: Super Soldier Foil Card
  • Top 4
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Scarecrow: Hallucinogenic Vapors Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Punisher: War Journal Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Wonder Girl: Cassie Sandsmark Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Ronin: Lone Warrior Foil Card
  • Top 8
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Two Face: Double Deal Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Rocket Raccoon: Not a Raccoon Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Big Entrance Basic Action Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters The Front Line Basic Action Foil Card
  • Participation Prize**
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Green Arrow: Robin Hood Sketch Variant Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Hulk Out Basic Action Sketch Variant Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Beast Boy: Gar Sketch Variant Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Vibranium Shield: One of a Kind Sketch Variant Card
  • National Championship Qualifications
    • For every four players entered into the event (rounded up), one player earns a 2016-2017 Dice Masters National Championship Qualification. If a player already earned a 2016-2017 Dice Masters National Championship Qualification in the country in which the event is being held, their qualification passes down to the next highest ranked player who has not already earned a 2016-2017 Dice Masters National Championship Qualification in the country in which the event is being held.

DICE MASTERS QUICK PLAY

Minimum Players/Maximum Players:  4/8

Format: Unlimited Constructed

Pairing Structure: Players are paired against each other randomly. Then, players play a single one-game match. The winner of the each of the matches receives a prize.

Prize Structure*:

  • Winner – Random prize from the following group:
    • Marvel Dice Masters Venom: Symbiotic Organism Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Constantine: Con Artist Foil Card
    • Dice Masters Faerun Under Siege Half-Elf Bard: Master Lords’ Alliance Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Slander Basic Action Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Kryptonite: Green Death Foil Card
    • Dice Masters Battle for Faerun Prismatic Spray: Lesser Spell Foil Card
DICE MASTERS RAINBOW DRAFT

Minimum Players/Maximum Players:  4/8

Format: Rainbow Draft

Pairing Structure: Players are paired against each other randomly. Then, players play a single one-game match. The winner of the each of the matches receives a prize.

Prize Structure*:

  • Winner – Random prize from the following group:
    • Marvel Dice Masters Venom: Symbiotic Organism Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Constantine: Con Artist Foil Card
    • Dice Masters Faerun Under Siege Half-Elf Bard: Master Lords’ Alliance Foil Card
    • Marvel Dice Masters Slander Basic Action Foil Card
    • DC Comics Dice Masters Kryptonite: Green Death Foil Card
    • Dice Masters Battle for Faerun Prismatic Spray: Lesser Spell Foil Card

So here are all the prize cards that will be offered at Nats/Nats Qualifiers/Side Events by set, in order of set release:

Avengers vs X-Men
Green Goblin: “Gobby”
Vibranium Shield: One of a Kind

Battle for Faerun
Prismatic Spray: Lesser Spell

Justice League
Constantine: Hellblazer
Constantine: Con Artist
Constantine: Antihero

Age of Ultron
Captain America: Super Soldier

War of Light
Big Entrance: Basic Action Card
Beast Boy: Gar
Wonder Girl: Cassie Sandsmark

Amazing Spider-Man
Slander: Basic Action Card
Hulk Out: Basic Action Card

Faerun Under Siege
Half-Elf Bard: Master Lords’ Alliance

World’s Finest
Scarecrow: Hallucinogenic Vapors
Two-Face: Double Deal
Kryptonite: Green Death

Civil War
The Front Line: Basic Action Card
Punisher: War Journal
Rocket Raccoon: Not a Raccoon
Ronin: Lone Warrior
Venom: Symbiotic Organism

Green Arrow and The Flash
Green Arrow: Robin Hood

Like many of you out there, I’ve been patiently awaiting the announcement of a rotation from WizKids. It looked like we were inching ever closer when the spoilers of the Iron Man & War Machine Starter and the TMNT Heroes in a Half-Shell Box were released. But now, with several cards from sets as old as Avengers vs X-Men getting a foil or blank sketch treatment, I’m left wondering if WizKids is still considering a rotation at all. One thing that this announcement confirms for me is that we probably won’t hear any rotation talk from WizKids, at least until after Nats and Worlds.

My only concern in regards to the prizing choices are how they will be affected by a rotation, if WizKids decides to do it. WizKids has ignored (not declined) all my requests for an interview in regards to several topics including rotation.

And for those of you wondering when the everything is going down, you can find it on the WizKids Road to Worlds Page. Here is the tentative schedule for all events at Origins Game Fair 2017:

  • WEDNESDAY
    • 11:00 A.M.
      • Registration Starts
    • 12:00 P.M.
      • Side Events Start
    • 1:00 P.M.
      • HeroClix Golden Age Deadpool Scenario
  • THURSDAY
    • 9:00 A.M.
      • Registration Starts
    • 10:00 A.M.
      • HeroClix U.S. National Championship
      • HeroClix World Championship Qualifiers Start
      • Side Events Start
    • 11:00 A.M.
      • HeroClix Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Scenario
    • 3:00 P.M.
      • HeroClix Modern Age Power Outage Scenario
    • 8:00 P.M.
      • HeroClix World Championship Qualifiers End
      • Side Events End
  • FRIDAY
    • 9:00 A.M.
      • Registration Starts
    • 10:00 A.M.
      • HeroClix World Championship
      • Dice Masters U.S. National Championship
      • Dice Masters World Championship Qualifiers Start
      • Star Trek: Attack Wing U.S. National Championship
      • Side Events Start
    • 11:00 A.M.
      • HeroClix Golden Age Lil’ Clix Scenario
    • 3:00 P.M.
      • HeroClix Modern Age Theme Team Scenario
    • 8:00 P.M.
      • Dice Masters World Championship Qualifiers End
      • Side Events End
  • SATURDAY
    • 9:00 A.M.
      • Registration Starts
    • 10:00 A.M.
      • HeroClix Team World Championship
      • Dice Masters World Championship
      • Star Trek: Attack Wing World Championship
      • Side Events Start
    • 11:00 A.M.
      • HeroClix Modern Age Meteor Shower Scenario
    • 3:00 P.M.
      • HeroClix Golden Age Joker’s Wild Scenario
    • 8:00 P.M.
      • Side Events End
  • SUNDAY
    • 9:00 A.M.
      • Registration Starts
    • 10:00 A.M.
      • Side Events Start
    • 11:00 A.M.
      • HeroClix Modern Age Traitor Scenario
    • 4:00 P.M.
      • Side Events End

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I have some excellent news for Dice Masters in and around the Dyersburg area. We will be hosting a Prime Event at the Dyersburg Comic and Pop Culture Con on Saturday, March 18, 2017!

We are still putting all the details together, like entry fee, prizing, etc. We do know that registration for the Prime Tournament will open at 10:00 am and the tournament will begin at 11:00 am. We’re thinking of doing side events, like Drafts and/or Ten Pack Sealed events. A Ten Pack Sealed event is where each participant purchases ten booster of any set and builds their team directly from the packs. These side events will fire as soon as the seats are filled. We will be working on the details for these events, including prizing, and I’ll announce all the details in a future article. This is a great opportunity to come and test a Prime team for the upcoming PDC events in April and May.

There will be several artists at the convention, including Deadpool inker and penciller, John Lucas! This is a perfect opportunity to meet him face to face and commission a sketch on those Deadpool sketch variants! The organizer for the convention couldn’t give me specific details on pricing or how long Mr. Lucas would need to complete a sketch. If I can get that information in advance, I will definitely announce it in a future article.

There will cosplay contests, vendors, and even food on location. Ticket prices for the convention are only $10. Entry fees for events are separate. Keep your eye on the convention website for additional information!

Website: http://dyersburgcomiccon.com/

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

I’ve been looking over the upcoming releases for the year and I’ve noticed a few things that I’m really excited about, but also some things that concern me. Before I get into all of it, here is the tentative release schedule for the first part of the year – as of January 5, 2017:

January

No Product

February

2/8/17
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Heroes in a Half Shell Box Set

2/15/17
Marvel
Iron Man and War Machine Starter Set

March

Marvel
Deadpool Family Values OP Kit

April

Marvel
Guardians of the Galaxy Gravity Feed (90 ct)
Guardians of the Galaxy Gift with Purchase (Feed Incentive)

DC
Batman the Animated Series (TAS) OP Kit

May

DC
Batman Gravity Feed (90 ct)
Batman Gift with Purchase (Feed Incentive)
Superman and Wonder Woman Starter Set

Marvel
Defenders Team Pack
Xavier’s School OP Kit

June

Marvel
X-Men First Class Gravity Feed (90 ct)
X-Men First Class Gift with Purchase (Feed Incentive)

DC
Batman the Animated Series (TAS) Villains OP Kit

July

No Product

August

DC
Batman the Animated Series (TAS) Sirens OP Kit

Okay, so here is the list of things I don’t like.

1. May – A Gravity Feed, Starter, and Team Pack are all scheduled for that month. That’s a huge dent to a wallet.

2. There are three Gravity Feed sets scheduled for three consecutive months. So forget about the Starter and Team Pack in May, because April, May, and June all have Feeds scheduled. One of those Feeds was originally scheduled for February and it was pushed back to May. There could be a plethora of reasons that Batman was pushed back and I don’t want to open up speculation about it. I just hope they adjust this release schedule and spread those Feeds out a little more.

3. January, February, and July are void of OP Kits. I get that inventory usually happens at the first of the year and WKOs happen in February, but I wish we had a consistent OP Kit release for each month. This is just a minor dislike and not really a major issue.

4. I don’t like that the Starter releases are months apart. I would have preferred them to both be released in the same month, like both during the last week of April or the first week in May.

Now – on to the positive things.

1. New Turtles! I’m super excited for the new Turtle box and I can’t wait to get my hands on additional TMNT Dice Masters. If we get a new TMNT Box each year, that would be awesome!

2. The new Defenders Team Pack – I’m really excited to see them continuing with this type of product. The format for the product is great for beginners to help them build a better team than just what they get from a single starter.

3. The return of Starters! I imagine these starters will be similar to previous ones, but I can’t confirm anything on those. If they’re like previous starters, they’ll likely just have two dice for each character. I can only hope that those characters will have a Max Dice of two. I can understand how some folks will likely be frustrated if they feel they have to purchase two Starters in order to get more dice. A great solution for this would be for WizKids to utilize preexisting character dice patterns/colors for Starter characters so players can use dice they may already have – or can easily get. Hopefully that’s something that they’ll consider. There is a picture circulating on BoardGameGeek that shows the starter contents, but the text is too hard to read. The picture only shows two dice for each character though and almost all the dice look new, as do most of the characters.

4. I’m really excited for the Batman the Animated Series OP Kits – and there isn’t just one, or two, but three that are currently scheduled! Batman TAS is one of the most positive memories from my childhood and it brings back wonderful thoughts of time I spent with my Great Grandmother. I’m so excited for these kits!

5. On the topic of OP Kits – I’m glad there are more DC OP Kits than Marvel OP Kits because I’m a little burnt out on Marvel kits at the moment.

6. I’m very happy to see the continuation of the ‘Gift with Purchase’ items. I highly suspect them to be cards that are likely obtained when you purchase a Feed and are probably blank sketch variants of a card in the set. I like those a lot because they aren’t functionally different from other cards in the set and that eases the stress on many players that feel like they need a functionally different copy of every card in the game. I personally love these cards and horde them for when I am finally able to make it to a convention to have artists I like draw on them. My feelings wouldn’t be hurt if they changed those Gift with Purchase cards to something else, but I wouldn’t want to see functionally different cards. I think things like that should be saved for major events like WKO’s or Free Comic Book Day.

7. And speaking of Free Comic Book Day – I’m excited about the tentative release date for the Superman and Wonder Woman Starter and I hope they don’t change it. I hope it releases the first week in May or even the last week in April, that way stores have a new item to showcase for FCBD! That would be totally awesome!

8. And a final positive point – there is new product scheduled. I know some of you may think, ‘well duh, of course there’s new stuff’, but let me tell you… I also play(ed) a game I discovered at Origins this past year called The Spoils. The future seemed bright and exciting. We were expecting to hear something about new product any day. Then… they dropped the final letter to the community. It was a goodbye letter. A game that I thought was going to be around, since it was already ten years old, and it was suddenly gone. The same thing happened to me when I was playing the World of Warcraft TCG. One day, the best set of the entire game had dropped, then a week later Blizzard had pulled the plug on the game. So, if you love Dice Masters, be thankful that WizKids is continuing to support the game by creating new product and hosting major events. Be thankful for the communication that they provide through WORF – even if you think it’s minimal communication, it’s something! Be thankful for the friends you’ve made through this amazing game. Be thankful for all the positive things and try to help fellow players. Show some love to WizKids every now and then so that way they know their game is loved and appreciated. I want to see Dice Masters continue to grow and thrive for many years to come!

Final Thoughts

If you would like to keep up with the releases as they update them, you can find their tentative release schedule, here. Just adjust the drop down menu if need be.

Also – I don’t mind comments and discussion on my articles, but please keep it clean and friendly.

What are you most excited for that’s currently on the schedule?
What do you think should be on schedule that isn’t?
Leave me a comment and let me know!
Be sure to follow me on Facebook or my other social media sites and thanks for reading!

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!

Before roughly 10:00 am central time, Back for More read as follows (from the rules insert):

When a die with Back for More is rolled from the Prep Area during the Roll and Reroll Step, use its Back for More effect (this isn’t optional).
But now, we have an update on the WizKids Keyword Page!
When a die with Back for More begins the turn in your Prep Area, and is rolled during the Roll and Reroll Step, use its Back for More effect (this isn’t optional).
The reason this is important is because it keeps Back for More from triggering off of dice that were drawn during the Clear and Draw Step. There should be no reason for any debate in regards to which dice can trigger Back for More. They must have the Back for More ability and also be in your Prep Area at the beginning of your turn.
Thank you WizKids for being so quick to address this potential rules issue and thanks to KeymanDM on Reddit for finding the change on the Keywords page. Make sure you spread the word so that everyone is clear on how this ability is supposed to work!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

 

Earlier this morning, we had WizKids drop a new rule change on us. While many are welcoming the new rule, the timing is questionable. The first round of WizKids Open events are still going on, and the new rule goes into effect on Friday – the day before the next batch of WKO events. While I agree that the timing is pretty bad, a majority of the community has been begging for a fix to the first turn advantage issue so this isn’t a bad thing. It shows the community that WizKids is listening and trying to fix things that could be a potential problem.

Personally, I’m not crazy about the new rule, especially since the official playmats have a ‘Dice Bag’ section and no spot for ‘Out of Play’ which would be incredibly useful. Our locals did a test of the first turn rule when we heard that WizKids was looking into it. You can find our results, here.

Here is the official New Rule Announcement text:

Dice Masters – New Rule Announcement

Hey Dice Masters fans!

As part of our efforts to improve Dice Masters and communicate with our player base, we wanted to give some insight into how we have processed feedback from the community and are addressing a growing concern. Most importantly, we wanted to highlight a change to the way the game is played.

New Rule: The player who goes first in a game of Dice Masters, on their first turn, only draws 3 dice from their bag during their Clear and Draw Step, and places 1 die from their bag out of play.

How did we get here?

Many Dice Masters players felt that going first was a big advantage. The fact that going first in a heads-up game is an advantage isn’t a surprise, but many players felt the magnitude was too severe. They felt like losing the random chance of going first put them at such a severe disadvantage, with all other things being equal, that they would still lose to a less skilled player. Were they right? That was our first step to investigate.

We had a small number of playtest groups focus on trying to determine how likely the first player was to win when two aggressive teams faced off in a mirror match? Depending on the particular mirror match in question, we were seeing the first player won somewhere between 72% and 76% of games. In total, our playtest groups logged over 100 games just trying to determine the current state of the first turn advantage.

Across many, but not all of those games, we collected notes about what was creating games where the second player would win in an upset. Between those notes and the rate at which the first player was winning the game, we were confident that going first was actually, and not just anecdotally, too much of an advantage. This led to an important question: how can we fix this?

There were a few different options that were available to us, some of which are below:

  1. The first player only draws 3 dice on their first turn
  2. The first player only draws 3 dice on their first turn, and places a die from their bag out of play
  3. The second player rolls 5 dice on their first turn
  4. The second player gains an extra energy on their first turn

There are tradeoffs in each of these approaches. Some options emphasize giving the first player less, and others emphasize giving the second player more. One of our goals was to change the probability of winning to be as close to 50/50 as possible.

Problem: Changing the flow of bag refills

Experienced players understand that timing their purchases to when their bag is going to refill is a fundamental skill of Dice Masters. Option 1 and 3 both have a big impact on how your Sidekicks and purchased dice flow through your Used Pile and bag. Normally, rolling an extra die in a future turn will cost you an energy now. Part of the advantage of such an effect is that, when used early, the quality of the dice you’d be drawing from your bag greatly increases. Changing the flow of bag refills with options 1 or 3 would restrict future card designs.

A subset of this problem happens when the second player rolls 5 dice on their first turn. This means that player 2 would potentially have access to a 5 cost character on their 2nd turn, which at that point in the game might mean dropping a huge bomb on their opponent. While certain strategies may exist to combat this, players shouldn’t feel obligated to pack those into every single team or risk getting run over by an incredibly quick 5 cost character.

Problem: Memory effect

Option 4 captures part of the idea of option 3 by giving the second player more energy to spend, but it creates the need to remember you have an energy you can’t see, as well as having an inelegant feel to it. Experienced players may be used to extra energy from what’s often called “bag burn” but by the time they first experience or capitalize on that rule, they’ve probably played dozens of hours’ worth of Dice Masters. Someone experiencing the game fresh is significantly more likely to forget they had that invisible energy to spend. Perhaps they remember after it’s too late to spend the energy – in that case they were not just more likely to lose, but they’d also feel bad about a mistake they made.

As for elegance, having the second player do something different from a normal turn instead of the first player doing something different creates a full turn of the game for each player to forget about that difference.

The winning option from our internal testing and theories was Option 2, to have the player who goes first start with a single die out of play and only draw 3 dice from their bag. We found that there was a marked improvement for the second player’s chance of winning, but we wanted to make sure that it was still true for players out in the wild, not just in the Dice Masters Lab. WizKids selected some stores, and set experimental tournaments into motion.

We found that across all the games at those tournaments, the first player won only 59% of the time out of over 250 games. We believe this average to be representative.

When will this change take place?

For official tournaments, the new rule for going first should be applied as of Friday November 11th, 2016.

For tournaments, other than WizKids Open events, stores may choose to implement the new rule by either unanimous player consent at the beginning of the event, or by including the “New Rule” text from the beginning of the article in their WIN event listing at least 1 full week prior to hosting the event.

This new rule supersedes existing rulebooks. Due to the rapid pace we work at, the Marvel Dice Masters: Iron Man and War Machine Starter Set and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dice Masters: Heroes in a Half Shell Box Set do not include this update to the rules. Our upcoming DC Comics Dice Masters: Superman and Wonder Woman Starter Set will include the new rule for going first as part of its text.

I’m very happy that WizKids is listening to the community. This is definitely not a bad thing, even with the odd timing. I had hoped that we would have seen the rules change drop after the first WKO season, since it had already begun, but I suppose they released it as soon as they could.

At least the rest of this batch of WKO’s will be consistent with the next round of WKO’s in 2017. Only one weekend of WKO’s was able to slide past the new rule. There is a week to test team adjustments, which will probably just be learning purchase order for first turn. This is a minor adjustment compared to say, a whole set dropping and being legal just in time for a major event.

Thanks to WizKids for the work that they put into this issue and for implementing a fix for it, even if the timing is weird. Communication from WizKids is always a positive no matter how minor. Even if it’s only a simple answer on the rules forum to a question that isn’t super complex, it’s still communication and shows effort.

I also wanted to mention one of the answers that WizKids gave on WORF. I’ve seen the question popping up more and more so I’m really glad they answered this. I’ve seen several folks ask if they win the die roll/coin flip to go first, can they choose to go second? The answer is, absolutely – you get to choose. You can find the ruling, here. This is important going into the next batch of WKO’s since the new rules will be in effect.

Good luck to all those testing for and playing in the upcoming WKO events!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

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’m very sad to bring you this breaking news. We were told by our distributor that the Green Arrow / The Flash set is being delayed. We were told that the new street date is September 14, 2016.

For those of you not familiar with these terms:

Distributor – The people/places retail stores get their product from.
Street Date – The official date the item goes on sale. Selling before this date is called breaking street date and can have consequences depending on the company.

This puts a kink in the plans of many venues and TO’s out there as many of them already had scheduled Release Parties with Rainbow Drafts of the new set. We were not given a reason or explanation as to why the set is delayed. We were also told that a lot of NECA/WizKids products are getting their release dates pushed back.

If I find out anything else about the delay, I will update in this article.

*** UPDATE #1 ***

Wizkids has sent out tweets on Twitter confirming the release date for TODAY! September 7, 2016!!! It’s still unclear as to what happened and why our distributor got the date wrong.

Be merry and draft away!

green-arrow-flash

WizKids Twitter

*** UPDATE #2 ***

We got some information directly from our distributor representative. We were told that someone received an email about street dates that involved several N.E.C.A./WizKids products, and they saw that the release dates were different from what they already had. They sent the word out to several of the reps that street dates were delayed, but in fact they were the European street dates and not US street dates.

This mix up had nothing to do with WizKids or anyone on their end – it was completely on the distributor’s end.

Before everyone gets angry at their distributors, keep in mind that they’re humans and folks make mistakes. It didn’t physically hurt anyone and it’s not something that can’t be corrected. Some folks may get their product a day late, but it should be coming. If your reps are still saying that the release date is September 14th, you can inform them that WK officially announced it released today on their Twitter and Facebook.

Hopefully the distributors already have it straightened out though.

Have a happy release day!

Roll on, Dice Masters!