Blue Moon: The Terrah
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The powerful Terrah are peasants, craftsmen and combatants, all at the same time. Some are strong thanks to the power of the earth. Others can create earthquakes and conjure mighty storms.
The 31 different cards of this people set can be played against any people of the Blue Moon base game or any other people of the fantastic world of Blue Moon. There are no rules included in this set as these are covered by the Blue Moon base game.
Like my Khind review, this is mostly just to give players who want more info about the two latest decks. I was lucky enough to get both decks on their second day of release, well before they were received by retail outlets. I have played the new decks quite a bit over the last three weeks, so here's my thoughts, impressions, and tactics for Terrah.
PLEASE NOTE: My Terrah deck is nearly completely consolidated except for one Pillar Booster (which actually helps the Terrah a lot, more on that below) so I do have two extra Terrah cards that were originally in other decks.
As you might probably guess by their punnish name, Terrah (think 'terra' Latin = earth) are to Earth what the Vulca race are to Fire. The Terra are very strong in Earth values (0/7, 3/6, 1/5, 4/5, with several 4's), with a couple middling Fire values, and some of those tied to larger Earth values. For example, one of your 3 Fire values is on the same card as your 6 Earth value, and one of your 4 Fire values is with a 5 Earth value. (Dirty tricks!) So first basic strategy: try and get nearly every fight into Earth values! Usually one or two fights miximum, Terrah actually wants to fight fire with fire (pun intended), but of course, only when the cards in hand are right. But since your opponent will rarely engage you in Earth, you'll probably get more than enough chances to fight in Fire.
The Terra characters, like the Vulca characters, aren't too complicated. Most characters are non-text, and the few text cards are fairly minor powers, but can come in handy. They do have one 0/0 Character with a Shield on the fire value -- very handy for staying in a large Fire fight.
Where the Terrah get a lot more interesting is in their Boosters and Supports. Since they don't have a lot of flexibility with their Characters, being so heavily tied to high values, and the Earth element, they need some tricks up their sleeves. Along with a standard 2/3 Booster, and a 'Discard a Booster/Support' Booster, there is also a Booster from the Pillar race that comes with the deck.
Since the Pillar deck is not out yet, I can't consolidate completely, so I'll let you know that the Pillar Booster is very good to the Terrah: Your opponent must discard 3 Earth in Character cards by the end of their Booster/Support phase, or they must retreat. In an Earth fight, this card is a tremndous asset! Once the Pillar deck is released, this card will go back to its rightful owner, but for now it is a nice card for Terrah to have! :)
The key for Terrah is their very powerful Support cards. Impenetrable Fog ignores all icons; Quivering Quicksand imposes a 4 card hand limit; Cloying Mud creates a printed value limit of 4; and then there is a 1/3 value Support. But the best part is the 3 'Storm' Supports. A Storm is a 1/1 Support with a unique 'combo' ability. At the beginning of your turn, if you have 2 (or all 3) of your Storms in your support area, you immediately attract a dragon; if it came to your turn again, you immediately attract another dragon, and so on. As you can imagine, these Storms put considerable pressure on your opponent since you collect the free dragon at the beginning of your turn.
Playing a Storm gives pause to your opponent since he knows that a second Storm will put considerable pressure on him. By the time the second Storm gets played, he must decide whether or not he can win this fight, because from your next turn on, you'll get a dragon every turn. The decision about what to do when faced with storms is not always easy. When playing your second Storm, you'll want to be at 6 cards whenever possible, since chances are he will retreat on his next turn. If you play too early, he'll retreat to give you one dragon, without letting you get the second, or to get a free one. You need to make 6 cards on that 2nd Storm. In this way too, the first Storm may cause your opponent to retreat early since he won't want the above mentioned situation to happen.
Leadership cards are fairly good too (only two so far, but maybe another in one of the last two expansions?): Discard 8 Earth in Character values to attract a dragon; Discard ALL cards from your opponents combat area (goodbye, Khind!).
As you can see, playing against the Terrah is no mean feat, and I have a better than 50% win ratio with them. The characteristic of Terrah is pressure: they can administer a tremendous amount of pressure with their Characters and Storm supports, and the Pillar Booster creates even more pressure. I tend to use Storms to put pressure on my opponent, sometimes even bluffing when I don't have a second Storm in my hand, in order to make them retreat or use up some valuable text cards in a battle I was going to concede anyways.
When playing against the Terrah, one key is obvious: fight in Fire. Try and cut the Storm out before they have a chance to build: remember that once 2 Storms have been played, that third Storm Terrah has is no real threat to you (reduced to a 1/1 Support). Since many values are quite high, and since Terrah doesn't have a lot of numbers on his Boosters/Supports, if you can stay in a fight for a long time, you can probably win the fight. The Terrah don't have the sustained values to fight too long with characters once the values go high. And once you've seen the 0/7, the 3/6, and the 2/3 Booster, you can get really agressive in fights.
I like the Terrah a lot, and have done well with them. The above paragraph may make them sound simple, but simple they are not! The pressure they exert can be tremendous, and often your opponent is forced out early so that he is not able to enter a long term fight.
And I might add that the Terrah deck is beautiful to look at. The whole color pallette looks like a sunset, and the characters look like North and South American First Nations (think Mayan with Maori type fface decorations, leather armor and bronze age weaponry.) A very low tech race, but very strong and earthy. (Pun intended.) I am a big fan, and if I were only getting one expansion deck, this might be it. The catch is that it is not as quirky as the Khind or Flit, but it is a very nice deck to play with.