Wednesday, December 8, 2021

2021 TAV Rules Update (version 1.1)


After 9 years, I finally went through the TAV rules and updated things. I'm calling this version 1.1.

Please let me know if I've used confusing wording or committed blatant mistakes. Also give me any suggestions you may have in the way of improving TAV gameplay. 

Thanks in advance.

Here is the link to the updated TAV rules.

Change log:

-Tightened up grammar/phrasing throughout.

-Gender-neutral language implemented.

-Dungeon rules clarified.

-Combat rules clarified.

-Avatars' special powers can be duplicated by other cards that allow special power duplication in TAV.

-Spoils rules clarified.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

TAV in action! It's war!

This didn't happen...but almost.

My good friend James and I recently engaged in a game of Spellfire at my place. I gave him my Tournament Deck and took my Gib Deck, and off we went. Here's how the game played out.

PREGAME - The first pic got corrupted somehow, but we both cut our decks and checked the last digit of the first number to see who went first. He won. We both drew 5 cards, and the game began.

TURN ONE (his) - I wait for him to draw his 3 cards, then immediately hit him with a Discovery of Spellfire. I want to get the good stuff out of his hand right away.

James discards Delsenora from his hand to calm my Discovery of Spellfire. Drat. *Yes, I know that Delsenora isn't supposed to be discarded from the hand, only the pool. An unforgivable rules slipup! Or...the birth of a new House Rule. Take your pick!

Play continues. James drops Ruins of Iolonia...great first realm. He doesn't play any champions into his pool - smart move. If he needs a defender he can always play one from his hand. His turn ends.

TURN ONE (mine) - I drop the Temple of Elemental Evil as my front realm. Not an ideal choice, but my hand looks a bit weak and I want to fatten it up with three more sweet cards.

I'm not fearing Realm destruction, so here come Gibs Occav and Lhadsemlo.

BOOM! I have Occav cast Disintegrate...I want that Ruins of Iolonia gone. No response from James, and his only realm is toast.

There's something to be said for a quick start. I throw down my Caravan, hoping to get a big lead in realms that might be too much of a deficit for my opponent to overcome.

But he's got a response this time - a Black Hole. My Caravan is canceled. Not only that, but James gets to use it for himself! He takes his extra turn.

CARAVAN TURN (his) - He plays no realm, but a wild Erellika appears...and she's targeting my Temple with an Estate Transference. Does my opponent have one of his own he wants to slap down? Or is he just trying to kill off my Gibs?

I don't have an answer for the Estate Transference. The Temple is toast. Off to the Abyss with it.

Now he slaps down a Good Fortune. Things are going from bad to worse for me here. James draws 5 cards.

And he's gotten a Caer Allison. Not sure why he immediately uses it. Is Erellika that valuable? I would have let her die and saved the event for later. Is this his first mistake?

TURN TWO (his) - He slaps down the Headless Horseman, the Arch-Druid, and the Earth Elemental (by the way, please ignore the delicious Halloween candy on the left side of the photo...).

His turn ends, and without a realm my Gibs go bye-bye.

TURN TWO (mine) - Mithas is a great front land. I do not want that Horseman around, so I hit it with a Wine of Eternity to keep it under wraps and/or have James waste good cards drawing and discarding to try to wake it up again.

Unfortunately for me, he has an Enter Darkness Together! No way in hell I'm tearing up my chase card, so the Wine of Eternity is canceled by the EDT. Headless Horseman is free to rampage all over my formation (such that it is).

I drop Gib Thiaf. I need a spoils badly so I attack the powerless Caer Allison.

He flips it without resistance. I grab my spoils and end my turn.

TURN THREE (his) - He drops Menzoberranzan. I'm thinking he's really short on realms. That's a good thing.

He attacks Mithas with the Horseman. Since I don't want to lose Thiaf I don't block. The Horseman could choose to win, and I'm short on champions. Mithas will flip itself back over at the beginning of my turn anyway. I let it go.

House rule! At my place, any spoils can be played right away, even if it's a spell ordinarily usable only in phase 3. James draws a Takhisis's Abyssal Gateway and immediately uses it to nuke my only champ. Yikes. He ends his turn after Thiaf heads off to the Abyss. The razed Caer Allison vanishes.

TURN THREE (mine) - I make a huge mistake here...I forget to flip Mithas back over! What a boneheaded move. Instead I simply play Tyr into my formation. I need cards badly and the extra draw per turn sounds sweet. I end my turn.

TURN FOUR (his) - James plays The Last Sea into his front realm position. This positions him well against spells, as he will be able to cast an emergency spell-turning by razing the realm.

He also drops his dungeon, which is The Azure Tower of Onad the Fallen. Now his helpful events can't be canceled, and his harmful events can't be copied.

Prismal the Outrageous makes an appearance, with an attached Amulet of Spell Protection. It protects Prismal, and can also be discarded to cancel yet another spell.

The Horseman attacks again, this time at Tyr. I defend with the level 5 realm champion, and he chooses to automatically win the round. The Headless Horseman is discarded and Tyr is razed. He grabs a spoils.

TURN FOUR (mine) - Finally, some good luck. Though I continue to forget about Mithas, which should be unrazed, I draw Ancient Kalidnay. Gib Reltub makes an appearance in my pool.

And now I Good Fortune. Five cards are mine!

Menzo needs to die. I Cataclysm it.

Now I play Gib Kcir and my namesake, Gib Cram...

...and then slap down my Menzo. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with the way this game is going. I'd be in an even better position if I remembered about Mithas, but I don't.

I slip Candlekeep on Menzoberranzan. Now if James plays an event I can take a long look at his hand.

I'm of the opinion that Gib Kcir should be used as soon as possible...and I really don't want that Prismal and his attached amulet sticking around. Kcir sends Prismal to the Abyss.

Cram attacks The Last Sea.

Combat! James slaps down Julio from his hand to defend (Cram is immune to the Earth Elemental's instant-win power because his last digit is 5). My opponent gets to play first due to Julio's low level.

POW! Athasian Sloth to Cram's head. I might have to discard two cards from my hand, which would be devastating.

Luckily, I have a Dodge. This event will cancel the Sloth.

BUT WAIT...Dispel Illusion! The most powerful card in Spellfire makes an appearance. Not only is the Dodge not played, but I can't play it until my next turn. Ouch.

Luckily, I have a Dispel Magic and Reltub can cast wizard spells.

Unluckily, James has a Dispel. I discard two cards as the Sloth takes effect, and Julio is now level 10.

Desperation time. I throw down the Loup-Garou. If he has a way to stop it (or a magic item), I'm toast.

But he doesn't! I win the combat round and The Lost Sea is razed. Julio goes to the discard pile and I grab a spoils. 

The spoils is a Dissolution! I try to dissolve his only realm, which would lead to the death of all his champions.

Drat. He has a Dispel Magic. Oh well, it was worth a try. I end my turn.

...or do I?! I flip Ancient Kalidnay for another turn.

KALIDNAY TURN (mine) - I slap down Avanil and attack his dungeon with Cram.

No defense! The dungeon is razed and goes to the discard pile. I snag a spoils. It's a realm, the Mad Scientist's Lab! Down it goes, completing my formation. I end my turn.

TURN FIVE (his) - James has had enough of Gib Cram's shenanigans. He has 
Erellika cast Wish on him. Cram dies.

Without Gib Cram, I'm very vulnerable to the Earth Elemental, and my opponent knows it. With a last digit of 0, Reltub is useless as a defender. The Elemental waltzes over and attacks Menzo.

I can do nothing. Menzo is razed, my Candlekeep heads off to the discard pile, and James grabs a spoils and ends his turn.

TURN FIVE (mine) - I've seen enough of the Earth Elemental for one game. I throw a Trapped on him. The Elemental can do nothing until it's negated, so he's out of action for awhile. There's no realm for me to attack, so I end my turn.

TURN SIX (his) - James starts off by trying to dissolve Menzo. It works.

Now he uses Coming of the Phoenix to return Julio to his pool.

Then he ends his turn and... Caravans.

CARAVAN TURN (his) - Ruins of Zhentil Keep appears. Caravan turn ends.

TURN SIX (mine) - I drop Netheril over the useless Mithas I kept forgetting to flip. James hits me with a Cold Cup of Calamity just after I replace my front realm.

Instead of having to discard it, I use the Wrath of the Immortals in my hand before the Cup takes effect. I target the Arch-Druid.

He responds with Unusually Good Fortune, collecting 3 cards. The Wrath goes off, dropping the Arch-Druid's level to 1, robbing him of his special powers, and making him attack or defend first.

Cold Cup goes off. James removes Duchy of Tenh and a Spell Turning from my hand. I can't attack the only realm he has in play, so I end my turn.

TURN SEVEN (his) -  James drops Temple of Elemental Evil and draws his extra cards. Then he puts The Living Wall and Helm into his pool and attacks Netheril with the useless Arch-Druid. I block with Reltub, and the Arch-Druid loses. Easy spoils.

TURN SEVEN (mine) - This pic also got corrupted. I drew my cards, played the Gatekeeper into my pool, and ended my turn due to the Living Wall lurking in his pool.

TURN EIGHT (his) - My opponent uses Erellika to Limited Wish away my Trapped, canceling it and freeing the Earth Elemental. 

Next Erellika Mindshatters Reltub.

James slips a Bell of Might on Erellika, then sends the Earth Elemental to attack Netheril. Out of options, I discard Avanil for 5 cards.

I draw a Skull Tumor, which won't be instantly defeated by the Elemental. I play it as my defender.

The Tumor attaches Gib Cram from the discard pile as an ally. Its level beats the Elemental, and the Skull Tumor wins the round of battle. I grab a spoils. James ends his turn.

TURN EIGHT (mine) - I play my rule card, which is Zhentarim Intrigue. I can now draw a card every time one of my Forgotten Realms lands is razed. Next I place Cormyr into my formation and Gib Hcivonad and Gib Aklem into my pool. I attach the Wyrm of Earthwalking to Aklem, then send my Gatekeeper to the Abyss to return Gib Kcir to my pool. 

Kcir sends himself and The Living Wall to the Abyss. Good riddance to that Wall! Now I attack the Temple with Aklem.

No defense! The Temple is razed and I grab a spoils.

TURN NINE (his) - Erellika casts Mindkiller on Aklem, who was definitely a problem for my opponent. Aklem is off to the Abyss.

James places The Haunted Hall of Eveningstar into his formation and draws a card. Then he plays Zakhata, the False God and Manshoon of the Zhentarim into his pool.

He uses Tyranthraxus to grab my Hcivonad. He ends his turn.

TURN NINE (mine) - I draw my cards and discard three to flip over Tyr.

Next I place Gib Irod into my pool.

I attach Dori's Obsidian Steed (very fitting!) and a Star Gem of Martek: Clear Crystal to Irod. Then I attack Zhentil Keep with her, since now I can.

James blocks with my Hcivonad, who dies.

Zhentil Keep is razed and I collect a spoils. I end my turn.

TURN TEN (his) - He plays Mithas and puts the Ethereal Champion into his pool. James decides not to bother flipping over his champions. He ends his turn.

TURN TEN (mine) - I draw my cards, discard 3 and unraze Ancient Kalidnay. Then I play my Caer Allison. That's six realms! Victory?

NOT YET! Helm cancels Caer Allison, giving James a reprieve.

Bell of Might duplicates the event canceled by Helm. Now James has his second Caer Allison of the game. Okay, pal. We'll do this the hard way. Gib Irod attacks Mithas.

No defense. Mithas is razed and I get a spoils. If it's a realm I can play it and win ...but it's not a realm. The game continues.

I end my turn.

TURN ELEVEN (his) - Unlike me earlier in the game, James remembers to flip Mithas back over at the start of his turn.

After Mithas flips back over, he plays Solamnia into the front position. With the Caer Allison, that makes four realms. Does he have a trick up his sleeve to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat here?

Desperately searching for a spoils, Manshoon attacks Netheril. I block with Irod.

A Dreaded Ghost and a Loup-Garou temporarily put Manshoon's level up to 19, topping Irod's 18! Luckily Irod is undead and therefore immune to the Ghost's level drain effect. But I play Knights of Neraka, an ally that gives me a huge +13 bonus and seals the victory.

Manshoon escapes back to his pool, I grab a spoils. It's not a realm, but James is all out of options. His only hope to prolong things is if I fail to draw a realm. I have no razed realms so will have to attack to try to get a spoils if I don't draw a land. He ends his turn with his fingers crossed. 

TURN ELEVEN (mine) - I draw three cards and win the game. The final pic got corrupted, but the winning realm was The Sea of Dust.

This was an epic battle. We both made some gameplay mistakes, and the advantage went back and forth several times. End result? My Gib deck beat my Tournament deck for maybe the first time ever.

I hope you enjoyed reading this game recap. Please leave me a comment about anything either of us could have done differently/better. See you next time!