Articles tagged with: cloud of witnesses

CoW Special Borders Explained

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.

Best. Nationals. Yet!!!

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!!!

Monetization of Redemption: How a New Set is Priced

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>

Cloud of Witnesses Musings – Combos: Part 1

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

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.

Winner Card Insight – The Coliseum

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)

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

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

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!

The Cloud of Witnesses Story

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

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***)

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**)

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**)

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**)

“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**)

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**)

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**)

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**)

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**)

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**)

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.

The Fall of Saul: Part 1 (**SPOILERS**)

It was a tenuous time in Israel. Samuel the prophet was getting old and his time for leading Israel was coming to an end. Unfortunately, Samuel’s sons, Joel and Abijah did not walk in the ways of their father and instead used their position for dishonest gain. The elders of Israel made a decision—they wanted a king like the other nations around them. Samuel was not pleased about this and sought after God about the people’s request.

The Three Lions of Cloud of Witnesses (**SPOILERS**)

Crimson has been the home to a few animals, most recently “The Serpent”. With the addition of Esau, the Hunter, it appears that animals are here to stay as a theme.

Now joining their wild counterparts are two more Evil Characters and a Curse with an ability that relies on animals being used. Let’s meet these cards and see how they will add a wrinkle to the emerging animal theme of Cloud of Witnesses.

Fox on Fire (**SPOILERS**)

Here at Land of Redemption we do not condone animal cruelty. I do not believe that God does either. Yet, in the Bible we have a story about a Hero who did some questionable things to animals in an effort to get revenge on his enemies. The result gives us a card like we’ve never seen before!

A Priest for All Times (and Decks)! (**SPOILERS**)

Like several other good brigades, teal has not gotten many new cards in the most recent sets. There have been some good Heroes for specific themes (Crispus for a Corinth deck, Faithful Priest for a Jerusalem deck and Eleazar, Son of Aaron for a Tabernacle Priests deck), but not a whole lot besides those. While Cloud of Witnesses is likewise not going to introduce a huge boost for teal, it is going to give us two really strong teal Heroes. The best part is that these two teal Heroes will fit perfectly in ANY teal deck.

Two Testaments are Better Than One: Part 1 (**SPOILERS**)

When I heard that our set this year was going to be based on Hebrews, my eyes lit up. Not only do I really love Hebrews as a book, but I really love when a New Testament writer harkens back to and quotes from an Old Testament text. And since Dual Testament cards are already a thing since The Early Church set gave us the Covenant card, Scroll of Isaiah, the precedent had been set. I opened up my Bible and began hunting for places where Hebrews quoted the Old Testament and made a list of references. Next, I went back and looked at each instance and tried to come up with possible names for cards from each reference. Once I had that, I made the first draft of what I thought a card with that name and that verse might do in the game of Redemption. My original list consisted of 54 Dual Testament cards and 4 other cards that I came up with along the way. Now for the fun part. I will to show you where each card began followed by the end result.

White Cloud: Part 2 (***SPOILERS***)

Welcome back to part two of White Cloud! Last time I broke down four awesome Heroes from the new Cloud of Witness set. This time I’m going to take a look at some of the new faith Enhancements and how they provide white with options beyond Magnificat and ‘He is Risen’.

White Cloud: Part 1 (***SPOILERS***)

White Brigade is often overlooked and undervalued. It is frequently the brigade that ‘oddball’ characters without major themes get placed. Examples include Zerubbabel and Woman of Wisdom. It is the home to 3 O.T. mini-themes, Daniel, Musicians, and Ruth Heroes. None of these are very good on their own. UNTIL NOW! It’s time for white to make a resurgence. I present to you: White Cloud!