When creativity meet intellect

Daniel Lim

The pandemic has caused quite an impact on the daily lives of people across the world.

But when it comes to hobbies, most are not deterred by the disruptions.

This is especially true for local trading card game (TCG) players, who continue to enjoy their favourite pastime, especially since the release of Flesh and Bood in the first year of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Launched in October 2019, Flesh and Blood is a TCG-designed in Auckland, New Zealand.

Unlike other TCGs, where the focus is on building decks with units, creatures or monsters that synergise with each other, Flesh and Blood focusses on a singular hero unit, with the deck building experience and game-flow revolving around the move-set that the hero can use.

Flesh and Blood is a one-on-one arena fighting game as each card represents a combat or move that is traded between each players.

Over the past few days, I was able to survey how the game of Flesh and Blood has grown within the local TCG community.

Flesh and Blood is a one-on-one arena fighting game as each card represents a combat or move that is traded between each players. PHOTO: NZ HERALD
Unlike other trading card games, ‘Flesh and Blood’ focusses on a singular hero unit, with the deck building experience and game-flow revolving around the move-set that the hero can use. PHOTO: DEN OF GEEK

Frederick Wong said his friends were the ones who introduced him to the game.

“I find Flesh and Blood interesting. Every day you learn something new,” he said. “The best part is the friendly community you find yourself in.”

Meanwhile, avid TCG player Hazazi Latif learnt about Flesh and Blood through write-ups and his interested was piqued as the game provides an intellectual challenge and rewards creativity.

“Also, being involved in the community cemented my love for the game,” he added.

On how the community has fared during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wong said the online platform allows the community to keep their hobby going.

“We have a chat group and a system where if someone wants to acquire or trade cards, we just drop it off at a local game store for the person to pick up later,” he said.

Last year, Wong said, games were mostly held online, either through Discord, an online forum platform or TableTop Simulator, which simulates the game being played in person.

Hazazi also shared his experience playing TCG online: “We use mostly webcam games online through the Discord where you point your web camera towards your playmat and treat it as if your opponent is in front of you.

“It was definitely more fun playing face-to-face,” he added, as webcam games are usually subject to the quality of connectivity.

Despite the limitations, Hazazi was bemused by how quickly the community grew to embrace the new norm.

“The online spaces are open to the international community, so there was a lot of discussions and exchange of viewpoints,” he said.

With the Sultanate slowly emerging from the pandemic, many members are experiencing bittersweet moments due to the rapport they have built in the past year as a result of the challenging times.

“I will definitely miss watching other people’s live games through Discord. Yet I’m excited to meet up with my friends!” said Wong.

Hazazi shared the sentiment, admitting that he will miss being able to hang out any time of the day due to the movement control.

Nonetheless, he said, “I am excited to see my friends again, and chat about Flesh and Blood with them in person.”