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Bottomdecking: Fusillade

Bottomdecking: Fusillade

TL;DR:

You know, the Bottomdecking articles are really only entertaining for the (hopefully) funny bits below.  You already know not to play this card.

Factor: Concept


A man stands on a hill.

He is wearing an impeccable tweed suit, but one leg of his pants is tucked into his sock, revealing that underneath his custom made Italian shoes he wears white Indonesian knock-off socks that say "Kobe #23" on them.  Slowly, a youthful female staffer from GW approaches the hill, struggling under the weight of a backpack full of rejected Bloodbowl models that she wears as penance for suggesting Strength of Schedule is a good way to run tournaments.  She brushes sweat-slick auburn hair from her eyes as she reaches the man, and hesitates for a moment before she talks.

"Haver of Ideas, I need help." Her voice is tremulous and unsure.  "We need one more Objective card to complete the Power Unbound set.  But we are out of Ideas.  Please help us."

When the man speaks, he no doubt does so in a Belgian accent, despite being born and raised in Elsworth outside of Cambridgeshire.  "I have an Idea for you."

The silence stretches on for a moment, and he lights a cigarette.  The groaning chasm of awkward quiet extends between the two people, until the staffer cannot take it any more.  "Please!"  she says, "Give us something at least as good as 'Didn't Even Want It.'  We are desperate."

"Do you remember," the man says, his bad accent thickening with each word, "Keep Chopping?"

"Of course I remember Keep Chopping," she replies, "it's an awkward version of Keep Them Guessing that nobody plays because it only counts actions taken during an activation.  It was poorly written and requires too much investment to play."

"Well," he says, adjusting his crimson 'Make Brexit Great Again' baseball cap, "What if we made it..."

At this point, the staffer's eyes grow wide with anticipation and wonder, as the man delays finishing his sentence by discarding his lit cigarette and taking a puff on a Vape Pen.  It smells like other people's grandpas.  Finally, he opens his eyes wide, building the tension into a crescendo before releasing his Idea like a rainstorm on an unsuspecting crowd at Bonnaroo:

"...WORSE!!!"

Factor: Reward vs. Effort

Keep Chopping isn't a bad card, it's just hard for most warbands to pull off.  Really, only Farstriders and Thundrik's have the capability to regularly guarantee that they are in a position to reliably make 4 activations that include an attack in any given round.  Since Thundrk's have so many better options for Objectives (and depend quite a bit on score-immediately objectives to inspire their dwarves), the only place you're likely to come up against Keep Chopping is out of Farstriders.  According to Underworlds Deckers, Keep Chopping only shows up in about 5% of decks made on their site, but makes its way into 20% of Farstrider decks.

Why then, would GW want to release a strictly worse version of Keep Chopping?  Our guess goes something like this:  Some poor, overworked card designer was trying to think of another variation of the "Keep" line of cards (Chopping, Guessing, Moving), and threw together Fusillade.  Then, some poor, overworked playtester saw that Fusillade required range 3+ attacks and had the following genuine thought - likely due to lack of sleep and time:

"It's easier to score Keep Chopping with range 3+ attacks than with melee attacks, so we can't let Fusillade be worth as many glory as Keep Chopping."

Now, this is easy for anyone with enough sleep and a working knowledge of actual Shadespire games to disprove.  Putting a restriction on an objective card - even if that restriction tends toward the "easier" side - will necessarily make that card harder to score, not easier.  But we can honestly believe that in a rush, someone could readily come up with the above justification, and that it could slip past the quality checks (HAHA) that GW places on design and make its way into the live game.

Regardless of how this rotten coconut of a card made it into our grocery basket, it's there now - just leaking purulent ooze onto our fresh leeks and Toasty-O's.  Absolutely ruined.  Now what will we have for breakfast? 

Factor: Theory of Design 

Of course, this isn't the first time that GW has followed up an original printing with a strictly worse version of the original.  The base set, for example, included Supremacy - a card that's utility has been diminishing for a while, but that still makes its way into competitive decks from time to time.  Then, when Farstriders were released, GW followed up with Our Only Way Out - which had the exact same requirements as Supremacy, but netted the user one less glory.

Since Supremacy has a fairly unique design space - rewarding the user for controlling any three objectives - and a strong payoff, Our Only Way Out actually does still see some play, exclusively as a way to double up scoring for Hold-Objective type decks.  So why not double up with Fusillade?

Fusillade throws us a double whammy of Adam-Sandler-Remakes-Casablanca level downgrades.  It's significantly harder to score (9 of the 18 available warbands don't have a single range 3+ attack available to them at base) and is worth less glory than Keep Chopping.  Additionally - and this part is subjective - we feel that the requirements of Fusillade/KC are less likely to be repeatable if you draw them in separate turns than those of Supremacy/OOWO.  Meaning that if you score Supremacy in turn 1, and draw OOWO turn 2, you just have to leave your boys/girls/dogs on objectives to be in a position to score OOWO.  If you do the same thing with Fusillade/KC, you've got to manage attacks in eight or more activations across 2 turns.  And that's not easy.

But since GW is apparently into this sort of thing, we thought we'd throw a couple of other strictly worse than existing card ideas out there, and see if they make their way into Season 3:
  •  Keep Frogging: 1 Glory Objective; score immediately when you make your 4th attack with Jabbertoad this round.
  • Bag of Dicks: Upgrade; Action: Search your power deck for a card called Paradox Armor or Great Cunning, reveal it and add it to your hand.  Then souffle your power deck and place a charge token next to this fighter.
  • TikTok's Gamble: Spell; (Critical successCritical success) If this spell is cast, shuffle your opponent's discard pile face down, then remove the top card from the game.  Record it on your phone vertically, then show the whole world how bad you are.
  • Time-is-Money Trap: Ploy; Skip your next activation.  GW might publish that Seraphon warband you've wanted for so long (haha, no they won't).
  • Seeking Blade: Attack Upgrade; 1-range, 2-hammers, 1-damage.  Rolls of Dodge aren't successes in defen....wait a minute...nevermind
You're welcome to any of these GW; we here at Call it Shadespire officially renounce any rights we may have to the above 5 card ideas.   

Factor: Chumbawamba

You know who Chumbawamba is.  You might not want to admit it, but you do.  They sang that song.  You know, that song



Yeah, that one.

But what you may not know about Chumbawamba is that they were together for thirty years. Thirty. Thirty godforsaken years.  And during those thirty years (known to science as "The Chumbwian Period"), the band released sixteen albums.  And, against all logic, all of those albums were full of songs that were largely written and performed by Chumbawamba.  If we assume an average of 12 songs per album, that gives us 192 Chumbawamba songs (9.6 per year!) released across their career. If we again make the assumption of the average length of a song being 3 minutes, we're looking at the possibility that you could fly from Vancouver to Tokyo, and never once hear a word that didn't emanate from the guttural throatbox of Boff Whaley or one of his many, many bandmates.  Wouldn't that be bliss?

And yet, of all the 192 songs Chumbawamba excreted during their career, only Tubthumping ever brought in any major awards (if you can count the Hungarian Music Awards as "major").  You might call it their one good song.  Except you would be wrong, because it's not good.  But during their storied career, Chumbawamba did  make 191 other songs - including "El Fusilado."  El Fusilado is, of course, about Wenseslao Moguel, who survived his execution by firing squad in 1915. 

In a lot of ways the card Fusillade is like El Fusilado.  If you entrust a bunch of mediocre Englishmen who got accidentally famous for making drunken bad decisions with an awesome idea and let them turn it into a watery fart of pop-inspired fandom appeasement, you'll get El Fusilado.  Or Fusillade.  Whichever.

(Speaking of which, no one at GW is jumping to reply to our requests to preview their new Shadespire stuff -any ideas why?)

Summary: 

This card is bad.  Don't play it.  No, it's not even good enough to play if you're already regularly scoring Keep Chopping with your Farstriders. 

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