Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Summoners Journal #1 - My Playstyle

I figure for my first episode of my series combining Summoners War with miniature gaming, I should start by explaining more of how the game works and then go into my own personal play style which is remarkably similar to how I collect miniatures. The monsters come in 5 types: Wind, Water, Fire, Light and Dark. Monsters have versions of them in most if not all of these categories. And while visibly they will look the same, some monster varies greatly depending on its type. For example I have a Water and Dark Fairy. Their base stats are similar (not identical) and their first ability is mostly the same. However their other abilities are completely different. The Water Fairy has a heal and a damaging sleep attack while the Dark Fairy has an arrow attack that could stun and a damaging curse attack that lowers the victim's critical hit rate. A monster's overall power is measurable by its grade. The grades go from 1-star to 6-stars. Higher the grade, more powerful the monster. Monsters have a base or starting grade between 1 to 5 but all of them can be evolved into 6-stars. The game has a turn based combat system. When its a monsters turn to act, they have to used one of their abilities. The first ability can always be used but if the monster has more than one ability then those addition skills will go on a cool down after being used. There is still a lot more to understand about Summoners War but I will leave that for future episodes. For now that should be enough of a primer to get a general idea about play styles.

I've seen some videos done by content creators about what is the most efficient way to play Summoners War. From my own experience I think they are correct. They suggest starting with a goal. There are several dungeons in the game that each require wildly different strategies to complete. Pick one of these that dungeons you want to reach the end first and then build a team to accomplish that. You will probably need to look up what type of abilities you will need such as a healer or a monster with a multi hit basic attack. When you come across a new monster with one of these abilities that you are currently missing, you will either add it to your team or replace a current member of your team if the new monster can perform that role better. For the most part this team of monsters is the only ones you will be using until you can quickly clear the final stage of your goal dungeon. Even if you decide to branch out to play the other dungeons or the story mode areas, you should still only use these monsters. The reason this style is the most efficient way to play is because it takes a lot of effort to strengthen your monsters. By focusing on a small number of monsters at once you can reach their full potential as fast as possible. Clearing out the final stage in the special dungeons (they are called Cairos Dungeons) gives you the most resources you can earn from one place. Once you are able to clear the final stage quickly, you will have the resources needed to transition into anything else you want to do in the game.

Needless to say, this is not how I play the game. Instead I pick monsters that I like the look of, have interesting abilities and/or will fill a void in my lineup. I don't have a set team or even teams. I have a cast of over 20+ monsters that I consider to be my active force. When I attempt to do a mission I choose who from my active force I want to use. In theory since I can tailor what I'm using to take advantage of enemies weaknesses I am able to win fights with weaker monsters. In actuality many in my active force needs a lot of work and there still quite a few holes in my ability to exploit weaknesses. Playing this way is so inefficient because investing in so many monsters at once is very time consuming. Still I enjoy playing the game this way as it allows me to use a wide variety of monsters. My progress is really slow given how much I have played the game but I think this style matches who I am.

Which would makes since, as I have mention, this is similar to how I collect miniatures. I started playing Warriors of Chaos because I love the look of their core troops. After getting enough chaos warriors to fulfill my core requirements I started buying models base on if I like the looks of them or they had rules I wanted to play with. I also never had a standard list. Nearly every time I played Warhammer I wrote up a new list. It was quite rarely for me to ever reuse a list. I quite enjoy making army composition question every game. Did I want to used 2 units of chaos knights in this game or just 1 unit of knights and a chimera? The same is true of my Team Yankee force. I was just buying units and made a new list every time I played. And this will be true Hordes and probably anything else I play. The one exception to this is my idea for a Soviet Team Yankee force. Being more in line with the efficient style of Summoners War, for my Soviet force I will only have a single list and only purchase models that I need for that list. This is how my podcast partner Tracy built his Soviet force. After a few initial games to get an understanding of the rules and how the Soviets work, he made a single list and only brought units that was in that list. Outside of the campaign which had special rules and limitations, that list was the only one he played with. Later in the year he made some adjustments to the list and quickly pick up what he needed for those changes. For me I currently only have an interest in the Soviets because I thought up something a little silly to do with a list. Hint: lots of T-72s are involved! But again the Soviets are the exception. With every other miniature force I much prefer to collect as many different options as possible.

Now that I think about it, this is also how I play many of games as well. I wonder how I develop this habit. I do see some similarities with some classic 80s cartoons I grew up watching like GI Joe, Transformers and M.A.S.K. These types of cartoons have large casts of heroes that do not appear in every episode. Especially with M.A.S.K. as an average episode starts with a problem, following up by selecting which heroes to call in to deal with the problem. In any case, that is about it on discussing my play style. Next time I will talk about the "fun" of the current event. Thanks for reading.

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