Stories

Meta Snapshot #1 Rock Paper Scissors

Introduction

After years of playing card games. After thousands of hours put into Gwent. After millions of teardrops poured over the RNG dictating the outcome of the game, Bandit Gang decided to leave Gwent content creation. We are concerned about the horrible balance of the game and we no longer want to be a part of it.

King is dead, long live the King! We are not, however, moving away from content creation! We have agreed to finally move to a game that has a proper balance. That’s why today, we present our first Meta Snapshot for the greatest and most balanced game in the world: Rock Paper Scissors!

A Tier

They work hard and play hard, that’s what you can expect from most Rock players. Hard as a rock? Well, it’s harder than a rock as ACDC sing. The reason for this is that playing Rock puts the most pressure on your carpal tunnel out of all the signs in this month’s meta, and therefore you can just feel the dedication of the players, willing to play in their style in spite of risking their health. This season, Rock finds its deserved place in A tier with an amazing match up against Scissors, but no longer as stellar results against the other signs. Some speculation found in the Chinese RPS Meta Reports indicate that a potential alternative to Rock, the Wok sign, could find it’s place in the international meta soon. For the time being, nonetheless, we have to rely purely on Rock that should stand strong against this season.

Rock is especially great against confident players that like an aggressive, fast pace playstyle. The experienced player often starts with scissors so a rock starter is great against those. It is also expected for a rookie, especially men, to open with rock – try avoiding the mistake. Rock is a solid strategy for new players that want to experiment with a strong sign. 

  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Good Against – Scissors
  • Bad Against – Paper
  • Underwhelming Mirror Matches

Papers, please. No? Oh well, maybe just Paper will do fine then and for as long as you want to succeed in RPS, this meta it couldn’t be closer to the truth! Paper, the simplest and most ergonomic sign isn’t neccessarily a fan-favorite.  As if slapping your opponent cheekily with it and asserting your dominance, Paper gives you a direct edge over any Rock archetype, nonetheless it will have trouble against its historic counter-sign, Scissors. This sign is also ideal for players with sweaty hands, as the natural airflow resulting from using the sign helps you with battling this condition, just genius! 

Paper is statistically the least common strategy. Use it as an opening against new and inexperienced players. Because it is often considered weak, soft, and unappealing by players. It has a surprising effect on your opponents. Do not play against people that like an aggressive approach.

  • Difficulty – Advanced
  • Good against – Rock
  • Bad against – Scissors
  • Underwhelming Mirror Matches

Running with Scissors is a great idea, at least for as long as you’re running into a lot of Papers, perhaps not as much in any other cases. Scissors are well known for their Aggro potential which they’ve been upholding for a very long time. The core of what makes Scissors such a dangerous, and at some points even disliked sign, is that its sharp nature as if encouraged the players utilizing it to pressure for victory harder than usual. Channelling all of your pokerface reading skills when playing against a Scissors main is a must! 

The ideal aggressive sign. Usually associated with people that play fast and want to trick your opponent. Play it mainly against females opponents and more experienced players. It is tricky to use against new gamers and males. Scissors are a sign that can easily backfire against new players. Use Scissors in a skilled way against more sophisticated opponents.

  • Difficulty – Medium
  • Good against – Paper
  • Bad against – Rock
  • Underwhelming Mirror Matches

Conclusion

After writing the meta snapshot and analyzing many guides, we got to the conclusion, that Rock Paper Scissors is actually… not a perfectly balanced game! According to the data, people use rock and scissors around 35% of the time, while paper only in 29% of cases! Moreover, people tend to change their strategy when they are on a losing streak and at the same time -> they keep the symbol if they are on a winning streak! Well, If even RPS is not a balanced game, I guess we will go back to Gwent soon…

If you wanted to find out more about RPS check out some of thse websites: 

And that was our very first (and possibly last) Meta Snapshot for Rock Paper Scissors, we hope you’ve enjoyed it! See you next month when, who knows, what we’ll bring to you. 😉 

For more content, please consider checking out our article section where you can find all kinds of things. From interviews to deck guides and more!

Theme Snapshot #3: Tales of Love

Introduction

Welcome to our third Theme Snapshot! February is a season of love and we decided to show the love that is hidden in every faction.  Instead of a deck guide, each deck will tell you a unique story brought to you by our best writers. You will be able to learn a bit of lore but also jump into the crazy adventure filled with love.  Let us know which tale you liked the most!

The Tales

Many have met their significant others for the first time while at work, so perhaps one could recommend it as the ideal place for searching for love. The situation gets a bit more complicated if your area of work lies in espionage. Such was the tale of Carthia van Canten (also known as Cantarella) and Vattier de Rideaux. While the Imperial Spymaster, Vattier, would stay in the vicinity of the imperial throne, Cantarella’s position as a double agent required constant traveling and very little time for Vattier.
The situation got so desperate, that the two had to resort to some serious plotting involving numerous masses of soldiers, agents and tactics in order to see each other again.

The plan was simple: 1) Make the entire Alba Division led by Tibor Eggebracht start an offensive deep into enemy territory towards the area of Cantarella’s whereabouts. 2) This encourages the local ruler into sending Cantarella, believing she’s on their side, to the Nilfgaardian side in order to gather information. 3) As soon as she arrives, Vattier orders the Alba Division to retreat into its original position, which also prevents Cantarella from returning too early due to the massive movement of manpower. 4) Finally together!

So, how do you play this deck? 🙂 The core combo is very satisfying, strong, and lore friendly: 1) You use your leader to place cards on the top of your deck in this order: Any nonessential card, Tibor, Vattier. 2) You play Cantarella. 3) You place Cantarella to your opponent’s hand with Ardal aep Dahy. 4) Your opponent plays Cantarella, she plays Tibor, which will summon Vattier. 5) You give Spying to Tibor with Mage Torturer or Thanedd Turncoat and seize him immediately, as Vattier was summoned the turn before, so no need to wait for his order to charge up. Provided you’ll manage to avoid leader abilities and orders on already deployed cards, your Vattier should be safe enough to go on a date with his beloved!

Written by Mercernn

It was a misty morning, the fog hung low around the trees. The dew drops gripped tightly to the bottom of the leaves. The sunlight barely shone through the dense leaves of the Dol Blathanna forest tree tops. A feeling of unease was also in the air as a strange occurrence was fated to happen today; there were strangers in the forest.

A small group of Scoia’tael commandos, we’re taking a rest from what ailed them. To Etriel’s joy, her only issue at the moment was the rock in her left boot. Etriel knelt down and loosened her right boot to remove it and shake out the bothersome rock. On rising, she looked up to see her infamous leader; Aelirenn, with her hand ever present on the hilt of her sheathed blade. Aelirenn was talking with Vernossiel, Milva, and some of her Swordmasters. They were all planning to rendezvous with a lost unit of Half-elves who took in some outcast Witchers. Etriel’s joy started to turn to worry as she overheard the exploits and rumors of these desperate Felines. They didn’t sound like the best company to her, as she preferred the undying loyalty of her Elven sisters. Not really one for many companions anyway, Etriel only ever spent time with Muirlega. Who was far more skilled than any of those faux felines. There was great harmony between them, and their conversations were made more meaningful since Etriel was one of the few remaining Aen Seidhe with the ability of beast communication. 

It was for this reason, her mind was full of confusion as to why Aelirenn was wasting her time to join forces with this Gezras of Leyda and his band of Witcher outcasts. The confusion didn’t last long, as she observed the roaming rabble of Witchers wander into camp. The sunlight perfectly highlighted what appeared to be a long-awaited reunion between Gezras and Aelirenn, who were spinning slowly in a sweet embrace. As she watched the two of them slink away to the luxurious command tent, Etriel whispered to herself, “Doesn’t take much but a death march against all Dhoine to create a couple like that”. She walked away from her relaxed perch and chuckled to herself; “A pair of Elves and Cats we are. From looks alone, I like my Lynx better”.

Written by Kalvino

As most of you fine readers know. The Passiflora is considered the finest brothel in all of Novigrad and houses many kinds of hookers, from Sly Seductresses to Passiflora Peaches, to the most known and noteworthy ones. A utopia to many men, that is.

Men that often crave emotional intimacy and not just sex. And there is one man in particular that craves this, and his name is Geralt of Rivia. A witcher that is accompanied by his dear friend Roach, who he travels with across all of the continent to seek emotional intimacy with the most desirable women.

Many of those nights, he  spent at the Passiflora with his favorite kind of lady of ill repute:  The Sly Seductress. Especially if they are bonded. One time, Geralt wished to spend a night with them and got himself in a fistfight over them with Adriano the Mink. That truly was something, almost like they got caught in a love triangle, which was gossiped about by the Merchants of Novigrad.

Apparently it took until sunrise for the fistfight to end. And at the end of the day, Geralt got his arse kicked by Adriano, leaving the fine establishment thrashed, sporting a black eye. Which resulted in many customers being upset and asking themselves: ”Could this not have been avoided? Was there not a solution for Geralt, Adriano and the Sly Seductresses? Perhaps they should have all enjoyed the evening together and split the costs. Well, there goes the neighborhood. Is it time for a round of Gwent yet?

Written by BabyJosus

Love really gets the heart pumping. Pumping blood!

Join Dettlaff’s journey to rescue Syanna as he carves a bloody swathe through Beauclair. Utilize Dettlaff and his lesser vampire minions* and call forth the bloodmoon. None shall be safe from Dettlaff should they harm his dear Rhena.

The strategy is (predictably) pretty much the same as any other vamps deck. Do the thing that vampires do. But now Syanna is here too! For the flavor win, you want to be using her ability WITH Dettlaff, but if you’re one of those dirty game-winners, you can also use her with Protofleder for a decent point swing.

In the more likely (practically guaranteed) case, Syanna is going to get bonk’d. That’s fine! Dettlaff is going to be pissed, but we find that is when he is at its best. Ah, love… or something. The message is frankly getting muddled.

Oh, and if your opponent is one of those degenerate Nilfgaard players, and they are using Milton de Peyrac  Peyran… you know what to do…

The deck doesn’t run much in the way of tutoring/thinning because Syanna/Rhena is hard to find. That’s the joke. Please clap.

Written by Carrost

Have you ever wondered what it must feel like to be the only ogroid in your faction? Only being tolerated because of your usefulness to the military, but not accepted for who you are? Not allowed to stay in the Redanian barracks, but forced to live outside the city instead? But you still carry on because guarding boatses is your passion? Trollololo spent many years in the military, his dedication with Frigates inspired lots of Volunteers to join the army. And he gained a badge for each Volunteer recruited, which he proudly added to his armor. As the time went by, his armor became his purpose, and everything he experienced in the army, all the orders that he and his comrades fulfilled, made it better and better.

But one day, when he was on patrol with some Redanian soldiers, they found a woman near an old mansion. She wasn’t only sad, she was sadness, but also very beautiful. So the Redanians got curious about her and realized too late that she was just a specter. At first the archers realized that their armor and their quiver vanished, then the so-called elites felt all their strength wither away. But none of them was devastated like Trollololo, who lost all that he cared for to some illusion of a woman he didn’t even find remotely attractive. The patrol fled from that place and returned to the barracks, where they could stock up in the armory again. Trollololo however, felt that the army was no longer his home and decided to find another purpose in life, seeking someone not only to tolerate but love him.

After striding around for a while, he came across a company of bandits, who were just stealing some pigs from a nearby farm. This wouldn’t have been too interesting if there hadn’t been one individual among them that was significantly larger than the others. Could it be…? He followed them back to their camp and cautiously approached it. His assumptions were correct, there was an ogroid among them, even a female one! They called her Betsy. But then he witnessed how some dwarven musician came up with a piece of armor for the other bandits. Betsy was furious about it, took that armor and smashed it into pieces, uttering some angry noises that couldn’t be regarded as words. Trollololo still loved his armor, so he turned away disappointed and didn’t bother to make contact.

He sought shelter for the night in a nearby cave, where he found another troll, a strange one. There were colorful paper scraps everywhere. He wore a pointy hat and grabbed a sword by the blade, wielding it like a wand. Then the Nekker standing next to him turned into a soldier – Nilfgaard scum, no doubt. Trollololo wanted to attack that soldier when the mysterious troll swung the sword another time and the soldier turned into a mermaid, then into a dryad, then into some small deformed creature uttering “Uma umamaa”. Maybe this troll was the key to find the lovely she-troll that he desired so much…?

Written by Escanbryt

Rioghan was sitting on the bow of the ship. He was doing the night shift, guarding, and guiding the ship while the rest of his fellow pirates were fast asleep. The previous evening reminded him why these waters were the most treacherous on the continent. He and his fellow raiders battled through the rough storms and huge waves for the entire day. There were times he honestly felt they wouldn’t make it out alive. It was only late this afternoon that the sea went back to its peaceful state. The evening breeze gently touched his face, and the sound of the water splashing on the wooden sides of the ship’s bow almost put him to sleep. As much as he wanted to stay vigilant, this soothing experience made it more and more difficult for him to keep his eyes open. The full moon in the night sky was the only thing preventing the darkness from engulfing the entire ship, allowing Rioghan to at least be able to see his immediate surroundings. His eyes were focused on the playful movement of the splashing water when suddenly, he felt that something had bumped into the ship. And then, it began.

At first, he didn’t realize what it was. But it was there, a low humming, continuous sound. He didn’t know where this was coming from, although he felt like it was not coming from somewhere on the ship. For that, he was sure of. Rioghan thought that his exhausted mind was playing games on him. “What’s next? Am I going to start hearing bloody voices now?” A smirk appeared on Rioghan’s face, as his prompt explanation of the unexpected phenomenon clearly amused him. That smirk quickly disappeared, though, as the sound was now turning into something different. Along with the water splashing underneath the ship’s keel and the low creaking noises of the old wooden masts and sails, Rioghan could now clearly hear a female voice singing. He could not understand what the lyrics were, neither did he want to. The perplexity of what was happening to him sparked his curiosity. His gaze wandered towards the ocean, impatiently trying to track down the source of this unerringly mesmerizing voice. His eyes suddenly focused on the right side of the ship’s stern as he noticed something there. Rioghan could swear that there was something in the water, close enough to the surface to at least make out that it was moving right along with the ship. The pale moonlight subtly reflected on whatever that damn thing was, and Rioghan could distinguish the silhouette of what he initially thought was a big fish. His curiosity suddenly turned into surprise when he realized that whatever he was looking at, it was also staring back at him.

Rioghan stood there frozen, half hanging from the side of the ship, watching in bewilderment as the sea creature slowly started coming out of the water. He could now clearly make out the finer details: Long black hair, beautiful face, slender figure, pale white skin. And those eyes, those hauntingly beautiful emerald eyes, were still locked onto him. He couldn’t see the rest of the body as it was still hidden below the surface, but Rioghan was amazed on how this woman could keep up with the current speed that the ship was moving, seemingly without making the slightest effort. “This is a dream, I must be dreaming, it can’t be… It just can’t be…” he thought. “No, you are not dreaming, I am for real”.

The woman’s voice broke Rioghan’s train of thought, snapping him out of the dumbfounded state he was in for the last few moments. “Who are you? What are you? He asked in amazement. “I have been watching you for quite some time now, sailor. Since you left the Isles, I have been following you and your ship.” “You didn’t reply to my question” said Rioghan with a stern voice. The sea-woman replied to him with a faint smile: “That’s because I don’t need to. Do not be alarmed, I do not wish to harm you”. “Then what is it that you want from me?” said Rioghan, whose curiosity made him forget that his fellow pirates were sleeping just a few meters away from him, somehow still impervious to the events that have just unfolded. She didn’t reply, her body still somehow managing to move effortlessly through the water, her gaze still fixated on him. It was then, that her singing started again. This was a song that made logic fade away, numbed all physical sensations. Rioghan was now just staring at this otherworldly creature, his mind empty of any sort of thoughts or memories of past deeds in life. She slowly raised her right hand, beckoning for him to come closer. And he obeyed. It didn’t really matter if he wanted to do it or not, Rioghan just slowly moved over the ship’s side railing and dropped into the sea. Even the cold seawater did not help him snap out of this trance state he was in. It was her who gently grabbed his sinking body and now held him firmly in her arms. Feeling like he was in a lucid dream, Rioghan barely managed to ask one last time: “Who are you?” She was so close now, her eyes still studying every little detail on Rioghan’s face. Their bodies became one and his numb hands were involuntarily touching something scaly, still hidden below the surface. She was a sea creature, alright. Their eyes locked once more, their faces almost touching. She leaned in and with an uncanny voice she whispered: “Your life… will burn… as bright as the love between us”

This was the last thing Rioghan heard before he felt his body violently being pulled below the waves. Darkness was now surrounding him, but he didn’t care. He knew she was taking him somewhere, but he didn’t care. The only thing that mattered to him was her. And in the pitch-black emptiness of the lower depths of the North Sea, he heard her sing again.

Written by Pokkas88

Conclusion

And that was our third Theme Snapshot, we hope you enjoyed it! We hope that we inspired you to create your own memes or own versions of the decks with this Theme Snapshot. But for now, the Bandits and I will fare thee well, and we’ll see you again in Theme Snapshot #4!

Make sure to come back next month for another Meme Snapshot. Remember, that if you want to be featured, you can send us your decklists to teambanditgang@gmail.com!

Please consider checking out our article section where you can find plenty of articles. From member interviews to deck guides and more!