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From: JD <germany@*****************.COM>
Subject: Re: [FASA] Second Run comments
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 11:24:47 -0600
>I keep hearing that spell cards that don't rely on a die roll will be
>changed to use a die roll. I really am against this, as I strongly
>believe that more consistancy is needed to make magical decks
>attractive. Right now, odds are against mage decks winning.

I agree wholeheartedly. It is too difficult to get the cards out to do

>I have been trying to build a mage deck for quite some time. I have
>that favors shamans, one that favors hermetics, and one that mixes both
>types of magicians. In all cases, I have real trouble building a deck
>that can be a clear winner. The decks are good, but I just can't count
>on them to win, even after considerable time spent on the deck

I once built a mage/shaman deck that was retired undefeted, but since
then I have not been able to build one that can win even half of the
time. (and unfortunately, I have taken apart the killer deck.)


>2. Sleazing can't be relied upon, since there are too many skills that
>mages are lacking. If mages/shamen had a wider selection of skills,
>had more skilss per runner, sleazing alone could bring magical decks up
>to a competitive level with big thug decks. As it stands, sleazing can
>help, but it is rare that you can get past more than one challenge if
>your runner plays the typical "hard to beat challenges" that rely on
>piloting, demolitions, technical, and gunnery (highway showdown, big
>chase, fusion gate, mine field, maglocks, etc.). Sleazing
>opportuinities come mostly from the spell cards.
I think that in my killer mage deck I had a couple of deckers to
recon(Static/Kracker Jack) to help with the sleazing, but I agree that a
well equipped mage team will not come home well equipped most of the

>3. Spells often are fate-controlled. Spells often work only on a
>certain die roll, like Sleep. The problem is, a mage/shaman deck can't
>absorb that much damage, and often faces formidable challenges. These
>challenges are the same ones that might take out a Torgo,
>Skwraaaaaaark!, and two other support runners! When a mage/shaman team
>runs, the player has often spent many turns collecting the right spell
>gear. When that gear fails, the team often perishes, and recovery time
>is to great, allowing a muscle deck to quickly win the game.
Drawing the right spells out with Hermetic Library or other cards are
just as chancey. You never know if the location will come out of your
deck. Also, adding too many "helper" cards (locations, LoTI, DejaVu)
makes the deck too big and unplayable.

>In the RPG, mages usually add a crucial set of powers to a muscle team.
>In the CCG, a deck can't afford to throw in a couple of mages/shamen
>a couple of magical gear cards, since the odds are that the right
>combination won't be drawn. Because of this, decks that use mages,
>shamen, and magical gear must use those cards in significant portions.
>Even then, these decks don't measure up against "big thug" attack
>They can and do win, but if you were playing to win, the odds are
>against magical decks.

Again, I agree wholeheartedly. The reason I like this card game is
because of how much it resembles (resembled?) the RPG. Other card games
are not as interesting because they don't have that second level.
Making mages/shamen less powerful is contrary to the whole direction
that the RPG is going. If anything, mages/shamen should get some kind
of expansion specifically for them with insect totems, odd spellcasting
abilities, drain rules, foci, etc. (Ala Awakenings, Grimoire and SRII).

I hope that the card game doesn't move too far from the RPG. I may have
to stop playing.

Jon Doud


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