And I thought that I’d exhausted things to talk about in games. Turns out I’ve just exhausted the live games. Realised this when I told my boyfriend that I would probably see him tonight as I fancied going to fnm, friday night magic, which he goes to every week. Fnm is a tournament on a local scale for the card game Magic the gathering, so out of lack of anything else to do (I’ve done some revision for the day, it’s fine) I’m going to ramble on my blog.

I am going to try to explain the game, but actually, there are so many different aspects to it that it’s going to be hard to get them all in, so if you want to play the game then the best way to learn is to actually play, which you can do at [PLUG] Starwynn Games, which is a specialist gaming shop near Norwich market, down the road (dove street) that the tesco express is on [/PLUG]. I spend a lot of my time in that shop. Or used to when I had free time. Will be popping over there in a bit as that’s where fnm happens in Norwich. Since they are a gaming shop, they do a lot of other things as well, but friday’s are magic days.

Magic the gathering is a card game. It has mana in the form of lands. Five different types: Plains (White), Swamps (Black), Forests (Green), Islands (Blue), and Mountains (Red). You then use these lands (one land = one mana) to cast other cards, like creatures or spells. Creatures are your standard here’s a monster, they have power (how hard they hit) and toughness (how much hitting they can withstand) and some of them have special abilities. Far too many to go into here, but I’ll mention some of the ones I play with later. Creatures do damage equal to their power when they attack, either directly to an oppenents life total (in a normal game each player starts off with a life total of 20), or to other creatures. Creatures die when an attack does equal to or more than their toughness, but damage is not accumulative turn to turn, so you have to do all the damage in one turn or it does nothing. Then you have your spells. They can be instant, which mean you can cast them at any time for an instant effect, sorcery spells that can only be cast on your turn, and enchantments which are more permanent spells and stay in play for a while at a time. Spells have many different effects, and again, far too many to go into here. You win a game when you reduce an opponent to 0 life, or they run out of cards to draw, although there are some cards which if you play you can win the game, but they aren;t legal in standard play currently.

It’s turn based, so you usually roll dice to see who goes first and then take turns from then. The most common format, and the one that is played at fnm is one vs one, and in the tournament you get points, 3 for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss. There are other formats, like EDH, multiplayer, casual, extended, limited and many many others. Again, if you want to find out more, go to Starwynn. The guys that work there are all magic nuts and have all been playing the game for years. I’ve only been playing a little over a year.

I have one deck which is my favourite. It’s mostly from the Zendikar block, and is a green ramp deck. Green means that’s the only colour I use, and ramp means that the deck tries to get out a lots of land fairly quickly. Usually you can only play one land a turn, but there are cards that let you play more. It’s quite creature heavy, as the point of the deck is to get lots of land out and then play big creatures to stomp over the opponent. Works quite well, although it is weak against blue/white control. I’m working on that. Most of my creatures have an ability called landfall, which means that when a land comes onto the battlefield under my control, that triggers and effect on the monster. The type of monster I have are called baloths, one baloth gets really big with landfall, and the other generates a lot more beasts. I like my deck a lot, although it does need some tweaking in the sideboard. Oh yeah, the deck is made up of 60 cards and you draw a starting hand of 7. A sideboard is 15 extra cards that you can choose to add into your deck between matches, although the deck always has to 60 cards so you have to take some things out of your deck first. Fnm matches are best of three, and you usually get 4 matches in a tournament.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head, but I’m sure there is a lot more I can put in. Oh well. I shall now go attempt to write more 101 Theme Challenge, or just go into Starwynn. Maybe I should have dinner first.