I’ve been meaning to get the Transformers Deck-Building Game back to the table since I posted my first solo session report, but work, my children, and after-effects of the COVID booster have all collaborated over the past few weeks to make that difficult. QUICK NOTE: if you’re less familiar with the basics of the game, it might be worth reading that first article before this one, as I’m going gloss over a lot of the details on how the game is played this time.
Last night, I managed to sneak in a session using Optimus Prime as my character. Before I dig any deeper, I think it’s worth noting that you can basically squeeze a solo TFDBG game onto a standard sized card game playmat. You’re going to have to discard the Confrontation cards off of the mat, and keep your surplus tokens/Energon outside of it too, but the rest stays on there pretty well. You can comfortably squeeze it onto your coffee table.
In my first session, I used Wheeljack. This go-around, I wanted to try Prime, who seems to me to have the most potential power as a solo character. In alt mode, he is able to get a free Transform to bot mode and a +1 Power boost when he’s ambushed by an adversary in his space. In bot mode, he has a native +1 Power boost for each Autobot he plays, and Energon abilities that allow him to draw additional cards and get an on-demand Block when it’s needed.
I went in with the early goal of trying to deal with Decepticon cards ASAP so that I wouldn’t find myself in the same situation as the first game (as a reminder, in solo/co-op, you can’t Confront Bosses if Decepticon Robots are in the Matrix). I was also lucky that I usually had a copy of Fix in hand when I was ambushed and received damage, so I was basically able to instantly remove it. With that said, a slight downside was that I mostly revealed higher cost Robots, Maneuvers, and Technology cards as I explored, so my deck was fairly powerful, but took longer to build up.
Blitzwing was the first Boss to be uncovered, which as a Level 2 Boss also told me that a Level 1 Boss was out on the board somewhere. The Confrontation card made it harder (I destroyed the Dropship, but I was able to squeak out 8 Power by spending 1x Energon on the Confrontation ability on Courage and 3x Energon on the Confrontation ability for Heroic Effort.
After that, I thought Soundwave would be a walk in the park, since he was only a Level 1 boss. With Wheeljack in hand and granting +1 Power to each Tech card played (2 on the table), I thought I’d be more than safe, but was caught off guard by the Confrontation card that forced him to be destroyed (thus losing his Power, along with the bonuses he grants to Tech cards AND the bonus from Prime’s character card I got for playing him). Luckily, I still squeaked out the victory with 6 Power on the dot.
With only 1 Boss left to fight, I was able to take my time and leisurely stroll around the board, defeating a few Decepticons along the way and upgrading my deck with new cards. I had a little bit of a bad beat as I revealed a few Co-Op schemes in pretty quick succession, but I was able to deal with most of them without too much trouble. Then BAM Megatron appears right when I have a pretty potent set of cards in hand ready to go. The Confrontation card wildly messed up my plans (I had to reveal the top card of my deck, look at the card’s cost, and subtract that much Power from what I had showing, and of course this was when Ratchet decided to pop out, costing 5). Luckily, I was able to activate the Energon abilities on both Ironhide and Charge and eke out 2 additional Power from each to get 10 exactly.
This runthrough definitely felt smoother than my first attempt, but I also managed to basically squeak out the PERFECT amount of Power needed to defeat each Boss along the way. I’d say that my initial evaluation was correct, and that Prime is an extremely potent character for solo play.
Make sure that you’re also keeping an eye on our YouTube channel, where Joe, Kevin, RJ, and Frenchie have been posting multiplayer gameplay of the game in action!