Shadowfist Tournament Report: Origins 2000

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Home > Tournaments > Reports > Origins 2000
[posted 28 May 2003; updated 24 Oct 2003]

Z-Man ran several tournaments at Origins 2000. The winners were:

Final Brawl (multiplayer, constructed): Jason Jung
Who's the Big Man Now? (dueling, constructed): Benjamin Barnett
Baptism of Fire (sealed):

Jeff "Cavebear" Stroud

Two reports for you, one from Andrew Davidson, and the other a pictorial of Mike Nickoloff's photos. Thanks to both Andrew and Mike for permission to republish.

Origins 2000 personal diary by Andrew Davidson. Originally posted to on Oct.2, 2000, use a newsreader or Google to read the original if you like.

Origins 2000 pictorial by Mike Nickoloff. Originally posted in July 2000 to the site, it was dropped when the site was redesigned in 2001.

Z-Man sponsored a number of tournaments at Origins 2000: Baptism of Fire (sealed deck), Final Brawl (constructed multiplayer), and Who's the Big Man Now? (constructed dueling). They also held an impromptu team game, in which two pairs of two people competed together. And yes, those are Wizards of the Coast employees who are playing, they know a good game when they see one :)

Origins 2000 personal diary by Andrew Davidson

Originally posted to on 2 Oct 2000. Republished with permission.

Being a rambling account of my trip to Origins 2000 and my doings thereat, including games of Doomtown, Shadowfist, Brawl and Vampire.

I spent Wednesday morning packing and ended up with:

1 large suitcase full of clothes & games - Gunslinger & Paths of Glory
1 large suitcase full of cards - Doomtown, Vampire, Brawl & Shadowfist
1 travel bag full of gadgets - Swiss Army knife, geiger counter, etc.
1 laptop bag and computer plus accessories (Homeworld - yeah!)
1 gumph bag (Yuit's name for a cotton shopping bag for magazines,
loose papers, SF books, moccasins, pullover, umbrella etc)

This was travelling light for me and I anticipated less hassle than usual with the airline. However, I lingered at the duty-free shops in Heathrow and couldn't resist buying some items on special offer:

* noise-reduction headphones - good for playing computer games en route.

* an MP3 player. I liked the idea that it could record 2 hours of speech but never found time to master it. Watch what you say next year though ...

* a folding metal scooter. I'm working on my image as a mad scientist and this makes a great prop. It turned out to work well and I wowed the doormen at the Hyatt every morning as I zoomed up at a great pace. No-one in Columbus had seen one before but, on the way back, I read in Newsweek that they are all the rage elsewhere and so the novelty will soon be gone. Not that they're very novel to start with - I had a nifty scooter when I was in short trousers and that one had a useful pedal crank.

Last year's flight was a misery but this year's went quite well - American Airlines seem a lot better than United. The inflight movie was rather stale though - fancy showing Mission Impossible 1 when what we want to see is John Woo's kick-ass direction for the sequel. That would have really got me in the mood for some butt-kicking Shadowfist action.

I squeezed into a small plane for the final leg from JFK to Columbus. I managed to stow myself and my bits and bobs without too much trouble but I can't imagine how XL-size gamers would manage. And Chris Foley did well to stay away - you don't want to try this on crutches.

A fast taxi-ride downtown then saw me ensconced in the quiet and efficient Marriott Courtyard. And so to bed.

With the jet lag working for me, I rose early and had time for a long leisurely breakfast. I was then fairly pleased to be joining the registration line at 8 am - in plenty of time before the Vampire event at 10, or so I thought. It was puzzling to find that the line just didn't move though. At first I suspected queue-jumpers but when I reached the head of the line over 2 hours later the reason became clear. I was still in a fairly good humour having had some pleasant conversations with my neighbours but this soon changed when I stepped up to the booth and handed in my form. The hapless young woman led off with some marketing questions - where did I hear about Origins and so forth. I told her what I thought of that and gave her some Mickey Mouse answers as she persisted. She then spent some time keying in my details - my VIP number was no use now, it turned out. She was quite flumoxed by my coming from the UK - we didn't have states there, I explained. After much rolling of eyes, we got through all this and I got my badge. I was timing the whole process and it took 14 minutes. This was just amazing but I don't blame the counter staff - minimum-wage temps with no prior knowledge and 15 minutes training. What was inexcusable was that there was no on-the-spot supervision or management who could cut out the BS and get the line moving.

I subsequently checked with the head of the line for event tickets throughout the weekend and the wait was never less than 30 mins - way too much. Fortunately there was a separate, comparatively fast line for generic tickets and I made do with these for all events - there seems to be little need for specific event tickets at all.

I'd missed the Vampire event now but this gave me time to wander the exhibits and dealer area for a while - something that I usually don't find time for until the last day. The Shadowfist booth was looking good with a colossal back-drop of card art and I signed up for the continuous challenge event.

Each player had one starter and 2 Flashpoint boosters to make a deck from and wore a cool "Who Wants Some?" button. You could call out anyone wearing this button and the winner would claim a signed trophy card as a scalp. I soon called out Ben Handy and trounced him quickly in two games. This was all I found time for and so I wasn't in the running for the title. This was subsequently won by Ben himself who racked up a score of +15! He must have found a gang of Mooks to Whirlwind Strike because he hadn't give me much competition. I coulda been a contender! This was a shame as I'd have liked to win the uncut
promo card sheet that was Ben's prize. He said that he wanted to sell it to pay for repairs to his car and so I offered him $20. Not enough, he said - look for this item on eBay if you want to help Ben get back on the road. Note that it features the new art for Sting of the Scorpion. You'll be amazed to see what she stings you with now!

I then hung out with the Vampire players for a while and met the famous LSJ - a laid-back, Californian type with pony tail and cut-offs - most unlike his forbidding net persona. It was interesting to see a familiar Doomtown player, Kevin Masterson, among their number. I saw list chatterbox Ken Kurpiel playing with them later too. It's a small world.

One of the group told me that there were cheap Vampire boxes for sale on site. I hastened back to the dealers and located the stall in question. Altogether I snapped up 3 boxes of VTES boosters, 1 box of Jyhad starters, 4 boxes of Shadowfist starters, 2 boxes of Flashpoint boosters and 1 box of Revelations boosters. This was quite a load so I stopped in a luggage store in the complex to buy some wheels. It turned out that they were having a clearance sale. They offered me a giant trunk on wheels for a song but this seemed too big even for me and I settled for a more normal trolley-case which swallowed up all these boxes - a snip at $40. Then back to the hotel to unload.

I had had lunch at a great market near the convention centre - a Kellner jar full of soup, some hunks of tasty organic bread and a gingery juice cocktail. Later, Kerry and I looked for some food while waiting for the Acme event to start. The Char Bar was too much of a dive for us, Barley's was packed and we ended up at a quiet cafe round the corner - a BLT and a beer topped me up nicely. It was then off to the Acme Doomtown tournament.

Acme is a game store run by enthusiasts and they do a great job of running a Doomtown event every year - a good crowd and great prizes. The details are a blur now but I made the top 8 only to go down in the first round of the eliminator. I was playing the deck which my successful "Ghost Town" deck from last year has now evolved into. This is "Cabin Fever" - so-called because it contains many copies of Heavy Rain, A Slight Cough, Quarantine and Riot! With no Lions or Los Diablos, this can afford to start a few influential dudes like Sandra while still relying on events to do much of the work.

I started off well by beating a Coalition and WCO deck quite easily. I then met Jeff "Nicodemus" Hannah playing Whateleys Extended Family. Jeff rolled over me very fast with The Motherlode is Found and experienced Lord Grimely's Manor. I had been beaten by Lissane Lake in a similar way at Shorecon and it looked like the Fear level was still high enough for such decks to thrive. Jeff played next to me in the Swiss for the Worlds and we were neck-and-neck throughout that I was very happy not to meet him again.

I finished off by playing against a Sweetrock shooter. I put out extra dudes at the start and we drew for four of them - CL, Sandra, Abel and the Mad Dog. I forget the details but I'm guessing that I did best in this and then overpowered him with my strikes.

Despite the loss, I made it through to the top 8 and now met Jason "Jackelope Jay" Hawthorne playing Dixie Rails. I screwed myself by over-reacting to the possibility of him starting Ezzie and left out low starters like Sandra. This was especially silly because he didn't, in fact, start with Ezzie. The game was decided by a big shootout at one of my strikes. I might have won if I'd cheated but I played it clean and my full boat went down to his 4-of-a-kind. I pressed on but things just got worse after that.

Jason went on to the final. While he didn't start with Ezzie, he had lots of potential in this area and, in the final, he destroyed the
opposing Blackjacks player by Withering all his dudes. This was a fine victory - first blood to Dixie Rails.

It was now getting late so I went to acquaint myself with the creatures of the night once more. These were a crowd of Vampire
players, habitues of the jyhad newsgroup, who were playing in open gaming. They were well into it and as it was now many hours past my UK bedtime, I bade them farewell and so to bed.

Rising early again, I dressed in my running gear and headed out for a jaunt on my new scooter. I dropped off my fanciest duds at a dry-cleaner so that I'd have something sharp to wear for the big Doomtown event on Saturday. I then ended up in the Hyatt lobby where I met Zev and Paul taking delivery of the new uncut card sheets for Shadowfist, hot from the presses. I looked these over and they looked impressively error-free. It turned out that this was because the layout had been done by Stefan Vincent - a keen player. It's best to have a knowledgeable enthusiast do this kind of thing rather than a jobbing professional who doesn't really know the game. So many games fall at the last hurdle because the final production is done by folk who can't recognise glaring mistakes when they see them.

[remainder snipped by editor]

writeup by Andrew Davidson

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