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Subject: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules error rss

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Ken B.
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Today was a very shocking, very disturbing day in the world of Blue Moon. Y'see, I'm the kind of guy who sometimes...just sometimes...makes rules errors, or has to double check rules for stuff.


(Don't believe me? See http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/14957 for more sordid details.)


Anyway, this is a compilation of our reports for the past few days, and some sad, sad rumination at the end.





First off we started off with the Hoax against the Mimix. I ran into the same problem I always do with the Hoax--the ability to swing out to a large lead, only to have it slip, slip away before game's end. At one point, I was up two dragons on the Mimix, thanks in no small part to Hoax powerhouse cards such as Brain Drain (KILLER against the Mimix!) I was also able to field more power than they could deal with in one battle thanks to Demegodas the Old.

But...as always, it slipped away from me. In the end, I couldn't keep up the fight and watched the dragons slip away. The game ended 0-0, but I had run out of cards first (a very, very common occurence for the Hoax, it seems). So the Hoax went down.


We followed this up the next day with a double dose of Buka versus Terrah action. My brother hadn't had any luck with the Terrah so far and the Buka had brought me great success (I really love playing those guys, they're fun). However, the first game was a massacre for the Terrah...the Buka got a few shots in here and there, but the Terrah actually pulled off the four-dragon win, a rare thing thus far.

We played again, and he fared no better. The Terrah are a BIG, DUMB deck...just toss out 5-7 Earth every turn. I distinctly remember this game the Vulca guy was just incredible at the right time...providing a fire punch that the Buka didn't anticipate. In the end, The Terrah win 2-0.


In that matchup, really knowing each deck (or in this case, the Buka deck) was HUGE. I *knew* when I should retreat. I *knew* when the Buka were in range to make a massive attack. I *knew* when I could field something they would have trouble dealing with. I *knew* when to call bluffs, even if I was wrong, just to cost them strength for the battle (and indeed, I called one and was wrong, but called another and was right!)

With the Buka, a bluff with them is just something I can "feel". When I'm playing them, I can just sort of feel when a Bluff is worth it despite the risk, or when I can get away with a Bluff.


Maybe there's something to this "knowing the other deck" after all.


Then for laughs, the next day we played the Terrah versus Hoax. I was determined not to give up on them just yet...maybe they just needed the appropriate matchup? And suprisingly, the Hoax had a lot of tricks that gave the Terrah fits. And thanks to the Duplicator of Strength, I was even able to go toe to toe with them in a key round that forced them to back down.

But...still...I ran out of steam. Again. And I lose a "0-0" game where I ran out of cards first, naturally. So close! (Yes, the rules error is coming, bear with me, and it affects possibly every game we've played so far. Have you picked up on it yet?)



Fast forward to today, my brother had yet to try the Flit (who I also really enjoy playing) and, in typical bull-headed fashion, I reached for the Hoax again. They had to work...maybe it was the Flit!


So we started off, and man, the Hoax started off FAST. I was fielding 6 or 7 Earth without breaking a sweat. A Dragon was mine. He came out strong in Earth the next fight with a swarm of bugs going to 7 Earth, I shifted to Fire with the Mutant. With support, he had to retreat. Boom, I'm up 2-0.

Then he is able to claw back into it a bit. He starts a fight, then retrieves his card after getting me to commit, using the Mutant to change elements (a nice play, and caused me to waste some strength.) That left my fire-heavy hand in disarray and I had to retreat. 1-0.

Our next battle waged on and on and on. Tittertweet hurt me when I had planned a retreat using the "You don't attract dragons" lady, forcing me to stay in it. Thankfully I did, and was able to keep the fight going long enough to where he ran smack into BRAIN DRAIN! (This card, I believe, is DEATH for the Flit!) He had to retreat, and I was up 3-0.



Now...comes the part of the SR you've been waiting for, and this will change Blue Moon for us forever.


So anyway I play the Muster Reinforcements, drawing my last three cards of the deck into hand. My brother laughed, because even though I had 3 dragons, he could keep fighting when I couldn't. I pondered this and conceded the next fight quickly, wondering how I could salvage this. I was now up 2-0.

I went in strong, looking for maybe a two-dragon pull to save face and win the game outright. He knew just what to do--he retreated quickly, giving me back the dragon. 3-0.

Then he opted not to start a fight, pitching 3 to draw 3. All I had left was Genathones the Blind, Battling Boomerang, and Duplicator of Strength. Any way you sliced it, I wasn't going to be able to come out with much power if I couldn't lead and play my Support/Booster cards together.


I wasn't sure of how many times you could pass back and forth, so I quickly grabbed the rulebook. I found out you could keep opting not to start a fight however often you wanted to...but more importantly, I finally, finally and very carefully read the "Game End" section.


When one player has played or discarded all his cards from his draw deck and from his hand then no new fights may be started. The game ends as soon as the current fight is over. The game also ends when a player declines to start a fight and discards his last one, two, or three cards instead.



All this time...somehow...my mind has read this as BOTH players needing to be out of cards before the end game triggers. So in some of our games, what we've had happening was an endgame where one player would play a character, the other had none and would be forced to retreat, essentially a chain of dragon attracting at the end.



I thought back to the games where the Hoax have been ahead 3 dragons...2 dragons...1 dragon...but had drawn themselves out of cards and couldn't keep up the fight.


GAH! Now I have NO idea how much this has impacted their games. I can't remember clearly all of our earliest games, but I'm pretty sure this situation has come up in more recent games with the Hoax where they ran out of firepower and had to retreat...retreat...losing their dragon advantage at the end.



So...at this point, I'm not sure if maybe I should just toss out our W-L chart, as I'm not even sure how accurate it is anymore. Anyway, here is how it turned out (combined with our results from our previous batch of games posted in my other SR)




Hoax 2-12
Vulca 9-2
Buka 2-3
Mimix 2-1
Flit 2-1
Terrah 3-1


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So you were playing that both players had to run out of cards for the game to end?

The Aqua would win EVERY TIME if that were the case.
 
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Ken B.
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Yes, Ray.

This is how our endgame would play out:


(Guy with cards): I lead a character.

(Guy without): I can't play. Retreat.


Repeat.



Now normally this wasn't a big deal, as both players would be close to the same number of characters left at the end and both would run out of playable stuff almost at the same time.



Anyway, I cannot express my total dismay at somehow misreading this. Yes, I'm a dork. It took TWENTY games for me to catch it, and this time only because there was such a huge discrepancy in cards left in hand and deck (The Flit hadn't been drawing much and had a fistful of cards).
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Have you played the Aqua yet? They have a cool card that allows them to shuffle their discard pile back into the draw pile. I bet after one game with the Aqua you would have been scouring the rule book looking for something you missed.

I think it's funny but only because I've played games I really liked multiple times (sometimes for years) without realizing I was playing the game wrong. And the game only got better once we realized our mistake.
 
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Joe Gola
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Re: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules e
I guess you can be psyched, 'cause a game that you already like just got a hell of a lot better.
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Ken B.
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Gola wrote:
I guess you can be psyched, 'cause a game that you already like just got a hell of a lot better.


No doubt, Joe. I mean...I guess I should've known SOMETHING was up...why would Reiner stick together two decks that were so hideously mismatched into his "introductory" set?

Then I'd post on here about having so much trouble with the Hoax, only to be met with, "Dude, I don't know what you're talking about. The Hoax are awesome."



Now I've figured it out....and I think that this rule problem has been influential in every Hoax loss...the Hoax purposefully take to a large lead and burn their deck through (Muster Reinforcements, extra support cards during turns, lots of Leadership plays) and end the game still in the lead.


Yep--I'm restarting our W-L counts. After ten plays doing it the correct way, I'll post the results. Should be much more interesting.

 
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Mark Bigney
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Re: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules e
And suddenly, everything becomes clear.
This reminds me of the post where someone said, "And then I got up to 27 fire, and he couldn't match, so he retreated," which made it perfectly clear he thought that characters and boosters remained active throughout the entire fight.
For a remarkably simple game, Blue Moon sure has led to a large number of misinterpretations.
 
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Jack Wraith
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Re: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules e
I think the problem is that Blue Moon has very short, very concise, and VERY LITERAL rules. You must read EVERY word of them. If you don't (and accept what those words say without assuming meaning for them), you end up in those weird situations where it just doesn't seem to work. I think many of us on BGG are so familiar with various games that we know what the 'important' rules are and, having gotten the gist of them, skim through the rest and start playing. Sometimes, as with games like Blue Moon and Ra (both Knizia's... fancy that) it can end up being a problem.
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Dumont Claude
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Hoax 2-12
Vulca 9-2
Buka 2-3
Mimix 2-1
Flit 2-1
Terrah 3-1


[/q]

I'm suprised with your results. I guess that you could post new results playing the end card rule correctly. But our experience with the blue moon decks (i have them all except the kinds) seems to be showing me the following results.

Strong decks: Hoax, Vulca, Buka
medium decks: Pillar, flit, mimix
weak decks: Aqua, Terrah

Of course, those results will be different depending on the match-up between a player and one deck. For instance, I have no difficulty playing the Flit while my partner cannot play them right and vice & versa for other decks.
 
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Joe Stude
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Re: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules e
I'm with Joe - you've got to be psyched realizing that the endgame wasn't as bogged down as it seemed to be. Looking forward to seeing your updated win/loss list.

At one point, when I first started playing the game, I literally printed out the entire FAQ and read/scanned through it during downtime (lunches at work, etc). Completely geeky thing to do, but it really helped me get a grasp on the game.
 
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Caleb Blake
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Re: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules e
I am so pleased you worked that one out.

I don't think I would have liked Blue Moon anywhere near as much if I were playing the end game that way.

Regards
Caleb
 
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Gary Bradley
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franklincobb wrote:
This is how our endgame would play out:

(Guy with cards): I lead a character.

(Guy without): I can't play. Retreat.

Repeat

You are wrong on another count too, I'm afraid. In the above situation, you would not repeat as you say. After the GuyWithout retreats, it is *HIS* turn to start the next fight. Assuming he cannot due to having no characters, he can either

a) End the game. Only possible if he currently has zero cards in hand.

b) Discard from 1 to 3 cards. If he now has zero cards, he can end the game here. If he still has cards left after discarding, goto (c)

c) Decline to start a fight (because he cannot). Option to start then passes back to GuyWithCards. Only now are you are back to your first step above, where GuyWithCards can lead a new character.


And btw, I would tear up your W/L sheet right now, as in my experience 90% of games end like this. It is very very rare that I get a clean 4 Dragon win before someone is out of cards. Very rare indeed.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Gyges wrote:
This reminds me of the post where someone said, "And then I got up to 27 fire, and he couldn't match, so he retreated," which made it perfectly clear he thought that characters and boosters remained active throughout the entire fight.

I played a bit of Blue Moon on a recent holiday. I finally got to play the Buka deck. (For those going "Huh?!" I mean I finally played with the actual production cards rather than a playtest copy.) And I did once declare 33 fire with the deck out of the box. Didn't help mind you, my opponent (Jon Blackwell, also on the credits list) was already three dragons up and just played Impress Holy Dragon in response ...

Quote:
For a remarkably simple game, Blue Moon sure has led to a large number of misinterpretations.

Tell me about it.
 
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Joe Stude
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Re: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules e
33 fire? Why would you do that, other than to get yourself to 6 cards in the hopes of getting a couple draggies back?
 
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Jowjow wrote:
33 fire? Why would you do that

Because it was fun.

Actually I landed two ships, and one wouldn't have done, which produced quite a large total, and (more than) six cards. It didn't need to be the full 33, but at 33 there wasn't any hope of it being beaten! Instead as I noted I got sidestepped, so the value was irrelevant. But I wouldn't have been able to point out it was quite possible if I hadn't done it.
 
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Lucas Hedgren
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Re: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules e
Ask Octavian about his frequent visits north of 30 fire (or earth, for that matter) in our Constructed match last week. Then ask him how many crystals he won.
 
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Matthew M
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Re: Another Compilation of SRs...and we discover our rules e
*sigh*

-MMM
 
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Lucas wrote:
Ask Octavian about his frequent visits north of 30 fire (or earth, for that matter) in our Constructed match last week.

Constructed, pah. Not a problem getting to 30.

What is the maximum power it is possible to get to with a preconstructed deck? (And if playing, you need to really be able to get to it, i.e. if you're going to start with more than 6 cards in hand, you should be able to get there.) I suspect the answer is with the Buka (and it's at least 33 of course) but best non-Buka also of interest.
 
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