Invitation to EDH — An MTG Format

Here at The Beard Bros Games we play a variety of different hobby games, collectible games, and board games. One of our favorite formats for playing Magic: The Gathering, is “EDH,” also known as “Commander.” It is a wonderful format for multi-player games, and it provides an opportunity to play many fantastic cards that are impracticable for competitive play.

Legend 1
If Vorosh is the commander, then cards can have G, U and B mana symbols, but not R or W.

If you are not familiar with the basic rules of Magic, please see THIS POST first. If you are familiar with Magic, then the differences in the format are all that you need to learn. First, each deck must have a commander–a Legendary Creature that begins the came in the “Commander Zone” and determines the color(s) the deck may contain. For example, if Vorosh, the Hunter is the commander of an EDH deck, its colors (Green, Blue and Black) determine the colors that may exist in the remainder of the deck. No card in a Vorosh EDH deck may have a Red or White mana symbol.

The deck must be exactly 100 cards, including the Commander. Each player starts with 40 life, rather than 20. A commander may be played from the Commander Zone into play for its mana cost. When a commander is sent to another zone (graveyard or exile, for instance, it can instead be returned to the Commander Zone, and played again from the Commander Zone (a player must pay an additional two generic mana for each additional time the commander is played from the Commander Zone).

Legend 2
If Volrath is the commander, and the player discards a creature with converted mana cost 15 or more, then Volrath can potentially deliver a lethal blow to an opponent.

Except for basic lands (and Relentless Rats, or future cards with similar rules), there can only be one of each card in the deck (this is where great variety enters the fray). A player loses (is out of the game) by losing his or her life total (down to zero) or by being delivered 21 damage in a single blow by an opponent’s  commander.

As with most formats, there are certain banned cards. For example, Braids, below, is banned. There are a few other practical rules. Each player draws a card, including the first player. The first mulligan re-draws seven cards. Mana effects that would produce an impermissible mana type for a particular deck produces colorless mana instead.

The fun of the game comes from the multi-player format, the wild variety of decks brought, and the greater variety of interactions between decks. We play this format often at The Beard Bros Games, and you are welcome to join us.


Introduction to MTG

Magic: The Gathering, is a collectible card game (“CCG”) or trading card game (“TCG”) created by RIchard Garflield, and first published by Wizards of the Coast in 1993. It is probably the most popular game of its type, and for good reason. The rules are generally well balanced, the game is fun and strategic, the artwork is intriguing, and one can play without a huge investment in the most expensive cards.

 The best way to learn to play is to find a friend that knows how and learn by playing. But there are other options. Magic is played online, and there are outstanding tutorials all over the internet. The following introduction is a great starting point:

In the usual format, players have one-against-one duels. Each game is generally fairly quick (much shorter than a typical board game), and in tournaments, players compete against each other in best two out of three matches, with a chance to adjust their decks in between games.

The game is easy to learn, and complex enough to remain strategically appealing for years to follow.

Introduction to Warmachine

Warmachine is a tabletop miniature wargame from Privateer Press set in the Iron Kingdoms — a fantastic realm where the combined power of magic and technology thunders across a landscape shaped by war. Players assemble and paint individual 30mm heroic scale miniature figures that represent the fighting creatures and units of various armies in the kingdom. Dominating the field of battle are rare individuals who have mastered both arcane and martial combat. These Warcasters lead mighty armies in the ongoing struggle to claim victory over these ancient lands. Warmachine pairs with the miniature fantasy wargame, Hordes, for a rich background and great variety of conflict.

The following tutorial focuses on the Warmachine basics.

The following additional tutorial focuses on the Hordes basics.

Introduction to Warhammer 40k 8th Edition

The first video below is a basic introductory video for beginners to 8th edition, covering the fundamentals and core rules. The second video steps through a battle to demonstrate actual gameplay.

These videos (and others) are available on YouTube and published by the folks at MiniWarGaming in Canada. MiniWarGaming describes itself as “a group of geeks dedicated to bringing you entertaining and informative videos about miniature wargaming, including battle reports, narrative campaigns, painting tutorials, and other random videos.” Please check out all of their videos.