Shadowfist Tournament Report: Plattecon Chi (2009)

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Home > Tournaments > Reports > Plattecon Chi (2009)
[posted 9 Apr 2009; updated 11 Apr 2009]

Plattecon Chi [] was held in Platteville, Wisconsion on Apr.3-5, 2009. The local playgroup ran Who's The Big Cheese Now?, the Wisconsin State Championships. John Monnett unseated Wilow Palecek to become The Big Cheese.

Whirlpool of Blook (sealed, draft):

Jim Sensenbrenner

Who's The Big Cheese Now? (multiplayer, constructed): John Monnett

Two reports for you:

Plattecon Chi report by John Monnett

Plattecon Chi report by Willow Palecek

Originally posted to Shadowfist Forum on YahooGroups by John Monnett. Republished with permission. Members can read the original in the archive.

The Wisconsin State Championship, "Who's the Big Cheese Now!?!" was held last weekend at Plattecon in Platteville, Wisconsin.

At noon there was a demo and casual play session scheduled. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot of traffic in the room for card games because 1) there was a scheduling SNAFU between the con and the hall, which doubtless affected attendance; 2) games were divided among rooms. The card game room was between the RPG and video game rooms and the miniatures & board game room was waaaaay on the other side of the building so there was little chance to see other games being played.

So, lacking interested would-be new players, Jim and I dueled a bit. In our first game I played my Syndicate Chi & Influence deck while Jim played Jammers. Cards like Inconvenient Debt don’t work well in two player, and Bait and Switch only works if you have more than one character, which I didn’t have once Jim got the upper hand thanks to a couple Street Riots and a Diamond Beach, which killed or stalled my characters while Entropy Was His Friend.

Our next duel was between my other Syndicate deck, which focused on Tech. He played Ascended & Lotus Hoods. Corporate Hackers plagued his draw (sent a Bite of the Jellyfish and a Shadowy Mentor to the bottom) and Data Theft let me steal a key Nightclub. A Zero-G Sumo given Toughness by a Drug Lab and with a Hyper-Alloy Blade brought a lot of pain. A burning or two and a Lab seizure followed and Jim conceded.

For our third duel I trotted out my Yellow Principle deck, stalled, got thumped and conceded.

Willow arrived and the three of us played. Willow played a Lotus & Monarch sacrifice heavy deck titled "Return to Camp Donner Lake." When a bunch of scrappy teens unearth an ancient evil at their summer camp, will they survive? (No.) Jim played Hand and I gave my Yellow deck another try. Devil’s Tower and Robust Feng Shui (from both me and Jim) foiled many attacks, and I settled into a comfortable if irritating situation of having plenty of power but no hitters to field with it. Willow brought out Itzcoliuhqui and Jim got Cheng Hu Bai and Yen Fan. Lots o’ mayhem but also lots of turned characters. I was starting to worry about decking when I finally I had the wherewithal to play Old Man Wu and a site. His own ability and the Yellow Senshi chamber allowed him to punch through for the win.

By then the Killer Bunnies game that was in the same room had wrapped and the guy who ran it looked at what we were doing. We described the game and he seemed up for learning it after taking a break, but I pegged him as someone whose heart wouldn’t be in it. He came back, but then left to get something to eat and then left altogether.

It was just about 5:00 and time to find out Who would be the Big Cheese Now. None of the five or so people who had wandered into the room up to then were the least bit interested in learning how to play on account of them being involved in running either another game or the con’ itself. Thus, we agreed upon a trio of three-player games, between which we would be allowed to switch decks if we wanted, followed by a winner-take-all final if we were each able to win a game.

For the first game I chose my Dragon rainbow just for kicks. Willow played her GENCON finalist deck, which was Dragon & Monarch and centered around Fakhir al Din, returning him to play and ping damage. Jim had a Dragon & Hand deck built around “Bring It!” and featuring, among others, Dr. Amanda Snow and the Iron Monkey.

In the game I was able to draw lots of diverse foundation characters and the Bazaar early, but not much in the way of hitters. The Bazaar went to Willow, then to Jim before all was said and done. Jim also took the Orange Senshi Chamber from me, which clogged my hand a bit, since I had seven factions by then. Fakhir made an appearance, with an Ice Sword. He wound up dead, though, and Amanda got the sword. And a Crane Stance. That allowed her to punch through to Willow’s site for the win.

For the next game I switched to my Green Principle deck. Willow and Jim kept their decks. I was a little worried at the outset since a Proving Ground as my only Feng Shui site. I had also drawn the Green Senshi Chamber and a Heat of Battle, though, so I figured I could be OK barring complete disaster. After a couple of turns I had both sites out and Willow attacked me. I revealed the ‘Ground and played the Heat. That allowed me to drop an Acupressure Master on my turn which was the big stick at the time. My other, smaller characters proved quite robust and effective thanks to the ‘Chamber and Breath of the Dragon. When Willow and Jim played things like Final Brawl, I was able to put toughness on key characters to keep them around. A Brawl isn’t that Final during a Festival of Giants. A few turns and a couple of burns later I played Eagle Mountain, my third site, and Shan Tsu out of the ‘Ground. I attacked Willow’s undefended site. She said “This will be bad,” but neither she nor Jim had denial so I wound up seizing LaGrange Four. LG4 unturned Shan and I bought the house against Willow’s other site for the win.

For the third game Jim and Willow stayed with the same decks and I switched to my Red Principle deck. Things started out fairly mild until Willow played Flambards, which revealed my back row LG4 and caused everyone to drool over it. She knocked Jim’s front site down to 2 body. Jim did something but all I can remember is that he ended his turn with turned characters. I dropped Jia Baoyu and sicced him on the site. Willow made me work for it, though, by pinging him with a Moon Base. A face-up Moon Base, I might add. Sometimes I just don’t pay attention. NBD, though, since LG4 set Jia right and he hit Jim’s site again, leaving me with a mess of power and a mitt full of cards. Among them were the Iron Monkey, Yen Fan, two Shaking the Mountains and a combo I wanted to play at the start of the game: Shaolin Swordsman and Butterfly Swords. Before my next turn Jia died and Willow turned all her characters again. On my turn I played a site, then Shook the Mountain at Willow’s location to take care of that pesky ‘Base. Then my ‘Swordsman went to hit it. She didn’t intercept but I gave him the Butterflies anyway. I burnt the ‘Base for power and she dropped an Avenging Darkness. Knowing there was toast coming my way I waited for her to start her Main Shot. She played a site and I Shook the Mountain again. She healed the Flambards in response but she was otherwise done. Jim played a Righteous Protector who smacked the Swordsman and took his swords with a Shaolin Surprise. On my turn I realize I didn’t pay attention again and didn’t have the power to play both a site and a 4-cost hitter. I remembered I had LG4, though, and figured if I couldn’t take a site with my first attack, I’d burn it with my second. I played Yen Fan, taking fighting score over a theft ability. Off he went at Willow’s turned site and over Willow’s turned characters. She once again said “This will be bad.” The site was Kinoshita House of Pancakes. Yen Fan ate them all and seized the site. LG4 put him on his feet and he was off to Willow’s other site for the win. It only had six body and that, as they say, was that.

There is a new Big Cheese, and it’s ME!
I shouted this to the room, as was customary, and then shouted it in the hallway, also according to custom.
I got the hunk of cheddar and a Kinoshita House of Pancakes for my own. Wow.

We then play a casual game. Jim played Purists, Willow played Dragons built around cheap characters and Is That All You Got? and I played my White Principle deck. There was a fair amount of back-and-fourth, and we had drawn a spectator. He was intrigued with the game’s description. Willow played a Big Bruiser, who we all announced was a Kicker of Butts. Just to prove we weren’t kidding, I showed it to the new guy, Reid. He was amused. The game reached a point where everyone was turned and I was thinking all I needed was Quan Lo to show everyone the error of their ways. I subsequently drew Quan Lo, played him, took a site with him, then took another site with all my other heretofore non-threatening looking characters to win the game.

By this time Tim had arrived, so Jim showed Reid how to play in greater detail while Tim, Willow and I played. I gave my Blue Principle deck a try, but it stalled due to a dearth of sites. Willow played a Hand deck based around toughness and Acupressure Master. Tim’s Lotus deck got off to a strong start, fielding the Mantis and his Evil Twin. Willow managed to play an Acu‘Master, but then Tim played the Emperor, who didn’t cotton to that acu-whatsit mumbo jumbo and ordered the ‘Master taken away. At this point Willow was actually worried, since most of the hitters in her deck were not unique. She managed a clever comeback, though. To whit: Tim played the White Ninja and tried to take a site from Willow, which turned out to be a City Park. The Emperor, of all characters, provided the follow-up needed to burn it for power. Willow then played One-Eye Chan, and used his ability to fetch the Evil Twin of the White Ninja out of Tim’s smoked pile. The evil sister whacked the other and Willow was looking strong but Tim had a ton of power. He looked at his hand in disgust, though, and played nothing. Willow won on her next turn and we looked at Tim’s hand. Turned out he had Desolation, but misread the resources provided vs. resources required and thought he didn’t have enough magic. Ouch.

At this point we started the draft and I’ll turn reporting duties over to Jim.

I would like to mention, though, that Reid stayed around and watched us play our draft games. When we were done, I fished out the rares from the cards I drafted, one uncommon of which I wasn’t sure how many I had at home, and the requisite 20 foundation & Feng Shui sites for Jim’s draft pool, and gave the rest (most of 10 packs’ worth) to Reid.

-John "the Big Cheese" Monnett

added 10 Apr 2009 about the draft game:

I don't think Jim has posted a report yet. There were two draft games. Jim won the first one and I won the second. Jim was first overall due to Game Points. Turned out we both drafted the same things! (Jammers & Architechts) Tim drafted Lotus and Willow drafted Monarchs. The final game was marked by Jim's monstrous Turing Machine (11+ fighting) and my only-slightly-less-monstrous Entropy Is Your Friend.

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Originally posted to Wordpress on 5 Apr 2009 by Willow Palecek. Republished with permission. Read the original in Willow's blog. []

Back From Plattecon

Plattecon 2009 was a blast. I was able to get a co-worker to take half my Saturday shift, allowing me to make it in time for the Shadowfist tournament… which ended up being me, John, and Jim. We played a casual game or two, then played three games for the tournament- I played my Dragon/Monarch deck, Jim played a very strong Hand/Dragon deck using Bring It, Crane Stance, and Dr. Amanda Snow, and John played a series of different Hand decks, (okay, one was Peacock, and technically heavier on the Dragons), winning two games, and Jim won one. All hail the new Big Cheese! I didn’t do so well, but it was fun.

Tim arrived in time for the draft. A new curious player showed up- Jim did a demo, and John and Tim and I played a three player game. Tim was doing quite well, but stalled when he misred the resource conditions on Desolation and thought he couldn’t play it(d’oh!).

Then we drafted. Drafting that many packs takes a long time, but is a lot of fun and ends up making janky decks. I drafted mostly Monarchs, with some strong cards to splash either Ascended or Purists, but I only had nine Feng Shui sites. I decided to go mono-Monarchs, which was a strong deck. Jim and John both drafted Architects/Jammers. Jim played very well, and won this one. Still, I walked away with a Sacred Heart Hospital (alternate art) and a Ting Timg (promo) as prizes, the cards I wanted, so I was happy as a clam.

Oh, and John Monnet is a dirty rare drafter.

We got some shuteye. It was pushing one when we finished, and we had to be back at the con by 9 for the Dungeon! boardgame. Tim had been up since five, working a full shift that day. Poor guy.

Sunday morning brought Tom Nipple’s Dungeon! boardgame, a homebrewed Descent/Diablo/Hack & Slash Dungeon experience. This is the best version yet- fully cooperative, with a focus on party play, increased balance between the various builds, a new map painstakingly handcrafted by Tom Nipple himself, and a joyful hackfest. Specialization is key, and we had three melee characters, two potent mages, and me running around with a bow sniping things and opening all the treasures. It worked- we plowed farther into the dungeon than anyone else, though we would have been hard pressed to beat our record from last year where we cleaned the whole board out- the monsters got a bit of a boost this year.

It’s a four hour boardgame that feels too short. The balance is fascinating: deeaths are common, with few long term costs. Eventually, you can kill whatever is in your path, but your real enemy is time. You’ve got four hours to kill as much as you can. Making a good move fast is better than agonizing the perfect move. Once our group got into our groove, we started acting with SWAT team efficiency. An excellent game, highly, highly recommended. And there were prizes! Everyone got a “I Killed the Blood Avatar” button (with game buffs for our characters in future years), and I got a full set for collecting more chests than anyone else the whole weekend.

We injected a lot of money into the economy, which is key. We’ve got it to spend, and spend it supporting gaming. Admission to the con, which supports the student group, hotel room, and the great deals from Chimera Hobbies we picked up at the dealer’s room. On Saturday I picked up Castle Whiterock- normally a $99 module- for $25. (I bought the last one. The dealer said that was a popular item. I wonder how much he was losing on them.) The draft was $20 for each of us, which paid for cards. Tim and I picked up an assload of minis- Tim got the mini starter set, which contains four awesome maps, the Young Green dragon, and four adventurers. He got another tube of minis, some map tiles, and then, when they were packing up and we were going through the stuff, we saw the bargain bin of minis. Buy one get one half off. We dumped out the whole bin and searched through it, and had a huge pile of minis, which I offered to buy if they’d do 50% off the whole lot (instead of effectively 25% off). Yup. I ended up spending $92 on D&D bulk minis. Now have to sort all of them…

[writeup by Willow Palecek]

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