Posts Tagged ‘Vs System’

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  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.

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:

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.

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.