So this year was the first time I have been to Stahleck Tourney, in fact the first time I've been out of the UK for a tournament, and I can honestly say I'm hooked! The build up, the journey, the atmosphere, everything was brilliant. I learned a lot about the rules which I thought I had inside and out, I learned a lot about deck building, I learned not to trust any one in melee the list goes on….
The Main Event: My standings were terrible, which I can't say I'm surprised at, over all in melee I came in 54th. I was bottom of the table round 1 vs Lannister Maesters, Baratheon "Knights" and Lannister. 2nd (out of 3) round 2 vs Lannister and Martell, and joint 2nd round 3 vs Martell, Greyjoy and Lannister. Each of the games were close but none of them have put me of playing Lannister "White Book"
In joust I feel like my Martell build really let me down but the wise words of a Spaniard has set me straight, although too late for this event I'll be ready for next time (I hope). I didn't come last in my group but lets just say I may as well have
The Side Events: While at Stahleck we had decided to join in with two of the side events, Driver not the Car and 2v2, I was really looking forward to both these events however both suffered from one problem, a lack of organisation, Driver not the Car had too many people (44 I think) and it proved too much to handle when each round was worked out with pen and paper, I'll give the TO his due he stuck at it and it was a fun event but it took a long, long time, and I don't think everyone was clear on how to fill out the match report sheets (I know for a fact my "car" lost all it's games yet the sheet said otherwise?). It was great to see a variety of decks and some games had people in stitches so it wouldn't stop me playing again.
2v2 was awful, while I didn't realise it wasn't a melee format according to the rule book I feel using the titles would be the better option, yes it might take longer to play (unless you set a time limit and stick to it "grumble grumble"), but the titles would add that element of strategy and cooperation missing from the event where discussing plot cards was as close as you got. Add to this disappointment the fact the judge/TO hadn't given himself enough time to even run the event and left for his train asking if anyone would finish off for him. I was shocked, yes he was a volunteer (I assume), and was provided with an event kit by the main organiser (again, I assume), but why volunteer if you know you can't finish the event? Anyway, after he left I counted up the scores and handed out the prizes as fairly as possible (mostly on the roll of a dice where ties were concerned) and everyone seemed happy.
The Final Night: After all the "seriousness" of tourney time was over those of us who stayed for the final night got to the business of playing crazy games, making friends and drinking beers; this more than anything has sealed my fate as an event tourist, I don't care if I ever become a champion; meeting like minded people having fun and playing the game we love is enough for me. Many thanks must go to Wolfgang and his event crew, it was a boss event and I can't wait till next year!