Monday, December 2, 2013

Current Holden Deck (Romance of the Nine Empires)

So, after my first 8 games of R9E, I've decided to try to work on the decks a little, just to cut my teeth on deck building for this game.  I decided to start with Holden, who I've been having a blast playing, and because I think their starter deck felt a little weak.  These are just small changes to start, but as I try different things with them, I'll post updates.

So let's get to it.

Castles:
Border Keep - 1
Castle Holden - 1
Fortified Market Town - 1
Protected Farmland - 1
Sanctuary - 1

I switched out the Outpost and Temple of the Snail Spirit for a Fortified Market Town and Sanctuary. 

Outpost feels like a pretty bad card, and it's only ever gotten destroyed very quickly in all the games we've played, so I felt that replacing it was a no-brainer.  It feels like Holden struggles with money.  Their Stronghold only provides three gold as income, and I wanted to make sure to supplement that from the beginning, so I added the Fortified Market Town.  Of course, that put me over castle points, so the Sanctuary was switched in to keep the deck legal.

Cohorts:
Peasant Archers - 1
Veteran Men-at-Arms - 1

I didn't change these at all.  Veteran Men-at-Arms is really handy for stopping an attack, so that will probably stay for now.  I don't really struggle with food so far, so I'm thinking of dropping Peasant Archers.  Maybe replace it with another VMaA?  We'll see- I'll test it out sometime.

Heroes:
Alaric Buxtehude - 1
Coeli Quando - 1
Genevieve - 1
Jack Newcomer - 3
Myriad Buxtehude - 2
The Vanguard of Guild 10-42 - 3
Tuatha Dundareel - 2

So let's see, +1 Alaric, -1 Coeli, +1 Newcomer for now.  I played around with using Siter'Ath Jones in the deck, but he didn't really help me a whole lot.  I felt that 12 heroes was a tiny bit too few, so bumped it up to 13.  I never got any use out of Coeli (and still don't), so replacing him with Jack Newcomer, who I use all the time seemed obvious.  I'll probably try switching out Coeli with yet another hero at some point.  Maybe drive that raid point home with Siter'Ath again.

Properties:
Exotic Mounts - 1
Extraplanar Obelisk - 1
Library - 2
Motte and Bailey - 1
Simm's Tomb - 3
The Queen's Chamber - 1
Training Grounds - 3
Valiant Squire - 3

Changes here are 2 extra copies of Simm's Tomb.  Again, my early games playing this deck really struggled with money.  Extra Simm's Tombs help a lot with that.  If you can get the Biggest Turnip out early in the game, they are fantastic money cards, that will give you some great use late game (to pull back quests).  I worry a bit about running too many properties in the deck, but so far it hasn't felt too bad, but again, we're early in playing this game.

Quests:
The Apple of Life? - 1
The Biggest Turnip - 3
A Desperate Offer? - 2
Journey? - 1
A Most Peculiar Lamp? - 1
Rescue the Hostage? - 2

I switched out one Journey for  The Biggest Turnip.  Having a quest in play is such a big deal, upping the gold on Simm's Tomb, and increasing your hand size that I felt the most important thing was to increase the chances of grabbing that Turnip!  Drawing additional copies later on is hardly a big deal, of course.  It's still a four Fate value card, you can Bury it for draw, and when Genevieve is out, you'll have a quest in your buried pile that you can use to stall for actions if you need to (grab the Turnip, then bury it again to draw a card).  Even without the stalling at times, it's an additional card draw. 

Journey I find I use late game, and drawing it early doesn't help me one bit (even though it is a fairly simple quest to complete).  Moving it down to one copy hasn't seemed to be a problem yet.

Tactics:
Blight - 2
Death from Above - 2
Lost to the Nexus - 2
Negotiation - 2
Soul of a Dragon - 2
Torrential Rain - 2
The Tree of Life Blooms - 2
Snow in Summer - 2

So here, I dropped 2 Tactical Acumen, and 1 Undermarket Dealings.  In the games I've played, I've never found a use for these cards in this deck.  Since I'm generally playing this deck super defensively early in the game, then completing quests like mad mid-to-late game, I will probably make a bunch more changes here, as I get more games on the table.  Perhaps dropping 2x Blight for 1 more Snow in Summer and one more Soul of Dragon/The Tree of Life Blooms?  We'll see.  It's going to take some more games to figure that out.

So let's see, my Holden deck is currently only 8 card slots different than the starter set, but I already feel a difference in how it plays.  We'll see what changes I make as I continue to put it on the table:)

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