For a solitaire game, the Director is very easy to manage. There’s no charts to worry about, no advanced AI to deal with. Just some cards. There are about 9 different categories of “personality types” you can choose from, and you snag two of those and shuffle them together to form your Director deck. They range from Attack and Boost (very basic decks) to CounterStrike, Web, Resistance, Full Heal and other more advanced moves.
Most of the time I randomly choose my decks, but for the sake of the very wordy game, I’ll just choose Attack and Boost since they are recommended as the “Easiest” of decks. I could make it easier by not adding the “Uber” cards of each deck. Where’s the fun in that, though?
So of the 6 cards of each deck, I grab 5, one of which may or may not be the Uber card (it’s just a more powerful card, nothing all that special, but it sounds menacing). And now we have our enemy deck.
Before I can see the characters I’m up against, I have to place my own characters onto the battlefield. As a reminder, here’s what my side of the board looks like:
I have to choose one character to fall back as my substitute. I’m not going to think too hard on this and just choose Bones. Why? Because the by the time he shows up, I’ll probably need his healing ability. So let’s pull him back into my hand. Now that leaves an empty spot on the field, and I can move my characters around however I wish.
I move Raistlin next to Totoro, mainly because Raistlin needs a friend (his brother isn’t here, after all), and Totoro will take the hits for the little mage. Beyond that, location doesn’t seem to matter, so I’ll leave Pikachu next to Totoro as well since it doesn’t have a lot of health either.
Enter: The Enemy.
You may know some of these character, you may not. You may be laughing your arse off, you may be scratching your head.
And there’s many MANY more characters to play with, folks. Here’s our battlefield:
Strider vs. Pikachu
Tetsuo vs. Totoro
Captain Malcom Reynolds vs. Raistlin Majere
Codex vs. Wolverene
Elmer Fudd vs. Link
The world just got a little more ridiculous people. And I also want to call foul. I don’t think Felicia Day and Nathan Fillion should be on the same team. That just shouldn’t be allowed. Hrmph.
Anyway, the dice I have sitting on everyone’s face is their hit points. When a die drops to zero, it’ll get taken off of a character. If you lose the die, you can’t heal up any more, so you try to keep as many dice you can as long as you can.
The game itself is simple enough:
Director smacks you
You smack the Director
So let’s look at the first upkeep. There are three characters that have Upkeep abilities:
Pikachu zaps everyone with electricity tokens. None have any yet. Wolverine heals himself 1 point for every 2 humans alive. Sadly that’s just him and Mal. Everyone else is a frickin’ Cartoon. Go figure. So I turn one of Logan’s dice from a 4 to a 5. Better than nothing. Finally, Raistlin does damage to all machines by merely existing, and then boosts them all with dark energy. Again, I’m just surrounded by Cartoons, so nothing happens. Lame. Ah well, bad luck. Now let’s see what the director does to me.
That’s some chiseled features right there. I wonder if that’s Chad, the designer. Anyway, the card is easy to read. You go left to right, top to bottom, doing what the card says. So in column 2 I add a Boost token to Tetsuo, meaning he’ll do more damage when he attacks later. Yuck. Then column 4 attacks. There is nobody in column 4, so we just move on to column 5. That’s Codex, so she attacks.
Simply put, we read the text of her top power and do it. “Do 1 magic damage to any opposing character. A maximum of 3 Boost tokens can be applied to this attack.” So she’ll do damage to any of my characters. The Director will always try to remove dice first, so he’d try to hit Raistlin. Of course, that just means Totoro takes the damage, so I lower one of Totoro’s dice to a 4.
And finally Elmer Fudd attacks, and this one is done as if it had 5 boost tokens on it. Let’s see what Elmer does: “Do 2 damage to the opposing character. Do 4 additional damage if it is a cartoon character.”
So he, vewy qwietly, shoots link for 2, then adds 4 because link is a Cartoon, then adds 5 because of the director’s card for 11 total damage! Link has 13 hit points, so immediately drops to 2. Despicable.
Of course, you know, this means war.
And as a last moment of kindness, The Director drops a Boost token on Totoro. Why? Why not. We have evil Elmer Fudd for pity’s sake.
But now I can riposte! It’s my turn! But first, I have to draw my energy cards to see what I can actually do. I only draw 3 cards, so I’m very limited at first, which stinks when you get whacked for 11 damage on turn 1, but you never know what might happen. Let’s see what we get.
Heart, Spade, Heart
Okay, no diamonds. That means I can’t use Pikachu, or Totoro. Huh, or Raistlin, or Wolverine, or Link’s first power. No Clubs means I can’t use Link’s other power.
Oh crap! I can’t do ANYTHING with this hand!
So, it’s a “rebuilding” turn. Isn’t that what sports people say when their team is losing?
Looks like I have to suffer through another upkeep and Director’s turn before I can hit back.
Well Upkeep is easy, Wolverine just heals another point. But now the Director attacks again.
Looks like another attack card. Great.
So Strider attacks with the +5 bonus. “Do 4(+5) damage to the opposing character(Pikachu->Totoro). Do 1(+5) damage to 1 neighboring character(Totoro). Then move to the closest open field space to the left or right of Strider.”
Yow, so Pikachu gets whacked for 9, but Totoro takes the hit for him. And then Strider does 6 damage to Totoro directly. which knocks Totoro out! Well. I guess that didn’t work out so well.
Strider then jumps to column 4.
Another thing, the second sentence of Strider’s ability says “Do 1 damage to…” Tetsuo’s Always Active ability says “If any character activates an ability that says “Do 1 damage to…”, then add a single blob token to Tetsuo. Looks like a giant Teddy Bear is incoming (that movie was weird).
Looks like it’s Tetsuo’s turn. “Do 1 damage to the opposing character for each Blob token on Tetsuo.” Lucky for me, there are no characters opposing Tetsuo, so no damage is done, but he does get another blob token himself because of the wording of his power.
The director’s card now places a Boost token in Column 4, where Strider is now sitting. But wait, he already went! TOO BAD! He gets it anyway. It’s good to be a ninja. And now, finally Codex attacks again with her 1 magic damage. This time she does knock out Raistlin’s single die.
I can see my plans falling around me.
Finally Raistlin is given a boost token for fun, and The Director’s turn is over.
First thing I do is bring in my sub.
Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor not a playing card!
I put him opposite Tetsuo because 2 damage is better than the 4 he would get from Strider.
I now draw my 3 energy cards.
Heart, Diamond, Spade.
That makes my hand: Heart, Heart, Heart, Diamond, Spade, Spade
Sadly still only one Diamond, but I’m going to unleash Raistlin’s power with it while I have the chance.
I cast magic missle!
“Do 3(+1 for his boost token) magic damage to the opposing character(Mal). Do 2(+1) magic damage to each character directly next to the opposing character(Tetsuo and Strider).”
So 4 for Capt. Reynolds and 3 for Tetsuo and Strider. Not crippling, but a palpable hit.
I’m unable to do anything else.
So I must wait for the pain. Help me, Dr. McCoy. You’re my only hope.