Secret HQ

art (c) Mike Trap


Old News...

My first draft of the 2FT set review is up -- read at your own risk!

I got my shipment of Two-Fisted Tales from Potomac, and cracked 4 boxes.  Again, I was very disappointed with my distribution.  Zero Khalid Al-Haddad and  I got singletons of two rares (Change and The Nemesis), and 5-6 of some rares.  I'm working away on my un-abashed card review of 2FT, and I hope to have it done in the next week or so.

There was some serious butt-kicking down at Gencon SoCal -- there was a solid turn out of Shadowfist players, including a complement from the Bay Area.  You can read about it on Monkey Max's blog.

Two-Fisted Tales of the Secret Wars should be out any day now.  This set is set in a sub-juncture of the American Pulp Era (1920s-1940s) much like Boom Chaka Laka was set in the 70s.  Will 2FT be better received that BCL?  We'll have to wait and see on that one...

Important!   The Shadowfist Secret HQ has moved to: -- update your links!

Sorry about being lazy and not posting a KublaCon report -- you can find all sorts of juicy tidbits about KublaCon (and Shadowfist in general at Netherworld Chimpshack.  And here's what you've really been waiting for, the real scoop on the KublaCon Final Brawl winning deck, 82 Mooks.  Also, the Feng Shui RPG Jammer supplement, Gorilla Warfare, makes an excellent read.

Here are some snapshots of the action at KublaCon!  Randall laying some smackdown on Earl, Frank watching
Max make a monkey move, a table in awe at the mighty Steve administering beats, The Final table getting warmed up, Jan most-likely convincing someone to take back their attack at the finals, the winning attack, Jan with secret tech from the Final Brawl winning deck, Smilin' Zev, and finally, that schmuck of a demon, Desolation, getting pwn'd by a lowly Sinister Priest, with the help of a few Who's the Big Man Now?!?

If you haven't heard, Seven Masters vs. The Underworld is in stores.  KublaCon is rapidly approaching, so get some decks together for the big throwdown.  I hope to be there for most of the weekend, with the goal of hosting as many open games as possible.

I've been at it again -- the Card Reviews section has my first pass at the latest Shadowfist expansion, Seven Masters vs. The Underworld.  Check it out at your own risk!  I've also done a little more Ranting, which you really should read at your own risk =)

I updated the Hacker and Underworld Tracker lists for Seven Masters vs. The Underworld.  As the set name indicates, the Underworld Tracker is the big winner -- how can you not play with them now?

KublaCon is just a little over a month away (pre-reg is $30 until April 15).  It should be the first opportunity for you to see the latest Shadowfist expansion, Seven Masters vs. the Underworld in action (it's due out the end of April).  The San Francisco crew will be there, kicking butt!.

The new Kiii-YAAAH! (#4) has been out for a little while -- it features articles from three San Francisco players -- check it out.  There might even be another article from me in #5.  Rumor has it that the next Shadowfist expansion, Seven Masters vs. the Underworld is already in playtest.  It will feature an all-new 9th faction, The Seven Masters, who blend magic and chi -- look at the Ho Chen promo card if you don't believe me. 

I'm in the process of updating the Strategy Section with new stuff from Red Wedding.  For example, I just added a whopping 17 cards to the Beat the Ascended article.

Added the Rants section, along with it's first rant on the recent Tactics/KHouse ruling.  Also a little spruce up here and there of some of the content.  Our Red Wedding shipment should arrive in a couple of weeks, so we'll have more to say and a few decks after that.  Also, I need to get around to updating the Beat the Ascended section with all the hosers in RW. 

Tired of all the bad rulings and rules changes?  Check out the Rules Revolt.  Think you can do a better job than the Shadowfist rules team?  The odds are you can!  Send me your additions and corrections and we can make this thing work.

I've finished the first draft of my thoughts on Red Wedding as a card set.  As always, it comes with a caveat emptor, as my opinions are, well, opinionated, and may vary wildly from yours -- email me and let know where you think I blew it!.  Also, the name of the next expansion has been announced - Seven Masters versus the Underworld -- boy, that sounds like a bad faceoff, doesn't it?

I updated the Hacker and Underworld Tracker references for Red Wedding.  Not much for the Hacker, but it looks like half of Red Wedding triggers Underworld Tracker...

The official Red Wedding spoiler can be found at the Shadowfist web site.  I've started the write up of  my opinion of the set.  I've only done the Architects so far, but if you want a hint of where I'm going you can take a peek at it.

The next Shadowfist expansion, Red Wedding is getting close, and I think it's going to be very interesting for the game.  You absolutely need to checkout the preview.  You can also find some of Jeremy Dale's RW art online as well as Melissa Benson's.

KublaCon was enjoyable this year -- not the biggest turn-out, but it was still great seeing most of the Bay Area players again. I think we had 25+ total Shadowfist players over the weekend, with varying amounts participating in the different tournaments.  I played in two - the Whirlpool of Blood and Memory Reprocessing.

For the Whirlpool, everyone got a random 10KB starter and 3 boosters of their choice. You then had to choose 24 cards from your deck/boosters and cough them up for a Rochester-style draft. People kicked in some surprisingly good cards for the draft -- the #1 pick was a Temple of Angry Spirits and the #2 was a Whirlpool.  I was given a Purist starter and I took 2 DF and 1 BCL boosters. One of my Rares was a Memory Palace, but I decided not to play it -- I think the only card I played out of the 3 boosters was a Purist Initiate. For the draft, my first four picks were Rama Singh, followed by Memory Reprocessing, Purist Initiate and Zen Logician. My other 20 picks didn't wind up in my deck. Basically, I just swapped 2 Arcane Scientists for the Initiates and added the other cards and I was ready to go.  We were playing four-player games, and I don't remember too much about them. I do remember Memory Reprocessing being a key in one game -- I reprocessed a Realpolitik (which had smacked my Quantum Sorcery) to whack a Mentor on the Father of Chaos. Another cool play was burning a Turtle Island for victory after blanking it with a Void Sorcerer. It was only a 3 round event with no playoff, and I somehow managed to have the most points. My prize was a cool Derek Han print by JerO -- thanks to Earl for running this event.

I also played in the extremely fun Memory Reprocessing tournament -- for those of you not familiar with this event, basically it threw out all of the Z-Man rulings/rules changes and card changes/errata. I didn't have a special deck for the event, but lots of people did, and it was great seeing Vivisectors eat themselves again (Randall had the Vivisector/Reinvig Process/Feasts of Souls engine going one game with 3 of each in play!).

What was extra cool is that when you made an old-school play, you got to announce it and get some "bonus points." I never got off my old-school playof a first turn Mole Network, so I was a gimp. I got the biggest chuckle from people have to reveal face-down Temple of the Angry Spirit before combat to get them to work - I don't think anyone Tactics out, but it could have happened. Q-Ball won the event with a BattleMattic/Spirit Pole deck of all things, that had almost no cards that were effected by the special rules -- thanks to Jan for running this event.

I skipped the Who's the Big Man Now (constructed dueling) and Final Brawl (constructed multiplayer) in favor of gazillions of "friendly games" -- I think I got to play with almost everyone at one time or another.  My best game was with one I which my fire deck, when I got to "go off" and take 4 sites in one turn for the win. I brought about 25 decks to KublaCon, and I tried to play each one once, but I didn't make it through all of them.

There didn't seem to be a hot new game this year like HeroClix was as the last KublaCon. The closest was the German boardgame Dwarven Dig which seemed to be sort of like Talisman with dwarves.

It was cool meeting Zev -- this was his first trip to San Francisco, and Jan was able to show him around a bit. I forgot to pump Zev for Shadowfist info (like I usually do Paul) , but I did hear that Jeremy Dale will be doing some art for Red Wedding. Zev also mentioned that Claws was his favorite Chris Siksada art, and that Z-Man games is working on a few more RPG projects.

I have to say the most surprising part of the con were the rabid L5R players.  The friday night tournament had over 60 entrants, and they were expecting 150 on Saturday for the Kotei storyline qualifier -- L5R players yell Bonzai three times before each round real loud, and 60 was deafening, so we stayed as far away from them on Saturday as possible. 

All-in-all it was an enjoyable weekend, and I'm already looking forward to KublaCon next year.

I added Braz King's Comprehensive FAQ for your perusal pleasure.

A Couple of updates -- first, I've revised my card reviews.  About 50% of entries have revised text and new ideas.  Most of them are nothing spectacular, but I did come up with a few good ones (like using the Gnarled Attuner against BattleGround sites).  The second update is that I've finally finished the first draft of my article on Alternate Power Generation -- this article is a must if you are new to the game and need some help building decks that fair better.  I also did a quick pass at my Faceoff Strategy article, adding some comments on the newest faceoff cards.

KublaCon is coming up towards the end of May.  There should be plenty of Shadowfist action going on.  Zev from Z-Man games is going to be in attendance, running official tournaments.

List of Confirmed/Probable KublaCon Attendees --
     Europe:  Andrew Davidson
     East Coast:  Zev Shlasinger
SoCal:  Steve "The Champ" Valladolid, Jeremy Stamer
South Bay:  Bryant Durrell, Earl Miles, Robert Stetler, 
     More to come!

I added a list of cards that can trigger Underworld Tracker to the strategy section. 

I merged the master card reviews with those from the last 3 releases.  Now I just need to go through the entire list and update them, reflecting changes from the more recent cards, and that might take a while...

A couple of updates -- I've added Ryan Keane's Hacker list to the strategy section -- it's always good to know what is Hackable and what the results are.  I also added some new decks featuring 10KB cards.

I've added some comments on the new cards in the 10KB starters -- read at your own risk!

Z-Man has just put out the Can of Whupass: Old Skool edition, which reprints 6 of the 8 characters bumped off in Operation Killdeer (these are the characters that were in Limited, and did not reapear in Standard).  The set has a tombstone as a symbol, and the cards feature new tags.  This can be purchased direction through the Official Shadowfist Web Site.   The cards in the can are:

    Adrienne Hart -- She was killed before her forbidden love for the Unspoken Name could destroy the Lodge.
Jack Donovan  -- He faced certain death without flinching.
    Jueding Shulun -- His hubris was his undoing.
Mad Dog McCroun -- His time in the Death Ring left him unafraid of dying.
Nirmal Yadov -- He was too cocky for his own good.
Sun Chen -- He fell because he could not bring himself to remain an observer.

I've finished my first draft of my comments on Boom Chaka Laka

I've been slack in updating this site lately -- I've been busy.  KublaCon was a blast, and I'm looking forward to it next year.  You can find the spoiler to the new Shadowfist expansion Boom Chaka Laka at -- I'll get around to posting my comments on the set, but generally, I'm not enthused by either the flavor or the card abilities. 

Rob Caldwell has put up a pretty cool new Shadowfist site -- The Smoked Pile -- what's extremely neat-o is that there are scans of all the Shadowfist cards.  

I've finished my first draft of my opinions on the cards in Dark Future -- as always, they are unabashed, outrageous and hopefully thought provoking. Read at your own risk!

The official Dark Future Spoiler is up at the site.  I'm not going to post any more teasers, and instead work on my commentary for the set.

More goodies from Dark Future -- first is the Tech Puzzle -- Can you match the cards?  Second is a peak at the new Feng Shui Sites.  And just whipped up some Battleground madness.

Today being a slow work day, I've added another Dark Future preview, but this time for Vehicles.  I you haven't guessed it, the pic to the left is Dirk Wisely, Man of Action.

I've added a Purist Preview for Dark Future.  Some major teasing is involved.  It's a great DF fix for you addicts that are still waiting on cards.  Update:  Dark Future delayed!  The set is going to be reprinted to correct the problems with the incorrectly colored card backs -- expect to see DF in stores around tax time.

Just got back from LA where we got to be the first to play with Dark Future, and here are some news blurbs, rumors and info from cards I was able to put my greasy hands on (thanks Zev for okaying the early release of DF!):

Reprints --
Rare: The Destroyer, Johnny Badhair, Johann Bonengel, Sergeant Blightman
Uncommon: Memory Reprocessing, Smart Missile, Spawn of the New Flesh, MegaTank
Common: Killing Ground, Orbital Laser Strike, Alchemist's Lair, Secret Lab, BuroMil Grunt, Cellular Reinvigoration, Just a Rat, Homemade Tank, Nuked

Updated characters: A bunch! Battlechimp, Jason X, Rhys Engel, Dunwa, Desdemona, Thing

Pushing Up Daisies: Little Jim bites it big time, and things don't look good for the Dragon's leader when there are cards called "Kar Fai's Last Stand" and "Kar Fai's Legacy"

Speaking of Rare Cards: There looks to be a lot of variety in card types. I saw at least 2 Rare Events, 2 Rare States, and 2 Rare non-FS sites. You can tell rarity in DF by just looking at the shading of the expansion symbol.

Dirk Wisely, Man of Action: 'nuff said!

Card Backs Messed Up: The Common and Uncommon cards had some of the yellow dropped out during the printing process, so the card backs are pretty easy to distinguish from the other cards. It's unclear whether the current run will be dumped for a make good from the printer. Expect a release delay if it is.

Card Corners: The corner rounding of DF are more like those of Daedalus cards than the previous Z-Man cards.

Art: The art looks really sharp, probably the best of Z-Man to date. The only real problem is that the batch we saw was printed a little too dark, which was most likely due to it being early in the run before the plates got 'broken in' (apparently the printing gets lighter the more you use the plates).

Shaking the Mountain v2: The artist who did the questionable art on Shaking the Mountain is back with two pieces this time =/

Good Art: Too many to mention! There is a new Jammer card "Close Call" that has a vaguely familiar primate on it...

Most Disappointing Art: Thing with 1000 Tongues (yes, he's back, but as an Abomination instead of a Demon) -- it's not that the art is bad, it just doesn't capture the kick-ass feel of the Thing.

Hubba Hubba: Major Hottie is hot, wearing a clearing photoshop'd in top. Rumor has it that one of the copyright owners on the world of Shadowfist is unhappy with the nudie cards, so don't expect to see any more.

Tech Extravaganza: At least 12 Tech cards in the set, including the first ever Tech only characters (I'm ignoring the 10K man, since he provides Jammer).

Tank Warfare will never be the same: New tanks and cards that interact with tanks, and a Proving Ground like card for Vehicles.

Promos: There are going to be 2 promo cards in DF -- A hand hitter (you can see what he looks like by looking on the display box which features his art -- he's the one who looks like Toshiro Mifune) and the Boom Shaka Laka preview card Funky Monkey, who may have the rather dubious designator "Chimp Pimp" -- guess it's time for Koko to trade in her low heels for ho' heels...

Speaking of BSL: Rumor has it that one of Shadowfist's original designers will be making contributions to the next expansion.

New Starters: There looks to be a good chance that there will be a new edition of starters, this time with 8 decks (one for each faction), with a possible preview at Origins.

New Packaging: DF isn't in mylar wrapping -- it's more like the older wax packs. The display box looks real spiffy when the top is folded open. No visible secret messages this time around.

Purists: Their art looks really amazing, and has a real consistent feel to it. Expect to scoop up about 1-2 displays to get enough Purists -- The two main hitters (Primus and Rhys) are rare, so it's nice to have multiples.  Also, there is a foundation you are going to really want 5 of, and the average is 3 per box. I was able to throw together what may have been the first Purist faction deck ever, and Jan was able to score the first game victory with it.

SoCal Players Turn Chicken: After hearing that Jan and I were driving down, most of the LA and San Diego players turned Colonel Sanders and were afraid to show...

Eric Lui's Mom: She rules! Fong Sai Yuk's mom ain't got nothing on her!

Paul Gerardi Sexy as Ever: Paul kept things going strong and ran some fun Who Want's Some and Booster Drafts. With 4 expansions to draft from, it definitely gets exciting. We hope to lure him to the Bay Area Memorial Day Weekend for KublaCon.

My hard disk crashed last week, so I had to recreate this web site from import -- it may be a little funky for a while.

Dark Future rarity info:
        33 Rares
        45 Uncommons
        50 Commons
        2 Promo (not in packs)

Dark Future is at the printers -- look for it in stores early next month.  Potomac has a great pre-order price of $39 a box (3 box minimum). 

Eric Lui has taken over running the Shadowfist Card Database, and it has now been updated with Shaolin Showdown -- check it out.  And thanks to Will Wagner for running it all those years!

Convention Info -- DunDraCon is coming up Presidents' Day Weekend, and there should be some Shadowfist action there.  Last year had a huge turnout.  Looking to the future, KublaCon will be coming up in Memorial Day Weekend, and we are hoping to have a rep from Z-Man out for that one.

Joe Ganis will be running a mini-tournament down at Neutral Ground early in February.  Format will be one-deck combo dueling and multi -- should be pretty crazy.  I'll try and find out some more info and post it. 

DunDraCon is coming President's Day Weekend over in San Ramon.  Look for some hot and heavy kung-fu action.  Come play your new N2 and SS decks!

If you've been paying attention to the mailing lists and the Z-Man website, you've probably been clued into the next Shadowfist Expansion, Dark Future.  Set in 2061, the set will debut an entire new faction, The Purists.  Look for Dark Future in early-mid 2002.

Sorry I've been slack about updates.  Joe Ganis has been running a Proving Ground down in Mountain View and Neutral Ground -- you can get information by clicking here.  I'm still a little uninspired by Shaolin Showdown and haven't been designing any new decks.  In fact, since the school semester started, we haven't been playing much.  

AAARRRGGGH!  That piece of crap Front Page crashed while I was doing some edits and it hosed up my navigation -- please excuse the mess while I try to fix it.  There are also some various updates, but I'll wait until stuff is fixed to announce them. UPDATE:  I think I've fixed most everything -- take a look at our new updated decks section.

Here are our Top Shaolin Showdown picks. I've also gone through and updated the full reviews of N2 and SS and have integrated them to to the master faction lists (I also kept the separate lists).  I also re-orged the Decks section in preparation to add a bunch of new decks incorporating cards from the last two sets.  I also updated the strategy articles Beat the Ascended and Faceoffs.

Send us your Top 5 Shaolin Showdown cards and a maybe a reason or two why -- we'll be posting ours after this weekends Fu-Fest -- we want to hear what you guys think are going to be the hot new cards and what's going to be shaking up the environment.

Shaolin Showdown has shipped -- it's in game stores and available over the web from many distributors.  We should be getting our big shipment next week, so look for some new decks using SS cards later this month.

Boy, ConQuest was a joke.  Poor layout and almost no support for CCGs scores this con a big 1 out of 10 rating.  Don't expect to see us there next year, but we are still looking forward to DunDraCon for Presidents' Day Weekend and KublaCon for Memorial Day Weekend.

In cleaning out my mailbox, I just found three decks that had been submitted last year by Glen Murie.  They are all example of how to build decent mono-faction decks without too many rare cards that offer variety.  Check them out in the Decks section.

ConQuest is coming to the Bay Area for Labor Day weekend!  A bunch of us from the San Francisco Dojo will be down in Palo Alto for some action.   This may be your first chance to see some Shaolin Showdown cards in action.

I posted a couple of GenCon 2001 tournament winning decks in our decks section.  Congratulations on Jan and Steve for their amazing repeat performances and keeping their titles for yet another year!  

Analysis of Shaolin Showdown!  Get some scoops, deck ideas and generally assault your senses with unabashed card opinions.

Shaolin Showdown Spoilers!  'Nuff said!

Potomac Distribution is taking pre-orders on Shaolin Showdown, which is due out for GenCon at the end of August.

Added another N2 deck -- this one a surly Demon deck based around Ravenous Devourer.  I also added a short guide to picking Feng Shui.

Whew... finally finished my write-up of Netherworld 2 -- It's still a little rough, but hopefully it will spark some ideas for decks and help shed some light on the new cards.  My next project is to post some new decks using the N2 cards.

I updated the Beat the Ascended section with a few new ideas -- this area is always worth looking at to make sure the sneaky Ascended players don't rule the world.

I wrote up a quick report from KublaCon.

Here are some of my initial impressions of N2:Back Through the Portals.  They are still pretty rough, but I am starting to get a feel for the set.

I was able to pick up a couple of early boxes for N2, and I was pretty much blow away by the set.  I'm only missing one card from the set, and had a bunch of extra commons and uncommons left over to throw into some existing decks. 

Z-Man will have a presence at KublaCon over in Oakland May 25-28.   Netherworld 2 should be on sale, and you can get a chance to play against the Secret HQ staff.

Netherworld 2 should be arriving in stores any day.  Look for reviews, strategies and fun things to do with the new set towards the end of the month when I get a hold of some.  Check the Shadowfist website for more info!

I just posted two decks from Throne War Champion Steve Valladolid in the Decks Section.  These are Jammer and Monarch decks that are compatible for play with the Year of the Dragon decks, and are a blast to play in that environment.

We have two new decks posted for your perusal.  Both are control based dueling decks.  One, Ting Rays and Fairy Dust  is a hand deck that is designed to slow down and cripple your opponent, while the other, You Look Like Buro, takes control of your opponents characters and beats him over the head with them.

All the card reviews are finished (except for editing out those stupid typos) -- whew!  That's a lot of cards.  Now we are going to concentrate on strategy and play articles, as well as posting interesting deck ideas.  If you have something, send it on in.

The Dragon and Hand commentaries are finished and we have several new decks for your veiwing enjoyment.

We have our first visitor submitted deck, the Bilge Pump, a nice take on an Ascended Speed deck.  Also the sections on Chi and the Ascended are completed.

Architects and Unaligned cards are finished, and since ManaFest starts tomorrow, I won't have much time to write until next week.  See you at ManaFest!

The write-ups for the Four Monarchs and Jammers are done!  Check them out and feel free to mail back your comments on what we had to say.

We have a new section for Shadowfist Strategy!  Two articles so far (one from "The Man" himself, Jan Malina, on building a winning deck), with more under construction.  All of the write-ups from Standard are done.

Finished writing up all the characters  in Standard/Limited.  Added a few new decks this week.  There is a demo today at Epic World in Castro Valley at 1pm (510-733-2585).

All card names typed in with placeholders.  Profiles for the contributors updated in San Francisco Play.  Started on character review for standard.

Resource characters done for all factions.  A few decks posted.

The Feng Shui sites are done, so I am starting on writing up opinions on the Ascended Cards.

There is still a lot missing, but the content is slowly coming.  You'll have to excuse the 'look' of this site -- I am lucky to get FrontPage to do this much!

My first project is to complete the review of Feng Shui sites -- this should be done the week of 9/11/00.

There will we be Shadowfist demos at Ballpark Game Center in San Francisco on Saturday September 16 and at Games of Berkeley on Sunday September 17.

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