Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Billy Jack!

My adventures at Gencon

Recommended Posts

Pre Tourney Stuff
My meta and I had been busy as of late, and unfortunately, that means playing thrones was a rare occurrence. Lucky for us a new FAQ had been released 2 weeks prior so our laziness in deck construction and play testing working to our advantage. After kicking around a few ideas and playing 5 games, we were ready.

So we head down to beautiful downtown Indianapolis for my first Gencon with a pocketful of dreams. I brought my entire meta (minus my buddy Louie Vent) so I was feeling confident that Mallesh and I would have a strong showing. I had been practicing learning the art of good melee play but I’m afraid I still lack the skill to sit down at the same table with people I know. Hopefully, if I put enough practice I can win this separate but equal event.

Thursday
The warm up event! I had heard about this thing last year. I get a cool AGOT deck of cards for playing which is nice, because I get my butt kicked. I can only watch from afar as my dreams of victory go down the drain. I would like to say it was also nice meeting people from the numerous other metas, and those cheaters from DC. A friend of mine who plays L5R finished up his warm up event around the same time, but couldn’t carry all the prize support he got so I help him bring it to the car.

Friday
Here it is, the event I’ve been waiting for all year. I bring a solid Lannister kneel deck which I hope doesn’t draw too much attention, but alas I finish 2 games: both in third place. I realize that there is still an outside chance I could win the overall title since that doesn’t require me to win either Melee or Joust event so I’m still pretty happy. I’m also pretty pumped to get alternate title cards. Since I come from a meta of 3, so it gets pretty mundane looking at the same old ones. We leave the con a little early to prep for Saturday. After much discussion and drinking we decide to run 2 bad decks that are so bad, they are good.

Saturday
Since I only have 14 hours to game today, I decide to skip some of the big board game demos much to my chagrin. We did get a nice box for participation which works great since I can put my deck of cards and title cards in it, with plenty of room for other stuff. As for the Joust I don’t’ want to go into too much detail here, since I hate Joust but it seems like everyone was right about Maesters ruining the National Championships. The good news is the tournament was the 2nd highest of all time so I can’t wait to see how big the World tournament will be. I’m guessing even larger, maybe even 200. I can’t focus on that now, because I promised my friend last year I’d win for him. He had made it deep into last year’s event, but unfortunately the pin that he won fell between his car seats, never to be seen again. I fail again, but it was fun. There is always next year, I hope.

After the event, we all go out and experiment with alcohol and I find that it is to my liking. I don’t remember what happened after but I was told it got weird, fast. Sorry Rings!

Sunday
We party a lot and everyone needs to time to recover. I show up on Sunday looking to maybe get in some games or play another tournament of some sort. Lucky for us the decks we got on Thursday are meant to play solitaire on Sunday. Overall, a great time for my first Gencon!

I’d like thank all the people I met for the first time this weekend, and express my gratitude for their good mannered play and insight into the game. I’d like to especially thank Ktom who runs this thing every year like a true icon of the community, Also, props to Nate who has been crucial in the growth and guidance of this game. I’d like to thank the other people who make this all possible, not all of whom I talked to, but appreciate their efforts nonetheless.

PS. Don’t take this report too seriously. And DC players have been nothing but nice to me, and I have respect for their ability as great players of this game. They do not cheat. I was kidding. OK? Let us move on.

The Wrap Up:
If you don’t understand, let me shed some light. This report is a joke, nothing more. This is a culmination of the general consensus of the player base I spoke with.

I’m not trying to attack anyone because again, I know this is a thankless job and we must be wary of the entitlement us older players feel about a game we’ve been playing for so long.

But I’d like to ask a few questions going forward:

1.Will worlds be better supported?

Its been talked to death, but we know that worlds will have a smaller turnout. The question is, what makes me want to spend hundreds of dollars to go? I love the community and have nothing but respect for the guys in charge, but to motivate myself go leave my girl right before a major holiday and battle horrible weather I would like to know I can at least get a something nice.

FFG is famous for innovation in design and business models. Can we put some of that power into showing a little love for the players? Custom Deck Boxes, power counters, house cards all of this stuff is great. I would be happy to pay $15 for a world level event if top 16 /8/4/2 would get cool stuff for playing a tournament for 7+ hours.

2.Will rolling FAQs become a thing of the future or will updates be posted 2 weeks prior?

Again, I’m in favor of updates, hopefully at the start of each month so we have a general idea of the environment before we go on a major trip. I also realize emergencies happen, but hopefully not as often.

3. Is it possible to run more events / new formats at large cons?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I only get a chance to play in tournaments twice a year. When I do pony up the cash, I’d like to play in tournaments. I realize the general apathy the player base has for side events, but I can’t help but feel it has something to do with the prizes offered. Gencon had 3 (three) events.

If I had known what I know now, I would have saved $300 and just showed up for Saturday and Sunday. I'd like that to change if possible.

4.Please change overall champ to player of the year.

This won’t happen but I will throw it out there. Lets change this nonsense of a champion who doesn’t have to win either event to someone who consistently does well at a large events.

We have enough now to create a point list: Black Friday, Kubla, Regional Events, Staleck, Gencon and any other event FFG could officially sanction.The highest score perhaps based on top x finishes would win  a chance to create a card. 

And for those who would argue that it favors those of us who spend time and money to show up to more events,  I disagree. I would argue player of the year is measured in more than just wins. They have invested themselves in the game and have gone to extraordinary lengths to support other communities. If they win or do well, they deserve to be rewarded. It is a shame when a bad hand or setup can cost you the game, or if the randomness of melee can decide when a clearly stronger player is denied a championship or accolade.

Adding Melee when by most definitions is not a competitive event to the formula is silly. This year, It was spelled out that working as a team in melee was frowned on and many people joked and shouted "collusion". It made me feel bad for last year's champ and left a bad taste in my mouth; the day had finally come when we had to police perceived shady play. The irony in my mind is that when I speak with die hard melee players, making deals and back stabbing is fine because its just like the books, just not when agreements are made before hand nobody else knows about…..like the books.

Well, I want to thank everyone again, and I don't want this to seem like an attack. I have fun at Gencon and I always am excited to play thrones, thanks all and see you at the next tourney!

Billy Jack
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hilarious.  Loved it.

I 100% agree, ~and won't hide behind fake names lengua.gif

Tons of people spend large amounts of money to come and support your organized play.  99% of them go home with a deck of cards (first released, what, 5 years ago?) and a cardboard box (which has been the 'prize' at the last four events I have been to).  I have consistently seen better support from the organizers from Kubla, the East Coast, Europe.  Really?  Your fans consistently can make better things than a REALLY AWESOME nerd-rage gaming company?  I just can't believe it. 

I have said it before and will say it again - just don't think and copy whatever AEG does (they make Legend of the Five Rings).  Consisently cool prizes, swag, you name it.  I don't mean foils - but alternate art, deck backers, really cool carrying cases and boxes…hell shirts and counters and everything. 

It would be nice to come home from dedicating my weekend and hundreds of dollars with more than memories and a $1 piece of cardboard.  *shrug*

I love the Player of the Year award.  I still think there is problems with *competative* Melee…but I don't think those can be solved to everyone's liking so just call it for what it is.  ~Or even better don't play it (sorry, couldn't resist). 

Again, FFG did a great job of putting on the event this year.  But you can always improve in business…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 "I still lack the skill of sitting down at the same table with people I know." Ain't it the truth. :P

Awesome and hilarious TR, and oddly enough seems pretty accurate. lol It was awesome getting to hang out with you guys, but I didn't get to play either of you, but probably for the best really. Good pro tip about the hookers too btw, I need to remember that!

I tend to agree with FFG really needing to have more incentives to make people travel for thrones. Especially when it's coming to your home field as it were. The play mats this year for the top 8 were cool, so hopefully they have something similar (but not mats hopefully because I really don't see myself using one) at worlds. Whatever happened to giving out product (ie cards) as prize support? I remember winning a draft and getting an entire booster box of Five Kings! Granted, it was a pretty useless box but still.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Staton said:

Whatever happened to giving out product (ie cards) as prize support? 
The LCG format doesn't really lend itself to product as prize support. Does a set of CPs you already have (and know the exact contents of) really make for a good prize? The LCG format also defies the idea of promo cards - since the whole theory behind the format is equal opportunity of access without variation by rarity. People complain that Clash of Kings is sold out - how much will they complain that only the 89 people in the world that showed up to Gencon have access to a particular card?

I agree that FFG seems to be running out of ideas for prize support. (Although, now that they deal in sleeves, I think they should steal the idea from ChiCon and do a set of 7 custom card sleeves for plots; it'd probably be hard to convince them to do full 60-card sets of sleeves as participation prizes.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 @Ktom: Couldn't they at least offer to ship you out one of each chapter pack from the next cycle as its released? At least to the three champs. The extra $30 in shipping wouldn't kill them. Still I suppose it isn't the best solution. I like the idea of sleeves. Maybe they could do a run of champion sleeves. They would be able to do one print run and have enough for at least a few years. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was good to see you again Casey since I missed you at Chicago regionals this year (although I did see you at OH).  I'm glad you enjoyed yourself and it was great getting to talk to you at Champions after the joust.

In terms of melee as a tournament format, I do agree there are some things that should change (i.e. pure swiss) but I will disagree that sitting down with players you know gives you a distinct advantage, in fact I would argue that it presents as many disadvantages as advantages.  Personally I would rather sit down at a melee table and either be an unknown quantity or (even better) be completely underestimated.

Hopefully things work out for you and Mallesh and I'll see the pair of you at worlds!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sigh, Billy I knew I would regret taking you to Gencon this year.


Anyway on a more serious note I wanted to say that I had a great time and I want to thank everyone who put in all the extra effort at no benefit to themselves, to make this Gencon happen. Including the people who plan, organize and buy the after tournament refreshments you are a big part of why I still want to spend hundreds of dollars going to various tournaments when I can. Also a special shout out to the Chileans who came so far for our tournament, I hope you guys had a great time.


That said I do think things can be a bit better in the various things talked about above I'll talk about melee specifically. Like Billy said people like melee because of the deal making and breaking because that's how it is in the books but people don't want that if they can't be around to hear all the deals that are made which is completely unlike the books. I only dislike it is because it affects our joust or overall results. If this didn't affect joust or the overall then I would actually like the rules to go the other way. Why not have a melee that has all kinds of backroom deals happening? If it only affects the melee games I think it would be pretty cool and if people at FFG set it up correctly you could have more community interaction at large events.

Just some thoughts…
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ktom said:

The LCG format also defies the idea of promo cards - since the whole theory behind the format is equal opportunity of access without variation by rarity.

Well, yes and no. Sure, entirely new cards as promo cards are a singularly bad idea. But what about promo versions of existing cards with new artwork? I think that would be utterly cool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ratatoskr said:

 

ktom said:

The LCG format also defies the idea of promo cards - since the whole theory behind the format is equal opportunity of access without variation by rarity.

 

Well, yes and no. Sure, entirely new cards as promo cards are a singularly bad idea. But what about promo versions of existing cards with new artwork? I think that would be utterly cool.

 

 

New artwork and corrected text ;-) !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Staton said:

 @Ktom: Couldn't they at least offer to ship you out one of each chapter pack from the next cycle as its released? At least to the three champs. The extra $30 in shipping wouldn't kill them. Still I suppose it isn't the best solution. I like the idea of sleeves. Maybe they could do a run of champion sleeves. They would be able to do one print run and have enough for at least a few years. 

Staton said:

 @Ktom: Couldn't they at least offer to ship you out one of each chapter pack from the next cycle as its released? At least to the three champs. The extra $30 in shipping wouldn't kill them. Still I suppose it isn't the best solution. I like the idea of sleeves. Maybe they could do a run of champion sleeves. They would be able to do one print run and have enough for at least a few years. 

Also, they used to give FFG bucks out.  Unluckily I still have a bunch I got when that scoundrel Luke beat me in the finals in 2008.  Those were nice, and it isn't like I don't buy a ton of product…and it is priced at retail so FFG's cost is MUCH lower (75% less than face?).  OR they could give away other FFG products to cross-promote their games…even if you don't like them they have value but most of the people are gamers at least somewhat and are looking for an excuse to try something new after a weekend of over-thrones'ing. 

Anyways, cards are good and all but fun unique things really are the target IMHO.  I named a bunch above, and as I said I bet AEG has 25 unique things for prizes on top of all the product they give out.  If you take the last 10 years, FFG actually has done a pretty good job (leather and cardboard deck boxes, various power counters, promo cards, all sorts of cardboard and non-cardboard house cards, etc.)…unluckily the same thing is usually there for 2-3 years, long enough to see 1,000 of them, but then they are gone forever for new players. 

Heck, Mathlete and others have sold a ton of promo stuff for some serious cash. 

Lastly, it would be cool to have an LCG champion - put the main LCG's together for a ranking - aGoT, Warhammer, Netrunner, CoC, Star Wars coming out.  That would be pretty cool as well - a 'FFG LCG PoY' type thing. 

Just throwing stuff out there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rings said:

Lastly, it would be cool to have an LCG champion - put the main LCG's together for a ranking - aGoT, Warhammer, Netrunner, CoC, Star Wars coming out.  That would be pretty cool as well - a 'FFG LCG PoY' type thing. 
I'm not sure I like an "all LCG" ranking system because it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison.

However, I do like the idea of re-making an international ranking system. Personally, where I think that where FFG's original AGoT "player rankings" went awry (back in the early, early CCG days) is that the local NW could effectively enter "sanctioned events" every few weeks, turning casual play against the same 3 friends into ranked matches at the same level as 20+ large, convention events.

If FFG reopened a ranking system that only counted play in  league, regional, national, and world events (probably pro-rated some way since winning a league night is probably not the same as winning a Gencon joust of 89 people), I think that problem would largely be solved. You could also award players rank points by House as well as overall. That way, you could really give the "player of the year" concept some teeth, awarding titles to an "Elite 7" - one PotY for each House, as well as overall (all House points earned by a player combined). And given the spread of regional and national events we saw this year, such a scheme - limited to ranking points awarded through league, regional, national, and world events by some factor - would even have a serious claim to legitimacy for a true "international champ" title.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the idea of the "Elite 7" or what have you.  When talking to Rings this weekend he mentioned to me he was "top pony" at a large event for L5R.  Why FFG doesn't promote the top "house x" player baffles me.  I had a bastard version of that at Da Wolf Pack's January tourney (details on next years forth coming in a couple months-cheap plug!) and I think it gives incentive to try different houses that might not be (real or imagined) as strong.  I guess first,  you would need prize support, then you could do this.  Imagine if the top of each house was to get the next 2 or three chapter packs for free.  What's that cost them $15 total per person.  Heck it might get more than one person to run neutral house at GenCon. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...