Shadowfist Night Redux   Leave a comment

Last week's new comics

Samurai Comcis is first and foremost a comic books store, and one of the best in Phoenix.  It is also the very best place for gamers to gather with their friends and do some serious gaming.  Especially if that is serious card gaming, because not only are there tables to play on, but the shop sells the cards the gamers need, and has cold pop available for only 75 cents a can.  On Tuesday nights between 5 and 8 p.m. a bunch of us meet at Samurai comics for some Shadowfist gaming.  The store closes at 8 p.m., but the Samurai employees, including owner Mike Banks are very cool about letting us stay till 9 p.m or later to finish our games.  

Shadowfist is a collectible card game with some similiarities to Magic.  In a way, Shadowfist is like Tunnels & Trolls.  It never had the success that it’s big name competitor, Magic, had, but it’s the superior game. IMHO. And My Humble Opinion is very often not exactly in line with the majority.  That doesn’t make me wrong.  🙂

This is as close to a gaming group as I have these days.  We had a large group–9 people–on Tuesday night, November 30.  This was not an ordinary meeting of the group, but a special draft tournament of a rigorous and difficult format.  Everyone had to buy 6 fresh packs of cards–that is 60 cards.  That’s just enough to make one full-sized deck.  We kept 40 of our choice and put the other 20 into a common pot.  Then we had a trading draft, which worked thusly.  Take one of our 40 cards and put it in the center, and then take another card back out.  This we did for 16 rounds, and then we took 4 more cards each.  That gave us each 44 cards from which to construct a deck.

The problem with this format is that both feng shui sites and base characters were few and far between.  Of the 60 cards I started with, I found only 4 sites.  Of course, I kept all of them.  There was a good deal of griping from other players who did as poorly as me, and a couple who did even worse.  You can’t bring out the super good stuff in Shadowfist unless you have the basic stuff to support it.  Here’s a look at our brave gamers.

From left to right: half of Paul Taunton, Mike, Ledo, Frank


From left to right: James, Harley, Paul, Mike.


From left to right: Half of Mike, Ledo, Frank, Chris, and Daniel's hand.


Not shown in these pictures are Daniel and me, Atroll.  Daniel is a majestic fellow, and I showed him in the first Shadowfist blog, and nobody needs to see any pictures of me.

After the trading draft was over, we broke into groups of three for the tournament.  I found myself facing James, who is my mighty gaming son,  and Daniel in the first game.  Daniel got no sites.  I got sites and no base characters.  James got both sites and characters out of his cards.  Guess who won!  If you guessed that Atroll pulled a victory out of this game, you missed by a mile.  If you guessed Daniel, you came in second.

Not everyone finished at the same time, so I got up and wandered around, and took some more pictures.

Yu-Gi-Oh is another collectible trading card game with a strong fan base around the world.

Some Yu-Gi-OH gamers also show up every Tuesday night.  I used to play this game about five years ago, and I still have hundreds of cards and a few decks for it in the back room. When I first got my son into  playing card games, we started with Pokemon, during the height of the Pokemon craze. When he moved into his teen years we switched to Yu-Gi-Oh with its darker, edgier, more complex style of play.  When I thought he was ready, I switched him to Magic, and finally to Shadowfist.  He hasn’t quite made the jump to Poker, Pinochle, or Bridge yet.

(In retrospect, it was probably a mistake to have taught my son my own love of gaming. I should have taught him to study hard and play the stock market or how to mow lawns or cook hamburgers. Now his ambition is go go on the Pro Magic tour and win tournements for a living.  Sigh.  Mommas, don’t let your kids grow up to be gamers!)

The Yu-Gi-Oh group. Two guys are dueling. One is on the internet with his laptop. The girl is texting on her cell phone.


After a few friendly words with the Yu-Gi-Oh group–one of the things I love about gamers is that they (we) are easy to talk to.  You usually don’t find other types of social groups mingling so easily–I moved on to take some pictures of the store.  I love tihs store.  There is so much good stuff inside it.  Mike Banks–the owner–is lucky that I don’t hang out here every day, read his books without buying them, and frighten off his customers with my grim old visage.

See that rack of comics straight ahead beneath the Batman t-shirt, every single one of those books is a different Batrman title.


And on the other side of the stockroom door are all the Avengers titles from Marvel.


I also read through a Justice Society comic while I was hanging around waiting for Shadowfist to start up again.  They finally called me back, and I got into a second game.  I was at the all losers table for my second match–the three of us who had done worst in the first game.  My opponents this time were Paul and Frank.  Frank had a strong beginning, but not a very big deck.  He ran out of cards and had to drop out.  The game settled into a hard-fought duel between Paul and me.  Neither of us had quiet enough power to do everything we wanted.  Paul had a powerful killer demon character that he could play every turn.  I had superior numbers in characters, and one of them had a tank that made him as tough as Paul’s character.  In the end, superior numbers won.  I took a couple of Paul’s sites and burned them for victory, which meant I coudn’t lose the points for them, and Paul pummeled my sites, I had two hanging on by the narrowest of margins.  We ran out of time before either of could satisfy the game’s victory conditions.  Because I had more victory points at the time, I won. 

There, you see, Atroll does actually win a game he plays once in a while.  It’s enough to keep me going.

To sum up the evening.  We had a good time.  Ledo won the tournament with two victories.  My son James said that his second game was his “worst game ever”–had to discard half his deck before he ever got a site to play.  James and Harley and I all won one of the two games we played–not bad when you consider that the group I brought to the meeting won half the games played with only 1/3 the number of players.

Next Tuesday night we’ll meet to play again–Final Brawl style.  I’ll have a better deck to play, and probably wind up somewhere in the middle.  That will be a good time, too.

I put this picture in because Daniel is in it. He's the tall guy dressed in black with his back to the wall. He's cunning and modest, a strange combination for a card player.



Posted December 1, 2010 by atroll in Uncategorized

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