Shadowfist Tournament Report: GenCon 2005

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Home > Tournaments > Reports > GenCon 2005
[posted 23 Aug 2005; updated 8 Jan 2008]

Z-Man ran a bunch of tournaments at GenCon 2005. Several folks posted incomplete winners' lists to the Shadowfist Forum; here is what I have pieced together so far:

"World Championship" Final Brawl (multiplayer, constructed): Joshua Kronengold [decklist]
Who's the Big Man Now? (dueling, constructed): Allen Hege [decklist]

Whirlpool of Blood (sealed, drafting):


Comrades in Arms (multiplayer, constructed, theme deck):

Joshua Kronengold [decklist]

One Hundred Names (multiplayer, constructed, 1 each):

Allen Hege [decklist]

Both Guns Blazing (speed dueling, constructed): Joshua Kronengold: most wins
Larry Bartels and Kem Lempicki: best ratio
Matt Wolff: most games
Who Wants Some? (sealed, convention-long): Earl Miles

Zev and the Ting Ting cakeApparently neither of the 2005 National Champs nor last year's defending world champion made it to the con, but it sounds like a great con was had by all anyway. Z-Man had a 10th anniversary birthday party for Shadowfist, complete with a Ting Ting-shaped cake. Woo!

Two reports so far and a bunch of photos. Please send in deck lists, reports or photos if you were there!

GenCon 2005 report by Earl Miles. Originally (and still) posted on Earl's LiveJournal site.

World Championship Final play-by-play by Matt Wolff

Photos! from Lynette Miles. There were more photos on but apparently they were dumped when the website was redesigned in 2006. Sorry!

Another report and more photos on David Eber's blog at Livejournal [13 Mar 2007].

Earl's 2005 GenCon Report
by Earl Miles, 24 Aug 2005

Originally posted to Earl's LiveJournal on 24 Aug 2005. Republished with permission.

This is the first year I've made the trip to GenCon, and only the third year I've been to cons at all. I've come to really appreciate and enjoy the con scene, because it's allowed me to meet so many people that I've really felt richer for knowing. Even though I may only interact with a lot of these people once (or twice) a year, I'm extremely glad that I have that window.

Wednesday, Aug 17

My wife Lynette and I were up awfully early in order to be at the airport at 7am. Usually the cons I travel to are relatively close, but Indy is a long ways away, and flights from the SF area to Indy appear to all be "Teh Suck", in that reasonable airfare comes at a price. The price? For $275 (per ticket) r/t I was able to fly one stop. That stop: Atlanta.

Seriously, Atlanta, during hurricane season? Sure, it didn't happen this time, but August is a great month for shutting down parts of the east coast while a living metaphor for some supreme deity ravages the lives of those who have built their homes in the south east. Hurricanes and airplanes don't get along.

No, no, I chose not to go to Atlanta. For $175 (per ticket) r/t I was able to get a flight to Chicago. Chicago, I say to myself, isn't that far from Indy. Of course, what I didn't know, and I now know, is that traffic in Chicago is "Teh Suck".

But before I get to that, let me say that Hertz has great counter service. My last car rental was from Dollar, and holy crap the few bucks I saved by going through them wasn't worth it. The car was crappy. The service was crappy. The car was crappy. Did I say I hated the car? Dollar didn't even have the car I wanted and tried to give me a mini-van. I hate big vehicles. To them, a mini-van is an upgrade because they ordinarily charge you through the nose for it. I don't care about that, they may charge more for it but I still don't want to drive one. When I raised a fuss about the car I reserved not being in, they mysteriously found the car, probably to shut me up.

But not Hertz. It's true, they didn't have the car I wanted in, but the sheet said "or equivalent" and the equivalent wasn't really what I wanted. So they let me have the convertible for only $50 more. Given my AAA discount basically covered that, it came out being about the same as I'd planned to pay--which was just about $200, including a tank of gas, for a convertible Mustang for a week. A top I never actually took down. I think I would have, but Lynette, whose hair is very, very long and prone to tangling, wasn't prepared for such a thing.

Now, I don't ordinarily care that much what the car I drive is, as long as it isn't actively crappy, but I planned to drive from Chicago to Indianapolis and I wanted the ride not to suck. A Mustang definitely didn't suck. Not a fantastic car, to be honest, but when I hit the gas it really moves, and it really felt nice travelling 80 down the freeway.

Of course, that didn't happen until I'd spent an hour and a half in the crucible known as I-294, trying to leave Chicago. Ok, enough complaining about Chicago traffic. Yes, it sucked.

I made it to Indy about 30 minutes late, and decided we needed to check into the hotel before going to the restaurant. That was convenient because the hotel was right BY the restaurant, so really it was easy to park there and walk over. Of course, parking was an extra $20/day that I'd failed to account for in my pricing. Oh well.

We ended up at the restaurant about an hour late, and met Zev, Paul, Allen, Josh, Dave, Julian, Gordon and John. There may've been another person there. Not sure. We were an hour late and _they still had not gotten their food_. It was a busy, busy night there. Also, they didn't have enough chairs for us, so I sat kind of uncomfortably for awhile.

Zev had two sirloin steaks. He put ketchup on them.*

We tried to play some 'Fist in the convention center food court, but they kicked us out. Apparently the night before Gencon isn't part of their 24 hour service. So Allen, Paul and I got in a game in the Mariott lobby before we called it a night.

* Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Thursday, Aug 18

The next day was bright and early. I failed to sleep more than a couple of hours. It's a little like the day before finals; I didn't really know what to expect. I mean, this is GenCon. My experiences were KublaCon. I'm particularly sensitive to very large crowds and I have to be somewhat careful when in crowded areas, or I'll become grumpy and want to kill everybody, and so I was a bit anxious. Also, the hotel elevator was loud, and the hotel a/c was either off and it was hot, or it was on and it was COLD. There seemed to be not much inbetween.

Still, it was no trouble getting up. We set the alarm earlier than we really needed to, had the hotel buffet breakfast which was vastly overpriced but at least decent quality food, and we hung out with Julian until the con floor opened up.

Z-Man had an island booth this time around, which it shared with Comic Images. This meant that they had a nice corner space for displaying stuff, and the other corner was devoted to demoing new games. Z-Man has been busy on the games front, too, and has several new offerings and I really enjoyed the board games (in fact I brought many of them home) they had to offer.

Lynette and I both had early booth shifts. To be fair, I think I was scheduled for about 6 hours of working the booth, but I never really actually worked the booth. I did spend some time at the booth, but there was rarely anything I actually had to do. I did work the movie room for a couple of hours (having swapped shifts with, um, Greg or Steve, I actually forget who now) but once that was done, my obligations were purely to judge a couple of tournaments. Lynette, on the other hand, spent a lot of time in the booth and enjoyed it very much. This is just as well. I'm a poor salesman and I'm not really the person you want pitching a product to people walking by.

There was some time spent walking around the exhibit hall, and I got in a few Who Wants Some? games with Dave Eber. My Who Wants Some? deck didn't get any particularly good cards, but it had a couple of good draws. My rares from the Daedalus starter? Nine Cuts. The temptation to deck him was strong, but not as strong as the temptation to find a place to burn him. In the end he just got put away. Despite it not seeming terribly strong, only Jim Pai and, hmm, one other person managed to beat it. And Jim didn't play nearly as much as I did (apparently no one did -- in the end I turned in 14 cards and very few other people turned in any).

I think during the day Julian ran Both Guns Blazing. As I don't like dueling, I skipped it.

That night I ran the Comrades in Arms. Because I left the sheets with Zev and it happened on Thursday, I don't actually remember who won. The list says Josh won, and sure, I'll go with that. I do remember that there were 18 players. I was still having trouble remembering anyone's name at that point, except for Dave, Josh and Julian, whom I'd seen in photos enough to recognize pretty quickly. Due to drops we switched from 3 player games to 4 player games for the 3rd round. Now, I'd thought I'd polled everyone, but at least one person was not part of that poll, and I apologize profusely to Larry for switching on him unexpectedly.

The final round ended up a four player game, I think.

I was pretty much exhausted when it was all over, and I went back to the hotel and crashed.

Friday, Aug 19

Interesting phenomena: The first day felt like 3 days compressed into one. Whereas Friday seemed extremely short. Part of this was because the Whirlpool of Blood started fairly early and went 7 hours. By the time I was done with that much of the day was already gone. I thought I'd put together a good deck, and exactly like I was wrong about my Whirlpool deck, I was wrong about my draft deck. I had one portal-jockey + explosives start that was literally explosive (5 round win) but after that I couldn't win a thing. The best I could do was come out strong and get pounded with no ability to come back. I didn't have enough mid-sized characters and only 1 or 2 decent sized characters; most of the decks I was up against seemed to get a much better spread of characters, and using draft pods meant that resources were much less of an issue than in other drafts I've been in.

I think the evening game there was Who's the Big Man Now?, which I skipped. After a little tooling around, we actually went back to the room and, exhausted, called it a relatively early night. It's during this period that I managed to edit a short story I wrote on the plane, and posted it to my writing blog.

Saturday, Aug 20

Saturday was the Final Brawl. It was a pretty good sized event. I played my mono-faction purist deck which featured Dr. Celeste Carter as well as Void and lots of Mutators. It won its first game and I came out of the gate with confidence, but after that I couldn't muster the punch-through to win, and I kept getting hammered down. Sometimes I felt like a target magnet. The last game timed out, and I was getting pretty grumpy by the end of it. As I mentioned, the tourney had gone on 7 hours by that point, and the slow play was not sitting well with me. The final round was still going when the 100 Names started. I think that game took just about 3 hours. I do remember Josh winning that one, and it's probably because of the Cake.

I forgot to mention that part way through the Brawl, Zev came down with a Ting Ting cake. Josh very carefully waited for the piece with Ting Ting's face, and took that one. By eating Ting Ting, he gained her fu! He did exceptionally well.

Also, Robin Laws came by, as did Glen Osterberger, and Patrick McEvoy (but he was sadly late for cake).

The final tournament of the convention was the 100 Names. We managed 3 players: Allen, Jim Pai and Ben. Ahh yes. I told them to play until someone won twice. That someone was Allen. Meanwhile, I got more friendly games in. And some Who Wants Some, of course.

Sunday, Aug 21

Sunday was a fairly quiet day. I got some friendly play in with Allen and Ben, before they took off in their respective directions. Lynette and I hung out at the booth a bit, and helped Zev, Paul and Steve tear down when it was time to go. We had dinner at Shula's (mmmmm, steak; I actually ate there twice. Eeeeexpensive but enh, what the heck). Then the four of us played Geshenkt for a couple of hours, and then we moseyed back to the hotel. We packed.

Interestingly, we had planned to hit Penzey's on Sunday; we have no Penzey's out here, and they have great stuff. Sadly, they were closed on Sunday, so we didn't go. So we got up early on Monday and drove back up to Chicago. Traffic was much lighter than anticipated, and we had an hour and a half to kill. And what do we find? There's a Penzey's in Naperville.

Even more ironically, we ended up driving by the Lucent facility out there. Lynette's been to that facility for some training course. Ahh, coincidence.

The flight back was unfortunately long, and crowded. We were sitting in front of a 10ish year old kid who wasn't exactly a screaming brat, but he had a lot of energy and no outlet for it, so he was kind of obnoxious. His parents were trying, but it didn't work all that well. I dozed. It really got under Lynette's skin, though. we're home. We have some pictures (they're up on my website but for bandwidth reasons I'm going to wait until Stefan posts them; he has them as well).

Beyond the Con

Overall: I had a lot of fun. I didn't have a lot of sleep. This is ok. It seems likely we'll go again next year. There is some talk of Lynette going as Ting Ting on the costume day, for lo, she has the hair to do it. I think that would kick a lot of ass. Dave commented that if we do that, he'll dress as the Nemesis. Since it'll be the first Gencon post Critical Shift, I think it'd be a great way to bring some attention to Shadowfist. In fact, I expect near year's GenCon will be very big for the game! I hope so, anyway!

Now I'm looking toward GenCon SoCal again, and am already working on plans, plots and nefarious devices. I hope to see people there!

Addendum: The Luggage Incident (and not at the airport!)

I forgot to mention, and thus I'm adding this part in: At GenCon, I'd been given several orders of things to pick up for various people. One of them was a WOTC limited edition Dungeons & Dragons tote bag. I figured it wouldn't be too much trouble, so I stopped at the WOTC booth early, fearing the limited edition part meant they'd sell out fast. (I later found they did not. More on that later.) As I was handed the tote, I inspected it, and immediately came to the conclusion it would be expensive. The material was thick and unyielding. All of the joints were well reinforced, and it was rivited properly and well--similar to a bag we have in our luggage that is of absolutely superb quality. It had a nice variety of pockets, as well, good for pens, dice, papers, books and all of the accoutrements one needs when travelling to gaming. Inside was a plastic container with adjustable compartments, perfect for miniatures, or very special dice, or keeping game pieces separate. Not something I particularly want in a tote myself, but something I find useful for other nefarious purposes, nonetheless.

I admit, I loved the bag. Thus, I got a second one for myself at that very purchase.

After working the booth for a bit, Lynette was having a bit of an issue because I had my gaming bag, but she had nothing. As a simple matter of convenience, we put some stuff in the tote I'd picked up for myself, and she was carrying it around.

On Saturday, I was informed that the tote was very, very cool, and I knew without a doubt that I wasn't going to get it back. And I still felt it was a superb tote, despite not actually having gotten to do anything with it beyond my initial inspection at the WOTC booth.

So another trip to the booth was made. Indeed, I learned that they did not sell out quickly. In fact, the first time we stopped by they hadn't even had them out, and I had to ask about them specifically and they were brought up from back. (Yes, the WOTC booth was basically a full storefront, with a back room in it). Thus, a third Limited Edition D&D tote was purchased. This one will be mine to keep until I have a child old enough to want a tote that nice. Hopefully, any children I happen to have in the future will not be inclined to carry around Dad's geeky luggage.

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GenCon 2005 World Championship Play-by-Play
by Matt Wolff

Originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 22 Aug 2005 by Matt Wolff. Republished with permission. If you're a member, read the original in the archives.

The players and decks:

Josh Kronengold - Wedding Feast (Mon/Dra)
Sarah Mason - Eaters of the Other Characters (Lot)
Julian Lighton - Everybody Was Kung Fu Uprising (Hand)
Tor Swanson - The Ghost of Corliss (Arch)

Yes I made up the names of the decks, correct me if you must. Now on to the action...

Turns 1-5:

Uneventful start save for Tor playing everyone's favorite "The Ring 3: Helix Rethread" game. You get the rethread and 1 turn later you die. Josh got The Rev. Zeb Paine out to the dismay of everyone save Sarah who knew her Underworld Tracker would be getting some frequent flyer miles out of this one. Turn 5 saw action as Josh attacked Tor causing some Grunts to drop out of thin air but he punched through and revealed a Temple of the Angry Spirits to which The Reverend had a key, but failed to see the thumbtacks on the welcome mat.

Turns 6 & 7

The Queen of the Ice Pagoda made an appearance thanks to Josh, who then attempted to Wedding Gifts for 8 power but Julian confucianed that. Josh, going into Hulk mode, attacked Julian's Temple of Celestial Mercy with Pi Tui but Julian Blade Palmed the Queen to which Josh revealed and damaged his Festival Circle to cancel the Palm. Unfortunately Tor had a whirlpool so the Queen, failing to remember that warrant for her arrest from 2 years ago, spent the rest of the turn in the drunk tank. Julian then attacked Josh's hurt Festival Circle with 2 Shaolin Warrior goodness. Sarah tried to intercept but Julian gave 'em superleap and seized the site, putting him at victory. Turn 7 saw Sarah drop The Demon Emperor, almost go to victory but attack Julian's Temple of Celestial Mercy instead. Josh joined with a Redeemed Gunman but in the end Julian revealed a Booby-Trapped Tomb and the Emperor only did a couple points. She followed that up with some Poison Clan Killers but fails to get through. Julian then goes for the win, dropping a Jade Dragon Monk and attacking Josh's Gambling House with it and a Shaolin Warrior. Tor gassed the Monk and played a Drop Trooper for free, but doesn't declare interceptors. Jules hits for 2. Tor, seeing the slide in power, drops a site to go to victory as well as a second Drop Trooper and attacks Julian's Temple of Celestial Mercy with both Troopers and 2 Test Subjects for the win. Sarah Briberys and Tortured Memories the troopers and blocks the Subjects with 'em, ending that one quick.

Turns 8 & 9

Josh finishes what everyone else started by dropping a Hacker and taking Julian's Temple of Cel. Mercy and burns it for power. Julian takes that opportunity to trade in his Shaolin Student for a Jade Dragon Monk. Julian went for the win again attacking Josh's Gambling House with his Jade Monk. Sarah intercepts the monk with her Hall of Portal'd Shamanistic Punk but Tor doesn't think that's gonna be enough so he bombs. Tor follows that up with a bid for the win of his own with two Drop Troopers but Sarah again steals one with Tortured Memories and Tor hits Josh's Gambling House for only 3. Turn 8 saw the return of Josh's Queen of the Ice Pagoda and him burning Sarah's Sacred Heart for victory, putting him at victory. Sarah Evil Twin'd the Queen and burned Julian's Nine Dragon Temple for victory, putting her at victory as well. Julian, after two successive unsuccessful bids for the win, Peasant Uprise'd for a few characters, dropped two Everybody Was Kung Fu Fightings and went after Tor's TotAS, doing a total of 6 but follows it up with a Blue Monk and burns the site for power.

Turns 10 & 11

Josh goes for the win with the Queen on Tor's Stone Garden. Sarah blocks him with some Poison Clan Killers and the Queen's Evil Twin. Josh drops Silver Jet and Independently tried again but The Jet got The Gas from The Tor. Julian, not to be dissuaded by past experiences goes for the win again, attacking with two Blue Monks, a Shaolin Warrior and a Little Grasshopper towards Josh's Gambling House. Sarah Bribery's one of the Blue Monks but that gets confucianed so a Tortured Memories comes out instead for the same monk. The Monks kill each other tragically, Tor blocked the Grasshopper with a DNA Mage and Josh K-Houses the Shaolin Warrior. Julian curses the gods. Tor drops Sgt. Blightman and takes that same Gambling House from Josh, burning it for power. Turn 11 saw Josh drop a site to go to victory, Sarah drop a site to go to victory and then Julian Peasant Uprise again for some characters and go for the win towards Tor's Stone Garden. Josh, gaining 12 style points, Discerning Fire'd on "Was" to wipe out Julian's edges causing Julian to only hit for 4 and curse the gods' parents and uncles. Tor followed up that with a bid for victory of his own, dropping Commander Corliss and site to go to victory. He bravely attacks Josh's unrevealed site which sets up the following blur of activity: Sarah intercepts Corliss with the Shammy Punk and Evil Twin, Fox Passing Blightman to the Punk. Tor Whirlpools the Pass which allows Josh to K-House Blightman. Tor then Imprisons the Twin, which Josh Ring of Gates. Tor, sensing impending doom, Expendable Units the Twin's damage and the attack fails.

Turns 12, 13 & 14

Josh finally remembers to return Zeb to play and tosses a Ring of Ice on him. Julian drops a GCL and Righteous Bro and Tor drops CHAR. Josh drops the King of the Fire Pagoda and attacks CHAR with Zeb. Blightman intercepts but The Rev hits CHAR for one and Zeb is dead, baby. Zeb then comes back and goes after CHAR again. This time Corliss intercepts and that stops that. Sarah drops Gao Zhang and a Shammy Punk, Julian drops a Jade Monk and Tor heals Corliss, drops some Test Subjects and a 2nd CHAR. Josh goes after the hurt CHAR but fails, Sarah drops Tommy Hsu and Julian drops a Shaolin Student. It's interesting after turns 10 and 11 that people basically took 3 whole rounds of sitting at victory to recoup.

Turn 15

The fun begins with Josh going for the win against Sarah's Fox Pass with Zeb. Sarah Flying Sleeves him to Tommy Hsu and intercepts with Gao. Josh ends his turn dropping a Spirit Pole and then playing a Sword of the Master and Ice Sword onto a Darkness Priestess. Sarah drops a Death Ring and Gao faces off with CHAR, eating him. Julian drops an Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting and another GCL, then Peasant Uprises getting, amongst other things, Josh's sworded-up Priestess. He goes for the win but Josh K-Houses the priestess and after a long game of chicken Tor bombs. Julian drops a Righteous Bro and ends his turn. Tor drops some BuroMill Grunts and Ghengis X and attacks Josh's Ring of Gates for the win. Julian Blade Palms the Ring of Gates to fail the attack but Josh Brain Fires that to Ghengis. Julian tries to Secrets of Shaolin it but that gets Brain Fired too so Ghengis returns to hand. Tor hits for 3 on the Ring of Gates and all seems to be calm until he Dangerous Experiments. Josh chooses Tor's back row site to toast and Tor drops Ghengis again and goes for the Ring of Gates again, this time not for the win. John brings back Zeb but gives up the site to Tor who burns it for power.

Turn 16

Josh, at victory, drops Silver Jet who gets imprisoned by Tor before hitting the table. Sarah drops Tommy Hsu, an Underworld Tracker and a Sinister Priest. Julian goes for the win again, dropping another two Everybody Was Kung Fu Fightings, another two GCLs and another Righteous Bro. He goes after Tor's Stone Garden, getting his GCLs intercepted by Sarah with Hsu and a sinster priest and The Bro with the Underworld Tracker, all thanks to the Hall of Portals. That all happens and the last Bro is K-Housed causing Julian to hate the players even more. Tor goes for his own win by dropping a site and some BuroMill Grunts and going for Josh's K-House. Sarah tried to Fox Pass Shuffle with Tommy Hsu but that gets Petroglyphed so she "opens a can of foxpass" using Flying Sleeves and fails the attack.

Turn 17

Josh takes the Fox Pass with Zeb and burns for power. Sarah Evil Twins Ghengis X and goes after Julian's Festival Circle but gets blocked by the Bro who gets Iron and Silked. Julian tries for the win again dropping a Jade Monk and a GCL and, with The Bro, attacks Tor's Stone Garden. Sarah Memory Reprocesses Julian's Peasant Uprising and takes his GCL, blocking the Bro with it. Josh K-Houses the Monk and Julian eats his hat. Tor goes for his own victory dropping a Plasma Trooper and Vivisector and goes for Julian's Festival Circle. Josh Discerns on Buro, killing the Vivi and Ghengis and Julian reveals a Boobytrapped Tomb, killing the Plasma Trooper, failing the attack.

Turn 18

Josh drops a site, going to victory. He then then drops two Hackers and a Darkness Priestess and attacks Julian's Festival Circle, slapping an Ice Sword onto Zeb. Tor drops Commander Corliss and intercepts Zeb and then Julian Peasant Uprises to get Josh's Priestess, blocking one hacker with it and the other hacker with his Jade Monk, failing the attack. Then Josh drops Silver Jet and comes in for the win.

Total game time: 3 hours or so.
Total bids for victory: 15

All in all a nail biter. There was A TON of denial chicken with everyone calling each other's bluffs. It was my first time sitting ringside for the whole shebang and it was lots of fun. Congrats definitely to all involved - it was really even most of the time but Josh simply had the extra umph to get the win. Can't wait for the Smackdown in Jacktown, Chicago Senshi out.

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