in the set? - rarity, distribution by faction, and obligatory statistics
Nitpicker's Guide - errors big, small, and ludicrously small
Storyline summary - the story behind this set, summarized in a couple of paragraphs
Card list or Deck list - opens in new window
Etc - whatever's left, random thoughts and comments, sometimes my opinions on this set or cards in it, and/or the State of Shadowfist at the time of this expansion
10,000 Bullets is a starter-only set released by Z-Man Games in December 2002. It replaced the out-of-print Year of the Dragon set. It contains 167 cards distributed among eight fixed, pre-tuned 50-card starter decks (multiples of some cards appear in each deck). All cards are black-bordered with a set of seven bullets in the upper right corner. A colored faction symbol is superimposed on top of the bullets so you can tell which deck each card belongs in. Each display box contains 1 deck for each faction, for a total of 8 decks.
Like Year of the Dragon, these decks are intended for beginning and intermediate players, especially those who do not have any of the Daedalus-edition cards.
There is no true rarity in this set, as each deck is fixed. Most of the cards are reprints from earlier Daedalus and Z-Man editions. The starters contain 4-6 cards that were previously printed as Rare cards, including favorites like Ting Ting and Fox Pass. The decks also include some of the cards that appeared only in Year of the Dragon, like The Iron Monkey and Nine Dragon Temple. 34 new cards appear in this set, and 5 others are upgrades (play as printed) with new artwork.
Each deck contains several new feng shui sites. Every deck has one Fireworks Factory and one Nightclub. The other new feng shui sites don't appear in every deck, although you'll get at least one more. And every deck contains at least two cards that are not available anywhere else. You can find the new cards in:
The upgraded (play as printed) cards with new art are in:
The secret display box message is: "Okay, okay, so there's not really 10,000 bullets on the box. There's only 1746. 1751 if you count the word bullet. Make that 1752. I know. I counted them. Twice. Now I need glasses." I didn't see any messages inside the starter boxes.
Here's the breakdown by faction and by card type. The table on the left shows the overall breakdown (for new players), the table on the right shows the breakdown of the new cards only (for not new players). Apologies for the formatting of the table, but it's much smaller to plop an image in than write a table in HTML. Eventually I'll try out the CSS thing and redo all my tables...
Looking at this graphically may or may not help you, but I like it. Click either graph to see a larger version in a new window. These plots include errata and reprints.
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The 10,000 Bullets story was written by David Eber in early 2003 and posted on the Shadowfist website [shadowfist.com, 19 Feb 2008]. It's a "MacGuffin hunt," where everybody is chasing after some important object (in this case, The Legacy) and kicking butt along the way in three major battles.
The Purists send Kallisti to locate and grab The Legacy, a powerful magical artifact from the Four Monarch's previous reality, that's now somewhere in modern day Hong Kong. In true Shadowfist form, the other factions find out about it, and mayhem ensues.
In the first battle, Tommy Hsu and Big Brother Tsien lead the Lotus goons to a warehouse, expecting to ambush the Purist agent. But Kallisti manipulated Tommy's divination, and duped the other factions to show up as well. A big firefight starts between the Lotus and the Buro troops, but that's complicated by the arrival of the CDCA abominations, the Jammers, and the Dragons. Magog goes up against Furious George, and Johnny Tso squares off against Tsien. [Johnny has a major grudge against Tsien; we know from the Operation Killdeer story that the Poison Thorns killed Johnny's folks] The Dragons capture Tommy Hsu. After surveying the mess, Kallisti heads to the Hong Kong Museum of History where she expects to find information about the location of the Legacy. Captain Liu arrives to clean up, and lets his Ascended bosses know that something big is going on.
At the museum, Lord Shi and Lord Hawskmoor show up in the right place with the Monarchs contingent, but they're stymied by the Guiding Hand led by Shi Ho Kuai and Derek Han. The Hand are the custodians of the artifact, and aren't about to let anyone steal it. Kallisti makes a dash for the scroll with the information she needs, but she's stopped by Bleys Fontaine as the Ascended get directly involved. The Dragons show up after "convincing" Tommy Hsu to spill his guts. There's a series of running battles like a square dance where adversaries pair off, beat each other up and then get new "partners" just before adminstering the final blow. But there is some permanent damage: Lord Shi cuts off Kallisti's hand, and Steven Wu wounds Phillipe Benoit and kills (?) Rachel McShane. In the end, Tricia manages to grab the scroll. And Tommy Hsu gets in a car accident.
The Dragons figure out that the Legacy is guarded at the Temple of Celestial Mercy, so they head over to deliver a warning. Of course, everyone follows them, and there's another running battle in the Temple. Kallisti invokes the Father of Chaos who proceeds to demolish the Temple, sucking in Phillipe along the way. Johnny unloads his shotgun into Tsien, knocking him into the FoC as well. Lord Shi manages to grab the Legacy, but gets hit by lightning from the FoC and disappears. Everybody runs at that point :)
Kallisti then travels to the ancient China juncture, and steals the Legacy from the Temple of Celestial Mercy, paradox be darned.
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10,000 Bullets replaced Year of the Dragon as the starter set for Shadowfist. Both are sold through and very hard to find. Individual starters sometimes show up on eBay, but not regularly, and none of the distributors have any left in stock.
Should you hunt for Year of the Dragon starters, or try for 10,000 Bullets? That depends on what you're looking for in a deck. The 10kB decks have a much stronger theme / flavor than YotD, but the general consensus seems to be that they are a bit weaker than their YotD counterparts. On the other hand, if you are interested in Monarchs, Jammers, or Purists, then you don't have a choice since those factions did not appear as decks in YotD. The Purist starter is probably the single best way to get started with a Purist deck, rather than buying lots of Dark Future packs to get foundations :) The 10kB rulebook is a lot smaller (most of the "reference" section of the YotD rulebook was cut) and may be less intimidating for new players. For new players, it doesn't really matter which one you get (support your local store is probably the best answer; whichever is on the shelf :). Veterans should pick and choose depending on the specific cards they are looking for (Iron Monkey still as popular as ever...).
With a few exceptions, the new/upgraded cards are all playable, and a few are good enough that you will consider buying multiple decks to get more copies. Purist and Jammer players will appreciate the new foundation Sites (Paradox Garden and Bomb Factory, respectively) after they get the complaints out of their systems that there is only 1 of each in the deck.[note: these were reprinted in Red Wedding to make them more accessible. yay!] Street Riot should also find its way into a lot of Jammer decks, and Mathemagician will be a popular Purist foundation. On the big hitter front, Steven Wu certainly pays the bills, although some folks have complained that he's just a boring cross between Ting Ting and CHAR. Lord Hawksmoor should pop up in a lot of Monarchs decks; 5 for 8 with Guts and a 2 Power refund when he buys the farm is pretty good.
The new card that appeals to me least is the upgraded SWAT Team, for two reasons. First, the designators don't match the original version, since the original Swat Team used lowercase letters (although it has been errata'ed, this raises the unnecessary situation of errata against a card but also a subsequent play-as-printed version). Second of all, they still aren't good. Tactics is ok, but on a 2-Fighting spud it just doesn't matter much. It would have been nice for them to get an ability related to the SW part of the name, in addition to the T.
The art on the new cards is reasonable. Nothing stands out as fantastic for me, although newcomer-to-Shadowfist David Deen's Bomb Factory is quite good. I also liked Prof Herbert's take on Furious George, but it doesn't beat Richard Kane Ferguson's original.
What does "1
Artifact. 8 Factions." (the slogan on the packaging) mean?
For practical purposes, nothing. It's a reference to the fiction that accompanies the setall the factions are fighting to possess a magical artifact for various (nefarious) purposes. The artifact in the slogan is The Legacy, and it appears in the Monarchs deck. Note that the card concept for The Legacy benefits primarily the Monarchs; there's no in-game reason for any other faction to play or control it... (ok, technically the Lotus could participate with Li Yu, but that's stretching it :)
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