Shadowfist Tournament Report: DarkCon 2010
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[posted 4 Oct 2010]
DarkCon 2010 was held in Phoenix, Arizona, on January 14-17, 2010. Multiple Shadowfist events were scheduled by local Silver Band member Paul Tanton. Paul posted a report and deck lists on the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups.
Whirlpool of Blood (multiplayer, draft)
Saturday Final Brawl (multiplayer, constructed)
Arizona State Championships Final Brawl (multiplayer, constructed)
One report for you:
Darkcon 2010 report by Paul Tanton
Originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 21 July 2010 by Paul Tanton. Republished with permission. If you're a member, read the original in the archives.
DarkCon 2010, the triennial local gaming & costuming convention held in the Phoenix metropolitan area, included several Shadowfist demos & tournaments the weekend of Thursday the 14th of January 2010 as I had previously posted to the Shadowfist Yahoo! Group. The convention had a very Jammeresque steampunk theme, which could be found in the decor and hall costumes.
This convention was very demoralizing to me. When I got home, I tossed all of my Shadowfist in the corner and ignored it for months. However, time heals all wounds and to kick off an exciting new time for Shadowfist in Arizona, it's time that I report the fiasco that was DarkCon 2010.
The web site (to this date) never had the gaming schedule on it, so many people I spoke with were not going to go. Phoenix area gamers have been burned many times in the past by so-called gaming conventions which had little in the way of gaming pre-programmed, and few were willing to come on my promises of Shadowfist alone, especially when I didn't even know my own schedule yet. So, the convention was already frustrating before I even showed up.
By the time I showed up to the convention on Thursday, I still did not have my schedule of events, and registration didn't have program books nor badges. The gaming coordinator greenlighted us to start gaming without the badges and program books. Midway through the evening on Thursday, the gaming coordinator brought badges and program books to us in the gaming space, and it was from the program book I discovered my schedule. Apparently, the gaming coordinator was only informed on Wednesday what space he had to schedule all of his events, which delayed printing of the program.
Looking through the program, I discovered that someone rewrote my event descriptions (on which I was neutral) and added an extra constructed tournament (which I decided was a sign that I should offer Who's the Big Man Now?). Luckily, between my own stuff and all of the prizes sent by Daniel, I figured we had plenty to reward winners of the extra tournament.
Gary S. and Tony R. came for a demo, which both enjoyed. Convention demos let them experience TCGs without the expense of investing in the cards, so neither is likely to become a regular player.
Chris, Jason Y., Anthony D., and Rick A. came for demos. Jason actually owns some Daedalus era decks, but needed the demo to refresh himself on the rules. He was happy to hear that the game was alive and well and looked forward to regular play. Anthony also likes to use conventions to learn new games, but he actually seemed interested in further play. Both Chris and Rick were happy to demo the game, but rather non-committal on the idea of playing it again.
The program book only said "Draft" despite my request to indicate that it was Whirlpool of Blood format and the Arizona premiere of the new Empire of Evil set. Players paid $10 for a Standard deck, 2 Standard boosters, 2 Throne War boosters, 2 Netherworld 2: Back Through the Portals boosters, 2 Dark Future boosters, 2 Two-Fisted Tales of the Secret War boosters, 2 Shurikens & Six Guns boosters, 2 Critical Shift boosters, and 2 Empire of Evil boosters. Anthony returned so he could pick up some cards for cheap to begin his collection, and he was joined by Shadowfist regular Mike M. and Shadowfist irregular Billy W. With only four of us in attendance, I opted for a single elimination no time limit format. I won, with Mike and Anthony not far behind. I declined my prizes, but showered the others with promos.
The convention was still sparsely attended even by midday Saturday. Jason Y., Jonathan B., John G., and "Darkstar" came for demos. Jayson's Shadowfist form was coming back, like riding a bicycle. John is a big film buff I see at a lot of film festivals such as the International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival and the Phoenix Film Festival. He was just passing through the game room, but was intrigued when I mentioned the HK action cinema roots of the game. He seemed to have fun, but doubted he would invest in a TCG. "Darkstar" has played in Shadowfist at local conventions before, but wanted to demo to refresh his skills. Jonathan enjoyed the game as well, and was disappointed to discover that there was not a local store carrying it. We may have lost him as a player because of that, but I'd like to hope otherwise.
The 2pm block blended into this block. In fact, I almost missed my dinner break, as our small group really went from 2pm to almost 7pm. After letting people get in some dueling demos, we went into multiplayer demos. John left sometime early, but I can't guarantee it was before 4pm. Jason also tried to convince me to run Shadowfist demos and tournaments for LepreCon 36 in May (for which he was gaming coordinator), but I had to decline due to a work schedule conflict.
The program book only said "Constructed" so I was telling everyone that it would be Who's the Big Man Now? format, and informally the Arizona Dueling Championship (as I hadn't cleared that with the IKG folks beforehand). Anthony and Mike both returned, but Anthony felt that a dueling tournament between his one day of experience versus Mike's years of experience was not worth it and was going to leave. He agreed to stay when I gave up on the format, so Anthony, Mike, and I played a single elimination Final Brawl with no time limit. Mike beat us both, but Anthony and I were not far behind. Mike won a Shadowfist mouse pad and a bunch of promos.
Sunday attendance was almost as bad as Thursday attendance, and the game coordinator told us that we could invite whoever we wanted to attend the convention for free because registration had already shut down. I tried to once again reach out to those not attending, but those few I could reach on a Sunday still wouldn't come. Several people in attendance that were not interested in playing, including former Shadowfist regular Wayne M., were rather impressed by the uncut sheets and plaque offered for the winner.
The program book only said "Championship" despite my request to indicate that it was Final Brawl format. Mike and John both returned, but neither had decks. Then we had two new players show up, Robert M. and Zach Z. They wanted to play, so after a quick run through of the basic rules (they'd rather learn by playing), all four players borrowed my demo decks for this single elimination, no time limit tournament. Mike won again, with Zach in second and Robert in third. Mike didn't want a second Shadowfist mouse pad, which he offered to John who came in last place. John was happy to accept it along with the last place rewards of a new VHS copy of House of Flying Daggers and some promos, making out like a bandit! Zach and Robert were likewise happy with their second and third place promo card winnings, and planned to play again.
Mike kept his plaque, uncut sheets, and promos, but later asked me for scissors. When I refused to help him destroy his prize, he showed contempt for cards he can't use as a prize. I tried explaining the collector value of his prize, but he was deaf to that. I then explained that no one would let him play with marked cards, which handcut cards would most certainly be. He didn't want to hear that, but I think I prevailed upon him to not do so. Hopefully, rather than cutting it up for cards he trades it for cards from someone who would appreciate it.
Over all, I'd say that Shadowfist was as successful as it could be at DarkCon 2010. We had four returning players, including myself, nine new players, and one player reintroduced to the game after over a decade. I don't know that DarkCon saw 100 in attendance, a far cry from the past. With all the prize support from Daniel and IKG, I felt that DarkCon failed to deliver to expectations.
Winning deck build will be posted shortly. [slightly modified 10,000 Bullets Ascended deck - ed.]