The first offering of the two is a card that elicits so many emotions from me. I originally thought that it was remarkably good. Then I realized that it does not hit every Support – just Locations – which makes it a lot more conditional. Then I looked up Locations and saw what seemed to be every amazing Support in the game. Then I started thinking about the actual in-game usage of this card, with a blue planet sometimes being the last place you want to deploy (read: in the middle of nowhere). Then I realized that you still get a 4 STRENGTH, 3 HEALTH Soldier with two Command Icons, even without the ability. Then I realized it was non-loyal.
And that leaves me with a satisfying sense of “this unit is good, relevant, and potentially game-winning”.
We know how these kinds of trades work, with the “when entering play” mechanic being prevalent throughout most card games. Units that do important things when they come into play usually find themselves among the most desired in the card pool. These effects add tactical advantage like no other in that they nearly guarantee that an event will occur. In a game with opponent psychology and plenty of material unknowns, access to a “sure thing” is highly valued.
Having a way to hit an Archon’s Palace or Chimera Den may single-handedly tip the current Space Marines v. Dark Eldar grudge match, to say nothing of Orbital City, Aun’ Shi’s Sanctum, Catachan, Ammo Depot, or many of the newer, untested Supports. That you might instead simply have a decent 4-cost unit makes the Devastators always valid. Those moments when you hit a Location and get the Devastators on a relevant planet are game-defining, and likely game-winning.
They play to theme, too, mimicking the style of the Imperial Fists Siege Force, so kudos to that consistency!
Aside from invoking younger memories of Metallica’s “Sanitarium”, this card does little for me. It immediately conflicts with the Imperial Fists Devastators (above), its most obvious synergy, and costs too much for such a conditional ability. There is no way that this slots above competing utility cards. It also does not play nicely in other factions, even though it is non-loyal.
I’m not one to discount movement abilities in Conquest, but this seems like a miss. Am I wrong?
Covenant Subscribers will be receiving this pack automatically when it releases, as well as an exclusive Shrine Token! Give that service a look if you want to stay current with Conquest without any hassle. Deadly Salvage is also available on our store if you’d like to get it the old fashioned way!
Now let’s hope I haven’t totally overlooked Teleportarium…]]>
For all of the developers out there, here are some pretty amazing details – the way this current build was developed, every new blog creates 7 new database tables. Because of the bots and spam, this compounds pretty quickly. At this point, our database has 67,000 tables. The new build has around 20. The performance increase alone because of this is absurd – let alone every issue that has been fixed. We are taking our time to get it right.
All of the user-side customization is so much better. User profiles are more dynamic and worthwhile. Activity is cleaner. And maybe most importantly for a lot of you, the Inbox/Private Messaging is drastically improved. We will still have development work to do on all of these things over the next few months, but right out of the box there is a lot to look forward to.
We’ve consistently learned that web development is often a moving target, so we’ll continue to keep the updates rolling. Know that we are close, and that everything is looking and feeling even better than expected.
One thing of note is that we will be putting a content freeze on at some point in the next few weeks. Everyone will still be able to post blogs, comment, etc, but once we announce the official date, every piece of content after that date will need to be backed up individually (anything before it is backed up on our end). It takes a long time to backup all of the content on the site, and we will need a bit of time between the content freeze and launch so that we are not spending all of our time “catching up” with the daily content. When that time comes, we will let you know loud and clear – especially given the current tournament taking place. We will take the steps necessary to ensure that pairings and results are safe and visible. No need to worry or do anything yet.
On October 1, 2015, we officially added it to our line of supported games, began selling Ashes products, and added it to our Covenant Subscription service. We started hosting monthly Ashes tournaments at Covenant Tulsa, archiving the streams on our Watch page, and added the game to our in-store league.
And now, it is time to kick things to the next level!
Ashes Weekend is a joint event between Plaid Hat Games and Team Covenant, featuring the amazing people behind the game, early Ashes products, stunning alt arts, and exclusive prizes. It is designed for both the laid back and competitive player, with only one goal: celebrate this incredible game.
Date: April 15 – 16
Location: Covenant Tulsa
Time: Store Hours (5PM-11PM Friday, 10AM – 8PM Saturday)
Registration: Open now, limited spots – Register on our store!
Featured Plaid Hat Guests
Isaac Vega | Lead Designer | Watch Our GenCon Interview!
Fernanda Suarez | Lead Artist | Watch Our GenCon Interview!
David Richards | Graphic Designer
Bob Klotz | Lead Playtester
Brian Beyke | Community Relations Manager
1x Alt-Art Mist Spirit (pictured below)
1x Brennen Blackcloud v. Rin Northfell signed print (pictured below)
1x Plaid Hat (for your head)
Early purchase option for both the Rin Northfell and Brennen Blackcloud expansions. We will have them in-store! They will be usable in the Saturday tournament!
Friday: The store will be filled with the great folks from Plaid Hat, who will be playing games, giving autographs, and participating in a live-streamed Q&A panel. Join us for a wonderful, chill evening with some of the best people in the business.
Saturday: All day Ashes with Plaid Hat in the house, featuring casual games all day and a big tournament (the expansions will be legal) to heat things up! Random participation prizes throughout the day include playmats, alt arts, and tokens, while tournament prizes include Top 8 alt art Bren & Rin cards, exclusive Top 8 playmats, exclusive Top 4 alt art prints, and a trophy and custom deck box for the winner. Live stream will be going strong all day on our YouTube channel!
This weekend is going to be pure fire! We cannot stress pre-registration enough. Save your spot before showing up, as we will have a (very) full house! More information to come as we get closer to the event. Special thanks to Plaid Hat and to all of the Ashes fans out there who recognize the beauty! See you in April!
This bad boy is themed after our little friends from Endor. The Primal Token is shipping for free with every pack of the Endor Cycle to Covenant Subscribers (learn more and subscribe) – so sign up now to start your set! Now, onto the preview.
So this seems good, but we need to start with the bad. It is quite conditional in that you need to A) not have the Force and B) rely on you or your opponent to have and play a Mission card. Compounding the former, the Sith is an affiliation known for its ability to gain and maintain the Balance of the Force – so how often do you really need this to trigger?
That said, the Jedi are ever more annoyingly good at grabbing the Force and relying on it, making a surprise Force flip all the better. This objective also creates a new decision point for your opponent if they are playing Missions – stick to the gameplan and consistently lose Balance, or alter the gameplan and back away from Mission-based strategies. Perhaps most importantly, this ability gives Sith immediate access to cards that require the Balance of the Force, like Rage.
All in all, this is a solid objective. Its dependency on Missions leaves question marks, but assuming Missions are worthwhile (which I think they will be), this objective will become a supreme annoyance for the Light Side. Let’s continue!
For those that may not know, Boc (more info here) served under Jerec and is one of the seven Dark Jedi faced by Kyle Katarn in protecting the Valley of the Jedi. Yeah, that’s pretty cool. Plus his art makes him look totally intense. As a fan, I LOVE seeing these characters get added to the game in that beautiful FFG art style!
As a unit, he’s pretty good. The biggest boon is that he is a three cost unit that you want on the board, currently a weak slot for Sith. This is part of what makes Sate as good as he is. Boc’s stats are good, his traits are perfect, and assuming you play a Mission card for him to attack his value is off the charts! Having an Elite unit with three icons at three cost opens solid first and second turns that weren’t possible before. Overall, I’m a fan!
If you look at this guy and aren’t immediately squealing in your brain, take another look. Breathe. Then squeal. It really helps to contain the excitement. This guy is incredible! Not only is that art siiiiccck, but a 0 cost… let me repeat, a ZERO cost, unit with an objective damage is something that you write home to your mother about. Seriously. Wait though, there’s more!
It also comes packed with a fantastic action! Why does this action matter, you might ask? It immediately calls to mind the discard style Sith cards from the past, especially Arden Lyn. Put Arden into play and draw a card? Okay! Force your opponent to discard the last card in their hand and top deck, just before you or they attack? Alrighty! Attack with this unit, strike, and then sacrifice?!! You see where I’m going here. Oh, and it’s a sacrifice. If you aren’t immediately having vivid images of the biggest, baddest Star Destroyer this side of the Expansion Region (i.e. Executor), then you haven’t been paying attention.
Did I mention that it’s free? ZERO. COST.
If only this was the text on Mara Jade’s or Darth Vader’s lightsabers… A non-unique enhancement that grants a unit damage and an edge enabled tactics? BAHHHHHH.
This is my favorite dark side lightsaber to date, unquestionably. I tremble at the thought of a Mara Jade, Vader, or Palpatine with this. Pardon me while I go grab my Darth Vader Snuggie™ to quell the trembling.
I’d give this card bonus points simply for the edge icons and the art, even if the text were blank. While certainly not on the level of Twist of Fate, this is a great Edge card that is going to get better the more people attempt to play around it (i.e. the more times they get burned by it).
So, watch out. Secret Objective is making its rounds this cycle!
Oh my, oh my! Can we talk about this art for a second? Jerec never looked so awesome, or terrifying. This is actually my favorite Mission so far, for roughly 66 reasons. You see what I did there?
So, worth noting that this Mission is free. In my current Rebel Han deck (you know, the Mission one), my only issue with the Missions is I rarely want to use a card and a resource to get the Mission into play. This being free makes it immensely more playable. That said, six health is tough for Sith. Tough I tell you! Sith can already struggle destroying objectives, so having a six health Mission may not be doable. The payoff needs to be…
Oh my, indeed! Thematically 66 damage to enemy units of a shared trait is, well, something else. It’s also well balanced, removing the option to name Character or Vehicle. You can still name traits like Force User or Fighter or Capital Ship, but it likely prevents a full board clear. Either way, this Mission is worth completing!
This could easily just end a game. As I tend to mention, the real power a card is the effect it has even when it does not actually trigger. This simply being on the table forces your opponent to be on edge. I like that. It also makes them less likely to go all out to block other objectives, while being even more terrified of Secret Objective. Great synergy here!
The most striking card from this objective set is Dark Genocide. It is the one I’ll think about later today. The real beauty of this set, though, is the sum of its parts. I desperately (oh, if you could see my face right now) wish there was a Sith event in this set. Without an event, it likely only slots in as a one-of in most Sith decks.
Of course, I have this sneaking suspicion that an oddball, Sith discard deck is gaining the tools it needs to be real. I am more than certain someone will sneak a tournament win with a deck like that before people realize it is good! What do you think of the set? Care to chase a Sith discard deck?
Until next time, may the Force be with you!]]>
First up is some wicked looking armor that really lights up the flavor of this universe. Look at all of those eyes! And, as is standard for Tau, it is an attachment. That is both good and bad, as it plays to theme but also competes for card slots.
Before diving in, understand that my take on “faction synergy” is often a bit more pessimistic than others. The basics read something like this: “Synergy (the phenomenon that occurs when different cards act together in order to make something greater than the sum of their parts) is only good if it takes great cards and makes them amazing. Much too often, synergy is taking average or “bad” cards and making them good. This is a classic player fallacy, as synergy should not be used to compensate for inherent weakness.”
That said, I do not have much to say about this one. Attachments still have not escaped the “control” issue, in that you are investing heavily in one controllable entity instead of simply playing more entities, and throwing this attachment on an army in order to make it “awesome” usually is not going to pan out. It will die first, or get routed, or get moved around, or exhausted, or simply burnt down. Even if it does not, I can always find a 2/1 character for 2-cost or less, which I would much rather have on the board.
On the flip, the command gain can be nice for swinging the numbers on the Command Struggle, but it is an extremely expensive and weaker version of Promotion, and conflicts with itself. A lot of the time, you want Command on those who will not be engaged in combat, and ATK/HP on those who will. It will be hard to find the right target for this, at the right time, to get full use out of both effects.
Of course, there are situations. You can give a Void Pirate some unexpected teeth, drop a surprise 2 ATK out of an Ambush Platform, or, the most likely use for the card, shield two damage.
This is a vanilla attachment that might find a home in your basic Tau deck, but will struggle to compete with attachments that grant unique abilities, especially those with a lower cost. Try it in Starblaze for the out of faction synergy, in Aun’Shi for Armorbane sniping off of Ambush Platform (maybe), or in the perennial Commmander Shadowsun for a nice bit of utility.
We have been spoiled with the Recon Drone. It is such a beautifully-focused, no-brainer unit. Two command icons and zero cost make it almost unbelievable. The Exploratory Drone is a higher utility, lower strength version. At one more cost and one less Command Icon, it does not immediately gain a spot, and will live or die by its ability.
How useful is it to move the Exploratory Drone after deploying an off-suit unit (remember that this includes neutrals)? I can think of scenarios, certainly. Commit to an early Command Struggle, stall until your opponent has fully deployed, and then move the Exploratory Drone to break a tie. The problem is that you have to pay for a unit in order to move this unit, which will often mean that it is just as effective to play the unit directly to the planet you would move the Drone. There are situations where these fancy movement tricks will yield a decent advantage, but also plenty where it is just Rue Goldberg shenanigans.
With two Command Icons, this unit opens up a new appreciation for Tau Command Struggle dominance. At the single icon, however, my guess is that it simply does not do enough to replace the more impressive Tau tools.
Edit: What I missed on first pass of this article was that the Exploratory Drone can react to an (non-Tau) opponent’s unit being deployed at the planet. This gives it significantly more utility, and likely gives it a spot in a good number of decks. Way better!
Put a reasonable attachment on this guy (Gun Drones comes to mind) and stack a few units on the planet. You are nearly guaranteed the Area Effect 2 attack during the battle. Shadowsun really works wonders here, bringing attachments to the Fire Warriors who then either use them immediately or pass them to the next in line. Just be aware of the rout.
All in all this is a clever way to boost the effectiveness of attachments by giving them a much safer home than usual. When you are looking to land big, attachment-based effects, the Prudent Fire Warriors are about as good as it gets. Your opponent can either let them swing or kill them first. Either way, that attachment is likely to fire.
We have Boundless Hate for sale on our store, and will be sending it automatically to every one of our Conquest subscribers upon release. If you would like to get on the subscription train, take a look at how they work at teamcovenant.com/covenant-subscriptions. And of course, you can always stop by Covenant Tulsa and grab a copy.
2016 is going to be our best year to date, and it kicks off with the launch of our rebuild on the web. We cannot wait to get this community roaring again by eliminating the many foundational issues and setting the stage for real development moving forward. We have some truly excellent products in the works that will dramatically improve the ways you enjoy your favorite games, and look forward to sharing even more memorable moments through our video content!
Every year we are inspired to work harder in order to manifest our vision for Covenant, and around this time of year it is nice to reflect back and know that it is always more than worth it. Thank you for being here.
And here she is. Nymeria. Easily one of the cooler Sand Snakes due to her proficiency with a whip. She’s the second oldest of the bunch, and thought to be the most cunning and precise among them.
First, the flavor. There is, ultimately, nothing more whip-like than snapping away an opponent’s icon and returning it to yourself. Whips aren’t about aggression, but manipulation and control, which Nymeria brings in spades. That she gives the chosen icon to EVERY Sand Snake character you control is impressive.
Mechanically, her 4 STR puts her at the threshold for the more annoying control effects, such as Confinement and Dracarys, and 4 is looking more and more like the magic number that separates the “elite” characters from the rest. But Nymeria’s relevance as a threat on the board does not revolve purely around combat, like Asha Greyjoy or Ser Jorah, so she is more insulated from the vulnerability of participating in challenges. Instead, Nymeria threatens any number of troubling plays throughout the Challenges Phase, and forces opponents to guess as to when she will trigger and which icons she will take/grant. In this way she acts a lot like Margaery Tyrell – high praise!
Because of her adaptability and her contribution to a stacking number of icon removal effects for Martell, I see Nymeria having a solid slot in most Martell decks now and deep into the future, as well as being a viable splash option for any House needing that extra bit of control.
If ever Martell players were getting cues as to how best to play the House…
I just love the theme here. You think Martell is about the long game? About planning and abiding the early rush? About setting up and sinking the fangs in once an opponent is exhausted? Now more than ever, they are. This is Martell incarnate. Bide your time, explode onto the board, seal up the game.
Mechanically, there are some fascinating things happening here. Most notably, it is not Loyal. This allows other houses a solid stall/control build when bannered with Martell, which is nothing but fantastic. On top of that, we see yet another card that can grant a player significant gold before the Marshaling Phase, enabling event play in the most vulnerable of times. Keep an eye on that.
As I look at it, though, I wonder if it is as good as it is interesting. Aside from its anti-synergy with Fealty, the card is completely dead first turn, yields one gold the next turn (a horrible trade), and finally finds a reasonable gold contribution (essentially, Kingsroad) on the third turn. Past that, it is gravy – but given the advantage of early board dominance, can a Martell player sit on a dead card for that long? Remember that this could be another copy of Confinement or Tears of Lys – powerful, rarely dead effects that help get you to the long game in the first place.
Because of this, In Doran’s Name seems a true to form gambit card. Your deck will have to support it with a good number of stalling elements, and you will have to be able to fully utilize the gold once you have it. This means building a hand, finding the characters you want (Viper?), and dropping them on the fourth or fifth turn to turn the tide. If it works out, it will be beautiful. Be careful that you aren’t just sitting on a dead card all game, though, waiting to see it validated. When you finally do get that gold, it may be too little, too late.
If you would like to give these cards and others a try, pick up The Road to Winterfell from our store or become a Covenant Subscriber to have every pack delivered right to your door! You get what you need, and we keep pushing things forward. A beautiful exchange!]]>
We love to use this token for Femme Fatale, Lady, and even Earthrise Hotel, but your imagination is the limit! The gorgeous blue acrylic is the same we use for the Tags and we have found it to be the perfect balance of color and transparency. Inspired by the classic noir “seductress”, the beautiful face on the front sits atop a skull hiding in the parallax. Our interpretation puts a digital twist on both aspects so that the token can represent both meatspace and/or cyberspace. Learn more about the Seduction Token on our store!
Given that viruses are such a huge part of any cyber-dystopian future, it is only right to have multiple types! The Malware Token stems from the desire to create more variation among viruses on the board coupled with a need to offer a virus token that was visible in lower light environments. The clear acrylic can disappear a bit when playing in places like pubs and bars (and in that case, they are probably disappearing for other reasons too) so the Malware is an unmissable bright red on opaque black. Its design synthesizes with the original Virus Token, but unlike the original Virus, it reveals the “heart” of code that is housed by every malicious script. Learn more about the Malware Token on our store!
We are thrilled to offer these new additions to our Data Token line! You can learn more about them on the official Data Token page or contact us with any questions. Continued thanks for the incredible support given to us by the Netrunner community. More to come!
Starting with the 2015 Winter League, we are requiring an in-store membership to be a part of our league system. This change allows us to expand and scale our league support in exciting ways as our community and featured games continue to grow. Players are not required to be members to play on league nights or in tournaments, but membership is required to earn league points and league prizes.
This also allows us to make our weekly tournaments free! One of the greatest ways to get a new player involved in tabletop gaming is through tournaments, but it can be an intimidating step. Our goal is to make participating in a weekly league night or tournament as easy as possible for new players. Members who play in tournaments will be awarded additional league points for every round played, while non-members will only be able to earn tournament prizes.
Starting tomorrow (December 9th), the schedule will be quite a bit different! Below are the changes to the schedule for the 2015 Winter League. As always, you can view our full calendar online.
Tuesday – League Night: Previously on Friday night, players earn bonus league points for matches played in the store on Tuesday nights.
Wednesday – Star Wars League Night: Our weekly gathering for all of our favorite games from a galaxy far, far away is moving to Wednesday night! One difference from last season is the return of the weekly Star Wars LCG tournament. If four or more players are signed up for the Star Wars LCG tournament by 6:30pm, we will have Star Wars LCG tournament rounds at 6:30pm, 7:30pm, and 8:30pm.
Thursday – Card League Night: We are moving ALL (except the Star Wars LCG) of our card games to Thursday night! Starting this Thursday we will have concurrent, set round times at 6:30pm, 7:30pm, and 8:30pm for our featured, non Star Wars card games as long as four players are signed up before the first round.
For the 2015 Winter League, we are introducing Universal Achievements. These achievements can be earned once per player per league. Points gained from these achievements can be applied to any of our featured games!
We have made a few adjustments to the point system for this league. The new point structure rewards players for playing on our featured league nights and for playing in tournaments, both of which are critical for the continued growth of our community.
Finally, the prize structure has been adjusted to allow players to earn more prizes without needing to win a tournament, and in exchange tournament winners are now rewarded with bonus league points! Players can earn game-specific dice bags and deck boxes (50 points, while supplies last), previously available playmats, alt-art cards, and prizes (75 points), exclusive league t-shirts (100 points), and rare Covenant-made products (150 points) all without having to win a tournament!
We are very excited about the updates to our league system! You can find all of these changes and more in our fully updated 2015 Winter League document. The league officially begins today! Stay warm and remember… winter is coming!!! We will see you soon!]]>
The last few months have been exceptionally busy for us, and now we get to reveal some of the fruits of these efforts. Today, we released limited edition holiday designs compatible with each of our token lines (available through December 31st), as well as an entirely new “Awakened” line of Squad Tokens and Squad Templates compatible with X-Wing!
We love exploring alternate paint schemes and styles, especially on white acrylic, and this year we went for a beautiful blue paint-fill. We’ve been calling all of the tokens “snowflakes” – because they’re all unique and special. In addition, the wood token lines got some fun design work, like the new “Gift” Adventure Token and the Wolf Banner on Curly Maple.
You can find every token listed in our Holiday 2015 category on the store: http://teamcovenant.com/store
Ah! So excited to share these with everyone. Our first two iterations of fully-designed, paint-filled templates are here. The Awakened Navy and Awakened Alliance sets reflect a refinement of the factions and they are just stunning.
Give them a look on the official Squad Templates page: http://teamcovenant.com/squad-templates
Templates are not alone in getting some refinement. We also designed a more sleek version of both the Navy and Alliance Squad Token sets. Each set’s design aesthetic subtly matches the corresponding template set, so it is a whole new way to roll.
You can find them on the Squad Tokens page, among their brothers and sisters. We love them all equally, like any good parent: http://teamcovenant.com/squad-tokens
Check out our Watch page (filter -> merch) to learn more, or hit us up at teamcovenant.com/contact! A big holiday hug from all of us at Team Covenant. So much love to everyone who is a part of this! Let’s take care of each other.
We hear that Santa has a rebuilt website on the way…if we’re good.