TaKtiX: Laurence J Sinclair

Laurence J Sinclair has been playing the Warlord CCG since the release of the game - mainly thanks to that killer Rathe art. He even stuck with it through that dark time involving Campaign Rathe art. Now he is a playtester and a member of the Warlord Story Team - guiding the armies of the Accordlands into an uncertain future.


An Obsessive Desire

So, where to start with the first proper post here? Rather than dive randomly into some obscure fancy, I'm merely going to follow on logically from what I started with. Easier all round.

How to build a deck is one thing. Why to build a deck is something different altogether. What is the inspiration? Is there a new warlord that has caught your eye, promising to be flavour of the month or maybe just to render obsolete a previously decent competitor? Have you spotted a card combo that you're sure that no one else will have noticed, and you want to show it to the world for a single, slightly comedic, game?

Whatever the inkling that's got you thinking, one thing you can be sure of is that your first idea will not be the best. As with any endeavour, practice makes perfect, and often you'll find yourself redrafting your deck multiple times until the finished product bears only a superficial resemblance to what you started with.

Examples? I'm glad you asked. Case in point, the mighty Crucin Bascar. Around him have many plans revolved, all of them rubbish. At his first release, he was a godsend; finally, I would not need to rely on Jehrico to get my Lady Tornhawk combo off! It was bad enough that I'd lost access to Loot and Demonslayer when Campaign rolled around, but Sneak Attack was restoring hope to me!

The deck sucked mightily, but there's an example of how an idea I'd had ages ago resurfaced later, no better than it was originally. But the fact that Crucin was involved, in fact was the instigator of the resurgence, meant that he was now automatically included in all future ponderings.

Take, for example, tthe Exeter groups acquisition of enough Bascarite Vermin between us to finally field a deck composed entirely of them, plus a starting line-up. Crucin was our go-to guy as first choice of warlord. Many were the times that Chris' rendition of the deck duked it out with my own, often to a result of mutually assured destruction. The fact that front line clerics don't work was weighed down on us all the more. And I'd been so proud of finding a use for Ellyah's Children...

Teufeltiger's Lies, that gem from Hero's Gambit, was an excuse for us to go back to the Vermin and their master Crucin. Now he had something that would turn them into an effective fighting force!

Oh, they were that all right. But they still sucked.

The internet told us of someone using a similar deck to place highly in a tournament. Only they'd gone beyond us, to use Atu Amani in place of Crucin, with Anguli Mala replacing the Vermin. Much quicker, and with a more resilient front rank warlord, it was miles and away simply better than anything we could do with our decks. Had we not still been obsessing over Crucin, we ma have made the leap of deduction to find Atu in our own time, but the simple truth is that we wouldn't.

Y'see, inspiration can be a good thing, but you mustn't let it carry you away, and blind you to the other similar opportunities that are all around. We learned that, then. So now Crucin has been replaced by Teufeltiger's Lies. It is now the new 'must build lots of decks around it' card. Ghed Jaroslav debuted the Deverenian incarnation of the deck, and it's only a matter of time before I sink low enough to come up with some Open Contal/Teufeltiger's Lies/NoThRoG siege deck.

There is a lesson there, somewhere.

My second, less windbagged, example is simpler to relate. In my never-ending quest to make Lord Netheryn a force to be feared, I'd hit upon the Markappal Mire as a way to maximise his huge tripleclass stats. Yet a few days after I'd given up in frustration at the deck's ineffable slowness, Chris showed me his Albrecht interpretation of the same idea. With a FreeK army to support it, the basic theory held. All it required was a little experimentation, searching around for better base materials to make a stronger end product.

By all means go with your heart and build a deck centred around the card with the most beautiful art. But be prepared to compromise if you want your dream to be actualised. Constructive criticism ("That's deck's pants, mate") shouldn't be reason to quit and go back to playing conkers. It should be taken on board to help in the process of deckbuilding.


At Thursday, May 18, 2006 4:06:00 pm, Blogger Chris Dyer said...

That deck's pants, mate?

When have we ever said that? By the way, good article to embarass ourselves with. Ichaeurs Markapal Mire, Crucin Vermin, all the good decks we've ever made.

Maybe I should rebuild the Zartoch Kavara's Glare monstrosity...

At Friday, May 19, 2006 1:44:00 pm, Blogger Shakalooloo Doom said...

I was going to type a profanity, and then realised that there may be people of a sensitive nature reading. Hence my reined in potty-mouth.


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