Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby darklogos » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:18 pm

That's the thing. I try to keep my guides general in advice. Because the meta changes a lot. That's one of the big reasons I emphasize reading in the guide. Editing every 2 weeks gets old quick. Card reviews are always in comparision to what cards are available at the time. If someone reads the guide 5 or 6 sets from now I don't want them trying to copy a meta idea listed. But if they see a mechanic they can use it serves them a lot better. Yes they do have to think but its better for them in the long run.
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Every Successful File is a Theme File

Postby Cotillion » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:46 pm

Every Successful File is a Theme File

darklogos wrote:Usually we think theme is for weak players. Theme ican be a strong tool in the right creative minds because it forces the player to think more efficiently then the common meta player.

Don’t expect your theme deck to be the next top deck.


Ever since an old CCG player recommend the book Magister Ludi(or Glass Bead Game) by Hermann Hesse years ago I never looked at the description "theme deck" the same way.

First I recommend anyone into any type of game to pick that book. For today's MMO, video game world, the book may read a bit slow, but Hesse is truly one of the greatest authors of all time and the book has some excellent metaphors for any player of any game.

More importantly I view every single successful deck archetype as being a "theme" deck. Eternal Night is a Theme Deck. The theme is keeping it "eternally" Nighttime and using cards that benefit from it being Nighttime. This is most certainly a theme in the true sense of the word.
Eternal Morning? Also a theme.
Return files? They have a theme as well. The theme is maintaining field advantage by returning opponents key cards.
Allind/Grim? Most definitely a theme. Trade the presence of many units for big damage and big units that can dominate in this environment.

When the word "Theme" is viewed in this sense I think it becomes clear that every successful file (whether Top Tier meta-changing or an undercover file that still gathers wins) has a theme.

I know in many CCG's the word "theme deck" is used insultingly to describe a non-competitive "fun deck" but that was why an old gamer recommended Hesse's Glass Bead Game. So, we could all see that every single deck/file that is successful is successful because it does have a theme (whether its creator used that word or not) and the deck/file develops that theme successfully.

For me and others I know, looking at every deck or file this way helps in building top files/decks that are not just "net-deck" carbon copy of something someone else is playing. To understand the theme of a top tier archetype is to understand its overall strategy and variety of tactics. This can be essential in both countering a top tier deck or innovating a unique variation on it. This provides a deeper understanding of what a deck is trying to accomplish than simply trying to replicate the most powerful cards. This is the difference in knowing when to take out a more consensus considered "uber card" for a card that develops the specific theme of the file more efficiently.
"...in order to see the world and grasp it as paradoxical, we must break with our familiar acceptance of it..."
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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby teasel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:57 pm

if the meta changed that fast then there wouldn't be problem like stale meta and waiting for the next set... anyway i made a thread feel free to contribute if you feel like it... i just think that you can only give a limited set of general advice and mostly are already covered quite well
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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby darklogos » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:59 pm

When I was playing heroclix there was two types of theme teams. The first is an actual super hero line up of the original comic book cast. The second theme team was a team that consisted of generic keywords to mesh more efficient, non universe untis together. Now while the first team build up could be effective many times it didn't win. The second team built itself around keyword bonuses that applied to certain units and took off their opponents face from there.

With that said I don't see return, sp drain/gain, time manipulation, and open skill spamming as theme but mechanics. They are mechanics in the game you can use regardless of the construct of your deck. So that is where I would seperate your definition and the one I used. But I see where your coming at. Maybe in the future you can contribute. Maybe you could write something up and pm it to me.
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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby darklogos » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:02 pm

teasel wrote:if the meta changed that fast then there wouldn't be problem like stale meta and waiting for the next set... anyway i made a thread feel free to contribute if you feel like it... i just think that you can only give a limited set of general advice and mostly are already covered quite well


I'm not rewriting the guide each set. This guide took me an hour to write. Writing up meta tactics doesn't teach it only enforces copy in my opinion. Their are underline deck philopshies that need to be known so that the player can create their own construct. I don't know how long I will play this game. But if guide provides generals the forums provide more detail. Again the emphasis of the guide is to be a "student player" not a "hand me everything player".
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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby Peralisc2 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:20 pm

There is no need for meta guides. Mostly because people can see for their own whats good and whats not.
Also there are very good decks that are never or rarely played. So why not take time and find those?
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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby Cotillion » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:26 pm

"you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."- Obi-Wan Kenobi



darklogos wrote:When I was playing heroclix there was two types of theme teams. The first is an actual super hero line up of the original comic book cast. The second theme team was a team that consisted of generic keywords to mesh more efficient, non universe untis together. Now while the first team build up could be effective many times it didn't win. The second team built itself around keyword bonuses that applied to certain units and took off their opponents face from there.




Ah I do see where you are coming from and I completely understand why most do not quite view "theme" this way which was that old gamer dude recommended Hesse's Glass Bead Game. I can't really sum it up, but after reading that book I viewed 'theme' differently and the same could be said for everyone I know that ended up reading the book.

For Heroclix, those are the generally accepted terms, yes but then things can always get complicated. For instance I made a "Watchmen" team a long time ago using different characters that didn't have actual 'clix representations whose abilities in game relatively approximated the actual characters (Doc Manhattan was always most difficult). It was a "theme" to me but to a casual observer, especially one who had not read Watchmen since it was way before the movie, it would not have appeared so. Another example is the last Heroclix championship from when I played was won by the player cramcompany using lockjaw and Iron Fist (which was not considered a common team build at all at the time even though lockjaw was commonly played and Iron Fist was always considered good). I instantly saw that build as a 'theme'. The theme involved developing an overall strategy and then using different tactics to accomplish the strategy based on the current situation.

For your examples, yes I agree completely about Return not necessarily being a theme. But this is where truly understanding the difference between strategy and tactics comes in. For one example: Mavel's Return file uses Return as a Theme not just as a tactic. The whole file is built to accomplish this theme in many ways (not just the Return card itself). When I say "Return as a theme" I mean taking that one game mechanic and building a file specifically around that mechanic. Another way to look at it it that Guardian is generally considered Refess' best or at least one of the best single cards. Yet most EM files, the generally accepted top Refess file, do not run Guardian. Why not?
I would phrase the best answer as this:
"Guardian, while being a great individual card, does not contribute to the overall theme an Eternal Morning file" Thus while it certainly can provide tactical advantages in certain situations, since it doesn't really contribute to the files' overall strategy, EM files are usually better off replacing Guardian with other cards that provide different tactical advantages but still contribue to the file's overall theme.


Many files can include Return as a mechanic, tactic or 'tech card'. But other files, like the example, focus the files' strategy using that game mechanic in every possible way. I know the difference can get tedious and its definitely not something to argue about but for me at least, trying to distill a deck or file to its most basic 'Theme' always helps when learning new games.

I can try to rephrase all this and add more examples specific to Alteil if you are writing another guide, Ill try to find time. Good job though btw, it was a great read. Hope this doesn't sound like criticism, the whole notion of 'theme' has usually provided interesting conversations in real life ccgs I played.
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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby Peralisc2 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:38 pm

I do sort of view grim spam as a theme. The theme of mindlessly spamming grims. So i do agree, but isnt it better to just call it abuse or spam? :?
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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby darklogos » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:43 pm

Cotillion wrote:Ah I do see where you are coming from and I completely understand why most do not quite view "theme" this way which was that old gamer dude recommended Hesse's Glass Bead Game. I can't really sum it up, but after reading that book I viewed 'theme' differently and the same could be said for everyone I know that ended up reading the book.


Yeah i saw that difference in terms. I see where your coming from.

Cotillion wrote:For Heroclix, those are the generally accepted terms, yes but then things can always get complicated. For instance I made a "Watchmen" team a long time ago using different characters that didn't have actual 'clix representations whose abilities in game relatively approximated the actual characters (Doc Manhattan was always most difficult). It was a "theme" to me but to a casual observer, especially one who had not read Watchmen since it was way before the movie, it would not have appeared so. Another example is the last Heroclix championship from when I played was won by the player cramcompany using lockjaw and Iron Fist (which was not considered a common team build at all at the time even though lockjaw was commonly played and Iron Fist was always considered good). I instantly saw that build as a 'theme'. The theme involved developing an overall strategy and then using different tactics to accomplish the strategy based on the current situation.

Freaking cramcompany is the man when it comes to heroclix. I got a my view on theme from him and from the HCRealms articles "Themes like a good idea." The key thing both sources brought up is that theme can win if theme focuses on winning. Also the goal of theme from their perspective was personal satisfaction not min/maxing. When I posted about not expecting to win I ment it in the since of having the same expectations of a min/max build. I know I've built my share of not so hot Black Super Heroes, Avenger, Shield, and Giant only teams.


Cotillion wrote:For your examples, yes I agree completely about Return not necessarily being a theme. But this is where truly understanding the difference between strategy and tactics comes in. For one example: Mavel's Return file uses Return as a Theme not just as a tactic. The whole file is built to accomplish this theme in many ways (not just the Return card itself). When I say "Return as a theme" I mean taking that one game mechanic and building a file specifically around that mechanic. Another way to look at it it that Guardian is generally considered Refess' best or at least one of the best single cards. Yet most EM files, the generally accepted top Refess file, do not run Guardian. Why not?
I would phrase the best answer as this:
"Guardian, while being a great individual card, does not contribute to the overall theme an Eternal Morning file" Thus while it certainly can provide tactical advantages in certain situations, since it doesn't really contribute to the files' overall strategy, EM files are usually better off replacing Guardian with other cards that provide different tactical advantages but still contribue to the file's overall theme.


That is one thing in my play philosophy I don't do that some players do. I don't build my deck with just one mechanic. I like having reasonable options and flexibility. I have seen decks that are pure damage but when return function gets played with high sp generation the high damage deck can't win. The main reason is that the high damage deck is planning to win on a battle of attrition both of sp and units. If they can't win the sp war in the end their deck has a high chance of loosing. One of my greatest successes came from using the 999 hp trick in an EN deck while having Dragon Rider Millia and Regen Knight. I had multiple layers of application for my tricks. At the same time my core mechanic was EN. I had several other mechanics to go into play if that mechanic failed. It think that single focus decks have their place, but they are easiest to corner and make counter decks.



Cotillion wrote:I can try to rephrase all this and add more examples specific to Alteil if you are writing another guide, Ill try to find time. Good job though btw, it was a great read. Hope this doesn't sound like criticism, the whole notion of 'theme' has usually provided interesting conversations in real life ccgs I played.


I just edit the guide like I do for all my other guides. I credit works submitted if I get work. If you have anything you think that would add to the guide its fine. Even it contridicts mine I don't care people should have options.
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Re: Hate more PLZ!: An advanced guide to Alteil.

Postby Kamerynn » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:04 pm

Peralisc2 wrote:I do sort of view grim spam as a theme. The theme of mindlessly spamming grims. So i do agree, but isnt it better to just call it abuse or spam? :?


The only reason for doing this would be that you don't like the strategy because you lose to it. I'm sure you'd never say "lycan spam" or "chiruru/cudgel cheeze," but these are said commonly enough among your opponents. The only real difference is that one is often negative, while the other is informative without attempting to pass any sort of judgment.
Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.
-- Terry Pratchett
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