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Blades of Glory

So, here’s a fun fact about Workman: he’s a dick. I kid. (I mean, he IS a dick, I was kidding about that being the fun fact.) The fun fact is: he loves to play Magic. Like, LOVES to play Magic. Don’t ask me how much he spent on a faerie deck. Don’t. I won’t tell you. (Ok, geekmail me. I might tell you.)

Steve and Leon don’t play Magic so much. But they do love a good card game. In fact, they met playing VS. (What a great “how we met” story.) And Steve started the entire Louisville Card Board Gamers Group just so he could play Warhammer: Invasion. (Some might call him a beast.)

They are all three, at varying times and to varying degrees, fans of the CCG: the aforementioned MtG, L5R, various and sundry past and future games, and even the notorious Hearthstone regularly make the conversation rounds on game night. And when they do, I usually just sit there, staring off into the middle distance, wondering how I got here.

See, I don’t love the CCG style game. I was an Ashes fan. (Was. Past tense. As with most relationships, it’s complicated.) And I love me some Crystal Clans. But those are anomalies. I’m not so much a deck-building, money-spending, tournament-playing CCG person. So imagine my excitement when Workman bought and wanted to play Millennium Blades. Imagine.

But....I don’t want to be THAT person. That person who bad mouths a game before even playing it. That person who says “I won’t like that”, “Not for me”, “LAME”. (That person Workman was the night we played Lowlands, if I’m honest.) I don’t want to be that. So I watched a play-through. (Rahdo’s. It was epic. I mean that. He lost his mind. Totally worth a watch.) And I tried to read the rulebook. Really I did. And I tried to get excited. Really I did. Really.

Really.

Millennium blades box

If you aren’t familiar with Millennium Blades, it’s a deck building game about actual deck building. It mimics a CCG, you get starter decks and booster packs and rare cards and deck boxes and etc. It’s really quite clever thematically.

Workman let us pick our starter decks, explained the rules and talked us through a prerelease. I had NO idea what I was doing. I finished last in the prerelease. Not surprising.

Welcome to Chateau Helbane, bitches

Welcome to Chateau Helbane, bitches.

Once we understood (and I use that word loosely) how the game is played (the game within the game...the game you play with the cards you get....in the game) we were ready to deck build. That part happens over three timed rounds. You buy and sell and trade and read card text and try to act like any of the things make sense.

The market

The market.

The only part of the game that made sense to me was the set collection part. So I just focused on that and got 12 points for my first collection - the most of anybody. I still finished last in the first tournament though. Not surprising.

And then we did it all again. Three timed rounds. Deck building. Me focusing on set collection. But while I was focused on collecting darkness cards, I realized that I also had a lot of air cards and I temporarily switched and started collecting those instead. But I didn’t get as many of them as I did the darkness cards, so I ended up switching back to darkness cards for my collection. Which left me with a lot of high-star-value air cards that scored. They worked well together and I got 181 points in tournament two. Which was enough to win it. By a lot. Surprising as hell.

But I still finished second behind Workman overall. It was a close second, he only beat me by 2 points. If I had managed my money better, I might have won.

Scoring

If you’re wondering what everyone else was up to while I almost came from behind and won, I wish I knew. I think our game was atypical, but there was no player interaction. Like NONE. Steve tried to interact with me once. But there was some debate about how my card reacted to his card and he dropped it. It was a very solitairish game. Again with the surprising.

I didn’t hate this game. Thematically, it was top notch. I also liked the stacks of money - it felt good to throw them around the table.

Fat stacks

Fat stacks. I wish I’d saved a few. Or twelve.

I’m not dying to play again, but it was fine. Better then I expected. (That may be the 181 points talking.)

After MB, we played Love Letter.

The view from my seat

The view from my seat. All you need to know.

And that’s about all. At one point, we stumbled into a fairly complex discussion about consciousness and immortality. We also learned something very interesting about Workman’s mother, and Steve added another totally crude yet utterly hilarious phrase to my “Top Five Totally Crude Yet Utterly Hilarious Things Steve Said On Game Night.” It was a fun evening. Thanks for joining.

Until next time, thanks for reading and happy gaming!