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PTCG Crimson Invasion Pre-Release #1: Best one yet!

Well we just had our pre-release event for the new Crimson Invasion set and wow what a day it was. That was the most fun I’ve had in a pre-release of the six I’ve been to so far. We were the first in Singapore to open Crimson Invasion packs and the first to have the pre-release. We might have even been the first in the world to host a pre-release event for Crimson Invasion. And it it was a big one too, 44 of us! Easily the biggest pre-release event I’ve been to.

So far my luck have been rather good in pre-releases. In the four previous ones, I had the promo card I wanted to get (Charizard for Evolutions, Oranguru for Sm1, Sandslash for Sm2 and Seviper for Sm3).

For this set I was hoping to get the Registeel promo card because it looked amazing and it’s a strong one too, sure helps my steel type Metagross deck. As it happened, I did pick the right box as it was the one with Registeel so the streak lives, now 5 in 5 pre-release events I’ve got the promo I wanted.

It was a good day so far as I got to play test a bit with my friends before the event, trying out my fun Gengar deck and while I lost to Volcanion, I managed to beat a Raichu-GX deck. The power of the Creep Show is still strong. There were a lot of top players looking at our games so it felt good when they saw my addition of Latios in the deck and thought it was an interesting but very good choice. Latios did get my two prizes early on with knockouts on Pikachu and  Vulpix.

 

Now back to the pre-release and from what I saw from my evolution pack, I kinda knew I might have to build a Fighting & Steel type deck. Thankfully the cards I got from my 4 booster packs helped. I managed to pull another Regirock and Registeel. But the best one was easily the Buzzwole-GX hyper rare pull! Yes, for the second pre-release event in a row, I’ve pulled a hyper rare! And a good one at it too. I brought along my Gengar plushie as a good luck charm in the hopes of pulling the holo Gengar and even though I didn’t get that, I still got some good cards so thank you lucky charm.

So I decided to build my 40 card deck around the two Regis, Registeel and Regirock with Buzzwole-GX as the suprise attacker and Gastrodon, Mawile and Escavalier as back-up. The only trainer card I pulled was two Gladion but that ended up helping me in two of my matches so I’m really liking it so far.
The idea of the deck was to hopefully start with Registeel and get some quick knockouts or start with Regirock, do some damage first and when it gets knocked out, get Reigsteel to power up another Regirock or Buzzwole. The fact that Regirock adds 10 more damage to Registeel’s move sure helped.

 

The way our pre-release works was that we’d play 3 rounds, each a best of 1 match instead of the usual 3. Each decks were 40 cars instead of 60 and playing with 4 prizes instead of the usual 6. After the game, everyone gets 2 packs plus the amount of wins they got from the event, so the max was 5 packs. So it was possible to open 9 new packs in one day. Now to the matches.

Round 1: vs Gengar/Registeel – W (1/0/0)

Two turns later and this match was done. Yup it ended pretty quickly. My opponent started with just one Gastly and I started with Registeel. I had the one Steel energy and used the first move for 30 damage. My opponent didn’t do anything for his next turn so then came the easy knockout for the first prize and the game win. The match was over in about a minute. We did play another match and it lasted longer, his Nihilego did give me some issues but luckily Regirock came to the rescue there. There was a point where my opponent kept hitting me for 30 damage on my Shellos and I would recover those 30 the next turn an we’d repeat that for a few turns.

 

Round 2: vs Gengar/Mawile – W (2/0/0)

This was the toughest match I had of the three matches. I didn’t get to start with either Regis so I had to settle for Shellos. Gengar showed up not long and it’s ability was that if anyone attached an energy from their hand to their pokemon, it takes 20 damage counter. It knocked out Regirock so I had to get Registeel up and set-up Buzzwole. It worked nicely as I missed the confusion damage and even managed to knock Gengar out before I was ready with Buzzwole which helped me get that last prize. Close match but I managed to get it in the end. I was really liking the combo of Registeel and Regirock, they were working perfectly together during my matches.

Round 3: vs Guzzlord/Registeel – W (3/0/0)

And now for the match I was a bit worried about. My friends and I had been joking about us hoping to pull that Guzzlord because of how good it was for a pre-release event. Easy choice to use it and 39 dark energy right? Should have been but some didn’t see it. There were 3 other guys with Guzzlord and all three were different. The one who did go with the ideal plan of 1 Guzzlord and 39 dark energy did end up winning all 3 matches and finished 1st in the event.

 

My opponent included  Registeel in his deck which I wasn’t sure why he did but I saw the idea behind it. I put a Karrablast at the start just so it can take the hit while I powered up Regirock. Since Guzzlord did have a fighting-type weakness, I was waiting for the right time to use Regirock and when my Karrablast did get knocked out, Regirock was ready to go. I managed to get a straight knockout on Guzzlord and the rest was easy for me, thanks to Regirock. My opponent had no answer for Regirock so that was win #3 for me. Yup, for the first time in a pre-release event I was unbeaten with a 3-0 record and I finished 2nd out of 44 players. Not bad at all. Just one spot away from seeing my name at #1 for the first time ever. I’ll get there one day, be it a pre-release or the usual standard format.

20171020_214136.jpgSo it was a fun event with the biggest crowd I’ve seen for any event at Qisahn. More progress being made. Turns out that, other than the usual Guzzlords, the Regirock/Registeel combo was actually quite good and helps you beat that Guzzlord match. With my 3 wins it meant I was getting 5 packs. I was already happy with the fact that I had some good pulls from my kit. And it got better from my prizes. I ended up getting 3 white codes from it, two of them were GXes. I was a full art, the other was a rainbow rare.

Yup I couldn’t believe myself on  what I was getting. Two rainbow rares in one event, what are the odds of that happening? Must have been my lucky day. 2nd place out of 44 people is something new for someone like me. Just one more spot to go. Or maybe it was the work of my mini-Gengar plushie. Oh well, it was easily the most fun pre-release I’ve been to and there’s still one more to come next week. Here’s to more pre-releases to come in the future!

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PTCG: Two best finishes in tourneys in a week

So for a noob like myself in the art of Pokemon Trading Card Game, I actually managed to finish 3rd and 4th in a field of 21 and 23 players within the space of 5 days! Yes, me doing so well at a PTCG tourney? My luck must be turning around.

 

So the first one was my usual Friday tourney, and it was the biggest tournout yet at my usual spot in Qisahn. 21 players! Usually I’d see 8-12 players but now more is coming so that’s always good news, nice to see the community growing. With fire types owning at other places, I stopped using my Metagross-GX deck and started playing the Gardevoir-GX deck. Yes, the same one that won worlds this year. Why? Not because I follow the trend but I got that GX the most of any in SM3 so why not?

 

And it’s a deck about numbers, you’re always calculating your potential damage (kinda reminds me of my old Yveltal-EX deck). And I am a numbers guys so I had to try it. I’d been trying a few different variations out but it seems to me the Sylveon version is much better so I’ve stuck to that for a few weeks. Plea GX can help you beat your one un-winnable match in Metagross/Solgaelo matches.

 

R1 vs Volcanion/Turtonator WL – 0/0/1

This was a tough one. I misplayed a lot in he first match and my opponent still scooped the match because he realized he was out of options. Second match was worse, I couldn’t set up my team properly and his Volcanions wrecked me. The third match was going alright for me but time was called.

Usually I’d do a gentlemen’s agreement with my opponent to flip a coin to decide who wins since no-one will get an extra pack for drawing. My opponent didn’t want it so we took a draw. My first draw ever at a Qisahn event. Not cool. All my friends were surprised about it because our prizes are based on wins not points so there’s no point taking a draw but some people don’t see the point of it I suppose. Turns out he drew his next match too so maybe he was just there to ruin our games. Not cool.

R2 vs Gardevoir/Sylveon WLW – 1/0/1

Yup a mirror match. So this matches took a lot of thinking on both our parts. It was very even in all three matches but luckily I scraped through on the match that mattered most, the final one. He was about to knock my Sylveon out but Acerola came to the rescue and Gardevoir took it’s mirror out. That got me the advantage and the win.

R3 vs Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt WW – 2/0/1

This match wasn’t really fair. Both times my opponent failed to set up his team and a Vikabulu deck needs to set-up to do well. The first match he never got a Grubbin out so easy win for me. The second match he did get them out but I took two of them out thanks to Guzma.

3rd place finish out of 21 players, my best finish in a tournament of that size. Not bad at all. 2 wins and one draw gave me 7 points and also the only other person to go undefeated along with the two guys who won all 3 matches. We had some interesting decks that day, finally got to see Raichu in action but it didn’t do so well. Gardevoir and Ho-Oh decks were the most common ones with 4 a piece yet the outright winner was a Metagross deck, and the only one there too haha! Didn’t pull anything good in my 2 prize packs, oh what a bummer.

 

The next one was a Diwali special tournament and since it was a public holiday a lot more guys showed up. 23 players! And I knew 6 others who couldn’t make it so it could have been even more. Progress being made here at the store, that’s nice to see. I stuck with Gardevoir but tried a different list this time, similar to Pablo Meza’s list in which he won the Vancouver regionals (I think) the past weekend. Out when the Mallows and Rescue Stretchers and in came the Float Stones and a few more cards to add to the consistency of the deck. And I can say the deck felt that bit better after the changes but still needs some changes. That’s the best part about this game, even if you have a great list, you still want to make some changes. All part of the fun of this game.

 

R1 vs Volcanion/Turtonator WW 1/0/0

 

Yup, starting off with another Volcanion/Turtonator match up again. I had played this guy before and he beat me so I wasn’t feeling too good about this match. Turns out everything went my way. Everytime he tried to set someone up, I had a counter for it. And in one of the matches, I had 3 Gardevoirs set-up in turn 4. Never had a set-up as good as that before. So that was good really good wins for me. Pretty stoked about that.

R2 vs Ninetales/Zoroark WW 2/0/0

So my opponent is someone I know quite well, he’s one of the regulars in our place so I knew what his deck was about, now with the added bonus of Zoroark-GX to help set up Ninetales-GX quicker. First match I had to take some risks in knocking out some prize attackers and it helped. Managed to get a one-hit KO on a Ninetales for the win. Second match wasn’t going my way until Gallade showed up and knocked out his Zoroark. The end of the match was tense. Either I had get a super draw to one-hit his 210HP Ninetales or I get knocked out. And with Octillery’s Abyssal Hand ability, I could draw cards until I had 5 in my hand. I needed to draw 3. Perfect secernario would be a Fairy Energy, a Double Colorless Energy and a Choice Band to knock Ninetales out. And that’s what I got from my draw! Luck of the draw I suppose. That was another really good match.

 

R3 vs Decidueye/Espeon LL 2/1/0

And now for the bragging right of who would probably win the whole thing (we thought). I was up against my friend in the final and I tend to playtest with him and a few others in Orchard every other week so I knew what his deck’s plan was. Spred the damage with Decidueye and kill everyone off with Espeon. So I wasn’t too dissapointed to start with Tapu Lele for once! My plan was to make sure he couldn’t snipe anyone but he saw it coming and started attacking my Lele so I fell for his trap and set my team up..for disaster.

 

Second match was just me throwing the result away in turn 2. When I went to do my Brigette start, I had planned to take a Ralts, Remomraid and an Eevee. For whatever reason I took a second Ralts and I only realised my mistake once I had played them. I could have asked my opponent for a re-do but since we’re in a tournament setting, I didn’t dare ask. And I had a Guzma in hand to help my Sylveon start off. So I never got going in that second match.

2 wins and 1 loss and I still ended up 4th, best results of those with 2 wins. This time around Ninetales was the most popular deck followed by Gardevoir. But I was the only Gardevoir player in the top 9. The rest? Three Vikabulus (and all three of them in the top 9, two with 3 wins), two Ninetales, a Metagross, a Volcanion and a Decidueye. So I am starting to get better at this game, maybe it’s time I should challenge myself and try the next tournament at Metagame where all the best players in Singapore usually play. I’ve not been there in a while because I never felt comfortable playing against those guys. I should change that soon. Didn’t pull anything good in my 2 prize packs again, oh what a bummer.

 

Still it was a fun week of playing Pokemon TCG, 4 wins out of 6 matches is quite unheard for me since I still don’t feel I’m that good at the game yet but progress is being made. A 3rd and a 4th placing, not too bad at all. Still need to make that climb up to get 2nd and eventually 1st someday soon. Slowly but surely. And tomorrow, it’s my favourite event for Pokemon, the pre-release! Yes, Crimson Invasion pre-release is tomorrow at Qisahn which means we’ll be the first in Singapore to get to play the new SM4 cards. That’s pretty cool. Time for a break in the serious stuff and two weeks of fun battles to come. And also a battle against my sickness too. Why do I always fall sick during holidays?
Oh and I won a Litten plushie in one of the lucky draw prizes! 

PTCG Burning Shadows Pre-Release: Double the fun!

It’s that time again, pre-release for the next pokemon set is here. This one was a little different as first of all, those of us here in Singapore had to wait 2 weeks longer than the rest of the world to have our pre-release events which sucks (and also means it was more a “post”-release since the set was already released the day before). The other reason? Well I’m going for two pre-release events for the first time so that should be double the fun. As it turned out, it sure was.

 

Pre-release time!

And I notice I never did do a post about the previous pre-release for Guardians Rising but that was a fun one too. I was in the middle of my exam period so I didn’t really have much time for Pokemon cards at that time. I did have fun playing the Vanilliuxe and Honchkrow deck, I think I won 2 out of my 3 matches with it and I got a Mallow full art in my kit.

 

The first pre-release was at Metagame, my second time there for a pre-release and the main place for the top players in Singapore to go to. The main promo card I was hoping to get was Seviper just because it’s a snake and I like snakes so I have to stick with my snakes. And for the 4th pre-release tourney in a row, I got who I wanted! Seviper! Woohoo! Better still, in my pre-release kit, I pulled a rainbow rare Noivern GX! One of the GX I wanted, great start to this pre-release already.

My Psychic-Dark deck

The focus of my deck was not the Noivern GX or the Toxicroak but instead little ol’ Meowstic. It’s second move looked too fun to pass up the chance of trying it out since it was a pre-release and you’re bound to have a lot of cards in your hand. 
Meowstic’s second move does 10 damage times the number of cards in your hand and that helped me out a number of times in the first pre-release. Toxicroak was there to provide backup with Seviper to help it out and of course Alolan Raticate because I did pull one tool card to make it’s free attack go from 10 to 60 damage. And well I had to put Noivern GX in since I was playing psychic and dark types and that’s what Noivern uses. Fun fact, a Noivern deck was the first deck I used when I got back into playing pokemon card. Yup, I’m loyal to it.

My first opponent is probably the person I played against the most since I got back into the game. It’s like we’re always bound to meet each other, be it our friendly weekly tourneys or pre-release events. She had a Toxicroak/Vileplume deck, so even though we both pulled the Seviper promo, we had different 2nd typings. I had the dark ones, she got the grass ones. I had the perfect hand to start the game off, Croagunk and Toxicroak so all I needed to do was set them up and the rest was set. Even her Wobbuffet had no answer to my Toxicroak. Luckily for me, she never got her Toxicroak so I ended up getting the win in about 5 minutes. After round one, score is 1-0.
And of course as fate would have it, my next opponent was also a good friend of mine. First I played against the girlfriend, now I’m up against her boyfriend haha. My boss had a much different deck, Crabbominable and Marshadow GX. And of course, he started with his GX car and who did I get? Two Ratattas and one Espurr. Of course I had to get a dark type when I’m playing the psychic type. I never stood a chance in this match. In about 5 minutes or so he won. After round two, score is 1-1.

Seviper promo and Noivern GX rainbow rare

And for the final round, it was a unfamiliar face, never met this opponent before but he had the same deck my friend had in the first round, Toxicroak/Vileplume. This was a trickier match as I did not get who I wanted initially. Finally after a while I got the Meowstic I needed. My Crogunk was posioned and I used my first Acerola to pull it back before getting knocked out. 
That worked really nicely as my hand size went up to six, which meant it knocked out my opponent’s Meowth. Meowstic paralyzed by a second Meowth when my second Acerola showed up to save me, taking out Mewostic and in came Alolan Raticate, with a Weakness Policy attached to make it’s free attack higher, to knock out Meowth for the win.

End of the tourney and I had a 2-1 score, and I finished 5th out of 21 people. Woohoo, my first top 5 finish. And better still, one of my prize packs ended up having a Gardevoir GX in it, and the full art version too. Of course everyone was asking me if I was selling it but nope. I’m keeping this one. It is after all the “Tapu Lele” of this new set.

Lots of Burning Shadows goodies there

And now for my second pre-release. Yes, I’m going to two of them for the first time, so double the fun I hope. I already had so much fun in the first one anyway. This one was at Qisahn where I usually go to for a friendly tourney every Friday night (because it’s closer to my place). This time I wanted either Crabominable or Zygarde as I already had my Seviper the day before and I don’t really want Bewear. And so the streak continues again, I got who I wanted, Crabominable.

My Fighting-Psychic deck

But looking at the cards I got along with what I pulled from my 4 packs, I wasn’t sure if I’d do well in this one. For starters, no GX in this deck because the one GX I pulled was Gardevoir (yes, again!) and I only had the one Ralts to work with so that was a no go. In the end I went for an almost full fighting type deck with Rhyperior and the promo Crabominable being my main two attackers. And lucky me I had two Meowstic to continue what I did yesterday and because Meowstic doesn’t really need psychic type, that suited the deck nicely. Also added in a Rimbombee line just in case I didn’t get my energies (which I did and in one match, a bit too much of it).
The good thing about this one was that there were 4 rounds so more fun for us to play with our pre-release decks. All 4 of my opponents were new to me, all friendly so that’s good. The first one was a kid, yup all different ages here. He had a Toxicroak/Meowstic deck which is what I used yesterday so I knew what was coming. Luckily for me things worked my way, my opponent struggled to get energy in within 4 turns, I got my 4 energies on Rhyperior and knocked 4 of his pokemon out with it’s 170 damage move in the next 4 turns. End of round 1, score is 1-0.
Second match was a mirror match, my opponent was also using the Rhyperior/Crabominable deck but this one was a bit one-sided. I drew Crabrawler and Crabominable in my starting hand so if everything went well I had this in the bad. Less than 100 seconds later I had already won the match. Crabominable knocked his 2 basics (Crabrawler and Rhyhorn) in consecutive turns. Possibly my fastest match ever. Crabominable’s first move needs just the one fighting energy but does 80 damage. Way too dangerous. End of round 2, score is 2-0.

The Crabominable promo card

Third match was against a Zygarde/Alolan Raticate deck and well this one really didn’t go my way. I had too many energy cards in my starting hand and just Rhyhorn to defend myself. Worst still, he got his Alolan Raticate a Weakness Policy up straight away so no advantage for me. I had no chance with Zygarde also powered up since Raticate didn’t need energies after all. Another short match but this time I loss. We played a friendly game afterwards and of course that one I won. Just my luck haha. End of round 2, score is 2-1.
The final round and once again it was up against a Zygarde/Alolan Raticate deck but this one was much better for me. For starters my opponent had no Weakness Policy on Raticate. Problem was, I had no Rhydon or Crabominable to take advantage of it but Meowstic saved the day (for the second day running) with it’s second move and because my hand was big enough, I got some big damage of his Raticate and Hoothoot for the win. End of the final round, score is 3-1.

The four Burning Shadows pack art

So unlike yesterday, I got 5 packs this time. But the pulls weren’t as good as yesterday. Just two holos to show for, Raichu and of course, I got Rhyperior after doing so well with it today. Still I can’t complain, I got some good stuff from the 17 packs I opened up in the two days of pre-release events. And for the second day running, I was in the top 5, this time I was 4th out of 30 players so there’s an improvement, that’s my best result in a tourney so far. And I did it with no GXes in my deck in this one.

 

My pulls from both days of pre-release

Hopefully in the next pre-release, I can go one better and try to do one pre-release tourney undefeated. I gotta start with small aims before I try for big the actual competitive tournaments. Another awesome pre-release week done, my fourth series and it was probably the most fun one I’ve done so far. These pre-release are my favourite events, everyone has to make decks on the spot and it tests your deck building skills. And it sure is nice to play something different and not the usual standard stuff since it is for the fun of playing the game after all. And it’s nice to see that four different places were hosting pre-releases that week, that is awesome to see the community growing even bigger here. Can’t wait for the next pre-release for Crimson Invasion in October…without any delays this time I hope.

4 pre-release and 4 times I got the promo I wanted

Oh and after the pre-release, me and my friends (two of them I played against in the other pre-release) stayed back to play this new game of Monopoly Gamers. Really interesting game, I might want to get it but apparently it’s hard to get. Never thought I’d see Mario in Monopoly haha!

Monopoly Gamers

PTCG more firsts: League Challenge and Booster Box

So I tried a league challenge for the first time last week, that was fun…well….sort of…


It’s like the usual tournaments, swiss round style but instead of the usual one match, we get a best of three series for the five rounds. Once again I used my Gengar deck but now with a few additions since Sun & Moon is now legal so I added Espeon GX (+one Eevee) and also Tauros GX to be my back-up attacker. First mistake was adding Ninja boy because well, I didn’t really have anyone to change swap with Tauros anyway.

 

Before the event: vs Lurantis GX/Eeveeloutions

 

I had a few matches with this one guy who had a Lurantis GX deck and I thought I was in trouble. Luckily I knocked Jolteon with Trevenant which ruined his plan to use Rough Seas to heal his other Stage 1 pokemons, which is not what I wanted with the idea of my deck (aka putting damage counters on as many people as possible). Trevenant did enough damage to hurt two Lurantis but was killed by the GX move. In came Gengar for the Creep Show kill. Fomantis came in and I brought in Mewtwo to kill him off before Gengar came back in to kill the other Lurantis.

 

First round: 2-0 vs Solgaleo GX/M Mewtwo EX

 

The good thing for me is that Mewtwo has a weakness to psychic type so I had that going for me. Trevenant was my MVP in this match, killing off the Mewtwo EXes and Mega Mewtwo EX in both matches to get me the win. Gengar only had to show up once during these two matches.

 

Second round: 1-2 vs Umbreon GX

 

Not the match I wanted. Umbreon is a dark type, my main attackers are weak to Dark type. But in saying that, I somehow managed to win the first match. Espeon’s GX move really saved me in this one. I divided the damage counter around his bench and it was enough for Gengar to pick up the pieces and kill two Umbreons for the win. The next two matches were a cakewalk for my opponent.

 

Third round: 0-2 vs Solgaleo GX/Lunala GX/Mewtwo EX

 

The first match was a really close fight, I thought I had my opponent beat. Espeon GX did it’s GX move and with the help of two Lysandres, Gengar came in to kill off Solgaleo and Mewtwo to help me pick up four prizes. At this point, I was 5-1  on prize count and I was getting ready to win the game when my opponent played N and it killed me. My hand was wiped out and by this point, my opponent and caught on to what I was doing. I couldn’t close off that match.

The second was a real pain. I had only Tauros GX to use and sure, I knocked out two Cosmog (Nebby for the rest of us) but it was too much, he had a Mewtwo ready to kill me with the help of Lunala’s and Solgaleo’s abilities.

 

Fourth round: 0-2 vs Raticate Break/Ariados

 

I won’t talk much about this match, it was painful. Two easy wins for my opponent. He was using his deck so quickly, effectively and decisively, I had no answer for him. I couldn’t get any of my evolved pokemons ready in time.

 

Fifth round: Free win

 

So by the end of the last round, my opponent was tired and gave the win to me so that kinda sucked. Sure I got a free win but I came all the way there to play matches so it was really frustrating just watching everyone play matches and I’m the only one sitting it out. Yes, I said everyone, somehow my opponent wasn’t tired for a friendly match with someone else. Not cool.

 

So after all of that, I ended up with just 6 points with a record of 2-3-0. (2 wins, 3 losses, no draws). Not bad considering my deck is not in the same league as all the pro players who were there, I was expecting to lose all of my matches to be fair so to get one win was nice. Then again, I’m just there for the fun of playing the game so yeah having to sit out one match really sucked.

 

 

Oh and I finally got my first booster box and yes it’s the controversial Sun and Moon box. If you’ve not heard, these boxes are apparently mapped for Sun and Moon for whatever stupid reason. Which means the moment you get a holo/GX card, the next two booster packs are rubbish packs and then the third is another good one and repeat the process for each side of the box.

 

It was actually pretty fun opening up all 36 packs in one go and I made it fun for myself but mixing everything up, sorting them up according to their pack arts so I didn’t know which one would show up when. I got some really good ones. Ended up getting both Solgaleo and Lunala GXes so that was nice, I can start building a deck around them soon. Didn’t get the Decidueye GX I wanted. I got the Umbreon full art and the Lapras rainbow rare card which was so freaking cool. It was so shiny! And I got the Illima full art trainer card too haha, not the Lille I wanted. As for holos, I got 5 of the better ones so that was nice. More importantly, I got the Crobat holo I wanted! Because Crobats are cool.

PTCG first proper tournament: Gengar stars in the Creep Show

Back to some Pokemon trading card game fun and for once there is an event I can actually go to and not the usual pre-release events. This one was a mini tournament, which was supposed to be 16 guys in a knockout style battle but we ended up with a 12 player tournament with a swiss round style tournament. At least I can play more games haha.

Big thanks to the friendly folks who set this tournament up at Brewlings in Serangoon Gardens (not been there in ages). Nice play they got there, good place for a drink I suppose. It was good seeing some familar faces again there and some new ones, and all there for the fun of playing Pokemon trading card games. What’s better than that (apart from many other options of course)? Prizes were the new Sun & Moon blisters, but only the top 3 gets it.

I wasn’t feeling too confident going into this. I knew I was going to play my Gengar deck but I wasn’t sure if I’ll get murdered by those guys with the EX decks. My deck is a bit slow to build up but when it gets going, it really goes. I didn’t really have the top trainer cards that everyone else seemed to have too so I thought I might end up being the jobber of the tournament (aka make everyone else look good). Here’s how my deck looked.

So the plan is simple, get either Mewtwo EX, Trevenant Break or even Haunter itself (with it’s ability to do double confusion) to get the 3 damage counters to anyone and everyone (in Trevenant’s case) and then have Gengar come in for the kill with the awesome Creep Show move. 3 damage counter on the opponent and it’s a straight knock out, doesn’t matter if it’s a normal pokemon or a Mega EX pokemon. Lugia was a last minute addition (funnily enough in place for a Lugia EX I thought of using) because my feeling was I’d run into many EX opponents and as it turns out, that was the case. Four rounds and I was just hoping I can sneak one win out of it.

Round 1: vs Flareon EX/Houndoom EX

So my first match was against a kid so yeah…..I had to control my swearing (it just happens, I can’t help it). We started off with a Houndoom EX vs Phantump. Yup I wasn’t feeling good about it. It was only when I had Haunter that I had some hope. The earlier poision from Gastly had Houndoom up to 3 damage and then….here comes Gengar via a rare candy! Creep Show city and two prizes for me, back to 4-4. And then I got murdered by Flareon EX. I tried a Haunter double confusion but my opponent rolled a heads and bye bye Haunter. I tried to make a late comeback with Mewtwo EX but he got Lysandre-ed. 0-1

Round 2: vs Mega Gardevoir EX

My next opponent was a familiar face, I’d seen him in pre-release and at Project EXT before. I thought I might have a real hard time especially since Gardevoir EX’s move powers up if both pokemon had the same energy and my Trevenant would have to have the same energy so I went for a back up plan. I used Teammates to get Lugia and a DCE. I had to go for it and set it up as my opponent only had EX pokemons and Lugia’s move goes from 60 to 120 against them. Lugia did some big damage those those EXes so my late inclusion of it paid off nicely in this match. My opponent having troubles getting energy was a big help.

Another Gardevoir would be switched over but now I had a Haunter ready for the double confusion and this time the dice rolled in my favour, my opponent hit tails, 30 for self confusion, energy retrieval, get Haunter up to 2 psychic energies and evolve it to Gengar for the Creep Show!  At this point, my opponent had another Gardevoir who had about 80 damages on it and luckily I had Lysandre in my hand so then came a second Creep Show for another two more prizes. A win for me! I really was no expecting that and against a Gardevoir deck which is really strong. The match just went my way thankfully. 1-1

Round 3: vs Volcanion EX

I really wasn’t looking forward to this match. I knew this would be the deck to beat of all the decks and it should be straightforward, another loss to me against someone who was undefeated so far. I tried every trick in my book. Gastly poison, opponent uses float stone. Lysandre another Volcanion out and use Haunter’s double confusion and again my opponent had a float stone waiting. At one point he was running out of energies which gave me a small hope but of course he got one back and killed the game off. I was a bit surprised that I managed to last as long as I did in that match, was a pretty good game against a near unbeatable deck. 1-2

Round 4: vs Zygarde EX

And I got from facing the joint #1 ranked player to the other #1 ranked player. I had seen his match the previous round and his Zygarde deck looked really dangerous. Good thing that my deck is all (except Mewtwo) resistant to fighting type so some glimmer of hope. Gastly got the first Zygarde poisoned but it got knocked out. A nicely timed Teammates got me Haunter so the second Gastly evolved for the double confusion. A quick switch to Mewtwo kept me going before Gengar showed up. I went for a big risk with Sycamore and it worked nicely and I got the Gengar I needed for the Creep Show on the first Zygarde. Then I noticed the second Zygarde had 3 damage counter on it.

I just so happened to have a VS seeker on me and a Lysandre I discared for that Sycamore so that worked really nicely. At this point I had Lugia and Trevenant Break all set up and ready to go too. The second knockout of his Zygarde gave my opponent all sorts of problems so I made a switch to get Trevenant to hit Silent Fear to get his active and three of his benched up to 30 damage but before I could get Gengar back to work, my opponent forfeited the match. Oh wow I actually beat one of the best decks in that tournament and as it turns out, I played spoiler to my opponent, he ended up 3rd and not 1st because of that loss. Sorry about that man! 2-2

So that was really fun, my Gengar deck did way better than I expected it to. It was nice to know that apparently my deck ended up being one of the decks people didn’t want to play against because of Gengar’s Creep Show move. Of the 12 or so guys there, apparently only 3 of us played a deck completely different to the rest, me being one of them.

I knew if I wanted to stand a chance, I had to try something different so why not give my Gengar deck a try just to see if it was good or not. I do like playing a slower paced game and I do like playing those sniping decks. Plus, Gengar is one of my favourite pokemons so I was always going to make a deck around it.

I should really go for more of these pokemon tournaments, this one was really fun. I didn’t win any prizes but it’s all good, I had a good time anyway. It’s good to be around the pokemon community again although I didn’t have anything to trade with this time. But I did buy two Zoroark cards for my next deck, an Yveltal/Zoroark deck. If I had more strong trainer cards, maybe my deck could be even better. There is a league challenge going on next week, maybe I’ll give that a go.

Oh and after the event I went the Project EXT to get me 10 Sun and Moon booster packs ($45 for 10, I might as well) and since I have to start revision I won’t have time to buy cards anytime soon. Turned out to be the worst 10 boosters I ever bought. No holo foil, no GXes, nothing. I have now found out that I got cheated by this new thing of them defaulting the booster boxes, after every two bad pack will be a good pack. Whoever came up with this idea is a stupid idiot, now people can easily cheat others of buying packs. Packs should always be a random chance, that’s the fun of it. Not calculated chance. Here’s my proof of it. I’m never buying Sun and Moon loose packs ever again. 😦

PTCG Sun & Moon Pre-Release: Crobat to the Rescue!

Yup I’m back at it again. My second pokemon pre-release tournament but this one was a must go for me, it was the pre-release for the new Sun and Moon base set. New card designs and all the Gen 7 pokemons finally on trading cards so why not go for it and after all, it’s all for fun anyways right?

I made sure I got my name on the list the moment one of the two shops hosting a pre-release here in Singapore announced that registrations was open. The other shop? Well I tried my luck there first but apparently it was already full a day or two Maxsoft announced the whole thing so that was quite disappointing. Not sure how that was even possible but oh well. Back to my old hometown of Bugis and to Battle Bunker for me then.

For this one, I was hoping to get either the Oranguru pack or the Shiinotic pack and luckily for me I got Oranguru. The people around me mostly got Shiinotic and the guy sitting next to me, funnily enough the same guy I sat next to at the Evolutions pre-release, got the Passimian one. Turns out the Oranguru one was what I really wanted as there was an evolution line for Zubats meaning I’ve got a Crobat! Woohoo! That’s one of my favourite pokemons of all time along with Hitmonlee, Charizard/Charmander and Gengar.

We had the four packs inside the pre-release box and I did managed to pull some good ones out of there, namely a foil Vikavolt (one guy was desperately looking around for it but I need Vikavolt too). I also had a Dragonite, Arcanine and Rare Candy reverse holo foils, which looks really cool in the new Sun and Moon set. I did pull one GX card out, Tauros GX, one of the better ones for sure. But before that, the guy opposite me pulled a Gumshoos GX. Not just anyone though, not even a full art but the brand new hyper rare card. It looked amazing!

So once again my deck, like the previous pre-release, had Psychic pokemons in it. Then again my main deck is a Psychic deck so I’m more than happy to use them. This time it was with the Fighting pokemons. But I learnt my lesson from the last pre-release of having a bit too many pokemons so I cut it down to 2 evolution lines, one troll pokemon in case of weakness and the two foils of Oranguru and Tauros GX. Whatever I had pulled, I knew right away I wanted my deck to be mainly about Crobat.

So the strategy for me was simple, get my Zubats evolving quickly with the help of Timer Ball or Nest Ball or Great Ball, have at least a Crobat and a Golbat and make use of their free retreat to increase Crobat’s Suprise Strike. Oranguru would be the back-up in case of any big energy users (and there were some) and also for his ability (a mini Shaymin EX if you will). Hariyama would be used mainly as my staller and the big dog (or bull in this case) Tauros GX would be the ultimate comeback hitter if I were to get it.
The main thing I wanted out of today was well….JUST ONE WIN! The last pre-release,  had a 1-3 record but my win was a bye because my opponent never showed up. I played a friendly game and well, I lost so technically I went 0-4. And the first match didn’t go so well too. I had to take a mulligan 5 times! What a bad start. Nothing went my, I had a hard time dealing with my opponent’s Butterfree and Pinsir combiation. Oranguru came in to knock Butterfree out for my one price but a combo of Cloyster and Prof Kukui killed me. 0-1 already. Dang. That match ended really quick.

I knew I had a potentially good deck, I just needed to get things right and as it turns out, that first match was really the only match I had nothing going for me. My second match was against a guy I had faced the last pre-release so that was cool! Luckily for me he was struggling as he kept getting energy cards while I managed to build up my Crobat, Oranguru and Tauros GX! My big three hitters. So yup Crobat knock my opponent out easily one by one to give me that match. Woohoo, my first win in a “competitive” Pokemon TCG game! End of Round 2, 1-1!

The third match was a really tight game. It could have gone either way. The guy I was playing had just gotten back to Pokemon TCG so I knew how he felt being back at it for the first time so it was nice that I could help someone out this time around.

This was the first match that Tauros GX finally had some action and I was feeling confident about my chances in that match but I messed up a bit having my Makuhita knock out his Pyukumuku. I should have Tauros GX knock it out to get the 6 damage counter from it’s ability which would in turn help two of Tauros’ moves.

My opponent had a Lanturn and a Kangaskhan and I was trying to think ahead and keep the big GX move for Kangaskhan and for the win but as it turned out, my opponent got the “water energy” he needed to increase Lanturn’s move from 60 to 120, in the form of Rainbow energy. One move later and Tauros GX was done. I probably should have done that GX move. End of Round 3, 1-2! That same losing feeling.

The fact that my opponent had Espeon GX out in the first turn already out in my fourth match made me think I was heading for another defeat. Like the previous matches, he got rid of my Rare Candy and Crobat from that irittating bugger of a supporter Illima but for once it worked in my favour, I got the six cards, he got three. I did get my Golbat out and things started happening.

Did I mention how irritating Ilima was? It feels like a new N card but it can either help you or hurt you. Hence why I only played one of him. Twice I had a Rare Candy and Crobat ready to evolve onti my Zubat only to get Ilimaed. At least drawing 3 wasn’t bad for me as I had Oranguru to help with his ability.


I had my double colourless energy and Crobat was ready for action. Golbat was confused but no worries, free re-treat, as was my plan and in came Crobat. 60+60 for switching in that turn and as Espeon GX had weakness to Psychic type,(60+60)x2 = 240 damage! And not to forget, my Crobat had survived Espeon’s GX attack so maybe my opponent’s mistake was putting all 100 damage on Crobat and not trying to kill of Golbat. Kukui came in next to kill the game for me. That was a sweet comeback and so far my best win yet. End of Round 4, 2-2!

Then came the surprise, we were going to have a round 5! Usually it ends at Round 4 but with the turnout, I guess they had to go for it. My opponent had seen me beat his friend previously so he was worried about Tauros GX. And yes I did get him ready along with one Crobat up.

My game winning move was actually using Repel, getting rid of my opponent’s Butterfree and switch with Lanturn and luckily my confused Hariyama did get his big move in to get me my first prize. I retread him (four energies too) but it was worth it as Crobat was ready for action and swiped my opponent’s Butterfree. From there it was easy going, Crobat doing the damage.

So at the end of the fifth and final round, I had a 3-2 record! More wins than losses, I wasn’t expecting that! And I avoided the two really good Pamissian decks so it was a good day for me. Not that I was worried about it, I had Crobat waiting to pounce anyway.

So with 3 wins that meant I would get 3 extra Sun and Moon booster along with 2 that everyone would get for participating in the pre-release. Now for the fun part, everyone opening up their winning packs and some had pullled some top cards. One of the girls managed to pull the hyper rare Lunala GX which looked really cool.

A few minutes later I heard a roar from the other side of the play area, because someone pulled the full art Lille card! No secret rares though. As for me, all I got was an Espeon GX but a full art one so that was pretty cool but for it being the only one from the five packs, a bit of a shame but I can’t really complain.

I had a lot of fun in this pre-release, probably more than I did than the first one I was in. I wasn’t expecting more wins than losses, let alone 3 wins! Everyone was cool and friendly there again, you can’t beat the pokemon community really, some really cool people there. It won’t be my last pre-release for sure. I think I will probably get my first booster box for the Sun and Moon base set, I really like it so far. Those of you who can make it to a pokemon TCG event or a pre-release, go for it! Even for those who may not play it often, it’s a lot of fun. What better way than to take time off from my revision than to have fun and play some cards?

Back into Pokemon TCG: Evolutions Pre-Release

I’ve been meaning to post this for some while but I kept forgetting to do so. But anyway here it is! This happened near the end of October so I’m a month late with this.

I used to be a huge fan of Pokemon Trading Card Game. I would play and collect the cards back in the day when it first showed up in 1999 up to around 2006-2007 when most people here stopped playing it for some so I followed suit too. I’ve always liked playing TCG games, the main two for me being Pokemon and WWE’s RAW Deal.

After a long while, my brother finally got me back into playing Pokemon TCG a few months ago. I forgot how much fun it was to collect those cards, opening those boosters and hoping to get a rare card and just playing the game itself. It sure helped that Pokemon TCGO was a thing too, playing the online version of the game on my laptop sure helped with my “addiction” of Pokemon TCG. In fact that might be the game I’ve played the most since August.

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So now I’m fully back into Pokemon TCG and looking for anyway to join in the fun and have matches here around Singapore and the first one I found was the pre-release tournament for the latest Pokemon TCG set, Evolutions. One of the main reasons why I wanted to try it was just to see the old base set cards being re-printed in the newest set with the updated stats.

I think I was the 3rd person to sign up to it so you can tell how keen I was to give this a try. After all I never got to play against other players in TCG too so why not? The way the pre-release works is that we get a box containing 1 promo card (either Gyarados, Charizard, Machamp or Mewtwo), 22 aditional cards and 4 booster packs of Evolutions to help us build our decks.

Once we got the signal we had to build a 40-card deck from the cards we got inside our pre-release box and the energy cards provided by the organizers. I was hoping to get the Charizard card and luckily for me I did! It was the one most wanted to get out of their pre-release set at the Battle Bunker, which I now know is a great place to play card games.

I ended up making a fire and psychic deck because of the 22 cards I got from the set. I did pull some good cards from the 4 Evolutions boosters, including Pidgeot EX, a holo Cleafairy and two Brock’s Grit. I didn’t put Charizard in my deck as I only had the 1 Charmander and 1 Charmeleon so I couldn’t risk them. Here’s my deck for my pre-release tourney:

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Not the greatest of decks but still something I could work with. My main attackers would be Nidoking and Pidegot EX, with Arcanine and Mew as the back-ups. It was my first pre-release tourney or any kind of tournament for a Pokemon game of any kind, I was just excited to be a part of it! The way it went was that we’d play 4 matches, and the people with similar records would play against each other.

My first match was also my first “win”. I say that because my opponent never showed up! I was one of the lucky 4 or 6 who got a bye in their first match so I decided to have a friendly match against the guy I was sitting next to during our deck buildings while we waited for Round 2. I was a close match, I did some damage with Arcanine but I got beat by Arcanine too.

The second match was the worst, it was over after 2 turns! I only had Clefairy to go with and since it had just the 40 HP, that wasn’t helpful. It didn’t help to go up against Mewtwo. I made the mistake of trying to put him to sleep with one energy and that meant Mewtwo’s psychic move now would hit me for 40 damage, one hit KO!

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The third match went a bit longer but again I got beat by not having a good hand. The fourth and final match was the closest I got to winning. Nidoking was doing early damage for me and I was 1 prize away from winning. I read Pidgeot EX’s Mirror Move wronly and that ended up costing me the win. And yes, I got beat by Nidoking! Not again. Oh well.

So I ended the pre-release tourney with a 1-3 record but realistically, it was a 0-4 record so in my head, I’ve not gotten a competitive win in a Pokemon TCG match so far. I will try to change that sometime soon as I plan on giving a Pokemon Draft Night a try, a format somewhat similar to the pre-release and the shop is near my place so why not?

It turns out that everyone who participated in the pre-release would end up getting 3 additional Evolution booster pack. I got some good pulls out of that too, holo Hitmonchan and Charizard EX! Two EXes in my first 7 Evolutions boosters! Unfortunately, it has stayed that way, the next 14 Evolutions booster’s I’ve opened so far only has gotten me 2 Holo cards (Gyarados and Poliwrath). No luck for me in Evolutions yet but I still like it so much! Those retro cards all look awesome! I want more!

I really did enjoy that pre-release tourney. It was so much fun even though I lost all my matches. It was great to meet and talk to many other players who all had the same interest about Pokemon TCG or just Pokemon in general. Those guys were also helpful on giving tips to build a good deck, what cards I should add to my decks and what other stuff to get. Hopefully this is just the start of something more. I’m just glad I got a nice reminder of how awesome Pokemon Trading Card Game and the Pokemon TCG community really is.

FM 2014 NUFC Stories – Season 8 – European Champions at last!

Year 2020/21 – Season 8

Continuing from my previous post, we had 6 games left to go in the English Premier League and two matches against Manchester City in the quarter finals of the Champions League. I’m a bit torn as to which one I really want. I’d like a 6th English league title in 8 seasons but I also want a first Champions League win not just for me but for my Newcastle United team too.

First up was Norwich who were struggling in a relegation fight so I had some of my under 18 players get some game time in this match. And two of them ended up scoring their first goals for the senior team! Not bad at all boys. One of them ended up the man of the match in just his second match with the senior team. 3-0 winners.

Next was our 2nd leg quarter final match in the Champions League against Manchester City. We’ve never gone past the quarter final stages in this competition before but the good news for us is that we had 1-0 lead in the first leg and it was an away game too. It was an interesting game but no goals. So I made the switch to get Jose Villar, my Spanish re-gen from Madrid, to try his luck in place of Adam Campbell. And wow he repaid me back nicely. Two goals in the last two minutes to seal the 2-0 win, 3-o in both legs! We’re in the semi-final, this is uncharted terriorty for Newcastle United. Just one problem…we’ve got Real Madrid to deal with next. And in the six games we’ve played against them before, not one win to our names.

Then we had an away match to West Ham and the last time we had that match, we lost. I didn’t want to take the risk but I also didn’t want to tire my players out so once again I looked to the junior players. And this time it backfired. They scored within 9 minutes. We turned it around to lead 2-1 after 18 minutes but the Hammers got their equaliser o the 66th minute. 2-2 was the end result. And with Man City winning their match, they had closed right up.

Next up is the first leg of the semi finals in the Champions League. We played Madrid home so the objective was to make sure they did not score, we don’t want them having the away goal advantage going to their home game. It was going well for us, Campbell scored in the first minute of the second half, and I jumped out of my seat at 2am in the bloody morning. Yes, I’m really into this. With four minutes to go, they scored. What a crushing feeling. Not what we wanted. At least Aston Villa did us a huge favour by holding City to a draw. Norwich couldn’t do the same in the next round of games, they lost 2-1. We beat Cardiff 4-0, once again with some of the junior players having some match time and again, two of them scored!

Now for the vital second leg match against Real Madrid at their home. Do we play defensive to give ourselves a chance? Hell no. Stick to the gameplan that has won us many games. No attack, no chance! And it worked like a charm. Mullin scored twice in 10 minutes to give us a 2-0 lead. My German re-gen center back, Dennis Neumann, who Madrid have been chasing after for a few years now too, got us the third goal. We’re leading 3-0 at Madrid against a team we’ve never beaten before! That all changed with the final whistle, WE’RE INTO THE FINALS!

Suck it Madrid

City demolished Stoke 3-0 and the next day, we had to travel to North London to play Arsenal. With Manchester United drawing their match with Swansea, surely it’s now down to us and Manchester City. It was a close game, we hit the crossbar probably three times but finally got our goal just before half time thanks to James Rodriguez. With 8 minutes to go, one of my re-gen defenders scored to make it 2-0.

It was even sweeter since he played for Arsenal for 5 months on loan there and didn’t get much game time there. They scored immediately thanks to Yassine Benzia but it wasn’t enough, we beat them 2-1! At their home too! The next match would surely settle the English Premier League champions. If we beat Manchester City, we’re the champions.

NUFC vs MCFC

No defensive formation once again from us. It’s all attack. As F1/IndyCar driver Takuma Sato would say “no attack, no chance”. Within 30 seconds we got the first goal thanks to the local lad Adam Campbell. For the rest of the match I was almost biting my fingernails, hoping the team could hold on. We got our second goal thanks to Belarus winger Savitskiy. City got one back in the dying minutes of the game but it’s not enough. WE’RE THE CHAMPIONS! Sixth English league title in eight years for Newcastle United. Not bad at all.

I was resting some of my players for the final league game against West Brom and we had no issues, we beat them 4-1. It didn’t start well as they took the lead. Rodriguez got our equaliser 8 minutes later. Campbell added two more goals and our young Spanish re-gen from Madrid, Jose Villar, got the last league goal of the season for us. 88 points in total, not our highest but still better than expected, especially since we were down in 4th going into the new year!

NUFC Season 8

So for those wonder what my team looks like, here you go (the ones with the red lines are re-gens):

NUFC Season 8 Team

Yup, I’ve got eight players with 4 star rating or higher and that’s just my first team, I’ve got a few more in my under-21 team and a lot more in my under-18 team. Check out Mullin’s value. £51m! As of right now in my game, he now has the highest value of any player, Barcelona’s Neymar is valued at £50m and the next highest is Real Madrid’s Isco at £41m. I’ve got a world beater on my hands and he’s still only 23!

My two favourite players in the team at the moment has to be my two English strikers. They just know when to score and that’s always good and both have had different paths going into my first choice. One has a 5 star rating, the only has 2.5 star rating but both have been brilliant for me.

Here’s Mullin career league stats as of right now:

Mullin Stats

And here’s Campbell career league stats:

Campbell

It’s kinda weird that even though Campbell is 3 years older, they’ve had similar stats. I’ve sent Campbell on loan to a few teams and he’s scored goals for them, especially Celtic in the Champions League. Worked out well for me when he was scoring goals for us like nothing in the Champions League too. Mullin was alright for Blackburn and Manchester United but in his first full season, he was on fire. 30 goals, 32 the next, and ok only 24 this time but once again he was top goalscorer in the English League (and tied for the top in the Champions League too with 11).

And to think I’ve got a brilliant Argentine re-gen, Gabriel Romeo, having a brilliant season himself at Fiorentina scoring 29 goals in 37 league games, next season should be fun! And Villar is still going to get better and we’ve got two English re-gens with 4.5 star ratings in the under-18 team. Looks like there are more trophies to come for this Newcastle team. Here’s how we progressed to the Champions League glory!

ECL Champs

Also for next season, it looks like we could break not one but two long standing Newcastle United records in two seasons time. The most league goals for club record is held by the legend Jackie Milburn has the record of 177 league goals. My new legend, Mullin, has 106 goals right now. Two more 30+ goals a season and he’ll overtake that record easily. As for the most league appearance for club, that record is held by Jimmy Lawrence with 431 games. My goalkeeper Tim Krul is on 390 league starts for us.

And since I took over, he’s started EVERY league game. Which is, 8 seasons x 38 games = All 304 leagues games I’ve been in charge, Krul has been in between the posts. Doing the maths, if Krul starts all league games next season, which he should unless he gets injured, he’ll end next season with 428 league games, just three shy of the record. So both records could be broken in my 10th season in charge of Newcastle, nice timing there haha!

So after my eight season in charge of Newcastle United, what have we won all this time?

  • x6 English Premier League (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021)
  • x1 Champions League (2021)
  • x1 UEFA Cup (2018)
  • x1 European Super Cup (2018) – possibly a second if we win our match vs the UEFA champions Arsenal next season
  • x1 English FA Cup (2018)
  • x2 Captial One Cup (2014, 2017)
  • x3 English Community Shield (2014, 2015, 2016)

Hopefully more to come in the next few seasons!

Also, this was the season when Bolton Wanderers, formerly in the Premier League for a good 10+ years or so, fell out of the English League 2 tier which means they’re no longer part of the Football League. That’s a damn shame. They were relegated from the EPL in 2012. Then in my game, they spent 7 seasons in the Championships before getting relegated in 2019. The next season? Relegated from League 1. And the season after that which was this season? Relegated from League 2. Three consecutive relegations, not cool. With the points they had, they would have stayed up but because they entered admission, they were docked 10 points. How many points did they miss the cut by? 2 points. How cruel is that. Good luck to them getting back up. I offered them to be my feeder team but they didn’t want it, they were happy with Liverpool. Haha, as if they’ll help them out.

FM 2014 NUFC Stories – Season 1 to Season 7 – Kash Mann as Newcastle United Manager

How many of us football/soccer fans have always wondered what it would be like if we were the ones managing our teams? Could we do a better job than the bugger that the current job on a computer game? Well, we’ve got the brilliant Football Manager series on PC to give us that imagination. I’ve played the game since I was about 9 or 10 and it’s probably my favourite game on the PC. I don’t know why I’m so into that game, maybe it’s just the idea of making your own team and see how they go.

Now that it’s my holiday period from school, I got back into my Football Manager 2014 game and instead of continuing with either my save game for Monza (lowest playable Italian league) or Racing Satander (lowest playable Spanish league). As fun as it is to bring a small team up to the big leagues, which I have done so for the English (Stockport) and Scottish (Queen’s Park) leagues, I wanted to try managing a team I actually like in real life and see how it goes. So I went for a game with Newcastle United, my second favourite team of all time. So imagine Alan Pardew getting replaced at a team like Newcastle United by an unknown 25-year old manager from Singapore! Thanks to FM, it can happen haha!

Be warned, it’s a long post. Seven and a half seasons worth of stories so yup…

Year 2013/14 – Season 1

Starting the game off, I didn’t make that many changes to the team because it actually looked really good. The only signing I made was Jesse Lingard on loan from Manchester United as a back-up to my wingers. I started off trying a 4-1-2-2-1 or 4-5-1 or 4-3-3, whatever makes you happy.

NUFC Season 1 Tactic

My first competitive match ended up as a 1-1 draw away at Cardiff. After that my team had a really good run, winning 9 of the next 12 EPL matches, including wins over Manchester United and Liverpool. Who gave us our first defeat? Manchester City. No surprises there right? But it was abit of a surprise for me to have that first defeat come in December. Not bad for a “rookie manager”.

The first player I signed was Tim Cahill from New York for £400k. That’s not the only guy I nabbed from the American League, I also signed up Landon Donovan from Los Angeles for £1.8m. Both of them added more firepower for my team so that’s always good. I even signed Joleon Lescott for free after Manchester City released him. I needed some back-up in defence, why not get an English national player? As for the first player I sold, it was the utter rubbish Mike Williamson to Wigan under a million.

Things were going really well for my first season, leading the way at one point in January and beating Chelsea over two legs in the semi-finals of the Capital One cup. We beat Everton in the final to win the first trophy for Newcastle in a long time! One down, two to go! With one game left to go, the team beat Southampton 3-2 to win the English Premier League! Yes, Newcastle United won the EPL! In my first season too, I wasn’t expecting it. Two down, one more to go. Too bad the FA Cup didn’t go so well in the final, we lost to Chelsea.

NUFC Season 1 EPL

Year 2014/15 – Season 2

Now that we’ve won the EPL, can we do it again? And not just that, we’ve got Champions League football to look forward to, which means more players wouldn’t mind joining us. With my first choice right back Mathieu Debuchy off to Paris for a £22m deal, I used that money to get Southampton’s right back and probably the next best English right back, Nathaniel Clyne for £16.5m. Is he worth that amount? Probably not but with the way the game works, I had to. I mean, they were asking for £40m for Luke Shaw! Hell no!

I signed up a few more youngsters for my team, Ryan Gauld from Dundee United, Conor Wickham from Sunderland and Pavel Savitskiy from Barcelona, all worth a combined £17.5m. The latter was a must buy for me as my scouts gave him a 4 star rating. The way I work is that if someone has less than 3 star rating potential, I wouldn’t consider him. But for the rest:

3 star – Last resort if I can’t sign anyone

3.5 star – If I can’t find anyone from that particular position, then this one will do

4 star – If I can, I’ll sign him up, If I can’t, that’s ok. There’ll be someone else anyway.

4.5 star – I’ll go after this guy for a certain amount. A must get but if the price is too much, then no.

5 star – MUST SIGN THIS GUY. No matter what, he’ll be a world class player. So sign him at all cost!

The lad from Barcelona had a 4 star rating so I tried my luck, hoping maybe Barcelona would consider selling him and they did! What a steal I got for that guy, went straight into my team and did well. Those weren’t the only youngsters I got. As you know in FM, there are the re-gens, which are players created by the game to replace the retired players/scots/coaches. I found a few guys with 4 star ratings so I had to sign them. There was one center midfielder from Denmark I got for less than a million and an English defender for £4.5m from Fulham. Those were the first two in my army for a second generation team in Newcastle haha!

During the January transfer window, I signed two guys on a loan deal. One was Darren Fletcher as back up and a guy I had not heard of before but he had a 4.5 star rating and for some reason, he was in the Monaco reserve team. His name was Geoffrey Kondogbia from France. He became my star player for the next few seasons. And just a few weeks ago in the real world, I heard that Inter Milan had signed Kondogbia for real. It just shows you how accurate the database in Football Manager is. I had to get him on a permanent deal so Monaco got £16m for me to bring him to Newcastle.

The season was just as good as the first, if not a bit more dramatic. Of course, we got Real Madrid in our group for our first season back in the Champions League. And guess what? We got them again for the quarter finals, they were too strong this time. As for FA Cup, we lost in the quarter finals there too. With five matches to go in the league, we lost to Tottenham and Liverpool to give Chelsea a chance to jump us. They entered the final game leading by a point. We had a home game against Notthingham Forest, who were looking to get a top 4 spot in their first season back in the EPL. Chelsea had to play away against Arsenal. So in the final game, Chelsea lost, we won and we are the champions for the second year running! Here’s the team that got the back-to-back EPL wins for me.

Newcastle Winners

NUFC Season 2 EPL

Year 2015/16 – Season 3

We’ve done it twice in a row, can we now do it thrice in a row? Before the season started, I decided to get rid of some guys who weren’t in my first team anymore or those whose star rating were starting to go down. Those who had 2.5 stars or lower, that was the time for them to go. I got £15m for three of them, good business there. I was sticking with my 4-5-1 tactic even though the goals weren’t coming in just yet. My main striker Papiss Cisse scored 22 goals and just 10 the season before. I was really considering signing a big name striker in place for him but I decided to give him one last chance to shine. 49 games later and 25 goals and he did just that.

A signed two more next-gen guys, both with German names, one from Germany and the other from Italy haha! I also signed Ronaldinho, yes the legendary Brazilian playmaker, on a 1-year deal and did good for me. Too bad for him, I found another star from Monaco. For whatever weird reason, James Rodriguez was left in the reserves and on the transfer list. I signed him for £6m and well, easily the best transfer bargain I ever got in my Newcastle game. I thought I had the best deal and then two days later, another one came.

This time it was a re-gen but this guy was no average joe. Jadan Mullin came from the Blackburn academy and my scouts recommended me to sign this guy. Why? He had a 5-star rating. Yes, 5-star! That means he had the potential to be a world class player. I didn’t know if I could get him but Blackburn did allow me to get him on loan. Then I noticed he had a clause on his contract, one of those exit clauses or whatever it’s called, and it was just £5.5m! I gave them that offer and after the next season, he would become a Newcastle player permanently. At just 17 years old, he was already getting a call up to the English national team. I’ve got my next Alan Shearer! And he too played for Blackburn haha!

The best transfer of all was having a new owner! Woohoo, see ya Mike Ashley. The new owner was considering replacing me with the Spanish boss because he had links in Spain but luckily he never did pull the trigger. It was another dramatic season. We were in the mix yet again. With 7 matches to go, the top 6 teams were covered by 5 points! Once again we had the quarter final curse, lost to Chelsea in the Champions League and Tottenham in the FA Cup. Once again it came down to the final match in EPL, but this time we were leading going into the last match but we had only taken the lead the previous round of matches. We had to beat Blackburn to win the league and we did just that, 1-0 and we were the English Premier League winners for the third year running! Am I dreaming?

NUFC Season 3 EPL

Year 2016/17 – Season 4

Can we now go four in a row? I added two more re-gen with 4+ star ratings and two highly rated players. Kyriakos Papadopolous from Schalke and Johnathan Silva from Feyenoord. I only went after the latter when my right back Clyne left for Man City (we got a £3m profit out of him) and that we had Feyenoord as our feeder team with first options on their players. When Man United tried to get him I had to try my luck and we got him. I had four of my players loaned to Wolverhampton, three of them highly rated too and they ended up winning the English League One, and they’re not our feeder team in England, which was Leeds United who were still struggling in the Championship, the next tier above them.

Once again, Cisse wasn’t getting the goals for me. In fact, his back-up Wickham got as many goals as he did, 12 for both. My right winger Hartem Ben Arfa had just one less goal than those two. As for my wonderkid English striker, I sent him on loan to get first team experience. Which team did he go to? Manchester United haha! He didn’t score that many goals for them thankfully.

We struggled big time this season. We started well but faded away in the mid point. We weren’t in the fight for the league this time, Manchester City were just too strong for any team. Once again we had the quarter final curse, FA Cup loss to Tottenham and Champions League loss to Real Madrid. At least we did have the Capital One Cup to celebrate, winning the final against West Brom through penalties haha! As for the league, we only finished 6th and we got lucky, we were 8th with three games to go! We just sneaked into an European spot but no Champions League for us next season, it’s Euro Cup and guess what, some of my star players wanted to leave because we didn’t get Champions League football. I somehow convinced them to stay, saying we’ll win the league next season.

NUFC Season 4 EPL

Year 2017/18 – Season 5

Big talk to the players about winning the league again, but can I back it up this time? Not much happened with the transfers. I got John Stones for £14.5m and sold the greek defender for £10m. It was one of those rare years where we made a profit, we got more money from selling players than what we bought. Good business there again. I was getting a bit bored of my team’s lack of goals so I changed my tactic to a 4-2-2-2 formation, or a 4-4-2 or 4-2-4, whatever makes you happy.

NUFC Season 5 Tactic

It worked like a treat. Newcastle ended up scoring more goals than the other teams. Cisse scored 37 goals, the wonderkid Mullin scored 31 goals and even my winger James Rodriguez got 25 goals! My back-up striker Wickham got himself 14 goals too. It was probably my best season to date. Ok, we lost to Tottenham in the Capital One semi-finals but who cares about that one? We were in the fight for the English league again, did really well in the Euro Cup and the FA Cup.

Also during that season, I decided to have some fun with the press. I would usually answer every question with a calm respone. I decided to change things around, being assertive sometimes, passionate on other times and I’d add extra comments to have some fun. One time, I decided to have a go at Jose Mourinho. Chelsea and Newcastle had a serious rivalry going on so I had to go after him. And well, this is what happened. I had no idea the game knew I was swearing haha, not bad at all!

cursing

13th May 2018 was the first of three “finals” we had. We beat West Brom 5-0 to seal the English Premier League, the fourth time we had won it under my reign, which meant Newcastle were now 8 times English league champions. I’ve already doubled our league title reigns! 3 days later, it was off to Hungary for the Euro Cup final against Manchester United. We beat them 3-0, my first continental championship with the team. 3 days later, we completed our treble, beating Arsenal 2-0 for the FA Cup, my first FA Cup win with the team.

It didn’t end there. Most of the other managers in previous seasons would go after my team for not having many English players, and that I preferred to sign foreign players. So to see three of my players get picked for the English World Cup team, well, suck it you clowns! Not just that, my two strikers (Mullin & Wickham) were the main choices for England! Too bad the story was the same for them as usual, knocked out I the quarter finals. Seems like we have that problem too.

NUFC Season 5 EPL

Year 2018/19 – Season 6

Once again, we made more money from selling players than we did losing money for buying players. Most of that came from Conor Wickham’s move to Manchester United, which cost them £27m. Why did I sell him? He only had a 3 star rating and they were crazy enough to accept my version of the offer for that amount so I was more than happy to do that business. And what did I do with the money, sign three highly rated re-gen players and Hayden White from Brentford for a total of £20m. Again, good business there. I’d rather pay small for the next big stars then buy big for the current big stars. That’s the way I prefer to do my transfer dealings in Football Manager.

I could see there were changes to be made. My established stars were starting to lose their potential and the younger players were starting to do better. While my midfield line-up were still the same, my defence looked different (and younger). In fact, my captain since day 1, Fabrico Colocini, wasn’t my first choice any more so I made Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa as my captain. As for strikers, Cisse wasn’t my first choice anymore too. Mullin was the lead guy and Adam Campbell, who had spent the last four seasons out on loan (Brentford, Celtic, Wolverhampton and Celtic again), was now my second choice. The local guy may have scored 5 goals less than Cisse but he did have a better average rating throughout the season.

30 goals from Mullin made him the top goal scorer of the season. He won the Players’ Young Player award, good one lad. As for the competitions, we lost to Chelsea in two quarter-finals, the Captial One Cup and the FA Cup and got knocked out at the 2nd round in the Champions League by the eventual winners FC Porto. We may have won 25 games in the league but still lost 9 games so we ended up with just 4th at the end. Even a last day defeat to Man City couldn’t help their neighbours Man United to take the Champions League spot away from us.

NUFC Season 6 EPL

Year 2019/20 – Season 7

Not much changed with the team. Davide Santon left for Manchester United, £22m in the pocket so thanks for that! I bought James Wilson in since Aston Villa were relegated and he did have a 4-star rating, why not? The other was a re-gen from Crystal Palace, he was a left back but he had a 4.5 star rating, that is world class potential right there.

More of the young guys were taking first team spots. My center midfielder re-gen from Denmark was now a first team regular. My German center back was the first choice guy in defence too, moving Stones to a right back, which was his natural position so no worries there, worked nicely haha! Mr Mullin was at it again up front, once again the top scorer with 32 goals in the league. The next best? My right winger Ben Arfa with 23 goals. Campbell only scored 20 goals but strangely enough, only 8 in the league. When it came to Champions League, he was THE man. 10 goals! Only Lionel Messi scored more than the local Newcastle lad.

Wanna guess how we did in the cup competitions? Yup, eliminated in the Quarter Finals in both the FA Cup by Arsenal and Champions League by Barcelona. Typical English team eh? The English Premier League came down to a straight fight between us and Manchester City. We went into the last game with the same amount of points, we were leading with the better goal difference. A 4-2 hammering to Norwich and we won the English Premier League for the 5th time in my reign.

NUFC Season 7 EPL

The team had the best season statistically. 93 points, the most for us. 29 wins too! And we scored 102 goals. Yes, we’re in the three digits. And one match really helped that out. We were hosting Arsenal, 5th in the league and a team who can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime. I was a bit worried that they would beat us as Man City was closing us at that point. Well, that match was out of this world. We won 9-4. Yes, 9-4. This is Arsenal we’re talking about, and we scored NINE goals against them. That’s the most my team has ever scored in any match. And against Arsenal of all teams too.

9-4

Year 2020/21 – Season 8 and Current Season

It’s taken 8 seasons but now my second generation players have taken over the team. Tiote, Sissoko & Cisse, who were all first choice players in my first six seasons, were all gone. That meant the only players to remain with the first team since I took over was Tim Krul, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (even though he’s been chased by all the big teams for all these seasons), Vurnon Anita and Hartem Ben Arfa. Just four of them remain and guess what? Anita & Ben Arfa are no longer my first choices too in their positions.

I had one of my busier transfer seasons. All seven players who joined us were re-gens. Three of them with 4.5 star rating and of those three, two of them came from Atletico Madrid on a free so thanks for that! What a steal I got there. One of the players I got, the deal was done two seasons ago but since Argentina had this law now allowing under 18 players to leave, he could only join us in 2020. He had a better rating than the Spanish lad but I didn’t think I could give him first team football so I loaned him out. And guess what? In 31 game for Fiorentina, he’s scored 25 goals. He’ll slot into my team perfectly next season.

Also, the Newcastle academy were starting to produce some real potential stars. For two seasons in a row, we got a 4 star player from our academy, and the best we had before that was just a 3 star lad who now only has a 2 star rating. We even got a Singaporean guy with a 1.5 star rating. Before him, I had 3 Singaporeans, all with only 0.5 star rating. Since I’m a Singaporean manager, there will be the rare Singaporean making it into the academy team with an added English nationality haha! No need for work permits there. Hopefully we can find the next Alan Shearer. Or in this case, Jadan Mullin. Speaking of the devil, this is the fella as of right now, a legend for me already and he’s only 22:

Mullin Legend

As of right now (the game is in April 8th 2021), we’ve got six more games to go in the English Premier League and yes, we’ve found our way to the top again. We’re leading Manchester City by two points, but that could change with Manchester United a game behind and two points behind them. Tottenham in 4th are 8 points behind so really, it’s a battle of the Northern teams, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Manchester City. We’ve also got Champions League action to look forward to. Yes, it’s the quarter finals but guess what? We’re leading in the first leg over Manchester City, and we beat them 1-0 at their home game. Can we finally make it to the semi-finals? As for the FA Cup, we didn’t even make the quarter finals, knocked out by Manchester United in the 5th round. Six games left in the English league in our hopes for a sixth English league championship in my reign.  The matches we’ve got:

Vs Norwich (H)

Vs West Ham (A)

Vs Cardiff (H)

Vs Arsenal (A)

Vs Manchester City (H)

Vs West Brom (A)

And my team as of right now:

NUFC Season 8 Tactic

Both the Manchester teams have got a similar run-in to the final matches. The second last game will surely decide the league. So that’s the story of my run as Newcastle United manager. I’ve really enjoyed this current game and heck, I had planned to do 10 years with the team before possibly trying my luck as the England national team manager but I might stay on to see how my new generation does. That, or maybe I should try my hand in another top league in Germany or Italy. But for right now, I plan to keep winning with Newcastle. I’ve made them one of the biggest teams in the game, so why leave right now?

If you’ve managed to read the whole thing, thank you! I’m sorry I wasted maybe 5-10 of your life reading about my game but yeah, that’s how free I am these days. I really got nothing to do right now!

Gran Turismo 6: Asia Exclusive 15th Anniversary Edition – What do you get?

I have to say, Gran Turismo 6 is better than I expected it to be. I initially thought it would be similar to Gran Turismo 5. It looks pretty much the same graphics wise. Everything else feels a bit different.

If you’re not into reading and prefer watching a video, here’s my video on youtube on just about the same thing:

It’s a great game so do yourself a favour if you’re into racing games and just get it. I was always going to get it, but this time, I got the 15th anniversary edition. I didn’t buy the special edition for GT5 when it came out, so why not for GT6? It’s $40 extra but it sure is worth it. I’m a bit surprised that it’s on the PlayStation 3 with the PlayStation 4 just released. We might still get GT6 on the PS4, but it may be the same thing.

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One of the reasons why I wanted the collectors’ edition for GT5 was to get the Nissan GT-R diecast model. For the 15th anniversary edition, you’ll get the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 N21 2013 car with the speical GT6 15th anniversary livery in that awesome blue colour with the 15 on it down the middle. That’s my first non-F1 car in a 1:43 scale diecast, maybe that’s the first of a new collection haha.

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If you’re not getting the special edition, you’ll get the game and the B-Spec book (well, that’s what I see so for others it might just be the game). The game is the game so nothing to add there haha. The book is good, really enjoy reading about it. You’ll get these two no matter which one you’re buying.

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One of the pictures I forgot to take was the paper about the things you’d get from the special edition DLC when you type in the redeem codes. You’ll get 20 cars with the 15th anniversary blue livery, one millions credit in you starting balance and a special 15th anniversary livery helmet and racing suit to your collection of helmets and suits. These 20 cars should be the same no matter which part of the world you get these from.

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Alpine – A110 1600S ’72 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Audi – quattro S1 Rally Car ’86 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Audi – R18 TDI ’11 – 15th Anniversary Special

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BMW – Z8 ’01 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Chevrolet – Corvette Coupe (C2) ’63 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Cizeta – V16T ’94 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Ford – Focus ST ’13 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Ford – GT40 Mark I ’66 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Ford – Shelby GT500 ’13 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Honda – HSV-010 GT ’11 – 15th Anniversary Special

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KTM – X-Bow R ’12 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Lancia – Stratos ’73 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Lexus – IS F Racing Concept ’08 – 15th Anniversary SpecialImage

Lotus – Europa S.2 ’68 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Mercedes-Benz – SLS AMG GT3 ’11 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Pagani – Huayra ’13 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Renault Sport – Megane Trophy ’11 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Shelby – Cobra Daytona Coupe ’64 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Toyota – 86 GT ’12 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Volkswagen – Scirocco GT24 ’08 – 15th Anniversary Special

Then there’s the bonus three extra for the Asian edition (some have extras too I think). For the Asian editions, you’ll get another code to download these three cars:

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Chevrolet – Corvette Stingray (C7) ’14 – 15th Anniversary Special

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SRT – Viper GTS ’13 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Telsa Motors – Model S Singnature Performance ’12 – 15th Anniversary Special

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Yes, it’s a 3-D card with the three cars. The code will be on the black sheet of paper behind it. So if you can get this 15th anniversary edition, go get it! It’s worth the extra money in my view. The one thing I like about the game is that the racing isn’t the only fun thing to do, you can take pictures of the car as if you’re taking it from a DSLR camera or something. Racing and taking pictures of cars, two of my favourite things to do!