Shadowfist Tournament Report: GenCon 1998

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Home > Tournaments > Reports > GenCon 1998
[posted 19 Apr 2003]

This report was originally posted to on 14 August 1998, you can read the original with a newsreader or Google if you like. I added a couple of updates supplied later in the same newsgroup by Andrew Davidson. For GenCon 1998, we used the SoCal Tournament Rules which had been posted to the same newsgroup for comment; you can find them on an Innocence mirror here or here.

The quick GenCon summary for those who don't care to read the report, such as it is:

Congratulations to:
Patrick Smith - winner, Sealed Deck
Jason Rownd - winner, Final Brawl
Yuit Vong - winner, Who's the Man?! (or Woman, in this case)

All the winners received a copy of Blood of the Valiant, the new Guiding Hand sourcebook for the Feng Shui roleplaying game, courtesy of Ronin Publishing. (thanks Ronin!)

The more detailed report, for those who want more than the summary:

I managed to do a few demos while the tournaments were running so I didn't actually take detailed notes; I know that Andrew did in some cases and he'll likely post them when he gets a break in his schedule. He also took digital photos of the various winners so we'll see them pop up on his website at some point...

Friday, Aug. 7th: Sealed Deck

Since Andon "lost" this event, I ran it in Open Gaming, which turned out to be in the old Arena building this year. With the old MECCA being demolished and only a bus connection between the new Midwest Express Center and the Arena, I think the torrential rains may have hurt the attendance a bit (not to mention that the event wasn't in the book...).

I had been afraid that we wouldn't have enough decks - I rounded up 12, and Andrew was bringing another box. Fears unfounded, since just about everyone discovered that Chimera Hobbies had boxes of starters for $15. So when I asked if anyone needed a deck, and the majority of people whipped out entire boxes of starters, well, I had to laugh. I though about playing sealed BOX but...

Two newbies happened by and saw the poster; I gave them a quick demo and they decided to join the tournament. With everyone's permission I joined the tournament to give us an evenly-divisible group of 12. We decided on the starter plus 2 Flashpoint boosters and went about 35 minutes for deck construction (a little longer than usual since I was helping the two newbies too).

First round matched me with the newbies to get them going, and randomly matched everyone else. Lissa got a clean win on table 2, but everyone else timed out and we resorted to tie breaker rules. At the end of the 1st round, standings were:

Andrew Davidson (1) 5.5 Lissa Vincent (1) 8 Zev Shlasinger (1) 5.5 Joel Carlson (1) 6
Yuit Vong (1) 5.5 Charlotte Henkle 5 Jim Ericson (1) 5.5 Patrick Smith 5
John Rogers 3 Sean Murray 3 Jason Rownd 3 Stefan Vincent 2

and yes that does mean that the newbies just pummeled me off the table, pretty much. Round 2 matched up by score, with the 5.5's seated randomly between tables 1 and 2. Table 3 saw Patrick just whup ass with a quick victory; table 4 saw Jason set up but John and I beat him back until John could steal the win; the other tables timed out again. Standings at the end of round 2:

Lissa (2) 14 Zev (2) 11 Patrick (1) 13 John (1) 11
Joel (1) 11 Jim (2) 11 Charlotte 10 Jason 9
Yuit (1) 8.5 Andrew (1) 8.5 Sean 6 Stefan 5

At this point a bunch of folks had to drop out to play other games, so I also dropped to keep the numbers even. Mark Nickel, another player who stopped by late, took over Charlotte's deck. Round three matched up by score again, with the 11's seated randomly. We were left with three tables; clean wins this time at all three tables, although tables 1 and 2 finished first and we could see that no one at table 3 had a shot at the final, so we started the final early. Standings at end of round 3:

Patrick (2) 21 Jim (3) 19 Andrew (2) 16.5
Lissa (2) 18 John (1) 15.5 Jason 15
Joel (1) 13 Yuit (1) 10.5 Charlotte/Mark 14.5

Final pitted newbie Patrick against Jim and Lissa; the rest of us were busy playing games for fun while Patrick walked over Jim and Lissa; he left them both tied for second. Patrick went away with a nifty ribbon plus his ticket to get his copy of Blood of the Valiant; Lissa took the second prize (a Godzilla spin pop!) and Jim took the 2nd place ribbon.

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Saturday, Aug.8th: Final Brawl

I had convinced Andon to reinstate this event, so it showed up in the Errata sheet at least. We were adrift in the huge collectible card games room, split across two tables since they hadn't left enough room for us. Thirteen players showed up; Lissa dropped out to keep the numbers even since she hadn't been to the exhibitor's hall yet and wanted to spend the day demo'ing. The secret warriors, and their weapons:


Deck Name


Charlotte Henkle "Brown+Gold Death From Above" Ascended/Dragon
Sean Murray "Bugg'ah You!" Lotus, from what I saw
Mark Wheelhouse "Dunkin' Donuts" Architects/Dragons
Andrew Davidson "Lobster Thermidor" Architects/Hand
Ron Wheelhouse "Smoke and Mirrors" Architects/Dragons
Yuit Vong "Beauty and the Beast" Architects/Lotus
Jim Ericson borrowing "I'm Huge!" Ascended
Matt Widmann "Smak Bak Yak Atak" Dragons
James Shaw "Deck of Death" Lotus and stuff
Mark Nickel "Friday Night Special" Dragons/Hand
Jason Rownd "Sputtering Bonfire" Monarchs
Ken Kurpiel "The Whole Gang" Dragons/Hand

First round match up was as usual random, with a little adjustment so that the entire London crew didn't play together. Table 1 seemed evenly matched; after a lot of back-and-forth Ken managed to get the win. Yuit ruled Table 2 for most of the game, with the other players knocking her back but not quite far enough - she got the win on the tie-break when time was called, even though Jim was in the middle of what would have been the winning attack for him. Table 3 saw Charlotte set up early, but the other players held her off, and a late burn of one of his sites allowed Andrew to plop down two City Parks (for a total of 5 sites) and go for (and get) the win. Standings after round 1:

Ken (1) 9 Yuit (1) 7 Andrew (1) 10
James 7 Jim 6 Mark W. 7
Jason 4.5 Matt 5 Charlotte 4
Mark N. 4.5 Ron 3 Sean 2

We sat the second round by score, with the 7s seated randomly. At this point another newbie wandered by so I commenced demoing with him and didn't observe the games too closely. All three tables had clean wins within the time limit; Andrew continuing his streak and Matt rocking his way to a quick win. Standings after 2nd round:

Andrew (2) 17 Matt (1) 14 Sean (1) 11
Ken (1) 15 Mark N. 11.5 Jason 10.5
Mark W. 12 Jim 11 Charlotte 9
Yuit (1) 9 James 9 Ron W. 6

Third round again seated by score; I took the opportunity to do some duels with Zev so again wasn't watching too closely. All three games timed out for this round, although all three tables had someone set up for a win in the near future. Standings after round 3:

Ken (2) 21.5 Jason (1) 17.5 James (1) 16
Matt (2) 20.5 Jim 16.5 Yuit (1) 15
Mark W. 17 Mark N. 17 Charlotte 12.5
Andrew (2) 20 Sean (1) 13 Ron 10.5

A few folks needed to leave for 5 pm games (it was 4 pm at this moment), among them Ken, so we took a vote before scores were revealed to see who wanted another round and who wanted to just jump right to the final. Vote was for the final, so the Marks were narrowly edged out by Jason. Final was Ken, Matt, Andrew, and Jason; one game, winner takes "all." I was still busy playing fun games, but the final turned out to be quite anti-climactic: Jason, who had been stalling all day, got a good draw, and the other three folks got off to sloooow starts. Jason's early King of the Fire Pagoda walked all over them, and walked away with the prize! Final results:

Jason Rownd - 1st (Blood of the Valiant, which he had just purchased. Doh.)
Ken Kurpiel - 2nd, tie (opted for the now-traditional Godzilla spin pop!)
Matt Widmann - 2nd, tie (opted for the ribbon)
Andrew Davidson - 2nd, tie (opted for nothing [well, not precisely "opted," but...] )

Andrew got a deck list from Jason so I didn't repeat the effort; again, he'll post when he has a free moment...

Sunday, Aug. 9th: Who's the Man?!

The Sunday game taught me a valuable lesson: never schedule your games up against the WotC and FRPG finals. I wouldn't have, if I had known, but it turned out that the 10 am slot was also reserved for most of the WotC/FRPG "world championships" so we lost quite a few players - Ken and Andrew to Doomtown, for example. The only folks who showed up were Jason and Yuit, so the game was pretty easy to run - best of three. It wasn't even a contest...


Deck Name


Yuit Vong "High Society" Ascended
Jason Rownd "Dis Jammer Deck" Jammers

Yes, that's right, straight Jammers against straight Ascended. And it went just the way you imagine it did - Yuit crushed Jason two games running. Andrew and I had time to play two games before he had to play Doomtown, and a few other folks (Quan, Zev, Mark and Ron Wheelhouse) stopped by later so we played multiplayer for fun for the rest of the time slot. Andrew even gave me a cool throwing star as a "prize" when my Borg deck took the win on our last game. Thanks Andrew!

But anyway, lesson learned for next year - no games on Sunday morning! We'll shift everything one day earlier, I think, just to avoid this potential conflict. I also met several exhibitors who said they would have played if the games had been later (after 6pm, when the exhibit hall closed) so we'll shift at least one game to the evening to give those folks a chance as well. I hope everybody had fun; I enjoyed running the games and I'll see you next year! (if not sooner) If you're ever in LA and want to play a few games, feel free to email me - tournaments monthly at a nearby store plus conventions three times yearly near LA International airport...

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