Shadowfist Red Wedding Expansion

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Home > Sets > Red Wedding
[posted 13 Jul 2003, updated 22 Feb 2009; links checked 22 Feb 2009]

What's 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 - 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

What's in Red Wedding?

Shadowfist Red Wedding booster display boxRed Wedding is a booster-only expansion set released by Z-Man Games at GenCon 2003 (August). The set was reprinted in its entirety by Shadowfist Games and released at GenCon 2006 (August). It's a 128-card set that contains 115 new cards, with rarities divided into Common, Uncommon, and Rare. There is one errata card (Police Station) in the original printing of this set, and two in the 2006 reprint (Police Station and Spin Doctoring). The other 12 cards are reprints mainly from Daedalus editions, but also including two of the fixed-rarity sites from 10,000 Bullets. All cards are black-bordered with a sword piercing a heart Red Wedding in the upper right corner. The symbols are color-coded according to rarity: white for rare, grey for uncommon, and black for common. Still not foil.

You can distinguish between the 2003 and 2006 printings by the copyright date at the bottom, I think. I haven't seen all the cards in the reprint, but those I did see had 2006 in the copyright.

This set introduced the Reload mechanic, which allows you to pay some price (usually Power, but not always) to take a card from your smoked pile and put it on top of your deck. It also added more cards that require two different faction resources to play, like "Bring It" and Wedding Gifts; and introduced the first completely factionless event, Uprising, and the first card that gets played into your burned for victory pile, Never Surrender. There's a rules card in the common slot to explain Reload and a few other things, but it occurs half as often as other commons so you won't be swamped with them.

Shadowfist Red Wedding booster packBooster packs contain 10 randomly assorted cards; each display box contains 24 boosters. The wrappers use the same waxy paper as the recent sets, but are now in full color. Previous display boxes used a logo and card art; this box has a full-color illustration done by Roberto Campus specifically as a box cover, and it looks great! Two boxes will give you enough rares to finish the set unless you are very unlucky with duplicates; it seemed to me that within a particular box I got more duplicate rares than on previous sets, but after two boxes I only needed to trade for 3 to finish the set.

Red Wedding




















* one errata card in the original printing. The 2006 reprint adds a second errata card (Spin Doctoring)

The secret display box message (on the bottom) is: "Pssst, make sure you keep Huan Ken away from the booze! You know how mean he gets when he's been drinking!" Huan Ken is the King of the Thunder Pagoda, in case you couldn't read his nametag at the reception :) I didn't see a secret booster wrapper message on the original run, but in the 2006 reprinted run, the booster message is "I can't help it. I always cry at weddings. Especially when there's a bullet in my leg!" (thanks Allen!)

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...

Shadowfist Red Wedding breakdown by faction and type, including reprints and errata   Shadowfist Red Wedding breakdown by faction and type, excluding reprints and errata

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.

  Shadowfist Red Wedding breakdown by factionShadowfist Red Wedding breakdown by card type

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The Nitpicker's Guide: Red Wedding

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Storyline Summary: Red Wedding

The Red Wedding story was written by David Eber to someone else's plotline. It was posted on the Shadowfist website [, 22 Feb 2009] in six episodes at irregular intervals from February to October 2004. The story is woven around entries in Gus Andropolous' journal, with interspersed "live action" sections.

Part 1:

The Queen of the Ice Pagoda is having nightmares about the spirit of her murdered father being in trouble [in the Feng Shui RPG storyline, the four Monarchs conspired to kill their own father. Only the Ice Queen has shown any signs of remorse since then]. She summons the Prof and "invites" her to keep watch on two refugee Architects scientists (Dr. Ngubane and Dr. Damiri), but at the meeting with the Prof she sees Silver Jet and realizes that he is really Jin Sha, her long-lost consort and orders wedding preparations to start. After a quick kiss, Silver Jet remembers everything. The Prof agrees to help the Ice Queen. When introduced to the scientists, Dr. Ngubane recognizes that the Prof is Dr. Anita Dao, former Architect scientist [another reference to the Feng Shui RPG storyline].

Part 2:

Silver Jet a.k.a. Jin Sha learns of the Queen's nightmares about her father's ghost, and offers to help find him (it?). The Ascended learn of the Dragon's efforts and plan to whack them because Rebecca Dupress has figured out that the "insignificant" Dragons are actually foiling a lot of their big plots. Dr. Ngubane reports home to Dr. Boatman in the future about Dr. Dao. Ming I and Li Ting conspire to stop Silver Jet from finding their father's spirit. The Dragons go to Zino the Greek, information broker, to try to get a lead on the ghost, but they are attacked by the Ascended.

Part 3:

The Darkness/Fire forces attack the Ascended forces to allow the Dragons to escape (it's all part of the plan, mu-ha-ha-ha). Zino tells the Dragons they need to talk to Cassandra, a seer. On the way, they run into Reverend Zebediah Paine in the middle of a firefight and help him out. Gus talks his way past the crazy preacher. At Cassandra's cave, they go through a ritual and learn that the Queen's father's ghost is imprisoned in a forest of stone spirals, and right after that, the Darkness/Fire forces led by Chamberlain step in. Chamberlain kills Cassandra and makes the obligatory foreboding threat.

Part 4:

Chamberlain wounds Bei Tairong but the Gunman takes him out, then they mop up the remaining Darkness/Fire forces. The Hand and the Ascended separately plan to crash the Ice Queen's wedding. The Dragons find the forest of stone spirals, and are ambushed by Jueding Shelun who set up the whole thing with the Queen's father's skull to control his ghost as a lure. He summons Ten Thousand Agonies [not named in the story, but he fits the description]. The Dragons take a beating but Rev. Paine shows up to help dispatch the demon. Jueding gets his claws on the Gunman but Silver Jet kills him before he can do any lasting harm.

Part 5:

The Lotus plan to crash the Ice Queen's wedding. Someone hires Two Face (the Jammer band) to do a gig outside the Ice Pavilion on the day of the wedding. Columbia and Laurel Towson of IKTV [Inner Kingdom TV] put on a running commentary during the wedding ceremony. Two Face works up the crowd and then literally crashes the wedding with the obligatory mess. Dr. Ngubane releases an assassin bug. Ninja Six stalks the party, looking for an opportunity to kill Silver Jet. Then Rev. RedGlare enters with an armed horde of followers.

Part 6:

The Gunman tussles with Rev. RedGlare, using Rev's gun and crucifix-shooter [another Feng Shui RPG reference] to take out the assassin bug, Ninja Six, and Rev. RedGlare too. Gus and the Dragons catch the Fire King and Darkness Queen sneaking out, to the room where their father's skull is kept (presumably recovered by the Dragons in part 4). The Ice Queen and Thunder King catch them and humiliate them with a punch bowl. Dr. Ngubane shoots and wounds Bei Tairong, but before he can finish off the Prof, Dr. Damiri shoots him in the back. The Ice Queen casts a sleepy spell to quell the riot. And there you have it.

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Etc: Red Wedding

Red Wedding got a lot of attention when it was released. It had been slightly over a year since Z-Man's last booster expansion, so folks were ready for new cards, and did they ever get new cards. Red Wedding was billed as an intentional bump in the power curve, probably to address previous complaints that Z-Man cards were inferior to the Daedalus-era "standards". There are a lot of good cards in this set, and a few that are over the top.

This set brought us the first real errata to a Z-Man card (I don't count stuff like typos and production mistakes) — Spin Doctoring was taken down a notch when Kevin Lowe posted a deck idea that could completely lock your opponent out of the game. That was followed by a long discussion in the Forum in which others chimed in with even more degenerate ideas. Z-Man eventually issued an errata in December 2003, and Shadowfist Games printed that errata in its 2006 rerun of the set. I'm not aware of anyone who used one of these degenerate decks at a tournament prior to the errata, but the deck concepts were certainly plausible.

Blow Things Up! and Never Surrender also took a lot of heat. Never Surrender makes a lose-to-win deck truly fearsome, and it will certainly see a lot of play in regular decks too because it's so powerful. But the predicted degeneracy of giving the Jammers a more direct way to get rid of Sites (BTU!) hasn't seemed to overwhelm anyone.

That aside, there are tons of other things going on in this set. The new Reload mechanic seems to have launched well and is settling in. There are multiple cards in this set intended to encourage Faceoffs, and several more worthwhile new Faceoff Events too. The net effect is that Faceoff-focused decks have become more viable, but people still aren't clamoring to throw Faceoffs into their regular decks. And several factions got slightly different versions of their old-standby power cards, for example, "Is That All You Got?" for the Dragons is a cheaper Golden Comeback that only works on guys with a printed Fighting of 5 or less (put that together with the new Big Bruiser and you have a solid basis for an annoying return deck). And let's not forget Mad Scientist, the 1-cost Jammer foundation that provides and . Wow.

There's not enough room to go through all the cards that will become deck staples from this set. If you don't already have some, go get some. If you play Shadowfist in tournaments, get used to seeing a lot of these cards, regularly.

Reprints creep back up to about 1/10 in this set, from the low ratio in Boom Chaka Laka. The rare reprints that seem to be included just for story purposes got the most flack—were people really needing to see Reverend RedGlare or his Chapel show up in the rare slot? It magnifies the disappointment of opening those packs when there are so many good new cards in the set that you'd rather get...

Art is pretty good, better overall than most of the other Z-Man sets although there are some stinkers here too. Roberto Campus has done amazing work in this set; it's hard to choose a favorite but I think Mad Scientist hit the mark exactly. On the other hand, Stephen Snyder's work in this set is far, far below his previous stuff (and I'd say is the most disappointing of the set, in no small part because his earlier work was so good). Escher Hotel also seemed like a card with a lot of potential for interesting art that came out "eh."

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