Category Archives: Game day

Gruuling afternoon

Yesterday life whittled down yesterdays league participants to 6 for our second session.

I’d arrived early to rebuild my deck from my card pool I had for the league (the packs opened the previous session) and the one I cracked for this session. The majority of the others had their packs at the end of the previous session. I went red/green (gruul I believe it is known as). My only turn 1 card was a couple of Commune with Dinosaurs that would allow me to hunt for a dinosaur in the top 5 cards of my library. But in reality I’d be looking at playing a creature turn 2 onwards. I had options then, turn 2 blockers, attackers, even the chance to make dinosaurs cheaper.

When I deck build I do like to have more low cost options, and have some more costly options but not as many. That way I stand a better chance of getting playable stuff in my opening hand or a mulligan. Plus if I don’t draw much land, which can happen, I can play something, and draw something I can play.

Out of 11 games I went 6-5. So my wins edged it this time. And a very big improvement over the opening session of just 1 win.

I was happier with this deck and the way it built up. There is hardly any removal, a single Crushing Canopy.

I pulled a Deathgorge Scavenger, and Charging Monstrosaur in my loser booster. Which made the deck even stronger. Both were really effective.

We gave Lukas a quick play lesson for his deck and told him what he should be looking for in his opening hand. Sadly we didn’t have his card pool to hand to see if we could help him strengthen his deck.

As usual we had a great afternoon of playing MtG, at our great hosts FenRock. Who are currently doing some exciting changes to the climbing facilities they have.

Sunday Surprise

I knew that my second order from Card Kingdom was somewhere between their location on the west coast of America, the Atlantic and our postal system. So when the 2 battle decks, rookie deck, and sideboard starter turned up today I was a little surprised. Like the latest MtG duel deck I was expecting it next week sometime. But both early on a Sunday. What a pleasant surprise.

I’m a fan of the MtG duel decks. They are great for casual players who just want that MtG experience without all the investment and deck building etc. I’m really looking forward to playing this latest set of Merfolk vs Goblins. Especially when I’m hoping there are cards in the merfolk deck that I could use in a merfolk tribal deck for Commander. Yeah I have a merfolk deck on my list of Commander decks to build. I think Ixalan will be inspiring lots of tribal decks for Commander players. With this duel deck, Explorers of Ixalan and the next set Rivals of Ixalan there will be plenty of options to build tribal decks around merfolk. Naturally I’m not counting cards from earlier sets, because I don’t have many. So I build from what I have. Besides I won’t break up a duel deck, so if there are cards I want I’ll have to target buy or buy another copy. Anyway I digress.

These duel decks are my “let’s play a game of magic” for my friends and myself. Or sometimes for my students to use to play with.

The battle decks from Card Kingdom are their version/equivalent to the official Planeswalker decks. So I went with their new merfolk and dinosaur decks. After that digression earlier I bet you can guess why I got these two decks. Which might eventually be their final destination. But in the meantime they are going to fill the same kind of job as the duel decks which I think they are ideal for. Naturally at $10 a piece you are not going to be getting any high value cards. But used as I intend to they are a bargain.

The rookie red deck is just a basic deck I can use along side Welcome Decks to teach the game. Whilst I wanted the sideboard to introduce the concept to my students.

Naturally it goes without saying I’m rather keen to try these decks.

Saturday

Yesterday Justin, Jonathan and myself played a couple of games. Our first game was Sub Terra. The baggage this game has is a nice source of banter at my expense. But then again it’s banter if you give it, you also have to receive it. This was a first time in the depths underground for Jonathan and Justin. Jonathan was designated first player by the fact his arm had been down a manhole recently. Which sadly was the nearest any of us had been to being underground. The criteria for choosing the first player in the rules is the person who most recently has been below ground. Thematic but still.

Jonathan and Justin both went off exploring in one direction while my two characters went off in another. A Horror didn’t turn up until the second half of the game. Unluckily for me the exit was on the side of the cave complex that Jonathan and Justin were on. Even worse for me was there was not a chance I’d make it over to them in time before we were out of time. Which didn’t matter, even with two horrors on their tails, both my cavers became unconscious. Still 4 out of 6 escaped. So we won the game!

Our second and final game of the afternoon was London (Second Edition). Which to cut along boring story short I won. Justin thanks to having lots of poverty ended up with a negative score. I think played right his tactic of 7/8 stacks could work. But when you ran the city you’d have to have zero cards in hand by the time you got to the calculating poverty stage.

A great afternoon gaming, and once more a big thanks to our hosts The White Lion for allowing us to play there.

In response 

Yesterday was the start of our MtG League. This time we were using the latest set Ixalan. 

We had to start earlier than our regular time because our amazing host Fenrock needed us finished by 4pm so that they could prepare for a Halloween/Guy Fawkes party that evening.

My win-loss record for the afternoon was abysmal, I went 1-8. A single win. I got milled twice. A couple of games were close though.

I was playing a blue/white or Azorius as it’s called pirates deck. Although after my second losing booster I had a couple of cards that needed black mana. But I didn’t splash any swamps into my deck. I used treasure for that instead. I’m not a pirates person. I’m definitely a dinosaur and merfolk. But you have to run with what the boosters give you.

However the words I used for the title of this post struck terror into the hearts of my opponents, “in response”. I had a blast playing this deck despite the abysmal win ratio. So much fun counter spelling those big expensive dinos as them were coming onto the battlefield and getting lots treasure for doing so. Who knew blue could be so much fun!

Now using the boosters I have, which in this league format act as your sideboard, I have two weeks to ponder my deck for our next league day. 

A big thanks once more to our hosts Fenrock for providing great facilities and coffee.

A mountain short

“One more mountain and I would have won!”

That’s how I got to sleep last night after playing commander with Jeff, Jamie, and Lukas yesterday afternoon.

We had a 2 hour window to squeeze in a game of commander and teach Jeff the basics of Magic (he hadn’t played it before), before the hotel closed for the day. Jeff played with my Vampiric Bloodlust deck from Commander 2017. After a brief run through of how to play Magic, we started our game of commander.

I was playing the Heavenly Inferno preconstructed deck from the Commander Anthology set. The commander for this deck was Kaalia of the Vast (which apparently is going for £33 on sites such as Magic Madhouse, that’s a third of the cost of the set for one card!)

I was using Kaalia early on to cheat out other creatures in my hand for free. I can see why she is the price she is. 4 CMC (Converted Mana Cost) for a 2/2 and that ability. Cards like Akroma, Angel of Fury (8 CMC), Bladewing the Risen (7 CMC), Reiver Demon (8 CMC) and Lightkeeper of Emeria (4 CMC) that were sitting  in my hand were soon out on the battlefield doing their thing with Kaalia’s ability.

I was aided early on by cards like Return to Dust that enabled me to put the brakes on Jamie’s dragon deck (a tweaked 2017 commander deck) by removing his artifact and enchantment he had out that would have enabled him to get his big nasty dragons out earlier by making them cheaper.

It was funny because when Jamie did finally get a dragon out on the board I played Syphon Flesh which meant the other players had to sacrifice a creature, and I got a 2/2 black Zombie token for each creature sacrificed that way. The dragon Jamie had out was his only creature, so that went bye bye. Then Jeff had a creature out that had an ability that kicked in at the start of his upkeep that required each player to sacrifice a creature. Which basically stopped Jamie from playing anything for a few turns because he would have to sacrifice it after his turn finished. Luckily I had enough tokens and cheap creatures out that I didn’t have to lose any of my big flying hitters.

I actually held on to Lightkeeper of Emeria until near the middle of the game when I could bring her out using Kaalia’s ability when attacking, and kick her 4 times to add 8 health to myself. That put me in a pretty good position mid game, 48 health, and 4 flying creatures out on the battlefield.

Towards the end of the game, with the clock ticking away, Jeff took control of Akroma, Angel of Fury. Luckily he was unable to do anything with it to me before I killed it off. Sadly for Jamie he had to take 6 points of damage from it under Jeff’s control.

We all were under 10 health. I had hit everyone for 7 damage with Earthquake, and cleared out some creatures.

With less than 5 minutes on the clock, I had the final turn of the game before the hotel was to shut. I needed to top deck a solution that would give me the win. I drew Diabolic Tutor. That was a pretty good top deck. I could go and look for a solution. With the seconds ticking away, I didn’t have time to look through my whole deck. I came across Sulfurous Blast. That would get everyone down to 2 or three points of damage. I had 2 flying creatures to attack with. Jamie and Jeff had creatures, but they were tapped out, or would die before they could block. Lukas has no creatures out. I only had enough mana to fire Pyrohemia once. Not enough to kill Lukas off he would still have one life left. One more mountain or a third creature and I could win. I swung in and killed Lukas and Jamie (I was not going to have dragons win the game), and left Jeff with a couple of points of life and myself unable to defend him attacking. In hindsight without the pressure of the clock ticking, I should have killed Jeff and Jamie, and let Lukas live. Lukas would take his go, hopefully not have a creature with haste to play, pass the turn back to me, and I’d win. But that hit me on the way into work this morning, as the way I could have won. Instead I was killed by Jeff, leaving him as the last man standing and the winner of his first game of Magic and our game of commander.

It’s hard to get across how much pressure there was with that clock ticking away, knowing that we had seconds to finish, pack up and get out. I’d like to think without that pressure I would have spotted that optimal play to give me the win. But it did rely on Lukas not playing anything that could remove my last 3 points of life.

I really enjoyed this Heavenly Inferno deck. It was fun to play, helped by some awesome card draw.

It was a fun afternoon, Jeff enjoyed his first game of Magic. Who knows we may see Jeff at more commander sessions, he’s more than welcome to use one of my precon decks if he does want to come along again.

Finally a big thank you The White Lion Hotel for their generosity in letting us play there. It is really appreciated.

False Summit! 

Monday Dale and I met up at The White Lion to do combat using cards and dice playing Star Wars: Destiny. It’s been a couple of months since we’ve had a chance to play like this. Our timetables don’t really sync that much this year at work.


While waiting for Dale to turn up (which wasn’t long) I threw together an Elite Thrawn and Darth Vader Sith Apprentice Deck. 

Dale was playing the nasty combo of Elite Mace Windu and Jedi Instructor.
That Mace die is nasty. 

The day got off to such a great start with Thrawn/Vader getting me the win. Everything went to plan. Vader was doing damage with hate, I got to use Maces dice against him.

But it went to pot after that. For once when you want Dale to roll badly and get lots of blanks, he decides to roll well. Blanks were few and far apart.

I did tweak the deck a couple of times, which included swapping Vader for an elite Kylo. But still my arse got handed to me.

These weren’t quick games. One or two were nearly victories for me. In those games the dice really did love Dale.

I think both my combos with Thrawn have potential just need to sort the deck out. It needs more removal I think.

Still despite lots of losses I had a lot of fun. 

Oh last night FFG decided to finally release a rules update. It’s massive. FN,Unkar,Phasma (2 player version) and Poe get their point costs adjusted upwards in what FFG are calling Balance of the Force. It’s a bit like the Netrunner Most Wanted List. There are some card errata as well. The main one nerfs Vibroknife. And the overwriting of upgrades gets changed to dial back FN and Rey. But in Reys case it’s still possible to do a big action cheat with Force Speed and an Ambush weapon and her ability, but there are tools to at least stop it now. Overall not a bad update. You can read it here.

Yesterday also saw the Justin and Liz alliance once more in full swing as we played our first six player game of A Game of Thrones the boardgame. We played with the A Dance With Dragons expansion.

The expansion replaced the combat cards from the base game. These cards could be used in the base game all the time if I wanted to. It also had starting scenario cards for all the houses. 


I liked the expansion a lot. The new combat cards shake things up a little for those that have learnt the cards in the base game. Whilst the starting scenarios jump you more into the action, speeding the game up a little. The game also plays over 6 rounds with the highest score being the winner at the end of the 6th round if no-one has gained the 7 points before then. So it’s a shorter game too. Forcing people to be aggressive and grab those castles and strongholds. 

In our game it almost worked out that it was one side of the table/board against the other side. With puppet master Justin trying to manipulate the unholy alliance on his side to his benefit. Luckily the Tyrell’s were placed on the Iron Throne denying the axis of evil. My last round was spent attacking Liz (Starks) to cut down her points. Which would deny her a shot at victory. A lesson not to side with Justin.

As the Greyjoys I was last. But I think everyone enjoyed the game. I think Cry Havoc would be a good game for Liz to try next.

The Only London I Like

Whose idea was it to do a 10am play session?  Getting dressed before midday on a Sunday such a silly idea. Ok it was the only time Jonathan was free for us to try the latest addition to his collection London (Second Edition) by Martin Wallis. Which I was pretty keen to try. There was the compensation for getting dressed of a full English with optional extra (75p addon) black pudding, and unlimited refill coffee at  Spoons where we were meeting to play.

The day before Jonathan had messaged me that he had to be back home by midday and that London as a two player experience a long drawn out game. Apparently there was a two player variant for the original version but not the second edition. With an eye on the clock we were going to play London and see how we got on.

I’d got to Spoons slightly early so I could have that traditional breakfast. Which I had  was just having the last bites of when Jonathan arrived. The coffee used by Spoons according to the menu is Lavazza coffee. It was awful. Not even sugar could hide it’s hideous taste. And sugar can usually hide most things. Jonathan had already had a bacon sarnie for breakfast so he too signed up for the unlimited refill coffee.

I really do think Osprey the publisher do a fantastic job with the presentation of their games. I love the graphic design of the box for the game. It’s simple, yet elegant. The component quality is usually pretty good too.

Jonathan had said people had complained about the cards in the game. But they were thick, not linen finish. Jonathan thought maybe a little sticky. They seemed ok quality wise. Not the best, but definitely not the worse either. However by the end of the game the were scuff marks showing on the edges of one or two cards. Not good. There is certainly an issue here. I wouldn’t expect this after just one play!

The game itself is very enjoyable and definitely not a long and drawn out experience. I think it was just over an hour including learning to play the game by reading the rules, and with the expected looking up the odd rule through out the game.

I’ll talk more about the mechanics once I’ve had a chance to play the game with more players. There are some nice mechanics here.

I did win the game, I scored massively with my city cards. Something Jonathan failed to notice I had been doing. The Westminster borough was also a useful one to own. I could draw 0,1, or 2 cards at the start of my turn. Most of the time I drew two cards. But the odd time I didn’t draw any. Like at the end to stretch out the game a turn or two more to rack up more points. 

I liked it as a two player experience. Glad I have a copy on the way. If you are paying £30 or more for this then you aren’t looking hard enough online. At under £30 this is good value for money, over less so. Mind you that money you save will have to be spent on sleeves for the cards.

While out playing London, my half term reading Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu Earth Volume 1 arrived. I remember reading Rogue Trooper when he first appeared in 2000 A.D. as a teenager. So he was long over due a revisit to renew our friendship. 

Magic and Politics!

As a “palette cleanser” between MtG leagues we set up a Commander session.

Commander for those wondering what the hell it is, is a multiplayer variant of Magic the Gathering. Each player has a commander (a Legendary creature), a deck of 99 cards (apart from basic lands, you can only have one copy of each card), and starts with 40 health. It’s basically a free for all after that, last man standing is the winner.

But the thing is there is a political element to the game that a “normal” game of Magic doesn’t have. You are making deals, ganging up to remove the current big threat on the table. 


We had seven players turn up to play Commander. Which meant we had two tables with people playing Commander. 4 players on one table, and 3 on the other.

I was on the 4 player table. Which was made up of myself, Diego, Justin, and Jamie.  We were all playing with preconstructed decks. Justin was using the cat tribal 2017 deck, Jamie had the dragon tribal 2017 deck. While Diego and I had decks from the Anthology. I had chosen the Plunder the Graves deck, which I assumed was going to be putting stuff into the graveyard and doing stuff with it. Diego chose Freyalise Llanowar’s Fury that had a Planeswalker as it’s commander. 

Naturally dragons were seen as the biggest threat on the table. So we all smacked Jamie first, although the odd blow went towards each other as well. However that allowed Diego to make use of his deck, get commander out, work those combos. It wasn’t long before Diego had too much out, and was dominating things. Sadly no board wipes were coming. So the inevitable happened, he won.

Our second game started out the same way. Keep those big nasty dragons off the table. This game was looking like a win for Justin. He’d got 22 health left, Diego was on 8, I was on 10. I’d got some creatures on the board (after a great power play a couple of turns earlier) that made me less of a target than Diego. I’m not entirely sure I could have survived Justin swinging at me, but luckily I didn’t have to find out because he swung in with everything he had but 1 creature suffering from summoning sickness at Diego to finish him off. If I swung in with everything I had enough to win, even if Justin blocked. I’d won!

The tables then swapped round. The four player table was now Justin, myself, Josh and Michael. Josh was running the dragon deck. But the biggest threat was Michael and his constructed deck he built. Which meant a pact was made to target him first. I’d mulliganned most games during the afternoon. But I’d forgotten we were using the Paris mulligan, I could have been keeping a card or two I wanted in the mulligans. Doh! The biggest surprise for me in this game was that I lasted so long in this epic long game. I needed lands, particularly a forest so I could start playing cards. I had removal stuff in hand that would ruin Michaels plans, if I only had a flipping forest. 

Our alliance fell apart for a while after I was finally able to cast spells, and a failed attempt to remove Michael’s two creatures in front of him. I had played a card that forced everyone to sacrifice two creatures. I had none, so was ok. It got rid of the creatures in front of Josh and Justin. However it didn’t get rid of the one I’d hoped for with Michael. He flashed in a third creature and sacrificed that saving the threat. Justin soon developed into the biggest threat, and saw him with some nasty pumped up cats in front of him. We all managed to work together to take out one particularly nasty threat from Justin. Josh was getting salty about not being able to keep any dragons out on the battlefield. I don’t think it helped when I took control of one from his graveyard. Justin killed Josh first. I was next on his hit list. Not a surprise really. After such a bad start I was gobsmacked is lasted so long. At my death Michael had just triggered his threat.  He was no getting an extra turn after every other players turn. With his extra turn he somehow wrangled it so that after Justin’s turn he’d be getting 17 extra turns!!! That’s game over once he started taking them for Justin. Sadly for Michael he never got to take them. Justin smacked the life out of him to grab the win.

A great afternoon, some amazing game play. This was such great fun. 

Commander adds that extra political element, and multiplayer that almost makes MtG into a different game! If you don’t like “regular” MtG would you like Commander? It depends on what it is you don’t like about MtG. At the end of the day you are still playing MtG. However as my bad starts have shown that isn’t such a liability in Commander. The bigger liability is being seen as a threat. So if it’s the “I always draw badly” or “it’s down to luck of the draw” as your reasons for not liking MtG then give this a go. If it’s the theme and mechanics, that’s not changed.

A big big thank you to our hosts Fenrock for the use of their facilities, and great coffee.

Our next MtG league starts on the 4th November for anyone interested in joining in the fun. Details of time and location (Fenrock) can be found on the event set up on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page. Where you can also sign up to say you are coming (which would be handy to know so I know how many boosters to get in).

Amonkhet League Finale 

Yesterday was the finale of the first Fenland Gamers Magic League. We had been using the Amonkhet set for this. 

My first game of the afternoon was Michael. Michael’s deck was a nasty one. I haven’t won against him all season, although I did come close once! I started off well this time. But it soon all fell apart and I was looking defeat in the face again. With 2 life left, and a Painful Lesson in hand, instead of waiting to take the beating from Michael I committed suicide. I played Painful Lesson on myself. 

Next up another player I had never won against, Josh. That was a very quick game. I spent most of that game waiting for a swamp to surface so I could play one of the cards I had in hand. 

Jamie threw down a challenge to play him next. But before I accepted I went to my sideboard and swapped in Harsh Mentor. I’m glad I’d pulled this card. It was a silver bullet for Jamie’s deck. Playing it early would disrupt his game plan. 


The corner stone of Jamie’s plan are these two cards.


Which usually chips away at you until he can swing in with his creatures. You take a bit of damage in the build up, and your creatures are stopped from attacking. Eventually at the crucial moment you can’t block either. This time I was able to get Harsh Mentor early, which forced Jamie to remove it with an instant spell which I think was Cut/Ribbons. That spell in the graveyard nearly won him the game. If he’d had one more mana it would have. But I get ahead of myself, back to the removal of Harsh Mentor. That scuppered my plan. I wasn’t worried I had a second, and hopefully would draw into it quickly. I even used my suicide card on myself to try and draw into it. Luckily I play with Wander in Death that allows me to pull back two creatures from my graveyard. While I was waiting for either of the two cards to turn up I was doing a pretty good job of making sure Jamie didn’t execute his plan and keeping his battlefield empty or not able to attack. So when I drew Wander in Death with Jamie on 7 health and myself on 8. I knew I had him. Harsh Mentor was out on the board, next turn bam! Jamie was shut down, he knew it was over if he couldn’t pull it out of the bag. He did the math, the Ribbons half of Cut/Ribbons was short by 1 mana for killing me. Jamie decided to make the futile jesture anyway of dealing me the 7 damage. I was on 1 health, my go. Unable to switch off my attackers with out hurting himself, or block me with creatures, I swung in for the kill and sweet sweet victory. I was a bit vocal, and a quick tease of Michael from Josh and me as I had beaten Jamie when he hadn’t been able to. 

After beating Jamie it was my turn to play Sarah. Harsh Mentor was returned to the sideboard, it had done its job. The game started out poorly. And I was soon in single digit health. But then my cards started kicking in. With my Cartouche  of Ambition out I had life link, and my life total started going up. I had weathered the storm and was hitting back. Somehow in a game I thought I was going to lose, I clawed my way back to get a victory. Two wins in a row! 

Next up was Jamie’s son Lucas. The cards were just totally unkind to Lucas. He just had no answer for the cards I was playing. By the time I’d won I had accumulated over 40 life. 

My final game of the afternoon was Chris. Another player I had not won against all season. Another big hitter. We traded blows. Scuppering each other’s plans along the way. But I ended up victorious. Bloody hell what was happening 4 back to back wins. What a way to end the season. 

I’ve really enjoyed our League. My final record for the season was 11 wins, 16 losses.

Michael took the Most Wins and the Most Plays awards for the season and walked away with two boosters as his prizes. Sarah got the friendliest player award and a booster. So congratulations to them both. 

For those interested here is the final version of my deck.

Deck: Fenland Gamers Amonkhet League 2017.dec
Counts : 30 main

Creatures:9

  • 1 Bloodrage Brawler
  • 1 Dune Beetle
  • 1 Gust Walker
  • 2 Blighted Bat
  • 1 Cursed Minotaur
  • 1 Wasteland Scorpion
  • 1 Emberhorn Minotaur
  • 1 Merciless Javelineer

Spells:11

  • 1 Blazing Volley
  • 2 Magma Spray
  • 1 Impeccable Timing
  • 1 Mighty Leap
  • 2 Cartouche of Ambition
  • 1 Faith of the Devoted
  • 1 Painful Lesson
  • 1 Sweltering Suns
  • 1 Wander in Death

Lands:10

  • 1 Cradle of the Accursed
  • 3 Mountain
  • 2 Plains
  • 1 Sunscorched Desert
  • 3 Swamp

A big thank you to our hosts Fenrock. Great facilities and just as important coffee. 

Our next Magic League will start in November, and will be using the Ixalan set. If you are interested in joining in on the fun you can find out dates and times on the Fenland Gamers Facebook page in the events section,

In the meantime we do have on the 21st a Commander session planned if anyone local fancies playing. Once again details on our clubs Facebook page.

Little guys win again!

That’s the only way I can describe the fall of the Empire once again to the Rebellion.

Yesterday Diego and I played Star Wars: Rebellion with the newly released expansion Rise of the Empire.

Rise of the Empire adds new leaders, new missions, new units, new dice, and new tactic cards. All on the whole inspired/themed around the movie Rogue One.

The new tactic cards are normal size and replace totally the old ones. Plus they are used now in a more streamlined “cinematic” combat system. 

Both Diego and I both liked the new “cinematic” combat system more than the original one. You still have tactic cards for both space and ground battles but each deck is treated as your hand of cards when it comes to do a battle in that arena of conflict. At the start of each round of the battle you choose one tactic card from your hand, then simultaneously both players reveal their selected card, and resolve (the card is then discarded). Then you roll the dice, do damage etc. Except this time the crossed swords symbol is used to prevent dice. And the figures on your leader that were used to draw tactic dice now determine how many dice you can reroll in that arena of conflict. So obviously if you have played A Game of Thrones the boardgame you will be used to that selecting a card and revealing element. It’s the same mechanic. But it’s a nice way of doing this, and it forces you to make some tough decisions about when to play cards. I think after reading a thread when I got home we may have had a misplay on the sword dice. But hey ho.

The new characters, actions and missions were fun, and changed things up. Plus add a little variety to the game. 

It’s a nice expansion that I don’t think I’d play the game without out. 

In our game yesterday we had some great moments. But the game came down to a final battle, that if I’d destroyed Diego’s fighters  instead of going for his big ships first, I’d have won next round. Instead he was able to attempt to blow my Death Star up, and succeed getting him the final two points he needed. To add salt to the wound he also killed Palpatine that round.

A great afternoon gaming with a tactical genius. I will beat you one day Diego 😉

Custom Playmats and a first game of Commander 

If all goes to plan I will have a new play mat for Star Wars:Destiny that will be pretty amazing.

I love this image from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Those X-Wings skimming the water as they race to the rescue of Maz, Han, Chewie, Rey and Finn (plus everyone else at Maz’s place) is just iconic to me.

I was hoping we’d see an official play mat with it on. But it hasn’t happened yet. So I’ve had to resort to “borrowing” the above image off the Internet and getting an unofficial version made with it.

If the results are good I might look into getting some Fenland Gamer ones made up.   Some general large ones for game sessions. But if demand or the public cry out loud enough one for our MtG players. Both would be pretty cool. I’d love one of the official Ultra-Pro MtG 6ft play mats for our group. But justifying just short of £100 for that is very very hard. Having club ones that individuals get to buy if they want is an easier decision.

This afternoon Charlie and I met up and played our first ever games of Commander using two of the prebuilt 2017 decks.

Charlie went with the Feline Ferocity deck, so cat tribal with Arahbo, Roar of the Wild as its commander. I chose cool dragons tribal with Draconic Domination and it’s commander the Ur-Dragon.

In our first game after a couple of turns Charlie had a couple of creatures out, and I just had to take the damage they were dealing, and then he dropped Quietus Spike on the board.

Luckily he didn’t have enough mana to equip it straight away. I needed a solution. I could play a dragon and block with it. It would die. But I’d have to keep doing that each turn until I found a better solution. Or I could hope to top deck the answer. Which is what I did on my card draw.

I drew Crux of Fate, chose Destroy all non-Dragon creatures. Wiped the Board clean of all cat creatures on Charlie’s side and removed any targets for that horrible spike. After that I was able to get dragons onto the board and hit Charlie at will. Charlie wasn’t able to draw into any more creatures.

Not being able to sacrifice a creature with Wasitora out meant I was able to get some cute cat dragon tokens out. Plus Charlie did once manage to draw and play a creature but then had to sacrifice it!

Game two saw an early Dragonspeaker Shaman hit the board. Which with my commanders eminence ability meant I was getting a 3 mana discount on casting dragons.

So I was casting big dragons a lot earlier than I should. Charlie still wasn’t drawing any answers and once again took a beating. But give Charlie his dues he was determined that the cats could work.

Game 3. Charlie was giving me rat tokens! I got three before I killed off the Hungry Lynx creating them.

Thing is with Dromoka in play on my side I was putting two +1/+1 tokens on them!

I was attacking at will, with once more the cards hating Charlie, no damage coming back at me. So the inevitable happened again and I won. I wasn’t used to this. I was winning at Magic!

For our fourth and final game we swapped decks. I joked “you know what’s going to happen, I’ll win with this deck”. I was able to play a turn one soul ring. I had some great mana ramp. I played an enchancement that doubled my mana produced by a land when I tapped it, plus gave my creatures +1/+1.

I had a couple of artefacts that I was able to equip on to I think it was Temur Sabretooth. Which with the Commander ability meant it had vigilance, first strike, trample, and was something like a 11/11 when it swung in.

Although Charlie was able to get rid of my enchantment slowing my mana ramp down a little, it was too little too late. He wasn’t drawing any answers and I was hitting him hard with my beefed up creature.

I managed to win with the cat tribe!

The cards were really harsh to Charlie this afternoon, whilst really kind to me. I enjoyed this 1 v 1 game of Commander. But I’m really keen now to try it with more players and see how the politics of the game kick in.

But a great afternoon with a great opponent. Thanks for the games Charlie.