Throwback Thursday – Priests Preview Articles – Teal

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Throwback Thursday is a common theme on sites and blogs where you hearken back to something interesting or random from the past. On Land of Redemption, we’ve started our Throwback Thursday trend with re-posts of preview articles from years past.

Fast forward to 2006 and we have the first of the Priests preview articles. Here Bryon provides insight into the choice behind creating a new brigade, which sheds some light on what the thought process may have been when they created Clay in Early Church as well. Enjoy!

Throwback Thursday – 3rd Edition Preview Article

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Throwback Thursday is a common theme on sites and blogs where you hearken back to something interesting or random from the past. On Land of Redemption, we’ve started our Throwback Thursday trend with re-posts of preview articles from years past.

Today we have the preview article for the 3rd Edition Starter Decks (E/F). Enjoy!

Throwback Thursday – Kings Preview Articles – Egyptians

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Throwback Thursday is a common theme on sites and blogs where you hearken back to something interesting or random from the past. On Land of Redemption, we’ve started our Throwback Thursday trend with re-posts of preview articles from years past.

Enjoy another nostalgic trip back through time!

CoW Special Borders Explained

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For the first time ever Redemption released a special edition set at Nationals for collectors. If you haven’t had a chance to see some of the amazing borders used to enhance the Cloud of Witness cards, I highly recommend that you check out the full set images hosted on our Imgur account!

These new borders are dripping with thematic beauty (literally for some of them)! Today I’d like to take some time to explain some of the hidden features you may not have caught at first glance.

The BoM Deck

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Is the “Because of Moses” (BoM) deck really that good or is it all just hype? I’m sure plenty of people have asked this question. I know I was wondering the same thing just a few short months ago. Now that the State, Regional and National tournaments are behind us, I think we have our answer. BoM is for real!

While I’ve dropped the names of some cards and alluded to others, the deck list wasn’t published in my State, Regional or even National reports. The time has come. First I’ll share the list, then give a detailed explanation of card choices below. Without further ado, here it is:

Nationals Report Part 3: The BoM Deck (T1-2P)

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Most National tournaments use the same schedule pairing T1-2P and T2-2P together, forcing players to choose between two pretty amazing categories. That makes the choice of what to play on Friday tough for me pretty much every year.

It often comes down to which deck (my T1 or T2) that I feel like I’ll enjoy most. Sometimes it comes down to which category needs another player to keep the count even. But this year the choice was pretty easy for me. I knew I wanted to play BoM!

If At First You Don’t Succeed (Two Out o’ Three Is Not Disagreeable)

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A long time ago at a Nationals far, far away…

No, this isn’t the beginning of a certain sweeping space saga set some millennia past. This preamble hearkens back to Nats 2015 in TN. It was a tournament I hadn’t planned on attending at the start, but Nats booster is always appealing so I was drawn to it as the date got closer. The combination of drafting with new cards among such a large pool of players from everywhere makes for quite an enticing draw. So, after a win in MN Nats ‘14 the year before, I thought I’d brave the waters and make the journey south, to play once more.

Nationals Report Part 2: Hurpocrisy (T2-MP)

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I don’t normally play T2-MP at Nationals. Partially because it’s usually paired with booster draft, a format I really enjoy, and partially because of the nature of multi-player events. It’s a grueling format with long games and (usually) multiple tempo swings. You really have to prepare yourself mentally to go into that kind of event. But having a perfect 90 RNRS points after Regionals I had to give it a try.

The Dark Horse

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Having played a lot of both T1 and T2 this past season, I was really torn on which one I wanted to play at Nationals. In the end I decided to only play T1 if there were an odd number of T1 players and an even number of T2 players (not counting me for either). As it turned out, we had an even number of T1 and an odd number of T2 so I jumped into T2 to make things all even.

Nationals Report Part 1: Family Vacation

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Nationals 2016 was more than just another Redemption tournament for me. It turned into a week-long adventure full of fun, fellowship, new friendships, trials and blessing. There’s no way to share it all with you so I’m just going to touch on the highlights.

More Than Just a Game

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Another year of Nationals has come and gone and what a wonderful turn out it was! It’s been a long time since I have joined Gabe on a trip to the National Tournament, let alone play Redemption; with each baby, they slowly ate away at my action plan brain cells and just never gave them back. Good thing they’re so cute, eh? But that doesn’t mean I don’t support it 100% and encourage my husband and kids as they get their gaming geekiness on. I love it. The strategy, math, reading and knowledge of the Bible characters, locations, commands and promises are saturating their minds as they participate in fellowship and fun. What an incredible combination!

2016 Nationals Results

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Greetings and salutations! Gabe and I apologize for not updating everyone via the blog here as Nats progressed. The church’s guest internet connection wasn’t very stable and the private connection was reserved for the live streaming of games that was done. I was able to provide some results via Twitter and we have now compiled the full standings.

What to Expect (When You’re Expecting)

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There are a number of people traveling to Ohio for the Redemption National Tournament this week. In fact, by the time you’re reading this I’ll probably be on the road with my family. For all you procrastinators out there who haven’t nailed down your deck list yet, I’m going to give some last minute thoughts on what I expect to see in the Type 1 events.

I’ve seen and heard from a lot of players that they’re just getting back into the game after a hiatus. If you’ve been keeping tabs on things here at Land of Redemption then you probably have an idea of what’s good right now. Let’s recap what’s strongest in Type 1.

North Central Regionals Report: Part 1

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Pat Wester did an outstanding job of hosting this year’s North Central Regional tournament. The facilities are amazing. If you attended the 2014 National Tournament you know what I’m talking about. Pat made sure everyone was accommodated and ran things smoothly despite some computer issues.

The fellowship of old friends and new ones was great. When we weren’t busy playing Redemption some people kept battling one another for rights to the Poké-gym at the church or helped one another find the rare Pokémon that kept popping up around the facilities. Even the legendary Chris Bany stopped by to say hi and take over the Poké-gym for a moment.

Learning From Our Peers – The Bad Beat

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It was round 4 of T2 2P at the 2015 National Tournament. Having lost a time-out game to my brother Jordan in round 2, I assumed I probably needed to win the rest of my games to have any shot at taking first. I was matched up against Clift C. who has been (and continues to be) one of the top T2 players in the game. I had jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but LS drought was stopping me from continuing to press the attack. Having looked at Clift’s hand, I knew that he had a bunch of evil enhancements, and his only two evil characters (Assyrian Siege Army and Assyrian Survivor) were both sitting in his territory. Knowing that either of them could do a lot of damage later on, I decided I would use my Jephthah even though it would only be for a battle challenge. I exchanged AutO to Jephthah out of deck, and Clift gave my deck a couple shuffles. He was about to shuffle one more time, but then stopped and said “Ooo, that felt good right there.”

Dominate!

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The best players win games by gaining every advantage possible over an opponent. One way to do that is by finding not so obvious ways to use your cards. Today we’re going to look at some “pro plays” using the most powerful card type in the game – Dominants.

Learning From Our Peers – Tilt

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How many of you have ever played a game of pinball? Not a digital rendition on a mobile device or gaming console, but on a real arcade-style pinball table? For those that have, maybe you remember nudging the table to help move the ball the direction you wanted. But if you nudge too much, the table would lock up with a warning – TILT! You’d lose your ball and sometimes points.

The term tilt has also been adapted into strategy card games as slang for those times when our emotions override sound judgment and cause us to make a poor play or adapt a sub-optimal strategy.

California State Tournament Summary

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We had most of the people from our playgroup gather for the California State Redemption tournament that met on June 25th and 26th and I would like to share my experience during the tournament and the impact the new set had.

What Does the Fox Say?

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We had a lot of fun giving cohesion to the animal theme during the development of Cloud of Witnesses. Part of what inspired the expansion of Redemption’s animals is Daniel Huisinga’s original submission of Coliseum. Although the animal related ability on Coliseum didn’t last, the animals and related cards were already integrated into the set and we became very fond of them.

Redemption Metagaming: How should I build my deck? – Part 1

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Welcome to a new series here at Land of Redemption. Many of you will probably be familiar with my work. My best man, Andrew Wester, and I used to run the Redemption Metagaming youtube channel and blog for about a year until life got in the way of Redemption. If you remember my work, you know I did a lot of abstract pieces about theories behind your decks.

Best. Nationals. Yet!!!

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My first Redemption Nationals was in 2007. It was such a great time that I’ve been back every year since! But let me assure you, the things that I have the privilege to share with you today are going to help make Redemption Nationals 2016 the best National Tournament yet!!!

Iowa State Tournament Summary – Part 1

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Approximately 20 people gathered for the Iowa State Redemption tournament on June 9th and 10th. I’d like to share a little bit about that experience with you and talk about the “BoM” deck that took 1st and 2nd in T1-2P.

The Players

The crowd consisted of mostly local players with a handful of veterans who traveled to join us. Both Pat (h20tor on the forum) and Mitch (MitchRobStew) made the drive from other parts of Iowa. Joining us from the great state of Minnesota were Jayden (KoalaKing), John (Red Dragon Thorn) and Justin (The Guardian).

Eternal Inheritance: TN State 2016

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Welcome to the 2016 competitive Redemption season! The meta is on fire with new combos and a resurgence of cards which may have been in your binder for some time coming to the front of rescuing souls with the newly released set, Cloud of Witnesses!

Never before in the Redemption meta have I witnessed such a diverse collection of competitive decks, all with their own forms of versatility and viability. Cloud of Witnesses has brought us to the very forefront of Redemption action in battle as well as in strategy!

Monetization of Redemption: How a New Set is Priced

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I posed a question on the Cactus Game Design Message Boards a couple weeks ago.
“I am thinking about writing an article for LoR that talks about how a set is priced and what the first month (pre-orders and sale) has looked like and where the value of CoW cards seem to be headed. Would there be any interest in that side of things?”

After I saw that there was interest, I began to put together the statistics for Cloud of Witnesses and in so doing, became very curious about how other games accomplish a similar task. The following is the product of experience and research; being largely borrowed and adapted from articles I have found on this topic online. If you need to, grab a glass of water and get comfortable: this post is a long one but it’s a good one, and well worth the read.<!–more>

The Great National Promo Experiment

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Think back to the first time you ever attended a Redemption National Tournament. Your trip to the location may have been an epic tale of heroic struggle and fortitude or it may have been a short trip with little to remember. Either way, as you walked into the venue, you inevitably came to a registration table stacked with possibilities and promos. You paid your entry and then were handed your very first copy of the newest National promo. What did you want to do immediately? Right, put it into your deck immediately so you can show of your newest acquisition. But alas, your dreams were dashed at deck check-in.

A Peek Behind the Curtain – Noah’s Ark

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Earlier this week Travis previewed the new Noah’s Ark promo for us. If you haven’t seen that yet be sure to check it out.

There are a lot of decisions that go into making a card. Sometimes they are easy. Other times they aren’t as cut and dry. We were pretty well decided on what Noah’s Ark will do long before Cloud of Witnesses went to print. But there was one rather large aspect of the card that was undecided right up until a week ago.

Cloud of Witnesses Musings – Combos: Part 1

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Hello everyone and welcome to the next installment of Cloud of Witnesses Musings!  Today I will be commenting on some combos I’ve noticed with the new CoW cards.  When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But when life gives you 129 new Redemption cards 3 months before Nationals, you make combos!

Just Sit Right Back and I’ll Tell a Tale

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Maybe you know the reference being made in the title of this article or maybe you don’t. Maybe I am really telling my age by the fact that I even made the reference. One thing we can all agree on though is this…a Noah’s Ark card has been way overdue; no maybes about it. Noah has been in the game since Patriarchs along with a small representation of his family with Noah’s Sons. Those cards, although fun if you pull them together in Booster Draft, have really seen no play since their release. The “Flood Theme” has seen a huge boost within the Cloud of Witnesses set with the new Noah and the addition of cards for Shem, Ham, and Japheth along with Noah’s Wife and a fun card that hinted that Noah’s Ark was coming, Pitch and Gopher Wood. Without further ado, let me introduce you to the 2016 National Promo card, Noah’s Ark.

Game Update – REG Version (3.1.0)

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The Elders have completed a minor version update to the REG that is effective immediately. The primary changes were updating and adding information for Cloud of Witnesses cards but there are some other interesting changes as well.

Winner Card Insight – The Coliseum

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Win Booster draft, create a card. This was the deal. This was the opportunity. This was the challenge on the floor of the coliseum. Win or die. No tricks, nothing outside of the very authority of God himself to save you from the brawl. Every move has a counter. Every feint a dodge. Three opponents at a time, each vying for the same goal: victory.

An attack! Do you defend now or later? Is the enemy of your enemy going to give you the succor of his unholy documents? Who was it that drafted Mayhem again? The Enhancements, negotiations and time fly, but when the dust settles? There can be only one. One game-winning rescue, and Emperor Anderson is descending from his dais to grant you a reward incomparable to the feeling of battles well fought and honor well earned.

Winner Card Insight – Confusion (101 Ways)

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When I won Nationals in 2015 (read about it here) I got a super cool prize, the ability to create a card! Now you may be thinking “But John, aren’t you a playtester, don’t you already create cards?” Yes, and no. A lot of the set-building happens before I come in. I do contribute from time to time on the creation side, but my focus is more on ability tweaking. Also, we tend to have strong themes in our sets – The Nationals Prize was outside of these lines.

Winner Card Insight – Word of Their Testimony

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And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;  they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)

From the time it was announced that the winners of T1 2P, T2 2P, and Booster Draft would be able to create their own cards as part of the new set, I knew that if I won that this would be the verse for my card. My favorite verse as a child was Philippians 4:13 (which is a verse I still love) but over the past seven or eight years this verse from Revelation has been my favorite as the idea of a testimony became an integral part of my life.

Cloud of Witnesses Musings – Ultra Rares: Part 1

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Hello everyone!  Now that the Cloud of Witnesses expansion has been spoiled in whole, it’s time to consider what this means for Redemption.  If you are like me, you are extremely excited yet feeling somewhat overwhelmed right now!  Cloud of Witnesses is giving us 129 new cards that we need to incorporate into our thought process as we build our tournament decks.  Nationals is less than 3 months away!  So where do we start?  What do we focus on?  What are the implications and considerations needing to be addressed when an expansion is released 2 months before Nationals?  That’s what I’ll be discussing in what I plan on being a multi-part “blog-like” series of articles.  I’ll just be talking about whatever comes to mind and we’ll see where it leads!

Falling Away

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Falling Away has been a staple Dominant since it was introduced in Redemption’s 3rd set – Women. It was introduced to balance the newly printed New Jerusalem promo card. One let you rescue an extra Lost Soul, the other let you take a Redeemed Soul away.

From the beginning, Falling Away has been a staple card in almost every competitive deck. But it’s also one of the most theologically controversial cards in the game. There have been players who have refused to use it. I knew a guy who just called it “the theologically incorrect card”.

The Cloud of Witnesses Story

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The Letter to the Hebrews is an incredible book, even called a masterpiece by secular scholars.  The arguments and positions it lays out are strong, unshakable, and help us set the foundation of our faith.  It was written to the Jews who converted, and the author recounts both their history and future with Christ.  Really, Hebrews can tell the whole story of the Bible…

Cloud of Witnesses Primer

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A couple weeks ago I recorded this podcast while traveling to visit Gabe. I cover topics like power creep, the state of the game, and where we tried to push things with this set. I also touch on what decks I think will do well after Cloud of Witnesses becomes legal for play. As you gear up for tournament season, I think this can be a valuable resource to help you hit the ground running!

Guess Who’s Back? (**SPOILERS***)

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Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life perfectly pleasing to God, offered himself as the sacrificial lamb to pay for the sins of mankind leading to his death on the cross, rose to life on the third day, was seen by hundreds of people and then ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God constantly interceding for the saints. That’s an extremely impressive resume! But that’s not all. The scriptures also promise us that he’s coming back!

Nats Winner Creations (**SPOILERS**)

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At 2015 Nationals, Rob offered an amazing prize for whomever won T1-2P, T2-2P, and Booster Draft: the ability to design a Redemption card that would be printed in an official set. While the usual balancing and playtesting would, of course, be done with the cards, they would be kept as close to the intent of the creator as possible.

Money Money Money (**SPOILERS**)

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As Gordon Gecko once said: greed is good. And that’s why all of today’s cards deal with MONEY!

We added these three cards onto the list in the middle of the playtesting process. We were told we had nine more slots to work with and we came up with these as part of that set.

To Seek and To Save (**SPOILERS**)

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“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Jesus spoke these powerful words after Zaccheus, the infamous tax collector, showed Repentance and Restitution for all the times he had cheated his fellow people. The goal of Redemption follows the example of Jesus: to save and redeem Lost Souls. Redemption does not portray specific people as Lost Souls because in a sense, we are all Lost Souls before we come to know Jesus. Even when we come to know Jesus, there may be times in our lives when we drift away or feel that we have lost our connection to Him. The amazing truth is that even when we make mistakes, He will never leave us nor forsake us, and that He always welcomes us back with open arms when we return to Him.

An Alternative to Alternate Win Conditions (**SPOILERS**)

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There has been a lot of conversation about “alternate win conditions” in the game of Redemption. If you are not familiar with the concept, it is based on the idea that there could be another way to win besides the standard condition; which in Redemption is rescuing a certain amount of Lost Souls. So perhaps instead of rescuing souls, you would be able to have four specific cards all in play at the same time which would mean you win regardless of the Lost Soul score at the time.

Someone to Watch Over Me (**SPOILERS**)

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It’s Sunday morning. You might be a church-goer, you might not. If you are, it’s likely that at some point someone at your church (a pastor, a Mentor or maybe a Best Friend) has been there for you during a tough time. I believe that God puts specific people in our lives to come alongside us, to guide us, to give us Words of Encouragement, to let us know that we are Not Alone and to keep us from Falling Away from the faith. The book of Hebrews talks of such people. We are introducing two new Heroes to represent them.

The “Other” Gray Defense (**SPOILERS**)

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In the last couple of years, gray has seen extensive use as a defensive brigade and the results have been impressive. In 2013, a Roman-based hand control deck won T1 2P at Nationals. That same year, a pair of decks using Pharisee-based defenses (along with a couple Romans) won TEAMS at Nationals. The following year at Nationals, the top three decks for T1 2P used gray defenses (first place being mostly Pharisees while second and third used a Pharisee/Roman mix). A deck with a Pharisee defense also won T2 MP in 2014 proving that it’s not just a T1 defense. Last year saw gray take a bit of a step back as the top gray deck “only” got third place in T1 2P, but it’s pretty clear that a gray defense—in some combination of Pharisees and Romans—is one of the dominant defenses right now.

Looking Back to Egypt (**SPOILERS**)

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As part of God’s divine plan, Egypt played a pretty big role in the early books of the Bible. Egyptians, as a defense, have also played a pretty big role in Redemption in years past. But more recently, due to lack of new cards and support, they’ve been less popular.

That can actually be said of a few themes. So when we sat down to flesh out the defenses in Cloud of Witnesses we knew that there were some long neglected civilizations that we wanted to show some love this year. Three of them in particular.

The Fall of Saul: Part 2 (**SPOILERS**)

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So when we left off in Part 1, King Saul was chasing David throughout Israel and the surrounding nations in a desperate attempt to keep the kingship of Israel in his family line. However, time and again David was one step ahead of Saul. Before word of King Saul’s mission had spread very far, David went to the city of Nob. While there, he lied to Ahimelech the priest about why he was there in order to get food and supplies.

Antediluvians: Part 1 (**SPOILERS**)

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Redemption’s newest theme is going to be referred to by many people as “that word I can’t pronounce”. Just give it your best shot. What’s more important is what it means for game play. Who does it include? Why does it matter?

Antediluvian is a term used to describe any character who lived before the world wide flood of Genesis 7.