When I arrived at Rusty Scabbard, none of the usual board gamers were there.
Chris announced that he'd be returning to Georgia, and invited me for a game of Vs. System CCG. This is a game about fantasy comic book battles.
Chris had a couple decks that he made, and we played them against each other. I played a Spidey Friends deck, and he played a Sinister Syndicate deck.
I played this game before when another Chris (Did I mention that there's too many people with the same name in Lexington?) introduced it to me. My memory of the rules were a bit fuzzy, but between Chris and Aaron (another Vs. System gamer who was there) they gently guided me through a game.
The things that stand out for me about this game, compared to Magic: the Gathering (MtG), is that any card can be played face down as a resource, so there's no mana-shorts as could happen in MtG. There are two rows of characters, the back row reinforcing the front row. Plot Twists (which are like MtG instants) can be played based on the number of resources in play, not the number of unspent resources. Cards that duplicate the name of a card in play either replace that card or boost its attack and defence values.
He beat me and it was not at all a close game, but I think I could've done better if I had a better grasp of the rules. But we played lightly for the fun of it.
I then played two games against Joe, and he played a JLI/JLA deck. I was using Chris' Spidey Friends deck, then his Sinister Syndicate deck.
Chris disparaged that I discarded a card to use an activated ability -- a card that was in the deck for an impressive combo. But, I'm not one to delay a useful tactic just to hang on for the chance to use a combo.
In the end, I lost both games.
Reading the rules after the fact, I see I didn't grock how reinforcements worked. I could've exhausted support characters to keep all the breakthrough damage from reaching me without harming the support character at all.
Click here to learn more about Vs. System on BoardGameGeek.com
Mike had come in with Fury of Dracula, so we were in for a monster game (in the sense of playing a long time with complex rules.) Marvin and ShawnB also played the game.
This was the first time any of us played the game. ShawnB gleefully took on the role of Dracula. I took on Lord Godalming and Dr. Seward. Mike took on Van Helsing. Marvin took on Mina Harker.
We spent 43 minutes going over the rules summary off BoardGameGeek.com
Early on, we drew Breaking Headline events before Dracula even started moving. This would've revealed the oldest trail he was on, but not his current location. What a waste of two good Breaking Headlines! Fortunately, we drew it again during the third turn, and Mina went to confront him while it was daylight. Dracula escaped, and we lost his trail, after he headed for water and played an event that let him change his location to any city.
We figured he went to the far reaches of Eastern Europe, which the hunters didn't cover at all. I played a card to ship me over to Eastern Europe quickly. ShawnB played a card to force me back to Western Europe. This threw us off until we had enough resolve to reveal (via newspaper report) his ocean travel card then his new trail, which turned out to be in Spain. I was able to block his ocean escape route, so we had him cornered, if we could get to him fast enough.
By this time, three days had past, and Dracula needed only one point to win -- having defeated Mina Harker once already with another minion. Dracula had been playing an evasive game to this point, quite effectively. Mina confronted him again, and this time we had a chance to fully play out the battle mechanics. (Thankfully, I printed out the chart of card vs. card results off BoardGameGeek.com, which helped us look up the results quickly.)
At this point, after a fairly intense battle, Dracula defeated Mina, so ShawnB won.
The game lasted three hours and 46 minutes.
I think we could've fared better against Dracula if we had combined our forces before attacking him, but I don't think we had enough time to do so. We weren't close enough to each other and Dracula. Being two turns away from daybreak, which would have scored Dracula the win anyways.
Click here to buy Fury of Dracula at FunAgain.com
Click here to learn more about Fury of Dracula at BoardGameGeek.com