Author Archive

DFC Preview: Ryan Choi The Atom, Black Gambit

November 14, 2009

Ryan Choi

We’re getting down to the end of the DFC previews.  Today is the last day of previews for Checkmate, the last team featured in the set.  Like Seventh Soldier said in his excellent team write-up Checkmate was easily the most hotly debated team in the set.  Originally, we hadn’t planned to refeature Checkmate.  But as the Final Crisis story unfolded, it became clear that next to Darkseid’s Elite, Checkmate was the most important team in the story.

Another problem was that Checkmate was already a force to be reckoned with in Vs.  The original version of the team in the Infinite Crisis set remains one of the most playable teams in the game.  Certainly one of the best DC teams left out there.  So we were faced with the challenge of making a team that felt like Checkmate without making Checkmate crazy busted.

The answer was found in the story itself.  In Infinite Crisis, Checkmate was quitely pulling all the strings.  They were calling the shots and the DCR version of the team reflected that.  In Final Crisis, Checkmate was desperate.  They were on the run as safehouse after safehouse fell to Darkseid.

As a result, the new version of Checkmate has to makes some risky plays.  Not only that, but they will loose one headquarters after another.  Ryan Choi <> The Atom plays into both of those themes.  Going down a resource (usually a location for Checkmate) is a risky proposition.  Koing a resource too early or too often can easily cost you the game.

But the payoff – the card of your choice in your hand when you need it – could win you the game.  It’s just of matter of knowing when the time is right to pull the trigger so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot.

Other affiliations (Brotherhood, JLI) are looking at Ryan Choi and drooling.  His restriction makes him a little less splashable.  But as long as you can guarantee a team-up, Ryan will be a welcome addition to any team that likes to KO its own resources.

So, that’s it for me.  Thanks to the guys for letting me play along when I didn’t do much of the heavy lifting this time around.  And thanks to everyone for the overwhelmingly positive response to the set so far.  Believe me when I say, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Monday morning is going to be like Christmas for any Vs. fan.

Until next time – and there will be a next time – good gaming.

DFC Preview: Dark Ranger, Club of Heroes

November 10, 2009

Welcome back.  I hope you’ve been enjoying the DFC previews so far.  Today, we’re wrapping up the Gotham Knights before moving onto one of the few new teams in the set.

Before I start talking about the card, I’ll ramble on a little bit about how the Gotham Knights got included in Final Crisis. 

(Feel free to skip ahead.  I’m going to ramble a lot.)

When we decided to follow up DC Universe, a Final Crisis set seemed like a natural fit.  We really wanted to refeature the New Gods and it seemed like they would be prominently featured in Final Crisis.  We also wanted to refeature the Shadowpact (which we did) and at the time it seemed like the Reign in Hell storyline was going to tie into Final Crisis more closely than it actually did.

As it turns out, Final Crisis turned out to be a really difficult story to get a handle on.  After each issue or tie-in, we re-evaluated what we were doing.  Does Legion of Three Worlds have anything to do with the main story?  Where’s the New Gods?  Gosh, the Checkmate seems to be awful important…

Since the New Gods were more or less no shows in Final Crisis, we were left with a bit of a problem.  First, we had a hole in our roster.  And second, we didn’t really have a recognizable “good guy” team.  At one point or another, I think we debated the merits of just about every “good guy” affiliation in DC Comics before settling on a Gotham Knights refeature.

Eventually, the Batman RIP storyline did dovetail with Final Crisis.  In some ways, it was more connected to the main story than a lot of the tie-in mini-series that wore the FC banner.  But ultimately, there was something more than that.

Both stories were written by Grant Morrison.  And they both had that Morrison feel.  If you go back to DCU, a lot of the source material for that set was based on comic books written by Geoff Johns.  If DCU was the Johns set, DFC would be the Morrison set.  (You may even see a nod or two to some of Morrison’s other works in the set.)

When we decided to refeature Gotham Knights, we all agreed that they needed to have a new spin on them.  In the GK previews to date, you’ve seen how we represented Batman’s ultimate preparation with the Charge keyword.  But we weren’t done yet.

We kept reaching back deeper and deeper into Morrison’s Batman.  And the Gotham Knights kept expanding.  If you read Morrison’s Batman, you know he was planting the seeds of RIP (and Final Crisis) from his first issue.  So we gradually grew to include just about the whole run.

One of the most fascinating parts of Morrison’s run on Batman was the Club of Heroes.  The two-part story seemed like filler material at first.  But in reality, Morrison was setting the stage for his Club of Villains.

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s take a look at the Club of Heroes.  The Club (also called the Batmen of All Nations) consisted of a bunch of Batman-inspired heroes from around the globe.  In Watchmen style, the club disbanded and went on to mostly undignified ends.  But every now and then, the club gets back together again.

And that’s excatly what the Club of Heroes wants to do in this set.  Here’s alook at what you’ll get as a pay-off for assembling the Club:

Dark Ranger

Kind of speaks for himself, right?  Free stuns.  Not too shabby.  Is he hard to pull off?  Somewhat.  But the Club will have tricks that make it easier to assemble the whole gang (Think Secret Six without the alternate win condition.) 

Also, if you need a little help, there’s always the Captain.

I hope you enjoyed this look at a mini-team/strategy within our Gotham Knights refeature.  Come back tomorrow when things get really weird.

(But in a good, Morrison kind of way.)

I just wrote my first DFC Preview Article

October 30, 2009

I thought I’d share that I just wrote my first DFC preview article.  Originally, the plan was to post the article here on Monday.  But instead, the preview articles should be posted on the main page of Vs.org.  Be sure to check them out for the next two weeks for all the DFC goodness.

Come back here too.  We’ll have all the links to the preview articles being doen by the Vs. community as they come out.  Plus, you never know when the design team will stop by and provide some behind-the-scenes commentary.

Anyway, the first article is the team preview for Darkseid’s Elite.  Here’s one of those behind the scenes details I was telling you about.  I got my wires crossed when I was writing the article (which hapens all the time with me) so I ended up including an extra card by mistake.

As usual, you guys benefit from my inability to read.  You’re welcome.

Watch This Space

October 25, 2009

It has been a long time coming.

And the wait is almost over.

(I bet you thought we’d forgot about you, didn’t you?)

DFC has been more or less done for months now, but the guys are putting on the finishing touches.  This thing is going to be far more polished than any fan-made set ever.  It will bury DCU, that’s for sure.

(Are you getting a little excited yet?  Good.)

I know, I’ve posted “coming soon” posts before in relation to DFC.  And the truth is, I always meant it.  It’s been a long, slow process.  But this time, I have a date.

November 1, 2009.

Count on it.

Oh and maybe check back here between now and then for a couple of hints and teases.

It’s been a long time.  Are you ready to feel the Vs. love again?

Final Crisis is coming…

June 12, 2009

Hey all,

Been away a while.  Honestly, I basically had to drop out of the fan-created card design biz.  But, the rest of the creative team behind the original DCU set soldiered on to complete DFC.

I haven’t seen anything (and even if I did there’s no way I’d spoil it!)  But I know how much work they’ve put into this project and I know it’s going to knock your socks off.  They’ve even gone so far as to create their own promotional website.  Check it out:

http://www.wix.com/Guglio/DC-FINAL-CRISIS

Isn’t that amazing?  That’s better than anything Upper Deck was doing in the later sets!

So, even if I’m not all that involved, I wanted to get the word out!  Final Crisis is coming.  And it’s going to blow you away.

Playtesting DFC, Printing DCU

February 2, 2009

Hey all,

There is some great stuff going on with the Final Crisis set.  Let me tell you, the guys are playtesting the heck out of it!  It’s really exciting to see. 

I thought I’d respond to this comment from my last post on the main page in case anyone had similar questions:

Ryan Says: February 2, 2009 at 6:29 am edit Can you please explain to me where if possible can I find DCU? I joined pretty late in the game and I simply love it.

Glad you like DCU, Ryan!  There’s actually a lot of ways to enjoy DCU.  If you want to play on-line, please see Guglio’s post here. If you just want the raw card images, they are housed here. I’ve heard of people putting them into different types of documents and printing them up.

Speaking of which, Ike E Bear at VsRealms has posted the cards in PDF version here. Thanks, Ike. I’m sure a lot of people will appreciate the effort.

Quotes from Ben Seck

January 28, 2009

Was a DC Universe set ever in the works?

One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t get to helm a set with two of my favorite DC heroes, the Flash and Green Lantern. Initially the set after MUN was going to be called “Brave and the Bold” an homage to the GL /Flash teammups of the Silver Age, and focus on Green Lantern, Speed Force, Rogue’s Gallery, and Anti-Matter (in the form of the Sinestro Corps). You can see this with the addition of RG as a secondary affiliation in DCL and the symbol of Anti-Matter being the Sinestro Corps logo. Also what turned out to be the keyword Energize was initially going to be “Super Speed” if this set went ahead.

What were some storylines that you really wish you could have made into VS sets?

As I said before, I’m a DC fanboy, and I would have liked to see Sinestro Corps out officially (though I love the fan set btw) as well as Terminal Velocity from the Flash books.

—————————————————

I’ve always thought TBS was one hell of a guy!  This seals the deal.

The Future

January 28, 2009

By now you’ve probably seen the news.  If not, see this announcement from Upper Deck.

Well, this obviously isn’t a surprise.  But I am surprised just how sad it makes me to see the official announcement.  This is a damn shame.  Yeah, the writing has been on the wall for a long time.  But it’s sad news nonetheless.

Is Vs. dead?  No.  The fans will keep the game alive.  People will continue playing with the cards Upper Deck released.  And we will continue to provide new content.

The original DCU project started in response to the announcement that there would be no new DC content for Vs.  Now that there will be no new official content for Vs, the guys on the project have re-dedicated themselves to the idea of putting out top-flight fan-made content.

What can you expect from us?  You’ll get the best fan-made sets we can deliver.  DCU was fun, but it wasn’t polished enough.  Our next set, DFC, will be better.  We’ve been hard at work on it for months.  Currently, we are knee-deep in playtesting to make sure this set stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best sets Upper Deck ever released.

I can’t tell you exactly when DFC will be released.  I do not want to put it out there unfinished like we did with DCU.  But we will give you updates here as they become available.

After DFC, the future’s a little less certain.  We may branch out into Marvel content.  We’ll probably take on a few new team members as we ramp up our output.  And, I’d like to go back and polish DCU someday.  Whatever the future holds,  you can count on us to provide new Vs. content.

The game will not die as long as the fans want to continue playing it.

The Finished Set

August 25, 2008

Well, gang, this is it.  After many months of hard work, the DCU set is ready to be unveiled.  You can see the whole thing right here:

http://s335.photobucket.com/albums/m479/dclebeau/?start=all

Once you’ve had a chance to review the final product in all it’s glory, I hope you’ll come back and read a few parting words.

First of all, I have a lot of people I need to thank.

Guglio.  Guglio didn’t write a lot of preview articles, but he was one of the primary designers of the set.  He’s the guy who came up with the “pay willpower” strategy that was used for the Emerald Enemies.  He did the initial designs for Green Lanterns, EE, Anti-Matter, Manhunters (the surprise team!) and Speed Force.  He also did initial designs for some teams that didn’t make the set but will be included later.  His work can also be seen in the unaffiliated, support and legacy cards.  Plus, he’s the guy who made all the cards look so good.  He’s the guy with the photoshop skills!  Every time we needed to make changes, Guglio did all the work.  And it was a lot of work!

SeventhSoldier – S7 was also there from the beginning.  He did the initial designs for The Rogues, Suicide Squad, and Themyscria.  He also did a lot of the unaffiliated, support and legacy cards.  SeventhSoldier, Guglio and I had a hand in every card in the set.  It’s really hard for me to separate who did what beyong the initial designs.

Captainspud – Spud was around early on and gave us some great guidance.  He was actually unavailable for much of the development of the set.  But, while previews have been going on, he has helped us review the set with fresh eyes.  His contributions and fixes have been invaluable.

Onyxweapon – Gave us our home base and contributed to several designs.  If you like the Superboy Prime stuff, you’ve got him to thank for it/

Throatini – He designed one of the most popular legacy cards in the set (Batman, Always Prepared) and helped with a number of other cards.  Especially the Gotham and League of Assassins stuff.

Vader – Vader had a hand in several of the early designs.  A number of the support cards are 100% his design.

Thugee Trainee – TT was an early contributor as well.

In addition to the contributors to the set, I need to thank everyone who wrote preview articles.  I’m taking this list from our schedule.  So, if I miss anyone, my apologies:

scottkthompson
Obsidian3D
graymalkin
vs_savant2
Cliff + HomerJ (The Ring Has Chosen)
Tchalla
Lockescythe
RanmaSolo
foilball

andrewbircher
Pi_3.14159…

TheDeranged Bear
Shadowtrooper

seanvalen

KardKrazy
KakuFan –

Gambit
dangerx2
ChaosExile489
StaticCat

Omicresence  
The Don Supes

Herald of Doom
CaptainCuba
Ra’s Al Cool

Speedy92286
Carlos the Dwarf
Fredwood
Runaway
clancypants

JoseG
gdaybloke
Neil04
YGO Daedalus

Whew!  That’s a long list.  All of us who worked on the set were amazed by the outpouring of support from the Vs. community.  A lot of work went into this project and you guys made it all worth while.  Thanks so much!

Thanks also to Upper Deck and the development team for making such a great game.  And to DC Comics for creating such great source material (Amazons Attack and Countdown excluded!)  Now, let’s get together and settle our differences so a real DCU set can be released!

Thanks to our friends and families who were patient when we were devoting so much time to something that some might view as a trivial pursuit.

And thanks to you guys for caring about an unofficial set.  We did it all for you guys!

I’m sure I’m missing someone, but that’s what the edit feature is for.  Let me know who I missed and I’ll add them in later 🙂

For those of you who have read through all my ramblings, I have an announcement to make.  The design team is already hard at work on a follow-up to DCU.  It’s going to be themed to DC’s current epic, Final Crisis.  We’re still in the early development stages, but you can look forward to seeing the return of the New Gods, Darkseid’s Elite, the Legionnaires and the Future Foes among others.

With everything we learned from DCU, I promise, this set will be superior.

Now that DCU is available for all to see, updates here will be less frequest.  But we will still be posting some design articles.  There will be updates regarding on-line play as well as the occassional teaser about Final Crisis.  So, keep checking back.

Jay Garrick Extended Art

August 24, 2008

This Alex Ross extended art card comes from Icejaw19:

That’s it for today’s extended art features.  If anyone else has any extended art or alt art cards they want to see featured here, send them to me and I’ll be happy to post them!