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Gencon 2008!
August 19, 2008

 

Wow.  My head is still reeling from the four day gaming orgasm that is Gencon.  This was my second trip to the big dance, and I have to say this year was better than last for completely different reasons.  I am going to try to organize my thoughts here.

 

Gaming

 

            Lets start with the game play.  This is one of the few dark sides of the weekend.  Last year I went 3-1 in the 200pt constructed, 3-4 in the Championship, and had fun in the sealed with several memorable games against people from the Wizo boards like Uliq, Engineer, EMR, and many others.  This year I only played in two events.  The sealed event on Friday, and the 150 constructed on Thursday.  I went 1-3 in both events and cant say I had any good matches in any of them (I mean matches not players, BTW). 

 

Sealed is always a crapshoot, so I really didn’t have any high hopes here as I never draft well.  In the 150 constructed, I was hoping for a decent showing.  My die was crap the whole weekend, and if it was rolling halfway decent, my opponent was rolling lights out high.  I played San/Tyranus LotDS,/Aurra JH.  I won game 1.  Game 2 I felt good as it was based on Boba BH.  I had the good side of the starship hardboard.  He had to advance to me.  He came up and shot at Tyranus and missed both shots.  It was at this time that I felt a tremor in the force.  I knew what was coming.  He moved a Bothan up to give Boba the extra twin, and sure enough – shot 1 hit, shot 2 Disintegration.  Full HP never attacked or used lightning or anything.  I had the MTB, so next round would have been a quick 50 DAM and activating him with Aurra landing 40 more.  Round 3 I played against Luke’s snowspeeder with Hoth Chewie and Leia.  He hit me big early, but I had the following init and used my lightning.  All it had to do was activate the speeder and I won the game.  He made his save and retreated from my waiting Aurra.  I lost.  I don’t remember game 4, but I lost it as well.

 

The only memorable thing I can remember from the gaming side of Gencon was that I had a chance to play Nickname at the end of the sealed.  Other than that it was an utterly forgettable gaming experience.  Let me just reiterate that I am referring to the games only.  The people were fantastic.

 

Judging

 

            I had the pleasure this year of being asked by Moses (Jim Frasier-SWM organizer of the weekend) to help judge this year.  I was honored by the invite.  This was going to be a completely new side to Gencon for me.

 

The first event I judged was the 200pt constructed.  The field was very diverse and there were not a whole lot of patterns.  The one thing that did stand out were the number of disintegrations.  There were at least 5 full HP disintegrations that I heard of.  There were actually few questions and most were pretty simple and just clarifying what they already knew.

 

            The other event I judged was none other than the Championship Jedi Masters event. I was really worried about this event.  I thought for sure we would be lucky to get 50ish people.  We had a whopping 75 people enter the event.  Subtract the big money from last year, the mangled mess that wizards made by delaying their attendance announcement, and the fact they are calling the PAX tourney the championship cost us a whole 15 people from last year.  The popular build this year was rebel based around either Han cannon or Boba BH/Bothans.  I walked the tables and counted up 23 Boba BHs being run.  The NR was next with only 13 entries and only 3-4 San Hill builds being run by only very experienced players.  People wanted rebels competitive; well they have their wish.  The big surprise was the number of people running Luke’s Snowspeeder.  It was in the high teens and seemed to always be half the field once we got past the first few rounds, including 2 of the final 4 and the final Champion.  Nebraska’s own Matt Hanson proved the quality of a proper Loda build.  He lost first round of the quarterfinals to the champion by only 2 pts.

            The only problem that kept recurring was the whole Dodonna/activations question.  That wasn’t fun to deal with.  On a normal tourney it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but being the Masters and a large event I had to enforce this one.  It was seldom clear, but i had to keep them to one activation.  One game turned this into a mess, but oh well.  I finally had to make a blanket ruling as to how it was going to work just to try and get some uniformity.

            All in all it was a quality experience.  We only had one or two tough situations come up, one in particular, but it was handled and all parties moved on.

 

People

 

This may be a weird heading but it is what truly makes our gaming community the best in all of gaming.  Fun was had by everyone involved.  Several people complimented my and the other judges on how well things were handled.  I heard players talking about how much fun they had playing other players and meeting new people, and being able to put faces and REAL personalities to people from the Wizards boards.

I have to send a major kudo’s to Moses (Jim “the Godfather” Frasier), not only for the chance to be a judge at a major event like Gencon, but also for the quality event that he runs.  The only thing that people were upset with was something he had nothing to do with and was told about an hour before it started (league that I will get to in a minute).  It is easy to run a quality event when its being led by a quality guy like Jim, and I know every last person that knows him agrees with me.

I also had the chance to meet up with, hang out with and get reacquainted with several of the guys form the boards and last year – Aaron, Dennis, Ben, Dean and his son (who they are still trying to drag out of Hooters), Ray, Lou, Bill, multiple James and Matts, among a multitude of others whose names I have no hopes of remembering or time to list.  I went to lunch with some, saw Clone Wars a few blocks away and so on.

Enough cannot be said about this community.

 

Team Nebraska

 

            Team Nebraska had a very good showing this year.  We had four from Lincoln, I think five from Omaha, and the Hothies.  Some of us took poundings, but over all made a good showing of ourselves.  Blutooth/WXJedi took a pounding most of the weekend and then went 4-0 in the sealed.  Lady Hothie managed to clean some clocks in the 100pt constructed (I think).  We had 3 people that were 3-1 after the first four rounds of the Masters, but then they all took a hard loss in round 5 and two of them faced each other in the final two rounds, reducing their chance at finishing higher as a team.  Matt Hanson also won the Ironman-style Jedi challenge by finishing the highest in the 100/150/200 constructed formats.  I know we also had other finishes in the tops of the individual events with 3-1s, but I don’t know who did what.

 

Disappointments

 

These were few and relatively minor in nature.

            First off, I would have to say that the Hothies not getting into the costume contest really sucked.  They had around four different outfits that they wore throughout the weekend, and all were very well done.  By themselves they may or may not have won, don’t know what they were up against, but together they were awesome and would have had a very strong showing.  Unfortunately, all of their great Star Wars costumes were over shadowed by Lady Hothie and her Joker/Nurse costume from the Dark Knight movie.  That was hilarious!

            This is the one big gripe I know many had and that was league play.  From Jim on down, we had a meeting Wed night that was fun, but nothing was said.  An hour before we got going, Jim was told we would follow D&D’s shoes and have to play three games to get a figure and could only get one figure an hour.  Since new figures were watered down with Legacy, it made it very hard to get KOTOR figures.  An unexpected consequence was also that with some people getting four rolls off of one card, R/VRs moved fast.  If this is the way it goes next year I will probably opt out of doing league.  As is, Darth Ted and Jonathan did a great job running the League booth.

            I was really hoping to get to preview the WoW minis game, but it was too hard to get into so I didn’t try.

            The funny thing is that only where star wars is involved could you find a line a mile long for an aging, 7’4”, British actor (Peter Mahew) that is on the lower end of the attraction scale, and right next to him two very hot ladies (both WWE girls I think) with no one in line.  They didn’t look happy.

           

Once again this was an awesome experience from the top down.  I highly encourage anyone that ever has a chance to attend to come.  It is a great time surrounded by great people.  I guess my parting thought would be:  Screw PAX and screw whoever changed the venue, but Gencon has been and always will be

 

THE CHAMPIONSHIP

OF

STAR WARS MINIATURES!

 

 

 


 


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